Learning to Live Loved



God’s love does not hinge on yours.

The abundance of your love does not increase his.

The lack of your love does not diminish his.

Your goodness does not enhance his love,

nor does your weakness dilute it.

What Moses said to Israel is what God says to us:

“The LORD did not choose you and lavish his love on you

because you were larger or greater than other nations,

for you were the smallest of all nations!

It was simply because

the LORD loves you.” (Deut. 7:7-8 NLT)

God loves you simply because he has chosen to do so.

He loves you when you don’t feel lovely.

He loves you when no one else loves you.

Others may abandon you, divorce you, and ignore you,

but God will love you. Always. No matter what.

This is his sentiment: “I’ll call nobodies and make them somebodies;

I’ll call the unloved and make them beloved.”

(Rom. 9:25 MSG).

This is his promise. “I have loved you, my people,

with an everlasting love.

With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself. (Jer. 31:3 NLT).

Our love depends on the receiver of the love.

Let a thousand people pass before us,

and we will not feel the same about each.

Our love will be regulated by their appearance,

by their personalities.

Even when we find a few people we like,

our feelings will fluctuate.

How they treat us will affect how we love them.

the receiver regulates our love.

Not so with the love of God.

We have no thermostatic impact on his love for us.

The love of God is born from within him,

not from what he finds in us.

His love is uncaused and spontaneous.

As Charles Wesley said, “He hath loved us.

He hath loved us.

Because he would love.”


Does he love us because of our goodness?

Because of our kindness?

Because of our great faith?

No, he loves us because of his goodness,

 kindness, and great faith.

John says it like this: “This is love: not that we loved God,

but that he loved us” (I John 4:10 NIV).

Do you know what else that means?

You have a deep aquifer of love from which to draw.

When you find it hard to love,

 then you need a drink!

Drink deeply! Drink daily!

Don’t forget, love is a fruit.

Step into the orchard of God’s work,

and what is the first fruit you see?

“Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

gentleness, and self-control” (Gal.5:22 NIV, emphasis mine).

Love is a fruit.

A fruit of whom?

Of your hard work?

Of your deep faith?

Of your rigorous resolve?

No.

Love is a fruit of the Spirit of God.

 “The Spirit produces the fruit” (Gal.5:22).

And, this is so important,

you are a branch on the vine of God.

“I am the vine, and you are the branches” (John 15:5).

Need a refresher course on how vines function?

What is the role of the branch in the bearing of fruit?

Branches don’t exert a lot of energy.

You never hear of gardeners treating branches for exhaustion.

Branches don’t attend clinics on stress management.

Nor do they groan and grunt.

I’ve got to get this grape out.

I’m going to bear this grape if it kills me!”

No, the branch does none of that.

The branch has one job–to receive nourishment

from the vine.

And you have one job–to receive nourishment from Jesus.

“I am the Vine, you are the branches.

When you’re joined with me and I with you,

the relation is intimate and organic,

the harvest is sure to be abundant.

Separated, you can’t produce a thing” (John 15:5 MSG).

Our Lord gets no argument from us on that last line, does he?

We have learned the hard way apart from him we can’t produce a thing.

 Don’t you think it’s time we learn what happens

if we stay attached?

His job is to bear fruit.

Our job is to stay put.

The more tightly we are attached to

Jesus, the more purely his love can pass through us.

And oh, what a love it is!

Patient.


Kind.

Does not envy.

Does not boast.

Is not proud.

Let’s rewrite 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 one more time.

Not with your name or Jesus’ name but with both.

Read it aloud with your name in the blank, and see what you think.

Christ in _____ is patient, Christ in _____ is kind. Christ in _____ does not envy,

Christ in _____ does not boast, Christ in _____ is not proud.

Christ in _____ is not rude, Christ in _____ is not self-seeking,

Christ in _____ is not easily angered,

Christ in _____ keeps no record of wrongs.

Christ in _____ does not delight in evil but rejoices
with the truth.

Christ in _____ always protects, always perseveres.

Christ in _____ never fails.

Will we ever love like that?

will we ever love perfectly?

No.

This side of heaven only God will.

but we will love better than we have.

By being loved, we will love.

My Wish For You

  • Where there is pain; I wish you peace and mercy.
  • Where there is self-doubting, I wish you a renewed
    confidence in your ability to work through it.
  • Where there is tiredness, or exhaustion, I wish you
    understanding, patience, and renewed strength.
  • Where there is fear; I wish you love, and courage.

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INSTALLING LOVE


INSTALLING LOVE
Tech Support: Yes, … how can I help you?
Customer: Well, after much consideration, I’ve decided to install Love. Can you guide me though the process?
Tech Support: Yes. I can help you. Are you ready to proceed?
Customer: Well, I’m not very technical, but I think I’m ready. What do I do first?
Tech Support: The first step is to open your Heart. Have you located your Heart?
Customer: Yes, but there are several other programs running now. Is it okay to install Love while they are running?
Tech Support: What programs are running?
Customer: Let’s see, I have Past Hurt, Low Self-Esteem, Grudge and Resentment running right now
Tech Support: No problem, Love will gradually erase Past Hurt from your current operating system. It may remain in your permanent memory but it will no longer disrupt other programs. Love will eventually override Low Self-Esteem with a module of its own called High Self-Esteem. However, you have to completely turn off Grudge and Resentment. Those programs prevent Love from being properly installed. Can you turn those off?
Customer: I don’t know how to turn them off. Can you tell me how?
Tech Support: With pleasure. Go to your start menu and invoke Forgiveness. Do this as many times as necessary until Grudge and Resentment have been completely erased.
Customer: Okay, done! Love has started installing itself. Is that normal?
Tech Support: Yes, but remember that you have only the base program. You need to begin connecting to the Hearts in order to get the upgrades.
Customer: Oops! I have an error message already. It says, “Error – Program not run on external components .” What should I do?
Tech Support: Don’t worry. It means that the Love program is set up to run on Internal Hearts, but has not yet been run on your Heart. In non-technical terms, it simply means you have to Love yourself before you can Love others.
Customer: So, what should I do?
Tech Support: Pull down Self-Acceptance; then click on the following files: Forgive-Self; Realize Your Worth; and Acknowledge your Limitations.
Customer: Okay, done.
Tech Support: Now, copy them to the “My Heart” directory. The system will overwrite any conflicting files and begin patching faulty programming. Also,you need to delete Verbose Self-Criticism from all directories and empty your Recycle Bin to make sure it is completely gone and never comes back.
Customer: Got it. Hey! My heart is filling up with new files. Smile is playing on my monitor and Peace and Contentment are copying themselves all over My Heart. Is this normal?
Tech Support: Sometimes. For others it takes awhile, but eventually everything gets it at the proper time. So Love is installed and running. One more thing before we hang up. Love is Freeware. Be sure to give it and its various modules to everyone you meet. They will in turn share it with others and return some cool modules back to you.
Customer: Thank you.

WHOLENESS AND MEANING IN LIFE


by Neil Anderson
July 7

Galatians 3:26
You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus

Several years ago a 17-year-old girl drove a great distance to talk with me. I have never met a girl who had so much going for her. She was cover-girl pretty with a wonderful figure. She was immaculately dressed. She had completed 12 years of school in 11 years, graduating with a very high grade point average. As a talented musician, she had received a music scholarship to a Christian university. And she drove a brand-new sports car her parents gave her for graduation. I was amazed that one person could have so much.

She talked with me for half an hour and I realized that what I saw on the outside wasn’t matching what I was beginning to see on the inside. “Mary,” I said finally, “have you ever cried yourself to sleep at night because you felt inadequate and wished you were somebody else?”

She began to cry. “How did you know?”

“Truthfully, Mary,” I answered, “I’ve learned that people who appear to have it all together are often far from being together inside.”

Often what we show on the outside is a false front designed to disguise who we really are and cover up the secret hurts we feel about our identity. Somehow we believe that if we appear attractive or perform well or enjoy a certain amount of status, then we will have it all together inside as well. But that’s not necessarily true. External appearance, accomplishment and recognition don’t necessarily reflect–or produce–internal peace and maturity. All the stuff and status you can acquire don’t add up to personal wholeness. Millions of people climb those ladders to success, only to discover when they reach the top that they are leaning against the wrong wall!

Wholeness and meaning in life are not the products of what you have or don’t have, what you’ve done or haven’t done. You are already a whole person and possess a life of infinite meaning and purpose because of who you are–a child of God. The only identity equation that works in God’s kingdom is you plus Christ equals wholeness and meaning.

Prayer: Father God, I wouldn’t trade the wholeness and meaning You have brought to my life for anything the world can produce.

Grains of Sand – Closeup photography


Amazing photography of grains of Sand

As I viewed these amazing pictures, I was humbled at how God puts so much thought into every single aspect of His Creation.

Videos in Israel


HD Aerial Footage of Israel

Jerusalem, Old City (HD)

Gethsemane – The Olive Garden – Passion of the Christ

Love The LORD Your God


 Love The LORD Your God

“The LORD your God is one LORD; and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and you shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Deuteronomy 6:4-7

Do we love the LORD our God with ALL our heart, ALL our soul and ALL our might? If so, we will be doing what He has commanded us to do here, to share with our children our love for the LORD and all that He has done for us.

Think about the legacy that we have been given to pass on to our children and to our children’s children. What joy to be able to share with them the love of the Lord and all that He is to us and has been throughout our walk with Him! We can pass on to them the wonder of His grace and forgiveness. We can share our joy in being the sons and daughters of the King!

 There is no greater gift that we can give to our children than to pass on to them the excitement and joy of knowing the LORD. It is so easy to get caught up in the things of this world and to let weariness overtake us, but when we sit down to dinner with our families let us resolve today that we will talk of the way the LORD has led us and that we will share with our children the things He has done for us.

When we kiss them good night, let the love of the LORD be on our lips, so the last thing that they are thinking about before they slip into sleep is Him.

Keep the legacy going: tell your children, or your grandchildren, or a niece or a nephew what the LORD has done in your life and watch that seed take root in their hearts.

Father, Your love has reached me and it is changing me. Help me to leave my children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews the legacy of that love. Help me to express to them just what a wonderful Father You are.

Help me to live in such a way that they will see it is good to walk with You. May Your presence be evident in every part of my life. Use me to draw your little ones to You. Amen

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God’s Love is forever