That 3:16

“For God so loved”  We think we know what love is.  We love our friends and our family and our pets.  But God so loved.  His love is beyond anything we can think of.  Think of a person you love more than anything else.  Nope!  That’s nothing compared to the love of God.

“the world”  This is Jew, Gentile, black, white, Hispanic, Arabic, European, Asian, African, every nationality.  God doesn’t care how much melanin you have in your skin.  He doesn’t care what part of the world you are from.  He so loves people out of every nation, tribe, and tongue.

“that He gave”  Have you ever given a gift?  Think of the most expensive gift you have given.  That is nothing compared to what God has given.  He spared no expense for who He loves.

“His only begotten Son” This is Who He gave.  His one and only unique Son.  Jesus Christ.  Born of a virgin.  Lived a sinless life. Died a sinners death.

“that whoever believes in Him shall not perish”  What do you mean perish?  If you don’t believe in the Son then the wrath of God will be poured out on you because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  The punishment for sinning against an eternal God is eternity in hell.  This is bad news.  But the verse says if you are “whoever” and believe this will not happen.

“but have eternal life.”  Yes!  Believe and you will receive eternal life.  Eternal life with God forever praising the Creator.  You will be forgiven of your sins and set free from being enslaved to them.  You will be given a new heart being born again to follow the risen and living Son, Jesus Christ, as your Lord.

Believe today! Now is the time!

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16

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Love

cropped-ocean.jpgWe are called to love one another. Jesus says this is how men will know we are His disciples.

“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35

The two greatest commandments He says (paraphrasing) are to love God with everything and love everyone else as ourselves. No one does either. We disobey God showing we can’t love Him as He commands and hence we can’t truly love neighbor. But Jesus fulfilled this and by His love we can love.

Repent and believe the good news.

 

 

Be More

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Have you ever loved someone so much you would do anything for them?  Have you loved someone so much you would risk getting hurt for them?  Have you loved someone so much that you would give it all for them?  Have you ever loved someone so much that you would go to battle and die just to win that battle for them?  Have you been willing to give everything you have because you believe the one you love is worth more than you are?

Many warriors fight for these reasons.  They go to war for their country, friends, family, and other loved ones.  They are willing to go into battle and risk their lives for loved ones.  Losing limbs or life is worth it to them.  Conquering the enemy to free loved ones says the loved ones more important than their own life.

When warriors come back home from war their entire family is victorious.  Even those who did not fight on the front lines share in the victory.  The mighty warriors defeated the enemy and now the family has them home.  While the warrior was fighting, the family may have been fighting battles at home.  Living while that loved one is away at war is tough.  Many challenges arise, but through the warriors bravery, the family battles on because they know how important they are to the warrior.  Sadly, sometimes that warrior doesn’t return.  He dies in battle while conquering.  He conquerors for them and the family is still victorious through the mighty warrior.

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What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can beagainst us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,  “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”  Romans 8:31-36

The warrior loves for the people he fights for.  He gives all of himself.  This is what God did for us.  He gave himself.  He took our place because He loves us. We conquer because He conquered.  Because Jesus overcame we overcome.  Because Jesus defeated death, we have eternal life.  But there is more to it than just a victory.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  Romans 8:37

We don’t just conquer because of Him.  We are more than conquerors.  We are seen by Him as more.  We are so loved by God that He became a man and was tempted as we are tempted. We are so loved by God that we are worth dying for.  We are so loved by God that we are worth suffering the worst torture and death in the history of the world.  We are so loved by God that He suffered all of this and still is the victor and our Savior.  We are so loved by God that, once we believe on Jesus Christ, nothing can take Him away.

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

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When you are a warrior you fight not just for yourself, you fight for who you love. When you are a warrior you fight with passion for someone more than you.  You conquer for those who are more than conquerors.  Jesus conquered the grave for us because we are more than conquerors through Him.

Do you believe you are more than a conqueror?  Do you know Jesus?  Is He your Savior?

If He isn’t, He can be.  If you think there is more to this world than what we see, pray for Him to show you.  If you are asking, the Holy Spirit is already be at work in your heart.  He will show you.

If you feel you don’t deserve the love of someone who died for you, you don’t.   It is by grace Jesus forgives.  It is why He died.  He said “It is finished”.  He conquered not for the perfect, but for the broken.  He conquered for me, the biggest of all sinners.  And if he conquered for me, He definitely conquered for you.

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

If you feel like you have done too much wrong to deserve forgiveness, you haven’t.  It is not about doing or deserving.  But we can turn to Him.  He died knowing what I have done.  He felt what I have done.   It was nailed with Him to the cross.  Now I am no longer a slave to sin, but I am free as a slave to Christ.  You can be too.  You can be “whoever”.  I pray you are.

For God so loved the world,that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. John 3:16-17

You can be more than a conqueror.

Worrier or Warrior

Through our lives we all experience worry. We get stressed about what could be coming tomorrow.  We worry about what we don’t know.  Will we be able to eat?  Will we be able to pay our bills?  Will we be able to take care of our family?

These are things we all deal with.  Sometimes it can get to the point of defeat.  Sometimes it can get to the point of breaking you down.  Sometimes you just don’t want to fight anymore.  You would rather run away and avoid the worry.  You would rather cower away then to face the day.

This is easy to do when you are alone.  Even if you have people in your life, you may feel you are alone in your battle. You may feel like no one else is going through the things you are.  You may feel you don’t want to bother anyone with your day.  You may feel you are not worth help.

Many people in Scripture had worries.  They worried about many of the things we do.  Some had even more worries because God was directly asking them to do things they didn’t think they were capable of.  There are things we are asked to do today that we think we are not capable of. But the same promise God gave to those in the past, He also gives to us.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9

This is what God told Joshua before he took his people to march around Jericho.  In fact, he told him three times to “be strong and courageous.”

The Lord looked at him and said, “Go in this your strength and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?” He said to Him, “O Lord, how shall I deliver Israel? Behold, my family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest in my father’s house.” But the Lord said to him, “Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat Midian as one man.”  Judges 6:14-16

Even the least likely of warriors were comforted by the promises of God.  In the book of Judges we see Gideon, He was the youngest of his lowly farming family.  He was never trained to fight.  Yet the Lord was with him as he took on Median with only 300 men.

Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10

Here is a promise God makes to Israel in the book of Isaiah.  He promised to be with them and protect them.  He was bringing them back from exile in Babylon that they had been in for their disobedience.  Now He was providing them with redemption.  He was encouraging them and telling them , as always, He is with them.

“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:25-34

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Jesus gives us His Word that we will be provided for. We do not need to worry.  We should still be concerned, but worry is something we do not need to do.   The same promise he gave to those fighting for Israel He gives to us. He is with us.  He has sent the Holy Spirit to be with us.  No need to worry.  If you have been saved by Jesus and believe on Him you believe in a God who commanded Joshua to march around  the walls of a city 7 times and the walls fell down.  He commanded a young son of a farmer to go up against a mighty army with only 300 fighters and defeat them.  There are many other warriors who God promised He would be with and He was.  They triumph for the glory of God.

Today He is telling the believers, those who have been saved and follow the Lord Jesus, He is with them.  He is with us as we struggle to pay bills. He is with us as we struggle in our relationships. He is with us as we struggle with life.  He takes our worries.  This doesn’t mean He doesn’t want us to be concerned. He just knows that if we are in Christ then worry is not something we need. Worry is a product of sin.  In Christ we are made righteous and worry is not in us.

Just stay in His Word and meditate on his promises.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6

Are you a worrier or a Warrior in Christ?

Limits on the Limitless

I often make this mistake. I put limits on the limitless. I think it can never happen because I can’t make it happen or someone else can’t make it happen. The truth is nothing is impossible. It can happen. What I need can be provided.

Often times I think of God in human terms. I put my limits on Him. I forget that He created the universe. I forget He parted the sea. I forget He made the walls of Jericho fall. I forget He walked on water and calmed the storm. I forget He made the blind see, healed the sick, and casted out demons. I forget He came to earth as a human, was crucified, then came back three days later from the dead. What can He not do?

These are just a few examples of what God does. He can do anything. God makes the impossible possible. He can make the impossible very possible for all who believe. Not only believe but pray to Him.

Sometimes I realize I hold back praying about the things I see as impossible because I forget who He is. I find myself thinking that He is too busy and won’t help me. I think He doesn’t have time for me but the truth is, He is above time. We think in terms of years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds. I believe God doesn’t have a watch. When we think He doesn’t have time for us He does.

The other mistake I make is thinking my need is too small for Him. I feel it may be something He wouldn’t waste energy on. Like, God has a small amount of energy? He is God. He has unlimited energy.

The problem often is I don’t have big enough prayers. My prayers aren’t bold enough. I have big needs but I do not ask them. I do not pray enough for the things I am limited to. If I don’t pray for them do I really believe God is unlimited? If I don’t pray big enough do I really believe He can do all things?

I do believe He can and I must remember He has. I must, and I encourage you all, to pray for big things. Pray bold prayers. Pray for cancers to be healed. Pray for finances to be secure. Pray for families to be mended. Pray for lives to change. Pray for non believers for come to Jesus. Pray for all of your needs. God will provide. Keep your eyes, ears, heart, and mind open to the ways He will deliver. Read His Word to remind yourself who God is. Read His Word to see how to pray. Read His Word because He gave it to us for prayer and much more.

God wants to hear our prayers. He wants us to cry to Him. He wants to see that when we struggle we still have faith in Him to calm the storms.

Are you praying big prayers?

Do you have faith that God will provide?

What would have happened if Daniel didn’t pray and have faith when he was with the lions? Daniel 6

What would have happened if the disciples would have let Jesus pass by on the lake? Mark 6:48

The examples go on. The point is not to forget we worship a loving and all powerful God Who created us.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5 (NIV)

Dealing and Trusting

sunsetDealing with loss is different for everyone.  Some grieve right away and others later.  Some grieve for a long time and others for a short period.

I don’t think we ever get over losing a loved one.  I don’t think that we should get completely over the loss.  It is something that sticks with us.  It is up to us though, to find a deeper meaning for the loss and a deeper meaning for life.

As you know, if you have been reading this blog, my Mother passed away a few years ago from ovarian cancer.  Even though it was a few years ago, it is still hard sometimes.  I guess I have been thinking about her more because I am writing about her more.  But that to me is proof that she is still here.  Her presence comes to me.

I have a friend who is dealing with loss.  I do not know her well, but can tell her Mom was close to her.  She relied on her Mom for support.  When you feel the only person that supports you is gone it has to be hard.  I am sure many of you out there may have lost someone who you felt was the only one.  But I will tell you there are others that support you.  There is something that will always support you.

Your loss of a loved one may not even have been a death.  You can lose people to addiction.  You can lose people to a lifestyle change.  You can lose people for many other reasons.

Loss is loss.  Pain is pain.

Many people handle pain and loss very differently.  I used to, and still do, find good reasons why bad things happen.  I do not just push-off the bad things and ignore them.  I just get passed the grief (and we must grieve) and see what the plan is.  Even if I do not get a clear picture, and I probably won’t, I look for the plan.  This might take a week, month, year, decade, but you will find something and say “wow, if that loss and pain did not happen then this great thing would have never come to pass.”

Now please do not get me wrong, I love, and as you can see, miss my Mother dearly.  But I do not blame anyone for her loss.  I am not mad at God.  I am thankful for the time with her and I feel I am closer to Jesus because of the loss of my Mother.  I believe I would have continued down the path of the ritualistic Catholic, just going through the motions because it was what I did.  To be clear it was not what she did.  I believe she knew Jesus.  She was not a go through the motions Catholic.  She believed and now I believe I will see her again and we will be with Jesus.

That is me.  That is what I believe.  TRUTH.  You may not.  You might be mad at the world.  You might be mad at the doctors.  You might be mad at someone who caused the death.  You might be mad at God.

God does not bump off people.  He loves us all.  We are all the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. Matthew 5:45  Sometimes bad things happen to good people.  Most of the time it is caused by people.  God does not have things happen without a plan.  It is unveiled in His perfect time.  It goes back to TITL.


If you are dealing with loss and pain I want to encourage you.  I want to let you know you do not have to wait to hit rock bottom before you look up and find support.  You may feel alone.  You may feel you are taking on the world alone.  I tell you that you are not.  Just look up.  Give your pain to Jesus.

Don’t know how? Here are two ways.

1) Pray:  Just talk to God.  Tell Him how you feel.  Tell Him what is wrong.  Say you’re sorry.  Forgive as He forgives you.

2) Read His Word:  Get a Bible.  Start to read.  Even if you do not believe in any of this it won’t hurt to start reading the number 1 best seller of all time.  It is the manual some people say they wish life came with.  BOOM!

I will leave you with this.

Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.

God Bless