September 30, 2016

From what are you free?

The Son of Man came to set men free.

If you would say that you have a relationship with the Son of Man, then from what are you free?

Would you say that it is a certain sin?

Does Jesus only free us from certain sins, and then wait to set us free from other sins later?

If so, how does that happen?

And is a little less incarceration truly freedom?

If you hesitate to say from what you are free, then are you free at all?

If so, how can that be the case?

If you were literally in prison, and suddenly the doors flung open, then maybe you would have to ask, "Am I free?"

But if the warden said, "Yes, you are free," then I'm guessing you would know it, and you would run with wide open arms into that freedom.

You would rejoice.

You would KNOW that you were free.

But here's the thing—Scripture tells us that the Son of Man sets men, not only free, but free indeed.

Free indeed means that one knows it.

Or do you suppose Jesus sets men free, and they don't know it?

Does that define love?

God is above and beyond the kindness of any earthly warden.

Think about it.

If you have come to know God, through repentance, would you still live as you did before knowing him? If so, how is there anything new about that?

Would God, who is love, leave his child to fret, and continue to lie, and hate, and covet?

Does that define freedom for you?

From what are you free?

If you would say that it is sin, then does sin still bind you at all?

Again, I ask, is a little less incarceration truly freedom?

John 8:36 tells us that if the Son of Man sets you free, then you are free indeed.

A little less incarceration is not freedom.

Are you truly free?

I'm not talking about being able to sing, dance, or talk about it.

Lip-service, and getting all excited, is easy, and Jesus warns against it.

At the judgment seat he won't recognize the fact that anyone sang about freedom from sin.

Nor will he be accepting of anyone who tried to not sin, or tried to be good.

The Lord is king of your heart, or he is foreign to it.

He sets the soul free. (Again, ask yourself, "Free from what?")

It is taught (in many churches) that Jesus lives in compartments in a heart, and that as one decides to yield other areas, then he fills that area, etc., ad nauseam. 

Where is it taught that the Lord of all Creation shares heart space?

I read in Mark 2:22 that new wine is not poured into old wine skins.

When the Son of Man sets someone free, they know it.

They are swept clean.

Sin is gone as far as the east is from the west.

Those two never meet.

Your soul, upon being free, will never meet with sin again.

Or do you not believe?

Have you repented?

Repentance is to agree with God about sin.

How many times does one do that?

Do you agree with God, and then not agree with him about sin?

From what must everyone repent?

Jesus boiled it down to two things— just two.

Do TWO things.

All of the law has been condensed to two commands.

Love God completely, and love the neighbor too.

Do you love your husband?

Do you simply tolerate people?

Do you have an inkling that you love God sort of, but much more, do you love him completely?

In order to obey those two commands, a soul must be born new, then the loving is done to them, for them, and through them always.

You cannot do those two commands without becoming new.

Until you repent, you will 'love' your husband one day, and tolerate him the next. You will be 'kind' to your neighbor one day, and hope that they move the next. You will be moody, just like the world, and anyone 'like' the world is of this world, and in truth, loves the world and all that is in it.

New birth happens when one obeys the first word the Son of Man spoke as he started his ministry.

It is found in Matthew 4:17.

You choose to wander in chains if you wish, or seek him, and be free.

You will come to know him when you look for him.

When you repent, you will be set free.

Agreeing with God happens once; or will you disagree with him at all— ever?

To disagree with God is to not repent, and to not repent is to live in chains.

You will know freedom when it happens for how can one meet God, and not know it?

That soul is free indeed.

Are you free?




September 29, 2016

The makeover that really is

We've all seen them.

The dowdy women, who don't know how to do make-up, and haven't had a haircut in years, and only wear jeans, old tee-shirts, and Birkenstocks, are finally given a makeover by a stylist.

At the big reveal, family members are astonished, and cry, and everyone rejoices.

The ugly has been made beautiful.

Hallelujah!

A miracle occurred.

And then the cameras are put away for the day, and the recipient of the makeover is sent home.

And she wakes the next day to the same old woman.

She can't do her hair, or make-up like the experts, and her jeans, tee shirts, and comfortable shoes are calling her name, and back she goes to her old ways, and she is happy, while everyone else wonders what happened, and why she doesn't look like she did the day before, and they wonder if she cares about herself, and they try not to say anything, but secretly they plot an intervention.

Sad isn't it that we think that our bodies (our looks) can have anything to do with happiness.

That is the worldly way of thinking, and in truth, it is the other way around.

The world can change a person on the outside, and it is a temporary event.

When God does a makeover on a soul, then they are never the same again.

If you are happy today, and depressed the next, then you've not been born new; you are moody.

If you sing God's praises today, and wonder if he hears you tomorrow, then you don't know him.

If you express love to a friend today, and wish her dead when she betrays you, then you do not love.

Before Jesus, people were not born new.

They were continually making sacrifices for sin.

Are you thinking you need to continually make a sacrifice for your wrong doing?

If so, then you have not been born new.

Jesus did not say, "Accept me into your heart."

He says, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand," (Matthew 4:17).

Do you think that repentance is a daily experience?

Are you made new every day, after you sin, and when you say that you are sorry?

If you believe that way, then you are saying that you need a sacrifice more than once.

The Sacrifice is done; it is finished.

Or do you think that you can put Jesus to death again and again?

Hebrews 10:26 explains that no one has a continual sacrifice.

Not anymore.

The only reason that you would need a continual sacrifice is if you continue in sin.

The born new soul does not do that.

"No one who is born of God will continue to sin," (I John 3:9).

Why?

They are new.

What is new about you?

Before I was truly born new, nothing was new about me, yet I had prayed the sinner's prayer, and cast out demons, and raised my hands in praise, and prayed— a lot.

None of that proves a born new soul.

I still hated.

Yet, at the same time I (and you, and all the rest of the world) have been commanded to love.

I did not love God with all my heart, nor my neighbor as myself.

I bore no one's burden without wanting praise for it, and therefore did not fulfill all the law.

And then I repented, and then I was born new, and now God does in me what I could not do.

I boast of nothing of me; it's all him.

I've been born new.

Have you?

It is the makeover that really is.

Rebirth is the real miracle.

You will not wake up tomorrow and be the old you ever again.

You will not doubt your salvation, or be fearful, or hate anyone.

Have you been born new?

Don't ask Jesus into your heart.

Repent of your sin, and be made new.

Agree with God about the sin that you do, or continue to do it.

But if you continue to do it, then there remains no sacrifice for you.

You can go on thinking that you know God, but you don't.

Sin does not dwell in his presence.

Only the blameless.

Are you blameless?






September 28, 2016

You must be born again

Jesus said that you won't see heaven unless you have been born new (John 3).

If one is born new, then what is new about them?

Everything?

What constitutes a person?

Is it their flesh?

What makes a body alive?

Is it feet, or hands, or ears, eyes, and a nose?

Of course not.

Man is a soul, and spirit.

What is inside a person must be born new.

The way that they think.

It must be new in order to see heaven.

Once born new, will the person think the same way?

Never.

They are new.

Will they be overwhelmed with lust, and cravings of this world, like they were prior to being new?

No.

Why?

They are new.

If you think differently, then what is new about a person, who would say that they are saved, yet still has great fears, and lies, and uses God's name in vain, and slanders, and hates?

How is that person new?

Where is the difference between that soul, and anyone you could choose in this world who would say that they don't believe?

What difference does your belief in God make in your life?

Must you try to be good, or is it automatic?

Do you have the very spirit of God living in you to do good for you, or must you work at it?

Have you been born new?

Jesus says in John 3:6 that the one born of flesh is flesh, and the one born (new) by the Spirit is spirit.

One way or the other, not both.

Do you behave fleshly? You are of the flesh.

Do you behave, with love, in the Spirit? Then you have been born new and your spirit is different.

Completely, and never to be the same again, you are different.

You do not quake in your boots at anything. You do not lie, nor steal, nor use God's name in vain. You do not covet, nor gossip, nor commit adultery. You hate no one, and hold no grudge.

Why?

You love God with all your heart, and you love your neighbor.

You would not dare to speak of your "neighbor" in any way but in a way that shows you love that neighbor. Your heart has been filled with love. Something filled with love can only love.

You will not be seeking more money for your coffers.

You will be seeking to save (in whatever capacity God would use you) souls.

Why?

You believe that hell is real.

The way to avoid hell is to be born new, and the way to be born new is to repent.

Once.

Or do you think that the prodigal son went back to the pig-sty?

Never.

Jesus goes on to say in John 3 that sin is committed because of a love for it.

If you still sin, then do not wonder why that is the case.

Jesus says it is because you love it.

Do you want to not love it?

Repent of it. Agree with God about it. He will wash you.

You will never be the same again, or do you think you are pretty good already?

Pretty good does not get one to heaven.

You must be born new.

Turning into "pretty good" does not cut it.

God will not say, "You tried! You're pretty good. Come on in!"

Those who work iniquity (sin) will be told to depart from the throne.

That includes those who pray, build great things for God, and have cast out demons.

Think about it.

Have you been born new?

Are you new?

What about your life is really different, as in completely different, since you supposedly got saved?

Jesus said to make sure that no one deceive you (Matthew 24:4).

What is more important than knowing exactly what it takes to be saved?

That is the reason men came to Jesus. They had to know. They didn't ask their pastor.

Do you think that a pastor could/would deceive anyone?

Jesus says not only that they could, but they would, and they will, and they do (Matthew 15:14).

Have you asked Jesus about what it takes to be saved?

Have you read, in the gospels, what it takes to be saved, or are you relying on what a pastor has said to you about it, and do you think that he will be at the judgment seat to verify to Jesus that you are good to enter heaven because you walked an aisle, and repeated a prayer?

Have you studied?

Have you been deceived?

Who do you think has been deceived?

Someone has (many have), and if you believe you know the way, then what do you tell others of it?

"What must I do to be saved?" is what Nicodemus asked of Jesus.

What was the answer?

Do you know?

Did Jesus say, "Invite me into your heart?"

Isn't that what many pastors say?

Where did Jesus say that?

What did he say?

Are you new?

If so, how?


September 27, 2016

She will entertain

The wise woman will entertain people.

She will consider others, and hold others in her mind, and think about what pleases others.

She will have people in her home, and will feed them what they would enjoy, never making anyone adhere to her food likes, and dislikes, because life is not about her, or food, but about the souls of all.

She loves others.

All others, and she is willing to adapt her physical self to the needs of young, and old alike.

Her body is a living sacrifice.

How about you?

For whom do you live?

With each step that you take, and every breath that you breathe, is it for another?

Or is your agenda all about you?

Do others feel welcome in your home, or are they timid to be there?

How about your husband?

Whose home is it anyway?

Does he walk on eggshells making sure to keep things as you wish, and do as you "demand" however subtle that may be in your mind?

You will either be walking daily, moment by moment, on the narrow road, or you will be deceived in your thinking, believing that you are right with God, when, in fact, you do not know him.

Not if you still sin.

Jesus came to save sinners from sin.

If you claim that you still sin, then you walk in darkness, even though your name may be written down on a piece of paper at a "church" somewhere.

That saves no one.

Repentance is required.

Or would you continue in your sin?

If so, please consider Hebrews 10:26 where everyone is told that if you consider yourself saved, yet continue to sin, then no sacrifice remains for your soul.

Wide road or narrow road.

It is one or the other, and on the narrow road, one loves with no conditions.

That woman entertains, not only her husband (always), but others frequently.

We do not jump on and off the Vine.

Those who remain are the saved ones.

Sin is not allowed in the presence of God.

Do you live in his presence?

Or do you live according to how you feel about his presence?

Consider your life.

It is but a breath, and if you do indeed believe that to be true, then how is it that you are petty, or concerned about your attire, or houses, or bank account?

Do you believe that life is a breath?

Really?

How does your life reflect what you say you believe?

September 26, 2016

It's one of those days...

Do you have days that look so full that you don't know which way to go first?

Is that day today?

Are you tempted to crawl back into bed, and pull the covers over your head?

The heart of the wise woman will be tempted.

She will not, however, succumb.

Why?

God does not allow the temptation to be too strong in the life of his own.

They are always victorious.

Read about that in I Corinthians 10:13.

You understand total victory after you repent, and know God.

In knowing God, a soul has strength to put one foot in front of the other.

The walk continues on the narrow road clear to the end.

There is no "rededication" of one's life. One is either dedicated, and stays dedicated, or one is on the wide road. One can think that they are on the narrow road when, in truth, they are not.

The proof is in the walk.

Is your life a walk of love?

With every step do you love others, some how, and in some way even with a pile of dishes to do?

Or do you fight for your way, and your timing, and your pleasures?

Do you connive to see your desires fulfilled?

In secret, do you do one thing, and think one way, and in public, do you do another?

A divided heart does that, and it will not stand.

It will fail; it will not see God.

For the woman, who loves God, and all others, the dishes will get done, and she won't be asking her husband to do them, because she is not lazy, and she is diligent, and serving is not beneath her.

Service is her very life.

She does the jobs that other women put off hoping the husband will do them. 

The carpet gets vacuumed, and the animals fed, and the yard tended, and the windows washed, and whatever else is on the list will all eventually get done without the fretting, or battles.

She loves God.

And regardless of all that is on the list, the woman, who loves God, loves others.

Getting stuff done is secondary, yet she keeps her home, because she loves the people in it.

The neighbor is loved, and the heart of the wise woman is strong, because it rests in the palm of the Creator, whom she knows, loves, and obeys.

When it's one of those days, and most days are, the wise woman faces it with laughter as she looks to the not-to-distant future where she will spend eternity with her God, and her heart will go on beating, not for new stuff, and a longing for temporal pleasures, but with a longing for her eternal home.

In the meantime, she works.

She is not lazy, nor does she devise evil, but she plans for the good of her family.

She is not partial toward anyone, but loves equally, for the love in her heart is grounded in God.

His love is not prejudiced, and neither is her affection.

His love is her love— even when it is one of those days.

How about you?

What do your ways tell others about the road you walk?

When it's one of those days, then do you still love?

Must everyone do as you think that they ought, and must everyone speak as you think they should, and then you are kind, and show your affection?

Are you cranky, and touchy, and moody, and think that you have a right to that behavior?

Who teaches that type of love?

The world, that's who.

Live according to that philosophy, and you'll die not knowing God.

Repent of hate, and know God.

Then, and only then, will you love every day, even when the dishes are piled to the sky, and socks and shoes are strewn everywhere, and the grass is a foot high, and someone left the milk out all night.

Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Love God with all your heart, and your neighbor as yourself.

Bear burdens and fulfill all the law.

Those who love God?

They obey him.

Are you obedient even when it is one of those days?






September 24, 2016

You may disregard the truth

We are given freedom of choice by the Creator.

If one refuses to believe (and that means accept and do) the words of Jesus, then they will not see heaven, for one must DO the words of Jesus, not just know them, in order to see God.

Those who love God do the words of Jesus (John 14:15, I John 5:3, John 15:10).

Do you know the words of Jesus, and do you love them fervently?

If so, then what will you be doing with them?

Will you be quoting Dr Oz, or Oprah, or any other guru that pops onto the scene with pop psychology about how to live without fear, and overcome obstacles?

No, you will not be doing that.

What we love, we speak.

Do the words of Jesus live in your mind?

If so, then you will be quoting his words, and his words will be the light by which you walk.

The latest in any magazine, or book, no matter by whom, will not be what you cling to when you encounter the everyday events of the days of your life.

Falsehoods, spoken by your pastor, a friend, or your neighbor will be instantly recognized when you know the truth that Jesus spoke.

Do you know what he said?

You may disregard it, and/or pretend you know it, but to those who know truth, and do it, to them are given the secrets of heaven (Matthew 13:11).

Do you believe that you know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven?

When you know them, then you will be telling them.

Those secrets are to be told.

They are to be shouted from the rooftops.

They are not to be hidden under a bushel basket.

Those who know them, speak them.

They are life, and freedom, and to those who repent, grace is known, and given.

Do you love God?

If so, then what is the proof in your life?

It is not enough to just answer "yes" to that question.

Is there evidence of your love?

Do you know what the evidence is?

Disregard truth to your own peril.

Choose this day whom you will serve.

It will not be two masters.

It cannot be two masters.

Do not disregard the call of God, and his wooing of your heart.

Seek him. Repent. Be set instantly, and completely free from falsehoods.

To not repent is to live in sin, and to live in sin is to be controlled by it.

No one can be good and bad (Matthew 7:17).

We are one or the other.

Or do you not believe it?

Jesus spoke those words.

What do you do with them?

You will disregard them, or live accordingly.

Always, and in all ways.

Study the Word.

Do the Word.

Live it, or die lost.





September 22, 2016

Never a need

The woman, who loves God, never has a need.

She will be tempted to defend herself against falsehoods,
slander,
misconceptions,
derogatory remarks,
intentional attacks,
unintentional attacks,
and you name it.

Suff will be tossed into the life of the redeemed woman, and yet....she barely takes notice, and as I said, she will be tempted but she takes no time to care for her own reputation, tempted......

but she won't yield.

She has no need to do that.

Her heart stays at rest.

Why?

God knows her heart.

God has her heart.

He will defend her.

She knows that is true.

Her mind looks past the insults, and the hate, and the stones cast her direction.

Her heart looks to the needs of souls.

In the end, the truth will be known, and until then, she loves her enemies, and prays for those who would want to do her harm, and for those who spitefully use her?

She loves them.

No one can touch her at all in all actuality.

She is not the sum total of her physical self at all, for she is a soul, bought and paid for by God.

God is her Lord.

She has no need to protect herself from any harm.

She resides in the palm of the hand of the One who created her.

She loves him.

He keeps her heart from grudges, and doing evil, and from devising plots to harm others.

She loves others.

All others.

The Lord is her Shepherd, and she has no need.

None.

Never.

Whatever temptation comes her way, be it to fear, hate, complain, lie, or steal, she won't.

God will not allow the temptation to be too strong (I Corinthians 10:13).

She will not succumb to evil for she loves God, and she loves people.

No one escapes her heart of love.

How can that be possible?

Her heart is new, and does not live in darkness.

She has moved, because of God's work in her, from hate to love.

She loves.

There is no other way that she walks but on the narrow road.

Always.

She is not skipping along happily, and then all of a sudden she is on the wide road.

She is always on the way that is limited in range.

The range consists of loving this one, and then that one, and then the next one.

A wall encloses her, and it is made of love.

Wherever she looks, she sees a soul in need of love, and she loves.

There is never a need that someone has where she will not be extending her hand.

She does not boast in her ability to love, but in the power of God, who has saved her.

Saved.

Saved to have no need. No more does she need a Savior. She has one.

Never does she need to be forgiven again.

She has been forgiven, for she has repented of her hate, and she loves.

She does not need to be set free; she is free.

Do you have a need?

When the Lord is your Shepherd, then you will never have a need ever again.

Repent to know him. Turn from your way of wandering on the wide road, and living by feelings.

The just live by faith.

What is faith?

Belief.

What does it mean to believe?

I know of, and have heard a woman say recently that she believes in God, and in Jesus Christ.

Would you say that she is a Christian?

She uses profanity openly, and has free sex, and believes that just about anything goes. She would probably say that murder is wrong, but I imagine that she would say abortion is okay.

Now would you say that she is a Christian?

Those things are sin, aren't they?

So is lying, and worry, and gossip, and anger, and slander.

What is your sin?

Who is really saved?

What is one saved from?

Are you saved?

Do you still seek after bigger and better?

Where is your heart?

Is it hiding in a church on Sunday, and behind a facade of Christian-ese talk?

Do you mention that you read popular devotional books?

Does that save anyone?

Are you still sinning?

What is your sin?

Did you turn from it (hate) yesterday, but not today?

Why will you not agree with God about it?

Those who do not believe in Jesus will go to hell, because to not believe is sin.

Sin keeps one from God.

What is your sin?

Is it any different from the woman who uses profanity, and sleeps around, and is it not the same as one who does not believe that Jesus is who he said that he is?

Sin is sin.

If you still sin, then you need a Savior.

Do you still need a Savior?

If you sin, then you do.

Repent.  Agree with God about the sin that you do.  Then you will know God.

God does not have a wonderful plan for you, he has a command for you.

Repent. Do not walk according to this world. Do all that he tells you to do.

Seek him, and always love everyone, and him with all your heart.

Can't do it?

That's right. You can't. If you have not repented, then you cannot, and will not, love. 

Love always behaves as outlined in I Corinthians 13.

Repent.

Then you will have a Shepherd. Then you will have no need. Then you will be free.

Then you will always love. 

Repent.


September 21, 2016

You or God?

Do your words hold power?

Are you able to move mountains?

Do you call the shots in situations?

Who are you that God should be mindful of you?

Do you fear God, as did Job before he repented?

Or do you love God which Job did only after repentance?

When you love God, then your words will match the words of Job.

You will pray for your enemies, and those who spitefully use you.

Is that the nature of your prayer life?

Is your heart soft toward those who do not walk according to God's commands?

Or do you just want what you want when you want it?

Do your lips simply command God, and people, and things?

Or do you praise him without ceasing?

One cannot be demanding, and commanding, or complaining, and praise God at the same time.

Do you have a forked-tongue, and a divided heart?

Do you vacillate between kindness, and dark behavior?

Or do you have a single desire?

In your life, is it your way or the highway with people?

Do you shut some down because they disagree with your theology?

Are some people "below" you?

God is love, and those who love him, obey him.

Those who love him do not ever think that he will do their bidding.

They live for him always.

Slights, difficulties, struggles, hardships, and losses, are borne out with grace in the one who knows God because, to that soul, his yoke is easy, and the burdens are light.

No temptation is too strong for them, and they over-come them all.

He keeps them from slipping.

They are good trees exclusively.

New wine is not poured into old wineskins.

Be born new by turning from your sin.

Metanoia. Agree with God. Your ways are sinful, and you will not see God if you continue to walk according to how you feel, and how you think, but only if you walk according to all of his ways.

He commands a complete love for him, and a love for the neighbor.

Is that your style of life?

Or do you command, and demand, and complain?

Do you live a life of complete obedience?

Is your life a living sacrifice— always?

If not, then why not?

Is it difficult?

If so, then you are doing the life that he does through those who repent.

Those who repent know of the power of God in them to always do the life of love.

It happens only after you repent.

Repent.


September 20, 2016

Why she laughs

Proverbs 31:25, "....she laughs at the time to come."

The wise woman looks at the future and her heart is light, and she is happy, and fear eludes her.

Why?

She knows her Maker.

Her moments, at the present time, are in his hands, so why not the future?

And the future to her is better than now.

Heaven waits.

Her eternal home, with her Savior, and God on his throne, wait for her.

She longs for that time to come.

The yoke on her neck is easy right now, and the burdens that she carries now are light.

Her God carries her as she carries her load.

He always will do that for her, and all her tomorrows, and the rest of forever are delightful in her eyes, and her soul rejoices now, and she knows it will forever, and she knows it right now.

Who would not laugh, and be merry to their core knowing that the sting of death is gone?

The woman of folly. The silly woman. The woman who loves this world.

She is not laughing. Her soul is not merry now. She complains, and she is full of worry.

But to the woman who has repented of sin, and knows God, she cries with others, but to the depths of her soul, she heartily is rejoicing, and nothing causes her to shake in her boots.

Her Lord keeps her foot from slipping.

Her God is not only on the throne in heaven, he resides on the throne of her heart at all times.

She is happy.

Are you?

Does the thought of tomorrow bring a smile to your lips, and a laugh from your heart?

If not, repent of your sins, for the days of your life are numbered, and those days are short.

Turn from your love of this world, and your hate of others, and know God.

Seek him, and find in the Scriptures the life that he promises to those who turn from their sin.

Metanoia.

Turn. Agree with God. Find laughter, and grace beyond measure.

Your sins will be gone as far as the east is from the west.

At that you will find great joy.

Laughter will be a common-place event in your life.

Nothing shakes the wise woman.

Lack of sleep? Never. Lack of food. Nope. Lack of funds? Nada.

There is no lack for the woman who lives in the very palm of God's hand.

Who would not find great delight there?

The one who refuses to repent, that's who.

You cannot continue to sin and know God.

The woman who loves him, obeys him.

Do you?

The woman who loves him knows him as her greatest treasure.

Do you?

She needs no man-made pill, or "anti" this pill, or "anti" that pill.

She knows God.

That is why she laughs.

She is strong and dignified.

Are you?

When your mind wanders to tomorrow, do you laugh?


September 18, 2016

An unadulterated delight

"Delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart," Psalm 37:4

Delight- high degree of pleasure, enjoyment, rapture

Our two-year-old grand-daughter can squeal with delight at the sight of jelly beans, ice cream, and butterflies. She finds great joy in those things, so it seems. She gets animated as her eyes dance at the beloved items, or at God's creation, but I take her expressions of joy with a grain of salt, while at the same time, I find them precious. What can such a young one really know of love, and great joy?

I'm a bit skeptical. 

But she said something recently that I'm sure she really meant.

Unprovoked, and as I sat rocking her, she said, "I love my Gaga."

I had just fed her pasta, which she loves, and ice cream with chocolate syrup, which she loves.

But I want to believe that in her two-year-old heart, she really loves me, her Gaga.

I don't want to think that it is because of all the "catering" I do to, and for, her.

I want to think that she loves me just because she chooses to do that.

But, deep down, I know better.

Do you delight in the Lord?

If so, why?

Do you find him to be more precious than gold?

Is he sweeter than the honeycomb to you?

Has he set you free from the bondage that is sin?

To be free from sin is to love the freedom-giver.

The one set free no longer looks to anything of this world to bring them joy.

Simply put, nothing can compare.

Nothing.

The heart desires nothing more once freedom is known.

Children, grand-children, gold, health, homes, vacations, promotions, and you name it, turn pale.

In the light of his grace, in him alone, may you find delight.

When you do, the desires of your heart change.

You'll only want, to the core, and very depth of your soul, that others will know him.

You'll fervently pray for that for others.

You'll work only to that end all the days of your life, in whatever capacity He brings your way.

You'll love unconditionally, never demanding your way, never seeking more stuff, but only that others will know him, and know freedom, and that will be the desire of your heart, and you'll be at rest, striving for nothing but that others be free, and know God, and you'll delight in God alone.

You'll tell him that you love him, and you will not be speaking falsely.

You're lip-service will turn from words easily spoken into a body offered as a daily sacrifice.

You'll love him with all your heart, and your "neighbor" too.

Jesus came to set men free.

For no other reason do his followers live.

The desires of the redeemed are boiled down, filtered, and purified.

They take great joy in the Lord.

"May others know you, Lord, and may they be set free, and find joy in you, and you alone."

September 5, 2016

God isn't sentimental

Sentiment: a thought influenced by or proceeding from feeling or emotion

God is love.

Love is an action verb.

Love is not a feeling.

Love is not something conjured up by music heard, or fragrances smelled, or niceties experienced.

One does not feel love, and then think about doing something for someone.

One is filled with the love of God, and then one can only exhibit it.

Romans 5:5 talks about it being poured into a soul, continuous, and never-ending.

John 7:38 tells us that those who truly believe will have a river of life flowing from them.

Love is not something one grows into while still sinning.

It is not something someone learns following a to-do list.

Love puts off the old man, puts on an apron, and serves because the soul who loves God obeys him.

God does not look at an effort to love, and then say, "You tried! Good job."

He will not say, "You didn't feel like serving. I understand. It's okay."

He won't look at what another has done to you, and then proclaim, "You don't have to serve that one."

His word stands, and does not waffle, and does not bend, nor waver.

When the wind blows, and storms rage, his Word remains.

He commands love.

He isn't sentimental.

Neither are his saints.

They love.

Just as God loves, so do his own love.

Why?

They have first been loved.

They have first been freed.

They have first been made aware of their stink, and they have repented, and they have been washed.

"We love because he first loved us," (I John 4:19).

What does the love of God sound like?

"Love me with all your heart, and your neighbor too."

"Do it," He says.

"I can't," we say.

God says, "I know. Repent, first, and do it now, for you will soon die, and I will love through you." (Matthew 4:17)

God gives his holy spirit to those who obey him (Acts 5:32).

Obey God. Repent. Then the holy spirit will fill you and there will be no room for sentiment.

There will only be obedience to love.

Sentiment "feels" mushy, and sweet, but does nothing.

Love reaches out and embraces the lost, and needy until they prayerfully come to know God.

But until then, the saints love, and love, and love again till they go home.

They do not desire their eternal home sometimes, like when they hurt, or are sad, or get old.

Their citizenship resides elsewhere as they walk this earth.

It is a fact.

How about you?

Are you sentimental, or do you love?