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God Gives Love by Zoey

Reflections of Love_2014

GOD GIVES…

God knew you before the foundation of the world. Imagine that! He sent you here upon the hope of all that is good. Each one destined for His glory. What love. We have been given the promise, which is the hope of eternal salvation to us before we were born and came into this world.

LOVE

It takes a lot to grasp the full measure of this unconditional love from our God. It is kindness, tenderness, nurturing and merciful. We can celebrate every day the love of our Savior towards us. We can share that same love with someone, for it is given freely to us and we can give it freely to another. Don’t qualify love and don’t allow someone to qualify love for you. God’s love is unfailing and without qualifications. He loves you and Gives His Love towards all of mankind. Love God with all your heart, soul and body. Be filled with God’s love! Rejoice and Live His Love!

John 11:25, John 17:23-24

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Love letter to the Servants of the Lord by Zoey

Love Letter to Believers_2014

1 Timothy 6 (AMP)

6:1  Let all who are under the yoke as bond servants esteem their own [personal] masters worthy of honor and fullest respect, so that the name of God and the teaching [about Him] may not be brought into disrepute and blasphemed.

My Prayer:

Father, I lift up those who carry the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Bless them with the stamina to fight the Good fight and to walk a victorious testimony to Glorify your Name, Lord. Refresh their heart with Rejoicing. Heal their battle wounds (physically, emotionally and spiritually) and remove all shame and condemnation (which is from the enemy of the finished works of Christ Jesus).  Empower and Affirm these through the Holy Spirit with your Grace, Wisdom and Knowledge.  ~amen

[And it is, indeed, a source of immense profit, for] godliness accompanied with contentment (that contentment which is a sense of [d]inward sufficiency) is great and abundant gain.

My Prayer:

Father, in ALL THINGS we can come before you with a heart of thanksgiving. It is what you wait for, watch for and desire to see in our life. You give us life for your purpose and it is through the Holy Spirit that we receive the gifts; therein we find Godliness with contentment. ~amen

11 But as for you, O man of God, flee from all these things; aim at and pursue righteousness (right standing with God and true goodness), godliness (which is the loving fear of God and being Christlike), faith, love, steadfastness (patience), and gentleness of heart.

12 Fight the good fight of the faith; lay hold of the eternal life to which you were summoned and [for which] you confessed the good confession [of faith] before many witnesses.

13 In the presence of God, Who preserves alive all living things, and of Christ Jesus, Who in His testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I [solemnly] charge you

14 To keep all His precepts unsullied and flawless, irreproachable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Anointed One),

15 Which [appearing] will be shown forth in His own proper time by the blessed, only Sovereign (Ruler), the King of kings and the Lord of lords,

16 Who alone has immortality [in the sense of exemption from every kind of death] and lives in unapproachable light, Whom no man has ever seen or can see. Unto Him be honor and everlasting power and dominion.  Amen (so be it).

My Prayer:

Father God, let YOUR precepts be on the fore front of our minds and hearts. You are unchanging. You are the Unapproachable Light, the Everlasting Power and there is no one or any dominion of Evil that can stand against the Living God. It was finished on the Cross of Christ Jesus as a testimony of your Unfailing Love. This is the Good News that you have commissioned to be preached and taught to a dying world. We will share Life to those who are in need of a Savior and Healer and bring them the message of the Kingdom of God, which is Eternal Life through your Son, Jesus. Continue to encourage hearts and connect the community of your servants ~ to fight the good fight of the Faith.   ~ Amen.

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Navigating Trials

Dear Readers,

How my heart has been weighed down with the weight of trials in my life. I am not sure if the trials are bigger or I am just smaller. When I look at the turmoil of the world, all the suffering and pain, I am ashamed that I feel overwhelmed by my small things. Yet, they are still there stressing me. This morning as I sought the Lord, He faithfully ministered. I would like to open my heart and share with you His precious gift.

We are challenged in the area of finances. It is an area we are meant to prosper in, because we are called to help equip the body of Christ to go forth. So, every time we step out and give, we are attacked. The attack came in the form of our water being shut off. In order to have it turned back on we had to use the little money we had set aside for our rent. Our rent being the giant we have to slay every month. This giant has been tormenting and taunting me. All my efforts to steward our finances to slay that giant have come to naught……until God spoke. He has given me three things to navigate this trial. I wish to share them with you.

NAVIGATING LIFE

2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

This scripture is one I have known for a very long time. Usually when I read it, I focus on what God has not given me, ‘Fear.’ But this time, my heart was inspired to look at what God has given me, POWER, LOVE and SOUND MIND. Why did God chose to give me these three things? What is it about these three things that overcome fear?

SPIRIT OF POWER:

This gift is amazing. I looked up that word power in the greek. It is translated ‘dunamis’ which means “ability to perform” and for the believer, power to achieve by applying the Lord’s inherent abilities. “Power through God’s ability.’

God has given me all that He is for all that I need. I have His dunamis power to navigate this trial. So, He has gifted my Spirit with His. This is so vital because I get so weary. I feel so overwhelmed but His power is never overwhelmed. His strength is perfect!

His power is the vehicle that transports me through the trial.

SPIRIT OF LOVE:

This gift, deals with my soul. I know from scripture that perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:8). The only way I can have perfect love, is to have His. That is, to receive His and allow it to flow through me. I also know that love never fails (1 Cor. 13:8). God’s love in me, causes me to realize that His love for me will never fail and is absolute. He always provides for me lovingly. His love ministers to my soul, filling all those places of mistrust and doubt that I have. He never fails because God is love. This kind of love frees me to walk in faith, totally trusting in Him. It is totally empowering.

Also, I always feel so much turmoil in my soul as I navigate trials. Even this God has a plan for. I love what Psalm 32:8 says ‘ I (the Lord) will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.’ I believe that God counsels me as I am dealing with all the emotions I face during trials. In His love He has provided for my emotions. I set my heart to depend on Him to help me process those emotions with a Holiness that honors Him  and honors me.

His Love is the power that motives me, propels me to victory.

SOUND MIND:

This gift is vital to navigating trials to victory. In the Greek this word is translated to mean ‘self-control, self-discipline properly, safe-minded, issuing in prudent (“sensible”) behavior that “fits” a situation, i.e. aptly acting out God’s will by doing what He calls sound reasoning. God knew I would need to be able to control my thoughts to navigate my trials to victory. What good is having power and feeling good in my soul if the thoughts of my mind only lead to death? My mind is the ground the enemy attacks. I often don’t know what to do but God always does. He has given me a mind fit for the moment of the situation I am in. So no matter what the devil sends me, tormenting thoughts about how God is not going to provide, or that I missed it and haven’t done my part, God has given me the ability to take those thoughts captive and to have dominion in my mind. God’s idea of a sound mind is having my thoughts disciplined to God’s word about my trial. By allowing my mind to constantly be renewed to His word, it transforms me into the victor that He has purposed for me.

My thoughts are the compass which I navigate the trial with. If my bearings are off, my destination will not be reached.

He has given me His power, His ability,  all that He is for this moment. His love for me provides perfectly for me, all the needs of my heart. Lastly, He has given me dominion over my thoughts. As I renew my thoughts It focuses my heart and gives me clear path through the hardship.

These three things are vitally important to making progress in my trial. Yes, progress. God’s heart for us is to move through the trial, not get stuck there .

Habakkuk 3:19 (AMP)

19 The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk]and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!

Today, as I seek the Lord concerning this trial of finances I am facing, my heart takes courage. He is making my feet like hinds feet….He is teaching me how to navigate this trial to victory. No rent giant is going to take my focus off of what God gives me.

Whatever tormenting giant you are facing, I pray that as you read this, God would give you a revelation of what He has given you for your trial.

Dear Heavenly Father,

We give you this trial we are facing. I thank you that you have not given us a spirit of fear. Fear concerning our health, our finances, our relationships. You have given us power to do our parts, to trust Him with all our hearts and not to lean to our own understanding. You have given us your love, which never fails and perfectly casts out all our fears. You have given us sound minds, self controlled and focused on You. You teach us in the way we should go and counsel us every step of the way. Our hearts may feel confused and doubtful, but your word is how we will navigate this trial. We give you dominion in our hearts and in our minds. In Jesus Name, Amen

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Breath of Life by Tami Yeager

The air in the garden carried with it a delightful, and indescribable, fragrance. Walking in the cool of the day, He looked upon the beauty of His surroundings and saw it was perfect. As far as the eye could see lay a pallet of brilliant colors. Serenity and peace filled the open spaces. Abundant life, vibrant foliage, and crystal clear water were the backdrop of this estate. It was as they had envisioned when they set out to hand craft every detail in this place – it was the Garden of Eden. Continue reading “Breath of Life by Tami Yeager”

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A Sinner’s Confession

social_media_truth“I am a sinner, and I have cheated in (almost) every relationship I have been in.”

“Can one go upon hot coals and his/her feet not be burned? (29) So he/she who cohabits with his/her neighbor’s wife/husband [will be tortured with evil consequences and just retribution]; he/she who touches her/him shall not be innocent or go unpunished.” 

~Proverbs 6:28-29 *author added emphasis on gender

So..why am I confessing this? Well, I woke up at 0400, and for the last 2 hours and 36 minutes have fought to go back to sleep. But, the Holy Spirit was nudging me, and I finally gave in. I know this confession will likely lead to a flood of comments, but I have faith that God will use this post for good.

Cheating, IMO, is a symptom of a much larger problem. My inability to stay faithful to the commitment of the relationship(s) I was in was NOT about them-it was about me. The TRUTH of the matter is that before I became a Christian, ( I mean a “Walk the Walk” not just a “Talk the Talk” kind), I had little to no self respect or self love. If I could not respect/love myself, how could I respect/love someone else? How could I show someone I cared about something I did not feel for myself?

Like many people who cheat, I tried to convince myself what I was doing was okay. I used the “He doesn’t respect/love/cherish/etc”..excuse. I would start an argument to justify my position. I would find any fault, no matter how small, and blow it way out of proportion, to justify my wanderings. It made looking in the mirror each morning something I dreaded. I couldn’t look myself in the eyes. I felt shame, because deep down, I knew I was a really bad/terrible/unsavory/despicable/person.

Then I received Christ, and He loved me. ME!! He accepted me as I was and loved me.

He FORGAVE me!

That changed my heart.

Some people say “Once a cheater, always a cheater.” or “A leopard can’t change it’s spots.”

Really?

Try telling GOD that! 

In 1 Samuel, chapter 10, God gave Saul a new heart. Yep! If He can do it for Saul, who is to say He didn’t do it for me?

In the 2 relationships since I have been a believer/follower/servant, I did not cheat. Why? Because I am a new person in Christ. He loves me, I love me. Yes, I am still a sinner, but THAT sin..THAT sin..no more.  First, I have too much respect for myself to cheat. Second, I have to much respect for the man I was with to cheat. Why? I respect the commitment I had made to him. (Yes, same man, 2 different times!!) I loved him, and in many ways, still do.

The LORD helped me love myself, and forgive myself too.

Wow. It was like a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders. Carrying around “shame” is exhausting.

I am rid of it. I can look myself in the mirror now without the fear of shame.

If I am asked in a (hopeful) future relationship, if I have ever cheated, I will be honest and say “Yes.” I am hoping the man the Lord brings me will understand that I have faced my fears, faced my faults, taken responsibility and changed.

The Lord changed my heart.

I am Blessed!

For His Glory,

Nicolette

 

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God’s Judgment

god_love 

Judgment * jUdGmEnT * JUDGMENT

There are so many views on this word. The vista of this word in my life has just changed. The current view of judgment in my heart comes from these scriptures.

  • Judge not lest you be judged. ~Luke 6:37
  • The same measure I use to judge is the same that will be used to judge me. ~ Matt 7:1-3
  • I am to give an account of myself.  ~Romans 14:12-14
  • Judgment must begin with me. ~1 Peter 4:17
  • Who am I to judge my neighbor? ~James 4:12
  • Judge fairly and rightly, not by appearances ~John 7:24
  • There is a day of judgment when I will have to give an account of every word I have spoken. ~Matt 12:36-37
  • God judges no one for He has given all judgment into the hands of the Son. ~John 5:22
  • Jesus came to judge the world. ~John 9:39
  • Jesus did not come to judge the world but to save the world. ~John 12:47

Some things are very clear and I understand and others are in the process of being revealed to me.  So my view of judgment changes as the Lord grows me. Recently I had a growth spurt.

1 Corinthians 6:2

Do you not know that the saints (the believers) will [one day] judge and govern the world? And if the world [itself] is to be judged and ruled by you, are you unworthy and incompetent to try [such petty matters] of the smallest courts of justice?

Do you not know also that we [Christians] are to judge the [very] angels and pronounce opinion between right and wrong [for them]? How much more then [as to] matters pertaining to this world and of this life only!

God’s plan is for me to judge and govern the world. In fact, His plan is for me to judge the very angels by pronouncing between right and wrong. He also says I am the judge of the world, itself. WOW!  How do I train for this? For I know I don’t have this ability in this moment. You can bet I am going to need lots of practice to be able to do so.

As I meditated on this I begin to see something. Perhaps, my idea of judgment is not the same as God’s idea. So of course I had to ask for His definition of judgment. Here is transcript of my heart conversation with God:

Me: God, I know your judgment is extremely different than mine. Please help me understand.

God: In the beginning I created man to make judgments based on my word, what I shared, what I taught, what I spoke. Adam judged based on my Word. Then when Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, their judgment base changed to one based on human logic.  Instead of judging based on Me, my infinite wisdom, my love, my peace, they judged based on their perception of right and wrong. Their actions no longer were propelled by my Word but by their idea of what was best or what felt good. Their judgment became limited and skewed because they could not see as I do. Neither do you.

Me: I understand. I see this kind of judgment in my kindergarteners who are always making judgments without maturity or wisdom. They judge only by what they think is right or feels good. They often hurt others and themselves because of this poor judgment. I can see how that impairs them. I can see how it limits me.

God:  Then when I made a covenant with the Israelites they could not keep it because of this faulty base of judgment. They could not ever be as right as I am. Giving them my law showed them that, yet they still judged and that judgment often lead to death.  That is why I do not judge based on right or wrong. I always judge on love.  Jesus was and is that love. I covenanted with His blood to absolve your sin and to reset your judgment seat. To bring you out of a life based on right and wrong. To restore to you the ability to live your life making judgments that honor and glorify Me.

Me: I get it! When I depend on Jesus to help me renew my mind, my judgment shifts from right and wrong logic to His judgment.  He teaches me how to judge. This is how I learn to trust in the Lord with all my heart, by not leaning to my own judgment of right and wrong. You want me to learn to judge your way. I love how you judge! Help me to learn your judgment.

God wants us to judge. He wants us to judge like He does. This requires that I learn how He judges. He judges with truth and love in Grace. This is the measure I am to use in judging.  This is how I am to judge myself. This is how I am to judge others. Oh my! Did I just write that? Yes I did!  I can’t see how I am to judge the world without judging others. God has a plan for this. I can trust Him to teach me His judgment.

His judgment acknowledged man kind’s sins and gave a fool proof plan for redemption that can never be revoked or repealed. His judgment brought total healing, total restoration, and total peace. His judgment includes absolute truth with steadfast love and mercies that are new every morning. His judgment included complete and total forgiveness. This is the kind of judgment I want to learn and practice.

I set my heart to learn His judgment by letting Him prepare me to judge the world, and to judge between right and wrong for the angels. Oh how I love your judgment Lord!

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Grace (study) pt 5

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (Philippians 4:11)

Want here indicates need. Learning is a process that takes time.

I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (Philippians 4:12)

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13)

When read in context, this scripture isn’t talking about signs and wonders…it’s talking about being content in all situations…and being at peace with God.

TV preachers promise return on blessing which usually somehow winds up equal to materialistic gain.

The greatest blessing we can hope for is absolutely possible to receive while we are hungry and broke!

Paul said that he was fasting & hungry often…..

So what’s the benefit of living for God if He isn’t going to fix all the problems? The benefit is learning that happiness, peace and joy are completely independent from this world.

How else does the world know who the real people of God are?

Two houses…one on a rock and one on the sand. The difference was what happened when the rain came.

Few Christians get to the point that they can be trusted with great trials. We must determine in our hearts that we will learn to trust Him….and refuse to allow fear cause us to just be spectators.

Many days that I have the most pressure…the most strife…the least amount of patience are the days when I didn’t start out by going boldly to the throne of grace.

Grace gives us the strength to SHOUT over the testimony without yet seeing the completed work!

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Credit to: Bishop Chester Wright

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Grace (study) pt 4

Grace_wordleI am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
John 15:5

God intends for his grace to be the only source of my ability to do anything.

The greatest blessing you can pray for someone is to pray for grace & peace from the Father be upon them.

 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:   John 1:12

The power is God’s GRACE to live!
We notice that there’s a colon at the end of that verse, so we must continue on….

Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:14

If Jesus is full of grace and truth, what should we also be full of?

And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. John 1:16

The more we yield to the will of God, the more grace He provides. He only uses what we yield to Him. It isn’t God’s will to wrestle with us until we give in to His will. He is seeking those that will just let go.

What have we to fear in letting go? The devil?

Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:19

The devil can’t do anything to me that the Father doesn’t allow (remember Job?). We aren’t vulnerable to the devil. Our God is not frail and weak. He causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28). So anything that the devil throws at you is intended to grow you toward God.

God loves us so much that He will allow things to happen just to get rid of the parts of our nature that separate us from Him. Those attacks should be reminding us to humble ourselves, to seek God and to live a repentant lifestyle.

You can’t fear God & the devil at the same time.

Job was doing fine as long as he continued to worship God, but then he began to claim he didn’t deserve what he was going through.  Saying, “why me, I don’t deserve this trouble” is a way of blaming God for it.

We blame God when we can’t see past what’s happening to see what God really is doing.

How do I love God during trouble? Grace through faith.
Grace helps us to have the right attitude during the worst storms.

Credit to Bishop Chester Wright. This study can be found on YouTube by searching his name and “grace”

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You cannot Hide from God

Walking through the street with a flip flop beat.Car broke down; can’t hide

Can’t hide me, cause I don’t have a ride

Car broke down; can’t’ hide,

Can’t hide you, cause I don’t have a ride.

.

Got my five senses reaching out

and making me want to shout.

They are reaching out in front of me,

feel, taste, touch, smell and see.

.

There she was again.

All alone without a friend.

A grey wooly blanket covering her body so nothing was bare.

With the sun beaming hot on her matching wooly hair.

 .

I heard a voice telling me to say hello.

So I traveled to her and said very low,

“this is for you,” and I handed her a bill.

She looked up at me and time stood still.

.

I heard a thank you with a harsh gloomy voice.

My heart trembled that she was there without a choice.

I looked right at her sad eyes,

and her sclera and teeth yellow while her soul dies.

.

I asked  “you come from where?”

She answered “I come from nowhere”

I asked, “you are going where?”

And she answered, “I am going nowhere.

.

With tears in my eyes

to her I surmise,

“God loves you,

and He is true blue.”

.

She looked at me and nodded her head,

and then turned away without anything else said.

I stood up and walked away

knowing that I completed my day.

.

I walked away hitting that street with my flip flop beat.

Car broke down; can’t hide

Can’t hide me, cause I don’t have a ride

Car broke down; can’t’ hide,

Can’t hide you, cause I don’t have a ride.

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Grace (study) pt 2

earthen-vessels_eblast

When the Word of God is revealing to me that my heart isn’t what it ought to be, rather than despair, I can rest assured that God understands.

Hebrews 4: 14-16 “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

How presumptuous of us to believe that we wake up, breathe, get dressed, move and work all by ourselves. Do we think that we do this all on our own because we don’t take time to pray about every little thing?

There is NOTHING I can do by myself. I am stealing glory from God if I don’t acknowledge the fact that it is in Him that I have my being.

God is limitless in what He will do through someone He can trust to give Him the glory.

So, how do I know if I am taking God’s glory?
When I wonder what people think about me after I sing, helped in outreach, witnessed, gave testimony, taught a lesson, and preached a sermon…..

How do I know if I am giving God the glory?
When what I do changes people’s opinion of God and causes them to want to get to know Him better.

So…that having been established….

This ain’t heaven.

God never promised to make our life pain free or pressure free.

In fact, it seems as if He always leaves an amount of trouble in our life so we will always remember that we need Him.

It doesn’t matter how long we’re here on earth. What matters is whether or not we allow God to complete the work He started [that is intended] to equip us for eternity.

What’s more important…what you can see, or what you can’t see?

2 Corinthians 4:5-7 “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”

Notice….”we preach not ourselves.” The reason is, because whoever is supplying the power is getting the glory.

If I’m living my life myself, then I’m not out of the way  for Him to manifest His life in me.

I can’t save anybody. I can never come up with a good enough method or program or outreach strategy to do anything.

Acts 9:5 “And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.”

An ox goad was a stick with a pointed piece of iron on its tip used to prod the oxen when plowing. The farmer would prick the ox with it to steer it in the right direction. Sometimes the animal would rebel by kicking out at the prick, and this would result in the prick being driven even further into its flesh. In essence, the more an ox rebelled, the more it suffered.

What I have to do is put myself out of the way and depend on Jesus to order my steps through the empowerment of His grace….it takes FAITH to walk that way!

Credit to Bishop Chester Wright