Monday, May 30, 2011

Holy Love

"God is love...God is light...God is holy.."

I was thinking recently how all these phrases come together.  In the past my idea of God's holiness and the fact that He is Light ran along these lines:  "He is so perfect that He doesn't want to be soiled by us dirty sinners."  This idea didn't really make me feel I could approach God - it just seemed to make me feel more unworthy and despairing of ever being close to God.

But the reality is that God's holiness is so different than that!   God's holiness doesn't have a connotation of judging and condemnation, of pointing out our faults.  God's holiness has a connotation of attracting us to His love.  Jesus was perfectly holy, and that holiness didn't repel people.  It attracted the worst kinds of sinners and gave them hope.  His holiness was the purity and perfection of love and grace! 

He is holy - without any imperfection.  All that He is - grace, love, joy, gentleness, goodness, peace, patience, self-control - He is all that perfectly, without an ounce of anything different.  Think of having a person like that as your Friend; you would be drawn to such a person and feel totally at ease openly up to Him.  You would be able to trust Him implicitly, knowing you would never be rejected by Him but only perfectly understood, cared for, and loved!  As He shows me His love and grace, I see His holiness is beautiful, healing, attractive and freeing!  It means that He is perfectly pure in all His attributes, perfectly and completely those things in all His relations with us:

He is kind in a perfect way, with no unkindness in Him!

He is patient with no impatience mixed in at all!

His compassion and goodness go all the way, and all He does all the time is in perfect compassion and goodness!

He is pure, unadulterated joy and peace, with no hint of displeasure or strife.

He is totally gentle, without one single speck of harshness!

He loves perfectly, is that way every time, without fail, without any unloving traits - ever!  He loves without fault, without wavering, without stopping, without shortage.

He is holy in every way toward us - He is perfect love, peace, joy and grace - without fault or blemish or change!

There is no shadow of turning with Him.  God has no "dark side," no shadowy part of His character.  He is HOLY - He is 100% purely and completely who He is -  Perfect LOVE, GRACE, JOY, and PEACE!  That means He is 100% trustworthy for all our needs, for all our days...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

"Christ In Me" by James Stewart

Here is an excerpt on the meaning of "Christ in me" from the book A Man in Christ by James Stewart.  (I found this on Merrill Thompson's facebook page.  Check out his page for many more grace excerpts from different writers.)

"'Christ in me' means Christ bearing me along from within, Christ the motive-power that carries me on, Christ giving my whole life a wonderful poise and lift, and turning every burden into wings.  All this is in it when the apostle speaks of  'Christ in you, the hope of glory' (Col. 1:27).  Compared with this, the religion which bases everything on example is pitifully rudimentary.  This, and this alone, is true Christian religion.  Call it mysticism or not - the name matters little;  the thing, the experience, matters everything.  To be 'in Christ,' to have Christ within, to realize your creed not as something you have to bear but as something by which you are borne, this is Christianity. It is more:  it is release and liberty, life with an endless song at its heart.  It means feeling within you, as long as life here lasts, the carrying power of Love Almighty; and underneath you, when you come to die, the touch or everlasting arms."

                                                                                                                            James Stewart

Wow - We don't have a religion we have to carry around - we have a Christ that carries us! 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Jesus Culture - I Adore You

What a beautiful worship's by Phil Wickham and sung here by Jesus Culture..

We adore You, Lord Jesus!

We love everything You are!

And You are everything to us...

The lyrics:

Mercy falls from Your heart down on me
Glory streams from Your face so lovely
A million words could not describe
How marvelous Your perfect light

I adore You
I will sing it with all my heart
I adore You
I love everything You are

That my heart, beats to the rhythm of Your heart
That my eyes focus on Your beautiful eyes
A million tongues could not express
How beautiful Your holiness

My life is yours and will be forever
My love is yours

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Nothing is Wrong!

I sometimes have these feelings that something is wrong between God and me, that I am lacking in some way, have failed or need to do more, that I need to do something to get close with God.  These feelings produce an uneasiness and sense of something being "off" in my relationship with God.  They are the typical lies of our old enemy, aren't they?  Fellow grace-lover Mike Fitzpatrick calls these lying feelings "the stun-gun of the ol' blamer boy." Yuck..

Yet God is reminding me of reality - that NOTHING IS WRONG!

Nothing is wrong with me - I am PERFECT before Him, since by one sacrifice Christ perfected me forever!  So that's that..

And nothing is wrong with the relationship between God and me - Jesus has brought me into this grace in which I stand.  That's where I always am, in a perfect grace relationship with God.  Actually, I have been put into the midst of the relationship of the Father and the Son - now THAT'S a perfect relationship, one that is never lacking or "off" in any way!

There's nothing missing, nothing "off", nothing lacking, nothing incomplete between God and me.

I am perfect and complete before Him, in a perfect and complete relationship!  Whether I always feel it, realize it, experience it, or not!

Because of Christ, NOTHING is wrong with us and EVERYTHING is right with us!
Because of Christ NOTHING is wrong with our relationship with God and EVERYTHING is right with our relationship with God!

We walk around today as perfectly loved and perfectly righteous saints in a perfect relationship with the God who perfectly acts on our behalf!

We've got it so good...  Oh, what a happy gospel!  That means when I have those old lying feelings of lack and condemnation, I can just rejoice in the truth that EVERYTHING is really fine between God and me.  I can just ignore those lies and keep enjoying the perfect fellowship I have with Him in the Spirit, because that fellowship hasn't been disrupted or changed at all, no matter what thoughts or feelings may have insinuated.  I love it!  Thank You, Lord, for reminding me of this..

We are living in the Spirit in PERFECT fellowship with Him today.  There is nothing between us.  We are so bonded with Him that we are ONE forever.  Our Perfect Friend is in perfect relationship with us forever.. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for being that perfect, always understanding, always present, always uplifting, always loving friend to us!  You never stop pouring out that waterfall of love and grace upon us!  Hallelujah!


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Forever reign

What a wonderful song - it's Forever Reign by Hillsong..

All that we need, He is..

We are one with Him in spirit, always together, always having all we need - HIM!

Noone and nothing satisfies our heart like He does..

In our hearts, we're running into His arms and He is the provision for our every need!

The lyrics:

You are good, You are good
When there's nothing good in me
You are love, You are love
On display for all to see
You are light, You are light
When the darkness closes in
You are hope, You are hope
You have covered all my sin

You are peace, You are peace
When my fear is crippling
You are true, You are true
Even in my wandering
You are joy, You are joy
You're the reason that I sing
You are life, You are life,
In You death has lost it's sting

You are more, You are more
Than my words will ever say
You are Lord, You are Lord
All creation will proclaim
You are here, You are here
In your presence I'm made whole
You are God, You are God
Of all else I'm letting go

Oh, I'm running to your arms
I'm running to arms
The riches of your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign

My heart will sing
no other name
Jesus, Jesus

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Four Big Truths

There are four big truths I keep coming back to over and over in my Christian walk.  They are so deep and rich, I feel I will continue learning about them more and more as time goes by..

These truths ground me in my faith and make me rejoice in my wonderful Savior and Friend, Jesus, the lovely One!  They free me to enjoy the real goal of the Christian life - knowing and fellowshipping with Christ!

I am my Beloved's and He is mine.  He has called me to rise and come away with Him, away from my problems and worries and efforts and struggles and confusions and distractions and feelings of lack - to just come away with Him to the heights of joy and be happy with Him!  To just be happy in our perfect relationship!  For we have a perfect relationship; I am perfect before Him, and He is perfect towards me - forevermore!  All because of His finished work!

Four big truths:

1)  I am loved and accepted by God - so He will never shun or mistreat me!

2)  I am right with God - so He'll never get angry or disappointed with me!

3)  I am complete in Him - so He'll never see any sin or lack in me again!

4)  I am united with God - so He'll never leave or abandon me!

Think about it - you are perfect to God!  You are completely included, accepted, taken in and embraced today.  You are right with Him, complete and not lacking before Him in any way.  And you are bonded with Him, sealed with the Spirit into a relationship of perfect oneness and intimacy!  He is always delighting in you!  Wow!

Lord, reveal the depths of these truths to us!  That way we can forget about our sins and struggles and self-efforts - just as You have forgotten about them - and we can focus on just enjoying You and Your grace!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Dance, Dance! Because of Amazing Grace..

Oh, what a happy gospel!

Our sins are gone, remembered no more (Heb. 8:12)!

We are alive in Christ, new creations - the old is gone (2 Co. 5:17)!

We are accepted in the Beloved (Eph. 1:6)!

We are right with God, at peace with Him, by grace through faith (Rom. 5:1)!

We are complete in Christ (Col. 2:10)!

We are in the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom (Rom. 8:9, 2 Co. 3:17)!

We are in the kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17)!

We are one spirit with Him, in beautiful, intimate fellowship (1 Co. 6:17, 1 Jn. 1:3)

Oh, what a happy gospel - thank You, Jesus!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Random Thoughts

(My daughter took this picture of the rhododendrons in front of the house..just wanted to share that!)

Here are some random thoughts that have come to me:

What God wants to do in my life cannot be stopped!  Circumstances can't stop Him, the devil can't stop Him, and even my own failings can't stop Him from completing His purpose in my life!

Our new spirit is born of imperishable seed and cannot die..the life we have now is HIS life, which is eternal and can't die!  That's security..

The Spirit is like a boxer who has entered the ring to fight for me.  I may be puny, but He is gigantic and enforces His victorious strength so easily!

He is holding on to me.  I don't have to worry about holding on to Him.

Sin isn't on God's mind.  Jesus is on His mind, and us in Him..

The friend I've always wanted, to be committed to me, to listen to me without judgment, to always be there for me, to unconditionally accept me, to always want me around and actually enjoy my company - is HIM!  He tells me "All that you want in a friend I AM!"

Assume that you  have faith and have righteous desires, do!  It's our nature..

When feeling that old feeling of not-good-enough, guilty, condemned, must "do" something to get close to God again - remember it's all a lie from the enemy.  EVERY negative thought is a lie from the enemy.  Remember that NOTHING is wrong and that you are fine and right and one with Him, right now!

Since Jesus set us free, we are free forever and free indeed!  The evil one cannot touch us, and no attack or lie will prove fatal.  We are free!

Because of what Jesus did, God will never stop favoring me, accepting me, being on my side, or blessing me.  No matter what!  That's grace!

The gifts of God - salvation, freedom, acceptance, righteousness, the Spirit, power, victory - are irrevocable and can't be lost, no matter how much we mess up!

Right now the Holy Spirit is in me delighting in me...I am valued and loved.  Someone thinks I'm special..  The God of all the universe was literally dying to fellowship with me. 

At all times, every day, no matter what happens, whether we sense it or not, we are in the Presence of Perfect Love!  We live out of the Father's embrace..Our Daddy is 100% pure and infinite love, the love we've always wanted and the love we'll celebrate for all eternity.  THAT'S where we live!

God isn't about punishing sin.  He's about imparting LIFE.  His main focus isn't shaping us up.  His main focus is loving us!


Thursday, May 12, 2011

Stray Thoughts and His Whispers

Stray Thought:  Sure He cares about the ones who are "together", but why would He care about you...

His Whisper:  YOU are My beloved child in whom I am well-pleased!

Stray Thought:  Maybe you were once a strong Christian, but look at you now, you've fallen away..

His Whisper:  You ARE My beloved child in whom I am well-pleased!

Stray Thought:  You don't belong anywhere, nobody thinks you're worth including in their life..

His Whisper:  You are MY beloved child in whom I am well-pleased!

Stray Thought:  How could God love you - you're a mess and worthless..

His Whisper:  You are My BELOVED child in whom I am well-pleased!

Stray Thought:  You're all on your own - face it, noone is going to take care of you anymore..

His Whisper:  You are My beloved CHILD in whom I am well-pleased!

Stray Thought:  You blew it, you're guilty and God is surely displeased and disappointed..

His Whisper:  You are My beloved child in whom I AM well-pleased!

Stray Thought:  You'll never be good enough, you are always lacking..

His Whisper:  You are My beloved child in whom I am WELL-PLEASED!

The Father said it to Jesus at His baptism:  the Spirit descended on Him like a dove, and the Father said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased."

And we have been put in Christ.  His history is our history.  The love the Father has for Him is the love the Father has for us.  As He is, so are we in this world.  We've been brought into that same intimate relationship with the Father that Jesus has, and the Spirit of sonship is there to tell us of that sonship that we have.  He's there to cement into our hearts that intimacy that is ours with Him!  He is there crying out "Papa, papa!" within us, and He is transmitting that word to our hearts that the Father is constantly speaking over us: "You are My beloved son (child), in whom I am well-pleased!"

I needed so much to hear that today.  I asked God to just remind me of my acceptance in Him.  It is what ours hearts long to hear and the very foundation of our Christian lives.  Well, He led me to a devotional reading, and I read those very words that we are accepted in the Beloved, accepted as God accepts His own Son!  Wow!  He is so good to always remind us of the truth and build us up.  He is perfect love.  May we all enjoy the acceptance that is ours as a fact, by right of inheritance, freely given to us in Christ!

Dear Father, thank You for whispering to us over and over, "You are My beloved child, in whom I am well-pleased!"

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Bear Hug of God

Here's a wonderful quote from  The Lost Secret of the New Covenant:

"When we are given a bear hug, or a fervent embrace, all the ideas associated with love move from an intellectual concept to the actual experience of being loved.  When we say that God loves us, we must never think of that in terms of a cold statement of doctrine; we must understand that the Holy Spirit is God in the act of loving us, embracing and enfolding His arms about us.  The Holy Spirit is God running to us, flinging His arms around us, and passionately loving us."               Malcolm Smith

The Holy Spirit is God Himself loving me, embracing me, holding me, caressing me, cherishing me, enfolding me in His arms.

The Holy Spirit is in us to give us the Father's bear hug of love!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

God and the Dolphins

Recently my family visited a big aquarium that has a dolphin show. As we watched these beautiful creatures leap through the air with flips and twists and amazing synchronized arches over the water, I admit that tears ran down my cheeks.  It was just so beautiful to see these lovely creations of God in a playful and graceful celebration of life.  For some reason it reminded me of God, His beauty and gracefulness seen in these animals He made.

Later on I found a library book that was a dolphin story, so I read that aloud to the kids since we'd just seen the show.  I was struck by this amazing true story of a man rescued by dolphins, and once again I saw a God connection.

The book is called Dolphin Treasure, and the author, Wayne Grover, befriended a family of dolphins while diving off the Florida coast.  In the book he describes an experience he had with one of the dolphins.  He had been diving with friends a few miles offshore looking for treasure from a Spanish shipwreck, and the weather had become treacherous.  He foolishly made one more dive to pull out an artifact he had glimpsed on his previous dive, and when he surfaced, his boat and crew were gone, pulled away by the wind and storm that had come upon them.  Wayne found himself floating alone in the ocean.  Nearing exhaustion in the middle of the night, he felt something bump against him.  When he reached out his hand, he felt the rough skin of a shark inches away.  He was about to be killed by sharks!

At just that moment, as hopelessness and anguish swept over him, he heard a sound followed by sharp clicking noises.  His friends the dolphins had arrived just in time, and they quickly drove the sharks away! The dolphin he knew best came to him and allowed him to grab onto his dorsal fin; then, the dolphin began gently swimming toward the shore. Yet Wayne was so weak he couldn't hold on to the dolphin, and he kept slipping off.  The dolphin communicated to a companion nearby, who came up on the other side of Wayne and lifted him from underneath.  So one dolphin was pulling him and another was supporting his weight, buoying him up so he could be brought along in the water.

As the day dawned, they finally neared the shore and the dolphins moved back a little.  Wayne stood up - he was in shallow water near the beach. He was saved!  He turned around and the dolphins were chattering and swimming around as if in joy about his rescue.  The dolphin he knew best jumped up high in the air as if in triumph.

What an amazing story!  It's unbelievable but true!

And as I read this aloud to the kids, it dawned on me how much these dolphins acted just as the Holy Spirit acts with us.  He is called our Paraclete, which means "one called alongside to help."  He is there to lift us up when we can't go on, there to lead us out of trouble, there to fight off enemy attacks, there to be the strength we don't have.  He is the One buoying us up from beneath, for underneath us are His everlasting arms.  And He is the One guiding us into the way ahead, gently leading us along.

He's always there to help at a moment's notice.  He won't ever let us down!  Our enemy is already defeated and is no match for our Paraclete!  Even after we have blown it and gotten ourselves into a mess of our own making, He is there for us, helping, rescuing, carrying us along, fellowshipping with us as if nothing had happened, because in His eyes, nothing has - our sins can't ever keep Him from us, because they've already been taken away at the cross and we have been forever cleansed and joined to Him, our Paraclete, forever!  This union with Him means I'm never ever alone in any problem I face, even if I feel alone, even if I get confused, fail, or seem to forget about Him.  He is still there for me, and He will be there for me forever!

And just like the dolphins celebrated over Wayne, the dear Holy Spirit celebrates over us.  He dances and sings and leaps and twirls with joy that we are God's beloved ones.  He has pure delight and happiness about us!  His presence with us is the constant experiential reminder that we are loved, accepted, safe, kept, right, complete, full and delighted in by God Himself.

God wants a relationship with me.  He doesn't want to save me so I can be His worker.  He saved me to be His beloved little child!  He wants fellowship, interaction, a relationship that is so open and free and full of trust that I can be myself, be totally real, and never fear rejection.  I have been welcomed into His arms forever.  He is sharing all of Himself with me.  This is a wonderful love relationship, the kind I've always longed for, of mutual sharing and joy.  Out of that wonderful celebration of love comes the power that will change this world and bring His kingdom of love to earth.  Wow!

Friday, May 6, 2011

A Declaration

Those irritating lies of the enemy can get me down.  Old programming from years of legalistic thinking can seem to come back to haunt me.  But the Spirit continues to whisper the truth to me.  And my spirit continues to know the truth deep down.

So I'm led to make this declaration:

  • God loves me so much that He calls me His child - that is what I am!
  • I am born of God's Spirit and have His nature within me and no more a sin nature.
  • I am safe in His arms forever because I am kept safe in Christ Jesus!
  • My sins are gone, removed as far as the east as the west.
  • As He is in this world, so am I!
  • The peace that passes understanding will guard my heart in Christ Jesus.
  • I am in the Kingdom of righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit.
  • I am never alone, for He is always with me.
  • I will never be abandoned - for He will never leave me or forsake me.
  • He will supply all of my needs through the riches of Christ.
  • I am strengthened with power through the Spirit of the resurrection that lives in me!
  • He has given me authority over all the power of the enemy, and nothing can harm me.
  • He will always lead me in triumph in Christ!
  • I have been perfected forever by the perfect sacrifice of Christ.
  • I stand before Him washed and cleansed forever.
  • My sin will never come between God and me.
  • I will never be punished for my sins.
  • There is no condemnation on me today or any day!
  • My guilt is gone.
  • God only looks at me with love.
  • God will never harm me but only help me.
  • God will do me good and not evil all the days of my life.
  • God gives me a future and a hope - things are not hopeless!
  • I am one with God, one with Him - my spirit and His are in perfect communion always!
  • God's greatest joy is fellowshipping with me in the Spirit!
  • Jesus calls me His friend and shares Himself completely with me.
  • My relationship with Him is one of complete openness with no barriers.
  • There is no possibility that God would ever reject me.
  • I am accepted and acceptable to Him!
  • God delights in me!
  • I have the right to the full inheritance from my Father.
  • I am qualified to pray and my prayers are heard and answered and are effective.
  • No matter what the circumstance, He will turn things around for good.
  • No matter what my failure or sin, I'm forgiven and right with God in Jesus' name!
  • Every gift I have from God is a gift and is mine for free without my earning or deserving it.
  • I am unconditionally loved by a love that won't ever run out or fail.
  • The infinite and sufficient One Himself lives inside me, so I have sufficiency for all things.
  • I can impart Christ to the world.
  • Everywhere I go, I glow with a Jesus glow in the Spirit.
  • I am in the Spirit, never in the flesh again.
  • I sit with Christ in the heavenly places.
  • I enjoy the goodness of God upon me always.
  • I walk in His favor and grace at all times.
  • I am never out of His presence and never out of His care, His thoughts, His love!
  • I am complete and not lacking.
  • I am full and free!
  • I am His, and He is mine!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The One I've Looked For All My Life

He is the One I've looked for all my life, 

the Friend I have wanted so much, 

Someone to understand, to care, to always be there, 

to always support and help, to always accept and say soothing words, 

always ready to listen and to give encouragement.

Someone who loves me unconditionally, 

Someone I can dare to trust, knowing He won't crush my heart or reject me. 

Someone who understands!

I have felt so lonely all my life, and now I'm never alone!  

He actually wants to be around me!  

I am in awe that the God of the universe would dwell in me by His Spirit.  

He's there not to use or abuse me, but to fellowship with me..

to interact with me, to talk to me and listen to me,

to commune with me, to love me..

He is my Intimate Ally,  my Strong Defender,

my Tireless Supporter,

my Truest Friend!

Monday, May 2, 2011


If Jesus took all my sin, there's no sin left on me..

If Jesus took all my guilt, there's no guilt left for me..

If Jesus took all my condemnation, there's no condemnation left for me..

If Jesus took all my shame, there's no shame left on me..

If Jesus bore all my sorrows, I need bear them no more..

If Jesus bore all my anxieties, I need bear them no more..

If Jesus bore all my fears, I need bear them no more..

If Jesus bore all my despair, I need bear it no more..

If Jesus gave me His Life, I'm alive forevermore and will never die!

If Jesus gave me His righteousness, I'm righteous and will never be a sinner!

If Jesus gave me His relationship with the Father, I'm beloved and will never be an outcast!

If Jesus gave me His wholeness, I'm complete and will never be lacking!

If Jesus gave me His joy, I have rejoicing no matter what..

If Jesus gave me His peace, I have calm in the midst of any chaos..

If Jesus gave me His love, I have love for the most unlovely..

If Jesus gave me His faith, I have trust that can move mountains..

Since Jesus took away all that weighed me down, I'm free!

Since Jesus gave me all that He is, I'm abundantly satisfied!
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