You Delight in Us

My children are all adults that have busy, full lives of their own. With that said our times together are not as often as I would like. I love each one of them so incredibly. They are unique, exciting and so full of love and life. I enjoy each of them tremendously. They are fun and bring so much pleasure to me.

I look forward to each time I hear from them. There’s such joy in a telephone call or a surprise visit from any one of them. A note in the mail or even a text message brings gladness to my heart because intimacy with my children brings me great joy.

I have been reminded that just like I enjoy hearing from and spending time with my children God Himself also delights in me!

Psalm 149:4 says, The Lord takes pleasure in His people.

God enjoys us! He wants to hear from us. He wants to spend time with us. He cares for us and about us. He desires an intimate relationship with each one of His children.

Be reminded of this and spend some time with Him. Be encouraged and read His word. Find a bible based church and attend regularly. Become part of a small group of people who also want to intimately know who Jesus Christ is. Pray and talk to God. He wants to hear from you, from us. He delights in us and we have joy in Him!

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11

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She said, “This is messy.”

She said, “So you are telling me, Jesus can rewrite my story? If you had half a clue of what I have been through, of what I have done, you would see that my story is too messy for Jesus.” Oh girl, if only you knew.

If we could chat, I could reassure you that Jesus rewrites stories. This is why He came, to show all people, the hope we have in Him.

“In His name, the nations will put their hope.” (Matthew 12:21)

The brokenness that touches us accidentally or because of our own choices, is no surprise to Jesus. When He walked the earth, He purposefully spent time, embraced and sought out the broken and the hurting. Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) Jesus did not say to get ourselves together first and then go to Him. Phew!

C.S. Lewis said,

That is it. God simply wants us to come as we are, our burdens and all, to the throne of His unfailing grace.

You are loved

It is inevitable that at some point in your life you will realize that the one and only person who loves you the way you desire to be loved, the way you crave to be loved, is Jesus. No one else is capable of that. They may try but their love will always fall short. I think everyone comes to this realization during hard or challenging seasons of life, whether in marriage, friendships or family. It’s in these seasons that we are reminded that we cannot expect others to be something they are not capable of being. We have ALL fallen short. No exceptions, except for one exception… Jesus.

Others can and will mistreat you, hurt you, use you, forsake you and take you for granted. This is a guarantee. But, how AMAZING is it that when we are in that place when we feel not good enough, when we feel rejected, hurt or unloved, that God gently reminds us that we ARE good enough because He Loves us… A simple truth. He loves us so much so that He, instead of thinking about His own life, His own “well being” sacrificed Himself for you and for me. So even if in this life I may feel alone and unloved sometimes, I am NEVER alone and unloved. Feelings and emotions lie. God does not!
He promises to never leave me or forsake me even if the whole world does (Hebrews 13:5-6). All I have to do is cry out to my first love, my Savior, and He is there with arms wide open to embrace me, all of me. Not just the good parts, but the yucky broken parts too.
In the ups and downs of life, not only is God always constant and present, He uses the good AND the bad to remind us of how much we are really loved. I am reminded often in the hard seasons of my life that even in my hard, I am blessed. I am trying to learn how to be thankful even when it does not come natural in my heart. I am trying to learn to let God quiet the negative thoughts and feelings and replace them with Him. It’s a raw and emotional process sometimes, but it’s such a blessing to see yourself not through your own eyes but through the eyes of God. And, it’s a blessing to know that God isn’t finished with me yet. He is still working on my stubborn, cold heart and daily changing it to be more like His.
I do not always have the right words to say, and sometimes the chaos of life can seem overwhelming. But I know if I cling to my salvation in Christ and His promises, He will bring me through and comfort me. He loves me dearly and He loves you too.

Love Given Freely

I have thought in recent years that people say the phrase “Love you” far too freely. When people hardly know me, when they say, “Love you” I automatically think, “No you don’t!” I get suspicious because I think I have not earned their love. They do not know me enough.

I need to know someone, really like them and for us to be close enough for me to say, “I love you.”

But, that is not how the Lord loves me, or how he loves you.

Romans 5:8 “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

I did not do anything to earn God’s love, he gave it to me freely.

Matthew 10b “freely ye have received, freely give.” (KJV)

I need to ask God to increase my love for others. I need to give my love freely. And when I do love, I need to love them genuinely.

Having been convicted that I think this way, that love is earned, I realize that the Lord is teaching me that I need to freely love people. People may not mean it when they say it, but that does not mean that I cannot say “I love you!” back, love should be freely given. And, I want to mean it, each and every time I say it. Because if the Lord loves me freely and lavishes His grace on me, I want to follow Him and love others as He does.

The Most Excellent Way

“Love never fails.” It is on a picture in my living room, a reminder of the greatest love there is. This picture perfect Love is as real as it gets! He spoke the words of creation and sent His Son to die for us. He is available to us and cares to walk with us today. That is mind boggling! The love of God is real and true though, and what a wonderful thing to grasp more and more of!

The more I realize how much I needed Jesus to sacrifice His life for my sins, the more love I have for Him. I fall so, so short of perfection. I do not do things right and even when I do, my heart is still full of deception. Sometimes, I do not even realize the junk in me.

But, Love doesn’t log my past mistakes. It just continues to pour out more joy, peace and freedom. After all, Love forgives.

“as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).

Love is quick to forgive. It is where Jesus made a way and where Jesus is the Way. He died so that my sins aren’t held against me. There is no greater love than what Jesus did for me. He is the perfect example and emulates exactly what true love means.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Jesus is the most excellent way.

Deceived and Blinded

I see others hurt from people being self-righteous. My heart grieves for them. Yet, I too am guilty of being self-righteous and causing people pain. Lord, help me to see through my blindness. I know that I am not alone in this guilt. Every eye reading this is in some way guilty. Grant us the blessing of repentance.

I am saddened by the wrongful comparisons that come about from self-righteousness. Many hurtful comments come from a mouth who’s nose looks down at someone stuck in the muck of sin. It often is a sin that we ourselves do not struggle with. So somehow self-righteousness feels justified in speaking. How sad!

What makes it so sad is self-righteousness is deceiving and extremely blind. It is deceptive because often the doctrine behind the comment is right, which tends to make the comment seem acceptable to the one stating it. Yet, it is the nasty attitudes and sometimes even hurtful actions behind those comments that are sinful and downright evil.

Jesus had much to say to people who are self-righteous and it wasn’t, “Hey, keep it up your doing a great job.” Let’s take a good look, I dare you to ponder these verses in prayer.

And Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he replied, “Say it, Teacher.”

“A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?” Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have judged correctly.”

Luke 7:41-43

Taking a good honest look at one’s self is often humbling. We all must do it on occasion. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal your self-righteous strongholds. You never know what Jesus might want to say to you.

And Jesus answered, “___(fill in your name)__, I have something to say to you.” And “she” replied, “Say it, Teacher.”

The Fear That Grips

I never pictured myself living in this small town. If I’m honest, fear of the unfamiliar was the root of the hesitancy. Fear has its way of scaring us, doesn’t it?

Fear is everything but freeing. Instead it keeps us captive to that which we think to be true. It is a liar and unfortunately it is lying to most of us, real good.

If we would wash ourselves with God’s Word by doing what it says, we would see for ourselves the fearful figments of our imagination drop from us like buckets of rain on a midsummers day.

Our Shepherd is good and He is for us, every single one of us. His Word is in fact true. We should be clinging to it, because it is in God that we find freedom and the greener pastures He wants to lead us to.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:1-4)

If only, if only we would dare to choose to trust Him.