Love overrides all…

‘“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery.  The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”’ John 8:4-11

Can you even imagine the scene? This woman who was caught in the act of adultery was likely dragged out of bed naked or maybe partially naked and thrown into the dirt and called out for her sin in front of a crowd. She was probably scared; mortified, felt completely exposed in more ways than one and possibly repentant. Who knows what kind of life she lived up until this point. Maybe she was a prostitute or had been sexually abused at a tender age, forever impacting how she viewed sex. We don’t know but one thing we do know, Jesus treated her with dignity in a terribly undignified situation.

I like to think that Jesus was writing in the sand as a sign of His lack of interest in the Pharisee’s antics. I like to think there was an eye roll in there somewhere too. He already knew what they were doing before they even brought the woman to Him. His answer was spoken to them in a language they could understand, the law. But His answer to the woman was given through grace.

” For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:17

” God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love. We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first.” 1 John 4:17-19 MSG

Jesus didn’t come into the world to condemn it and if we have the same standing in this world as He did, then why are we running around hitting people over the head with the Bible? Why are we getting into arguments with each other about doctrine? Didn’t Jesus tell us to love one another, so that others will know that we are His disciples, His friends? Why is the church so dang mean? Why do we judge others? Why do we shut them out? Why do we not include them because they are different? Or are caught up in an addiction or a lifestyle that may be considered less than savory? Why!? We aren’t here to judge either! If we judge, we are driven by fear and if we fear, love is not perfected in us. If Jesus didn’t judge, then nor shall I! Did you not know that love covers over a multitude of sins? Love raises others up out of muck they are in. Love puts a smile on a persons face and reminds them that they are valued. Can you imagine the impact you can have on people if you just do the very thing Jesus called us to do, love others? Can you see the smiling faces? The filthy coats that will be shed because someone was loved back to life?

I can remember not feeling loved or accepted, it was an awful feeling. The enemy hisses in your ear that you’re not valued and that the world would be a better place without you. It is a heavy burden to feel so low and unloved, or worse, unlovable! There are people out there who have never felt loved, never had someone ask their name, or pay them a compliment. There are people who aren’t even treated like a human being, with a real beating heart in their chest, just like you and I! That is a horrid, horrid truth to consider but it is a fact! And because we have God living within us, we have the distinct honor of loving people. Not just certain people but all people!

We are the church! This isn’t someone else’s problem, it is ours! This is our commission. This is our privilege, our honor. This isn’t a burden or “our cross to bear,” it is an honor. Papa is love and because He loved us first, we have the ability to love others.

Allow your compassion run wild. Let your love set fires in hearts, in communities and in the world! I would rather die and have God tell me that I loved too much, rather than loving too little!

Yeah but what about this scripture that says this, and this scripture that says that!? Just love, pure and simple love. Judgement isn’t our job, just love. We can take and piece together scripture to support our agendas and leave a whole trail of destruction behind us, as the church has already done. I don’t want to hear another story about someone who went to church and got hurt or shut out. It took an awful lot of courage for those people to walk through those church doors after their last bad experience and we’ve gone and done it to them again? Love is of the utmost importance, Jesus said it is the highest command. It isn’t our place to determine if they “deserve it,” just love them. Don’t expect anything in return, just love them.

Papa is so good to have already filled our hearts unto over flowing, now we just have to get out there and let it spill out all over the place! Throw love around like glitter, make the whole world around you sparkle! Let His glory shine through you! Oh man, what a beautiful thing! I am so psyched right now, love, plain and simple, endless love!

God bless you all, I hope this fired you up too, to get out there and just love on others. You won’t run out, you won’t grow tired and your life will be far from boring! Let’s light the world on fire with love!

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Don’t believe the lies

There are some things in life that sound far too simple to grasp and yet, for some reason are difficult to believe and take within ourselves. Believing that Jesus died for you may be an easier concept to grab a hold of, most people manage to grab hold of that. For many the offer comes along at just the right time, much like a beacon of light on a dark night or a life raft. So we cling to it with all of our might. But now what? There is so much more!

Following Christ isn’t sin management. It isn’t checks and balances. It isn’t getting all cleaned up on the outside, while still living in despair within. It isn’t a list of do’s and don’ts, even though many teachings out there will have you believe it is. “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36

You are infinitely free from all of the above. You are free to be you while you walk along with your Lord every single day. When you said yes to Jesus, you died and were raised to life with Him. The old has gone, the new has arrived, His Spirit lives within you. He is there for your benefit, to guide you and to shape you into your new likeness, if you are willing to let Him in on it. You still have the free will to say no, but why would you? Life with Jesus is a beautiful relationship, the most beautiful relationship you will ever have! He has nothing but good things to say about you. He adores you and thinks nothing but good thoughts about you. His will for you is always the highest thing possible, He wants you to reach your fullest potential.

“I can’t afford to have thoughts in my head about me that God doesn’t have in his.” Bill Johnson

You know how when you mess up, your mind begins to reel and the next thing you know, your whole countenance has changed from light to dark? It’s like a snowball. It begins with negative thoughts that then begin to manifest themselves as problems around you. You break a glass or you hit every red light on the way home or your spouse shoots you a look that wasn’t joy filled. The life that we experience begins with the thoughts that occupy our minds. If you are busy thinking illegal thoughts about you or someone else, your mind darkens and what you see around you is more darkness or negativity.

Changing your thinking isn’t the crescendo, it is believing what you are thinking. Many people believe in Jesus but they don’t believe Him. Yep, that’s right, they don’t believe Him. They don’t believe all the good things He says about Him. This is the hardest part, this is where most people miss the bus on living life abundantly. Why is it so easy for most people to believe the terrible things that are said about them and not the kind and truthful things Jesus says about them? Because their faith was in others, rather than the One who truly loves us. Their identity is found in others, rather than the only One who knows who we are inside and out. Once we shift our focus from others to the only One who truly knows, the opinions and words of others fall to the wayside.

This is freedom. This is the one thing that if we don’t get this, there will always be some sort of anchor attached to our legs. We may move forward a little but with great striving and grief, not with ease and grace.

“Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.” Ephesians 2:7-10

Hinge yourself upon this. I know I have shared this scripture with you before but it is infinitely important and applicable anytime. God does it, from start to finish. Say yes, that is all. With each step, say yes to Him. Anything you hear that is contrary to what He says about you is a lie. The lie may come from someone you love, do not condemn them but trust that the Holy Spirit within them will align them with all truth and simply remind yourself who you are in Him. That is all that you ever need to know about yourself, what He says.

Until we stop believing the lies, there isn’t much of a difference between us and the rest of the world. We can’t be tossed about by every word spoken over of, we are called to be different, to be certain, unshakable. This isn’t anything you can muster up on your own remember, God does it all from start to finish.

There is so much more to this blog, it will likely be multiple parts but I believe this is a good place to begin. I pray this blessed someone today, God bless you all!

Put down those lenses!

“Life has no limitations, except the ones you make.” Les Brown

Through whose lens do you view yourself and your life? Where did your assessments come from? From the moment we come out of the womb, generally the people around us have a lot to say about us. “He looks like his dad; she has her mothers eyes, shes going to be a writer like her auntie, he has two left feet!” Most people mean no harm but this is the beginning of what will shape us. The words you speak over a person are more powerful than we give them credit for, they become the audio that plays in a persons mind.

Was there ever something that you really felt passionate about doing but were talked out of because someone else said it wasn’t for you? Or maybe you tried and didn’t succeed as well as you had hoped, then quit and thought that person was right? Not doing something for fear of failure is living in a place of lack and we have no reason to live in lack because with God all things are possible. How can we hope and dream for the impossible? Papa God has infinite resources. He doesn’t look at your bank account or your abilities. If He has placed a dream in your heart, He is going to be the One to make it possible.

When you look in the mirror, do you see you for who you really are or who someone else told you, you are? Let’s go a little deeper. If you see yourself through someone else’s lens, you have to realize that they also wear other people’s lenses too. So their view of you wasn’t clear in the first place. It is kind of like the concept of ancestral baggage. Picture this, each declaration over me is a pair of glasses, one that fits neatly right on top of the next pair. After while, I am wearing numerous pairs of glasses all at once. Do you think that when I look in the mirror I can see myself clearly?

Now, let’s take them all off shall we? What am I left with? Me. Well… who am I? And who would have an accurate answer about who I am? You know where I’m going to go with this! Papa! He has all the answers and He has the most wonderful things to say about you! You can find many of those loving words of affirmation in the Bible and if that’s not enough for you, ask Him, He would be happy to share how delighted He is in you.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” Jeremiah 29:11

“For You formed my inmost being;You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139 13-14

“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love  he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” Ephesians 1:4-6

“… but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:14

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27

“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” Romans 8:16

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14

You’re quite remarkable you know, He had you in mind for a very long time. You were made in His image, you are a light bearer, you are a child of the Most High. Ask Papa what He thinks about you, He will tell you of all the things about you that delight Him. He adores you. He sees you as perfect, not your perceived flaws or limitations. In Him, you are limitless. Ask Him to see yourself as He sees you, He is, after all the only One without a distorted lens. There is no corruption or darkness within Him. God is perfection, He is love. He is Papa God, our remarkable creator. Learn to love yourself and others the way that He does.

I hope this blessed someone today, much love friends.