John 15:13 (KJV) Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Beloved, love as I have loved – withholding nothing, without condition or exception. For this type of love changes things, it breaks through the strongest of fortresses, it permeates through the most steadfast defenses.
Even knowing that to be true, don’t love needing or expecting a response, love for the sake of Love. Love because giving the gift of love is its own reward. Love because to do so makes you more like Me. Continue reading “The Gift of Love”
Matthew 5:43-48 (TPT) …do something wonderful for the one who hates you, and respond to the very ones who persecute you by praying for them. For that will reveal your identity as children of your heavenly Father. He is kind to all by bringing the sunrise to warm and rainfall to refresh whether a person does what is good or evil…
Beloved, your actions speak clearly whether you know Me or not, so consider what you’re communicating with each move and decision. Would you choose to reflect Me? Love unconditionally. Bestow mercy and extend grace. Reflect My heart.
Refuse to love only the easily loveable, but rather allow your love to be tested by loving those who resist it or who operate in hate. Choose to respond differently. Allow humility to be cultivated in your heart. Lay down your pride and offer someone what reflects My heart rather than what their actions call for. Love without restraint. Love without reserve. Love. Continue reading “Love Without Reserve”
John 14:27 (AMP) Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge].
Beloved, I have endowed you with My peace. It is yours and you walk in the fullness of it. Allow My peace to so saturate you that you carry it like a tangible presence and like a lingering aroma leave it everywhere you go.
You are an overcomer, and you have overcome fear with My peace. Continually shift the atmosphere around you, being intentional to usher in that shalom – the peace that wars against chaos. You are My chosen vessel – a carrier of My glory, My Spirit, the truth of who I AM – share that truth unashamedly and cultivate an atmosphere of peace everywhere you go. Peace, peace, abundant peace.
Nehemiah 8:10 (GW) …Don’t be sad because the joy you have in the Lord is your strength.
Beloved, when you find your joy in Me, it is unshakable. I AM the same yesterday, today, and forever, so when you root yourself in Me, you have a foundation that is solid. It cannot be moved by outside forces. When your joy is in Me, it cannot be stolen. There is strength in that foundation.
As trials in life come – and they surely will – they cannot steal your joy because it is found in Me. Draw strength from that. The winds and waves may come, but your roots are in solid ground. Draw strength from Me. I AM unchanging and unwavering. I AM the one that holds you as priceless and loves you beyond measure. Be rooted in that love.
But beloved be cautioned, you can choose to release your joy. It cannot be taken from you, but you can give it up. So refuse the temptation to give in. The enemy will lie and cheat and steal to try to release your hold on what is rightfully yours, but refuse to yield. Hold tight and be unshakable.
Psalm 5:11 (TPT) But let them all be glad, those who turn aside to hide themselves in you. May they keep shouting for joy forever! Overshadow them in your presence as they sing and rejoice. Then every lover of your name will burst forth with endless joy.
Beloved, burst forth in praise! Like an excited child, refuse to restrain your exuberance for Me. As a good and loving father smiling over the zealous delight of their baby girl, so is My joy over you, My precious and cherished child. Stay hidden in Me.
Celebrate. Celebrate Me. Allow your joyful exuberance – your passionate praise – and your dedication to your faith to overflow in all you do. Your joy is contagious, drawing those around you closer. Stay unapologetically joyous, for it is pleasing to Me. I delight in you.
[Merriam-Webster’s Thesaurus defines “celebrate” as “to proclaim the glory of” and some of the synonyms and related words listed are “bless, praise, exalt, magnify, worship, adore.”]
Matthew 5:43-48 (TPT) …do something wonderful for the one who hates you…
Beloved, refuse to let someone else’s actions mandate the person you are. You are My child, a reflection of Me. You operate in humility, love, truth, mercy, and integrity. None of those things are conditional on someone else’s actions. Refuse to reflect someone else’s poor behavior.
Refuse to indulge a fleshly desire to “be right” or “show them”. Reflect love in the face of hate, and humility in the face of pride, honor in the face of perversion and integrity in the face of deceit. Refuse to let anything steal your witness. Allow Me to shine through you unhindered. Continue reading “Shine Unhindered”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (TPT) Love…extends beyond the gift of prophecy, which eventually fades away. It is more enduring than tongues, which will one day fall silent. Love remains long after words of knowledge are forgotten.
Beloved, resist the temptation to get so caught up in the gifts of My Spirit that you forget My primary focus: love. For I so loved the world that I sent My Son. Love wins the day. Love touches hearts in a way nothing else can. And in the end, love will remain when the gifts are no longer needed.
So focus on love. Be intentional to love. When in doubt, love. When you don’t want to, still love. When it’s undeserved, staunchly love. Whatever the situation, no matter how extreme, remain steadfastly in a stance of love. Be known for your love. Refuse to let it be shaken. Refuse to withhold it like a weapon or use it as a tool to manipulate, give it freely and without reserve – just as I have done for you. Continue reading “Love, the Primary Focus”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (TPT) …Love never stops loving…
Beloved, I never stop loving you. Regardless of your choices, actions, thoughts and all the moments you fall short, My love remains the same. My hope for you is steadfast, and I find you inherently worthy of love no matter the decisions you make or whether other people seem to find you so. My love for you is eternal and unconditional, and you are made in My image.
You were created not just to be loved, but to love – without reserve. You may hate choices or be disappointed in situations, but refuse to let your love – based on the inherent nature of each person and the way I created them – to change. Be steadfast. Hold to the truth of who I made them. Expect that, prophesy it. Be relentless in prayer, and lavish love – and do so without strings or contingencies. Love like that is life-changing. Continue reading “Life-Changing Love”
Galatians 5:22-23 (AMP) But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is…self-control…
Beloved, I have called you to be holy as I AM holy. Simply because you won’t be able to walk out personal righteousness perfectly is no excuse not to do your best. Not out of a sense of burden or trying to earn your salvation (which is a gift freely given by grace), but out of a place of love and honor – seeking to do that which pleases Me and aligns with My word.
I have given you self-control and empowered you by My Holy Spirit. You are more able than you believe and more able even than you’ve experienced. Like a muscle that builds strength with use, self-control becomes stronger as it is exercised. So choose not to respond when provoked. And choose not to indulge your flesh when it’s not beneficial. Choose to do that which is godly even when (and in fact especially when) it is in direct opposition with the flow of the world.
Exercise your self-control, beloved, and watch it grow and strengthen. It becomes easier to choose rightly and even the desire to choose that which is in opposition to Me (or even that which is fruitless) diminishes and loses its draw. Remain steadfast. Lean into the Holy Spirit for strength. Extend grace to yourself when you fall short, and simply start again. Be holy, beloved, as I AM holy.
Matthew 7:12 (VOICE) This is what our Scriptures come to teach: in everything, in every circumstance, do to others as you would have them do to you.
Beloved, extend grace where you would desire to receive it. Extend forgiveness where you would hope to receive it. Extend love where you see it is needed. Refuse to withhold the blessing it is in your power to give. Generously expect the best, assume positive intent, and listen for the motivations of the heart.
Be known for your grace. Be known for your kindness. Be known as one who is fair and loving. Allow the fruit of My Spirit to pour forth from you without hindrance feeling no need to judge or criticize, but rather allowing My Spirit to be the One to convict and bring change – just as you desire to receive, give.