All Because of Love

It’s been a journey for me, but over the years I have come to truly believe God is a good Father. From a very young age (maybe two years old) I’ve been aware of God’s presence in my life. He was always my friend. And I’ve come to trust that no matter what I do (or don’t do), He never changes. He is dependable, trustworthy and always responds to me with an abundant, overflowing, immeasurable love.

In Romans 5:8, God reveals His faith in action: But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Our Heavenly Father’s love is not an emotion, but a decision. Perhaps the very first decision God made about us was to love his creation (you and me) unconditionally.

Everything He’s done from the beginning of time is all because of love.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.[1]

He had faith that His creation (you and me) would return to fellowship with Him. God’s love produces goodness. Everything good originates from love. Everything bad is a distorted, twisted form of love. Because of His love for us, by faith, He gave Jesus.

God’s desire for relationship caused Him to create man, and that same desire continues to draw us to Him by His love working in us. I am so thankful He pursued me and never gave up.

First John 4:8 says, He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. It’s who and what He is. It’s His makeup—His essence— His character. So we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.[2]

Thank God He is conforming us into His image and likeness.

When we make a decision to accept Jesus, we choose by faith to accept Him, and what He’s done for us. Why should love be any different? We love God by our very act of faith—believing that He exists and accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We love God by accepting that He is a good God and wants the very best for us. This takes faith. And loving others takes a daily practice to choose to love no matter what.

As you choose to love others with God’s supernatural, unconditional love, what changes do you believe God for in your relationship with others? And in your relationship with him?

 

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Moving the Mountain Inside of Us!

I have heard the messages most of my life of mountain-moving faith. You may be even more familiar than I am of Jesus’ words in Mark: I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea!’ and does not doubt in his heart [in God’s unlimited power], but believes that what he says is going to take place, it will be done for him [in accordance with God’s will].[1]

So the other day, I’m thinking about Jesus’ words here. I’m thinking about the mountains that tested my faith and I saw thrown into the sea. Blaine and I experienced some big mountains in the first five years of our marriage. Only by faith in God and a lot of work, we overcame those relationship obstacles and built a strong marriage. I experienced many challenges with my first pregnancy including an inability to gain weight at first, anemia and preterm labor (which resulted in bedrest) and premature delivery. I delivered our second son full term with a very healthy pregnancy only to begin a fight for his life just five hours after I delivered him. Each time God proved faithful—and the mountain eventually went into the sea!

I’ve always thought about the external mountains—those external forces that reside outside of us. This time as I thought about this verse just this past week, a new question popped into my head. What about the mountains on the inside of us?

We all have stuff. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be human. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, but our experiences shape us, whether we want them to or not. Those deep hurts and pains can become emotional mountains in our minds. Oh, we try to hide the hurts, to press down the pain, to ignore the wounds and to replace the losses—but they remain. When we least expect it, they come forward, much like a volcanic mountain rises up over time with each small eruption.

So, what do we do? We look to Jesus’ words again and realize that even the mountain inside of you has to move when you speak to it and believe.

One thing I’ve learned is you don’t have to take the mountain alone. Not only do you have Jesus’ word, his promise, but you have all of heaven backing you up—cheering you on. You also have other believers who will stand with you, agree with you and encourage you.

What external mountains are you facing today!  Please share your comments. I’d love to hear from you.

[1] AMP