Tag Archives: Love

A Love Letter to My Lord

17 Jan

My Lord – My King – My Father and My Friend;

I cannot do anything without you. There is no one else like you. I just need to be in your presence. I need to be with you. I fall short in so many ways.

My frustration melts away when I come into your presence. I know that I don’t even have to speak a word – just sit at your feet and soak up your love. It is truly inexplicable!

When nothing feels right around me, I know you are there – loving me – touching my heart – looking into my inner most thoughts and fears – my doubts and hurts – all my concerns. I feel inadequate to put into words all the things that constantly fight for a place in my mind for attention – all to keep me from you and your presence.

Oh, how I love you. You have proved yourself strong in so many ways. You are such a personal friend. I wish with all my heart that all your people could give themselves fully to you and know your love.

Breathe upon me, Lord. Nothing satisfies like you, my God. Forgive me for the times I walk in rebellion to your instruction. It is so hard sometimes to yield to you. My flesh is so weak and wants gratification. Help me to see that gratification comes from you alone and nothing else will do.

June 24, 2009

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To The Care-Giver

16 Jan

This is an article I wrote several years ago. I was taking care of my Mother – my favorite person in the world. She had Alzheimer’s and I was doing all I could to keep her at home with me. I loved her with a love I can’t explain. I wanted so much to take care of her until her time came to leave this earth. Being a care-giver is the hardest thing I’ve had to endure in my lifetime.

My Mother was used by God on this earth to bless so many people – she was, and still is, my hero. She was the perfect example of what a disciple of Jesus should be. The love of God was with her every moment and drew everyone to her side. Taking care of her was the biggest gift God has given me.

As hard as the task was, God was with me every step of the way. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t hesitate. I cherished the time we had together. The biggest blessing of all was that my Mother remembered me on the day she died. What a gift from God!

If you are a care-giver – please know that God knew you would be the one He could trust with the care of the one He loves so much. He sees all you have to endure – Lean heavily on Him. Don’t fret over any guilt about how you feel. Take good care of yourself and don’t let the enemy make accusations that take away your joy. This, too, shall pass, and, when it does, you have fulfilled the Scripture as follows:

John 15:13

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

NIV

 

 If all that a man has he will give for his life, he that gives this for his friend gives all, and can give no more; this may sometimes be our duty, 1 John 3:16.

(from Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright © 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

 

I like what Matthew Henry’s Commentary has to say about these words that Jesus spoke in the book of John. Somehow it gives me great satisfaction to know that as I give my life to take care of my loved one, I give all that I am and can give no more. My own interpretation of this would be that God sees the sacrifices that I am making for my loved one and He knows I am doing my best. It also makes me feel better to know that it is okay if I am doing this as a duty and not because I think I am qualified or even good at it! This takes some of the pressure and guilt from me, since I don’t always perform my care-giving with the right attitude.

Some of the pressure I place on myself comes from my own idea that I should like what I am doing – but I don’t.  Most of the time, I feel angry that I have no choice.  Because this is one of those things I do as a duty and not necessarily because I want to, it doesn’t take away from what Jesus said in this Scripture from the Book of John. Duty is a good thing – it comes from internal integrity.

I am grateful that God’s Word ( John 15) it  doesn’t say I have to feel a certain way in order to demonstrate my love. It is the act of providing daily care for my loved one that God wants from me. I’m not saying that my attitude shouldn’t be right. I know it should. But, at least God knows my heart and He knows what a struggle this is. I have to seek God continually to help me correct my attitude as I am doing things I would rather not be doing.  This brings a greater peace to my heart and helps me feel less stressful.

As I write about my care-giving experience, I notice how many times I use the word “feel”. Truthfully, I’ve never been so aware of my feelings – possibly because I’ve never walked through such agonizing pain, or experienced such intense emotions.

As care-givers, we find ourselves so entangled with our loved one that we can’t deny the heaviness of it.  Therefore, we are forced to deal with our feelings and emotions. And there are soooo many!

President Reagan’s wife, Nancy,  put it this way,  “. . . it is like saying a long goodbye”.

The good news is that we will meet again in Heaven one day.

You May Have the Gift of Mercy If . . .

29 Jul

SPIRITUAL GIFTS (10)

Characteristics of the gift of MERCY (Part 2)

There are seven Spiritual Gifts mentioned in Romans:

Rom 12:3-8

4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body , and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. NIV

  • They are able to sense genuine love – They can very quickly identify insincerity
  • They are vulnerable to deeper and more frequent hurts because of lack of love or rejection. John’s teachings and personal relationships illustrate that his primary focus was on love. He uses the word “love” more than any other disciple (Gospel of John; Epistles of John).
  • They seek deep friendships in which there is mutual commitment. John established a very close relationship with Christ and with Peter. He often refers to  himself as the disciple “whom Jesus loved.”
  • They tend to react harshly when intimate friends are rejected. John and James asked Christ if they should call down fire from heaven and consume the Samaritans who rejected Christ (Luke 9:54.
  • They are more concerned about mental joy or distress than physical concerns. John wrote to give his readers “joy” – “fellowship” – “hope” – “confidence” – and to cast out “fear” and “torment” (I John 1:3, 4; 3:2, 4:18; 5:13-14)
  • They attract people who are having mental and emotional stress.  John’s deep understanding, love, and acceptance made it easy to understand why others would confide in him as Christ did during the last supper (John 13:23-26). Meeting physical needs proves love (I John 3:17)
  • They measure acceptance by physical closeness and quality time together.
    John sought out the closest place to Christ: “Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples (John 13:23). His need for closeness may have prompted his request to sit next to Christ in glory. (Mark 10:35-37)
  • They desire to remove the causes of hurts rather than look for benefits from them. John’s message was to get Christians to stop hating and hurting each other. (I John 3:11, 15)
  • They generally avoid decisions and firmness unless they will eliminate greater hurts. John was a follower until it came to denying Jesus; then was bold and decisive (Acts 4:13; 19-20)
  • They don’t keep score
  • They are attracted to outsiders – to show acceptance and kindness
  • They have lots of acquaintances and enjoy calling a lot of people friends
  • They empathize deeply with hurting people
  • They are compelled to provide some type of immediate aid to anyone who is hurting

In addition to what I have learned about Spiritual Gifts, I have also used material by the following:

  • C. Peter Wagner “Your Spiritual Gifts”
  • Gordon Lindsay “All About the Gifts of the Spirit”
  • Adult Education and Discipleship Ministries – FBC – Garland “Gifts are for Giving”
  • Biblesoft Libraries
  • Sandy Trice
  • David Francis

Use HIS Power, Not Yours

5 Jul

Discovering Our Spiritual Gifts (2) – Continued

WE are the church. The building we meet in on Sundays is a meeting place. God lives in our hearts and His Holy Spirit will motivate us at times to go out of our way to meet a need or to help someone.

We should be sensitive to what motivates us the most. For instance, if a friend was transferred to another city and had to move to a new location – and really didn’t want to go, in what way would you prefer to help? Would you (1) Have an immediate idea of people who could help and start making plans to line them up for the task; (2) Physically offer your assistance to pack and move them; (3) Help them financially; (4) Encourage them in the areas that are troubling them; (5) Do some research to help them gather information that may be needed; (6) Show compassion and understanding about all the things that are concerning them with the situation; (7) Make sure they are aware of all the facts of their decision and do your best to make them aware of any possible problems?

You may find that there are many areas listed above where you could help. More than likely, there will be one in particular that your are the most concerned with. That will be a hint of the gift God has placed in your heart to reach out to others. Eventually, as we mature in Christ, we will be more effective in many of these areas. Knowing the one thing that motivates us the most does not mean we are exempt from becoming more sensitive in the other areas of need.

God will be honored when we use our gifts. The Holy Spirit is always at work around us, and when we use our gift in His power, God receives the praise.

(1 Peter 4:10-11)
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”

God determines what gifts we are given. Discovery of what motivates us may take some time. As we mature in our walk with God we will gradually become more like Jesus and participate in all gifts, as needed. But there will always be one that motivates us – this is by God’s design.

1 Cor 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

1 Cor 12:18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

Gifts of the Spirit and Fruits of the Spirit are different. The fruit of the Spirit is evident in our character – how we behave. The gifts of the Spirit reflect God’s work – what we do for Him. Following are the Fruits of the Spirit. Our goal is to allow the Holy Spirit to teach us how to walk with the evidence of these fruits in our lives. (Galatians 5:22)

Fruits of the Spirit

• Love
• Joy
• Peace
• Longsuffering/Patience
• Gentleness
• Goodness
• Faith
• Self Control

Note: We learn these fruits by facing issues in our lives. For example, in order to learn “longsuffering (patience)” we will be faced with issues that require us to put it to work! Read the list again with that in mind!

Motivational Gifts
Of the Spirit

• Serving/Helping
• Giving
• Administration
• Prophecy
• Exhortation/Encouraging
• Showing Mercy
• Teaching

There are other gifts God gives us that will be discussed later, but first we are going to go a little deeper into the characteristics of these 7 gifts and how to recognize them in our lives.

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