Monday, January 28, 2013

Esteemed, Valued, Well-Pleasing, BELOVED!

Think of it, He who made the whole universe, who is so big and majestic that time and space can't contain Him and so wonderful and beautiful that words can't describe Him, THAT  ONE loves you, loves you, loves you!  He adores you!  He couldn't stand to be without you so He gave up His heart of all hearts, His own Son that dwelled in His bosom, to bring you into that same place of resting in His bosom!

He has pressed you to Himself, He holds you close, He will never let you go..and so you dwell in Him and He in you! You've got the Most Wonderful and Loving and Kind and Sweet and Gentle and True and Faithful and Dear and Gracious Being of all in you!

He loves being with you!  He loves everything about you!  He cherishes every moment with you!  Wow!

Just to think of that is mind-boggling...if all that is so, and it is, you must be pretty special!!  You must be worth a lot!  You must be so precious and valuable, like a rare gem!

No matter what the world or the enemy says, or even what your own words or feelings sometimes say, you are not worthless, not a are who God, Your Father, says you are, and He says over you just as He said over His Son (For as He, the Son is, so are WE in this world!) - "This is My beloved son/daughter, in whom I am well-pleased!"  Well-pleased means He thinks so well of us, He approves of us, He esteems us highly!  It is similar to the way He calls us beloved, for to love someone is to esteem them highly, think very highly of them, and value them as precious.

So He values us as precious and He also approves of us and esteems us as pleasing to Him!

I love how God said that of Jesus BEFORE Jesus had even started His ministry, BEFORE He had done even one miracle or given even one teaching!  It is the same with us!  We are loved (valued) and well-pleasing (approved) before we do one thing, apart from any works at all!

We are loved and approved out of the Father's heart of pure love, just because He made us and is so proud of His kids...just like a parent is so pleased with his newborn baby, and values that baby as if it were the most precious being in the world!  The parent will do anything for that little one!

I remember as a new parent, even dreaming of my baby and how I wanted to take care of her and make sure that nothing would ever harm her...I was even loving her and doting on her and concerned with taking care of her in my sleep!  So much more does the God who never slumbers or sleeps watch over us, love us, and do everything to meet our every need and take care of us!

And this is totally without our earning or meriting it, working for it, keeping it going by good behavior, etc.!  Just like with a little tiny baby.  That baby can't do any good works, can't even think clearly or form a clear word, yet that child is the pride and joy of the parent!  That child is perfect to the parent!  The parent sees that child as the best, most beautiful, most wonderful little one in the universe, and the parent loves to just look at the little one as that baby sleeps or snuggles into the parent's arms, loves to let those little fingers wrap around the parent's bigger finger, loves to watch the little one's face as he or she laughs or smiles while sleeping!  That little baby is cherished, right down to the tiny fingers and toes!  Every part of that baby is known and loved and precious to the parent!  That baby is beloved, precious, special, and perfect in the parent's eyes, and the parent is WELL-PLEASED with that baby!  The parent dotes on that baby in every way!

THAT is how the Father dotes on us, too!  THAT'S how He loves us!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Safely Held Like a Baby in His Arms

We love to dote on our babies, to just hold them against us and love on them.  We love to snuggle them into our bosom and just cuddle them, don't we....That is how God the Father is with us, His darling little ones...He loves to just hold us and snuggle us up close to His cheek!  He loves to wrap us in His arms and safely and tenderly embrace us..He loves to look into our faces and see His image there, and say, "There's the family resemblance, that's my own dear child!"  He loves to just hold us when we are agitated, too, and just calm us with His loving warm hug!  We are so safely held today, like a little baby, in His arms! 

I can remember when my little baby daughter had open heart surgery at only 5 months of age, and how nervous and agitated and frightened she was there in the hospital crib before the surgery.  It was very difficult and frightening for her right then.  We were not allowed to hold her because of the delicate wires and tubes attached, and this only made things even more difficult.  But when I was finally allowed to hold her after the surgery, she just went to sleep in my arms right away!  It was like she couldn't rest or be calm, but right when she was put in my arms, everything was okay for her and she slept!  I will never forget was like she was suddenly in total peace, and everything was okay, she could relax and finally rest..

This is how God is with us, He just holds us close and we realize that we are totally safe, totally taken care of, and that everything is okay, and we can rest!  All agitation melts away and we settle down again.  We can breathe easily again.

We are loved, we are held, we are safe, we are just in His arms forever!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

There Are NO Demands On Us Today!

Grace means there are no demands on you do not need to 'do' anything or 'become' anything - you already ARE all you were meant to be, as a gift, by Jesus' work on your behalf. 

Jesus finished His work to make you a complete new creation in perfect relationship with God - He did His job and finished His work and sat down, because it is finished!  

You are complete!  A complete work of art, His masterpiece.  No enhancements, improvements or touchups required!

You already ARE righteous, loved, accepted, at peace with God, empowered, free from sin's power, strong, holy, pure, and ONE with God, together with Him forever.

You are His child, included in the royal family, and the inheritance is yours in Christ!

There is nothing left for you to do because Jesus did it all and will manifest it all in you! You are free! Free to enjoy a love relationship with the most Perfect Love of all - HIM!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

D.L. Moody on Experiencing Grace

I loved reading this account and wanted to share it here..the great evangelist D.L. Moody shares an experience he had as a schoolboy of the difference between law and grace:

“I was one of the first to break the rules of the school. We had a lady teacher, and she asked me to stay behind. I thought the cane was coming out again; and I was going to protest against it. I was quite in a fighting mood. She took me alone. She sat down and began to talk to me kindly. I thought that was worse than the cane; I did not like it. I saw that she had not got any cane. She said: “I have made up my mind that if I cannot control the school by love, I will give it up. I will have no punishment; and if you love me, try and keep the rules of the school.” I felt something right here in my throat. I was not one to shed many tears; but they would come—I could not keep them back. I said to her, “You will have no more trouble with me;” and she did not. I learned more that winter than in the other three put together. That was the difference between law and grace. Christ says, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” He takes us out from under the law, and puts us under grace. Grace will break the hardest heart. It was the love of God that prompted Him to send His only-begotten Son into the world that He might save it. I suppose the thief had gone through his trial unsoftened. Probably the law had hardened his heart. But on the cross no doubt that touching prayer of the Saviour, “Father, forgive them!” broke his heart, so that he cried, “Lord, remember me!” He was brought to ask for mercy. I believe there is no man so far gone but the grace of God will melt his heart.”

D.L. Moody

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Love Has a Name..

 Love has a name...Jesus!  When we receive His love, washing over us and into our hearts, we receive a Person, alive, personal, real, knowable...ready to fellowship with us..

We don't receive a message, we receive a Man..
We don't receive a doctrine, we receive a Dearest Friend..
We don't receive a truth, we receive a True Love...
We don't receive a program, we receive a Person..

We enter into relationship with a Person - a Person who is LIFE and LOVE, a Person who will be in a love relationship with us for all eternity..

We receive HIM who is Life and know Him is to have eternal life and to have the love we've always longed for, the relationship we've always longed for...that is what we have - we have HIM!

Life is a Person, Love is a Person, Grace is a Person - JESUS..

Friday, January 11, 2013

This is a wonderful testimony of something that happened recently to my friend Julie and her husband..she wrote it out and graciously allowed me to share it here.  Someone in her church received a word from the Lord, and it was so beautiful what the message was!  It was so full of the love and grace of Jesus!  So I really wanted to share it here to bless and encourage everyone:

We praise God that God is working mightily in us and in those around us! We want to tell you a story that happened several weeks ago at church! After several songs during worship the music changed to just instrumental music with no words. During that short time people were just speaking out praises to God, like: Praise God! Hallelujah! We love You Jesus!

Our hands were raised and we were in worship. Then, starting out rather quiet and getting louder, a lady began speaking in tongues so everyone else got quiet so that we could hear what God had to say to us. Then she stopped. The instrumental music was still playing and I stood there praying and praying that God would give someone the interpretation. Thankfully they submitted and gave the interpretation. 

It went something like this: Oh draw to Me, draw to Me. I love you, I love you. I am all you will ever need. I LONG to be with you, come to Me, come to Me. I am your everything. I love you, I love you. I want to be with you. There's no need to look elsewhere. I am your answer. Just draw near to me. I love you, I love you.

Not long after this exciting moment we left church (a little different schedule that day). As soon as we walked out the door Steve turned to me and said, "Well, that was an interesting event." I said, "What do you mean?" He said that when the lady spoke in tongues HE received the interpretation! He KNEW EXACTLY what she was saying WHILE she was saying it!! We've never experienced this before. We did not know that Steve had this gift, but we receive it from the Lord! 

So listen to the Words the Lord spoke that I wrote above and draw near to Him. He LONGS to be with you and love on you! He IS your everything! Hallelujah!                      Julie Strozier

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Gospel of Grace Is...

To me, the gospel of grace is that:

God out of His grace and favor toward the world, sent Jesus to take away our sins, and He isn't counting the sins of the world against them! Wow! We are free to be friends with God again, for He's already friends with us. We can open up and receive Him into fellowship, through simple childlike faith, and He comes in and regenerates us, makes us alive again

with His very own life!

This is the good news! Repent (change your mind about your status with God) - He isn't against you but FOR you, favoring you and having mercy on you! He has already taken away your sins on the cross and isn't counting your sins against you. He has brought you into harmony with Himself (reconciled you) by exchanging your sins for His right-ness.

He is looking at the whole world through Jesus' sacrifice now! So open up your heart and agree with this and get to know Him! Faith (simple, happy confidence in Him coming from what He did for you - "wow, Jesus, You did all that for ME! Thank You!") opens the door and allows Him to make you a new person with Him as your very life source - thus, your spirit, bound as it is to God's life itself, which is eternal, will never die!

You are now one with God and have perfect fellowship with Him at all times - you can talk to Him about anything, He is the Friend you've always wanted, He will be loyal where others could not, He understands you perfectly, He delights in you.

And you are now a complete and whole person! This is the way your life was always meant to be - a living spirit filled with God's Spirit and in perfect love relationship with Him!

Nothing is required of you in this life - you are free to bask in Him and His love and be happy in Him, for He will do it all, and you'll find yourself full of new desires to love people, new hope for the future, new authority and freedom over evil, new joy and peace, new strength, new freshness of grace-gifts falling on you every day!

Every day will be a day of just receiving His love and radiating that love back to Him and being a reflection of His love to the world. They are going to want what you have, because they'll see the unconditional love, the satisfaction, the freedom and joy! They'll be attracted to the blessed, full life you have! And Jesus will be glorified and lifted up!


Friday, January 4, 2013

The Lord Is My Shepherd - Jeremy Riddle

We are in the New Covenant, called the Covenant of Peace in Is. 54:10 (my favorite verse in all the Bible!) - the word peace is shalom, and I was studying it recently. Wow, it is so awesome...shalom, I am learning, means not just a tranquil state of mind, but the tranquil state brought about when all needs are met, you are completely full, and you are in a place of complete satisfaction where all
your desires and longings are FULLY SATISFIED!

Christ fully satisfies our hearts! He meets our every need! He is God our Provider! He is the Lord our Shepherd, so we 'shall not lack (be in need, want for anything)!! He supplies ALL our needs out of His riches in glory, no matter what that need is, spiritual, emotional, physical, material, relational, - He is the COMPLETE SATISFACTION of every need, and in Him we come to fullness and rest by the still waters, because we are well, whole, complete and SATISFIED by Him!

Thank You, Jesus! We are not in lack, not missing something, not needing to get better or do better, not deficient or 'needing improvement', not broken or unusable...We are complete and full in You and all our needs are met!

You fully satisfy our souls!

We are FULL to overflowing in You!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

At the Cross, At the Resurrection

At the cross: He's taken us, our old selves, and all the terrible and yucky things that weighed us down and hurt us, taken those onto Himself on the cross and then taken them down to the grave! That's where all my sin, pain, confusion, depression, fear, shame, guilt, condemnation, punishment, alienation, and struggle - and even my old, sinful self - are today! Dead and gone! Buried and forgotten!

At the resurrection: He's taken us, newly created with and full of His resurrection life, and all the wonderful things that He is, taken us and all those wonderful things up, up and up with Him into the heavenlies! And that's where we are today, filled with all that He is - peace, love, safety, authority, joy, favor, strength, fullness, sinlessness, righteousness, perfection, union with God, fellowship, acceptance, LIFE - alive and full and free! Risen indeed and with God forever!
 On this first day of the new year, it's wonderful to think of how in Jesus we have completely left the old behind and entered into a whole new day, a whole new creation, a whole new realm of grace!  We are out of the devil's realm, out of bondage to sin, out of darkness, out from under the law, out of the realm of death...and We are into the Son's kingdom, into freedom, into the light of the One who is Light, into grace and favor, into LIFE ETERNAL!  Wow!
 "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation - old things are passed away; behold, ALL things are become NEW!"  2 Co. 4:17
 We are new!  ALL new!  ALL things have become new for us, and we will NEVER be old again!  The old things like condemnation, bondage to sin, guilt, being under curse, hopelessness, emptiness, inadequacy,  etc. - these things are gone from our lives forever and no more define us!  We are now defined by HIS LIFE in us - defined by peace with God, His loving nature, His faith, His power, His righteousness, fullness of joy, perfect peace that is beyond understanding, the power that raised Him from the dead, unmerited favor, blessings upon the head of the righteous, the unconditional love of God, the companionship of the Holy Spirit, and 24/7 fellowship with God in our spirits, where we are ONE with God Himself!  THAT'S how we are defined today and forever!
Thank You, Jesus, for bringing the 'old' us with You on the cross and the 'new' us with You in the resurrection! 
May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14