The Garden, my teacher…

The garden is a great teacher. Teach us this morning, let us remember simple truths.  must receive ample amounts of sun.

Sad to note:  man can completely block any sight of the sun, simply by holding up a single – human  – thumb.

So the hand of the gardener, must be busy with the plow, breaking up the hard and thorny soil, so the seed of God’s love can miraculously grow- but the focus must be fruit, the focus must be love, the focus must be Today! Not yesterday or tomorrow!

Winter is past, springtime is here! The time of flowers and singing has come. (These are actual words from the Song of all songs!) (1).

But, unless the ‘soil of our heart’ is prepared and made ready, the seed of God’s love is simply trampled and eaten by the birds of the air, and we become unaware, that nothing is growing…God’s love is not sown, and we wonder what happened…when the love…is…all…gone. There is no love to be found. No love anywhere! (2).

With this kind of soil, ‘it will always be winter, and never spring!’ (haven’t we heard those words before? Yes, C.S. Lewis, in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe). Winter forever? What a horrible thing!

“God help us!” we cry. “Where is the love?”As a daughter, as a son, as a mother, or a father. As a bride, as a groom: “We say, ‘I Do’, till death do us part! But then, what happens? There is no love… I can’t do it myself. The soil of my heart is …so …hard.”

The garden, my teacher. The garden, my friend. A place to be taught, under the Son, once again.

“The rocks, the weeds!” Is there no end to these?”

“They are the voices you hear over and again: “You don’t need the church. You don’t need those people. They are fake, much like plastic, just stick with ‘Mother earth’. The smiles, the kindness, it’s all selfish and  empty – you can ‘do it alone’, you will find you have plenty!”

Remember the note at the beginning of this letter: with just a human thumb, the sun can be blocked from view –  O God, We need a Shepherd, because as sheep we can be simply… _______!

It has been spoken by the True Shepherd Himself, Who reminds us, ‘He is the vine’ as well:If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” A humble, straight forward reminder,that we can’t go it ‘on our own’, so well… and time – does – tell!

“Ouch!” The sharp edge of the spade hit’s the soil real hard..but fruit is the focus! Fruit is the goal! The ‘fruit of the Spirit is love’ yes,  that is the focus – love – is – the  – goal!

Remove the rocks or there is no hope for growing ” Do you want to know God? His word gives great warning: “A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. They stumble because they disobey the message…” (3).Read the message, and ask God  to help you obey! This is your call! This is your call!

God loves you already! He demonstrated that, when He sent His Son to die on the cross, for our debt to pay in full – for us all!”(4). For us all…

“What’s the purpose of the ‘church going?” you might ask? A place of stumbling at times, and  I want you to know that I understand – in that there is no perfect church – so why waste the time? But God Himself has told us to make it a practice to unite,(5) even if it’s to simply give thanks to Him- that you are breathing and living and that He’ll get you through ‘this hour of night!’

Perhaps the rocks have been taken out, and the motions to church have been made…but the weeds keep on growing, and there’s no room for God’s love in sowing – what then? what then?

Don’t give up! Ask God to give you a willing heart! Ask God to give you a willing heart!  A beautiful garden He will make. Read His love letter that has been written for you. “He who began a good work in you will complete it.” (6) He will make a beautiful garden out of you. ‘His word is true.’ (7).

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(1). Song of Solomon 2:12, “Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.”

(2). Matthew 13:1-4,  Later that same day, Jesus left the house and went down to the shore, 2-3 where an immense crowd soon gathered. He got into a boat and taught from it while the people listened on the beach. He used many illustrations such as this one in his sermon:

“A farmer was sowing grain in his fields. As he scattered the seed across the ground, some fell beside a path, and the birds came and ate it.”

(3). 1 Peter 2:8, “A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message–which is also what they were destined for.

(4). Romans 5:8, But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”

(5). Hebrews 10:25, Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

(6). Philippians 1:6, “And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns.”

(7). John 17:17, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

“And he said unto me, Write…” (Revelation 21)

“And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful…”

The Revelation of Jesus Christ Chapter 21 verses 3-7: “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

And he said unto me, It is done.

I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.

I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

“Who is this Man who died on the tree…

“Who is this Man who died on the tree? I’ve known of Him since I was just a baby. Mama always sang songs that I’d sleep – that He loves me so, and my soul He will keep.

But somehow, I don’t know how it all happened, it seems, that it’s just words, nothing moves me, when I hear the words: “He is Risen. He’s Risen indeed.”

The emptiness that I feel so deeply inside, is bringing me so much pain today…I cannot deny.

“God, I don’t have a willing heart. Will you give me one, even now, that again, I might start…

To start to feel again, somehow…the love You have given, to receive it and believe it, to start breathing again-Can You do this Lord, even now!

Jesus, today we celebrate Your Resurrection. Resurrect in me new life, O God. On me, Lord have mercy. That to You again, I might sing. Breathe on me, Lord Jesus, a newness of life- that today might be the first day, of the rest of my life.”

“He is risen! He is Risen. The grave is empty. Faith comes by hearing, even hearing Your word. Today I will trust You , right now, without feeling – I will walk in faith and I will trust You Lord Jesus, that You will ‘restore the years the locust has eaten’ and give me new life today, tomorrow, forever! You, Lord Jesus, You are my Savior!”

 

 

“Can’t I walk a good and wholesome life, and be separate from claiming Jesus Christ?”

“Can’t I walk a good and wholesome life, and be separate from claiming Jesus Christ? Why does Jesus have to be the only way to secure heaven for me? Can’t God see that I’m good and kind and helpful each day, isn’t that enough? That’s my question today?

Questions of man. Big questions too. Asked from man to man in sincerity in truth…

This was me, years ago. Exactly! I wanted to know! (I put exclamation points after the thoughts because I understand if this is you- ’cause I was there…I read of Edward Casey and was out on a limb…), yes, I was there. Confusion and questions everywhere!

So, I must ask, instead of answer, my question to your thoughts:  “Have you taken your burden of unanswered questions to God? To God, do you ask? Have you asked Him directly? He is able to hear.

Just because your eyes can’t see Him, He hears and He speaks…if you really want answers to questions like these,

talk to God and ask Him sincerely…

but you can’t find the answers In the clouds, or the trees…they’ve been written, yes, written words, they’ve been breathed!

If you have trouble knowing what to do, start asking, seeking and knocking on The door of God’s heart. He will guide you out of the dark.

Open His word. Pray to Him. Ask for ears to receive. Open the Book, The Holy Bible. Ask Him what to believe!

God is faithful. God is good. He will show you the way…if you want more than to be understood!

Do you want to be ‘right?’ Or do you really want to hear? Hey, I was in your place with questions like this…But God…

He knew my questions were sincere.

He did more than just speak words on the page…He began to open my eyes to His love and His grace. He brought me to still waters,…

I could see the reflection of me, and my pride and compulsive and impulsive ways, and my resentful and selfish and easily angered sways.

There is peace like a river in His word if you choose.

So,  what about Jesus? He will show you the Truth. God will answer your questions, as you walk with Him through the Gospels of Luke, and John, and Mark, and Matthew!

You can really know someone by the prayers that they pray. ‘Suffer’, ‘allow’ me to share the prayer Jesus prayed – straight from God’s word, the rhyming will end… But I pray you are touched by God… Through Him:

“Father the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You,

“As You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

“I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.

“And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

“I have mane feared Your name to the men whom You’ve given Me out if the world. They were Yours, You gave them to me, and they have kept Your word…”

“I pray for them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me…

“Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are…

“O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me.

“And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the live with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”(John 17, in part… But please read it in its entirety)…

If you read this far, please let me know – if you believe and receive God’s   great forgiveness, through the blood of His Son whom He sent , Jesus !

He has washed your sins white as snow! How do we know? How can we know?

The Bible!  Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.

Humpty Dumpty…a whole new story!

Eggs, eggs, colored eggs and bunnies, this brings back a rhyme that we sing with toddlers – but it’s not funny:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, all the kings horses and all the kings men, couldn’t put Humpty together again”. An egg without hope – only broken pieces, but then…

There’s another version of this story; do you remember children, back in old times? “Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. Humpty Dumpty shouted “AMEN” God will put  me together again!”  Remember this? from those Mother Goose Christian nursery rhymes!

This is a version with hope. Hope is what we need, not in a man or a plan or lottery win – what the people need is …

a bended knee, and a broken heart, and a humble plea. To the God of the Universe Who gave power to the children, young and very old, to be part of the King’s family – when believing in His Son.

What is impossible with men, is possible with God- this is the good news of God’s word! This is the reason for the bunnies and eggs- new life in Christ – broken pieces put together- a symbol of birth and moving forward!

OK, so the rhyme is bad, but it’s time to rejoice. Don’t you know that God is able even if all the king’s horses and all the king’s men can’t fix it! Even when life seems broken up in pieces- Call on Jesus- yes, even with your voice!

So many books are written, but please open the One, whose words are Spirit and breathe a whole new tone. God speaks to you and me, otherwise known as Humpty Dumpty… Hey, let’s be honest- life breaks the best , but hear this and  be overwhelmingly blessed:

God is the same yesterday, today and forever, (1),He is holy and perfect and never messes up!

He is near when others have left. He meets us with light to shine in the darkness.

And not just once- over and over again… Can you hear Him say,”Come,  to My Table and sup…

With Me. Take the bread and break it in two, my body was broken on the cross, for you.

Don’t be confused and broken anymore. The Father  loves you so – and the ‘death’ that you  owe, because of the sin of Adam so long ago…  Hear the gospel: To rescue mankind from death – I die instead. My blood is shed, I wear a crown of thorns that you might wear a sparkling crown on your head.

This is the love God! That He sent His only Son! The cup at the table is the cleansing flood! Receive it, drink it, do this in remembrance of Me! I Am the resurrected One!

Death has no power! Sin has no sting. “Humpty shouted “Amen” God has begun in me a new thing!”

Through the resurrected power of His Spirit inside, when we choose to let Him in,to reside- He puts us back together, He creates a ‘new me!’

A Humpty that is whole and moving forward, no longer sitting on a wall! A Humpty whose heart feels thankful – even though there’s been a great fall.

Breaking is good, Because God steps in and speaks! And that Book was never opened, now greets my waking feet!

“Humpty Dumpty shouts, “Amen! Everyday, Jesus puts me together  and then…

While it is ‘today’, I will share this rhyme with the children

“Amen! And “Amen!” “God’s love never fails!  Amen!”

…with His eyes on the Father and His heart on me.

Even when I didn’t care and I didn’t  know. Time kept rolling on…

God was there…

Jesus walked the Via Delarosa for me, even if it was only me, He walked the steps, one …by… one, to Calvary,

so many years ago, with His eyes on His Father and His heart on me.

The world yelled and chanted, “Put Him away!” “Crucify Him!” He didn’t speak, He didn’t fight, Jesus set His eyes on the Light and power of heaven, so I could be with Him someday forever, for all eternity where the road is gold and there’s no end…

no end of joy. No end of happiness. No end to love. No end of good…No end of light, no end of life. Just an end to death and the dark, sleepless night!

So long ago – He walked the dry crusted earth, with the cross to carry, so I could have a friend that would stick even closer than a brother, or a sister or a mother or even a father. That I would have Him forever – He is the Bridegroom for the Bride –  for those who choose Him, to abide…

To protect, to provide, to cherish, to love. He was sent here for us, from the Father above. But many refused to believe in His name,…and even much worse, His name in time would be … used… as… a curse.

He knew my name, way back  before I was born, He knew He would come to suffer and die

but He still prayed and prayed, “Oh Father, can You take this cup from me? Nevertheless, I obey You dear Father. Not My will but Thine, … let it be.

With His eyes on His Father and His heart on me, Jesus suffered with each step… as He walked…beaten and sore, heartbroken with His flesh tore…  to the place where the payment would be paid in full, to the place of judgement, where I was to be, He walked the road,

instead of me.

This is the truth. do you believe it today? Jesus came to earth from the Father to rescue us – our sin has us chained. It’s O.K. if this is a language you can’t understand right now, ’cause Jesus ‘waits’ and He waits patiently, (somehow!) And there will be a day when you actually hear the knocking on the door of your heart. And it will be the day, that you open up to Him and discover for yourself, a new birth, a new start!

With His eyes on His Father and His heart on you…is today the day you receive Him, and His forgiveness of sin, and ask Him to give you life, abundant and new?

Psalm 40, Living Bible:  I waited patiently for God to help me; then he listened and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out from the bog and the mire, and set my feet on a hard, firm path, and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, of praises to our God. Now many will hear of the glorious things he did for me, and stand in awe before the Lord, and put their trust in him. Many blessings are given to those who trust the Lord and have no confidence in those who are proud or who trust in idols.

O Lord my God, many and many a time you have done great miracles for us, and we are ever in your thoughts. Who else can do such glorious things? No one else can be compared with you. There isn’t time to tell of all your wonderful deeds.

It isn’t sacrifices and offerings that you really want from your people. Burnt animals bring no special joy to your heart. But you have accepted the offer of my lifelong service.[a] Then I[b] said, “See, I have come, just as all the prophets foretold. And I delight to do your will, my God, for your law is written upon my heart!”

I have told everyone the good news that you forgive people’s sins.[c] I have not been timid about it, as you well know, O Lord. 10 I have not kept this good news hidden in my heart, but have proclaimed your loving-kindness and truth to all the congregation.

11 O Lord, don’t hold back your tender mercies from me! My only hope is in your love and faithfulness. 12 Otherwise I perish, for problems far too big for me to solve are piled higher than my head. Meanwhile my sins, too many to count, have all caught up with me, and I am ashamed to look up. My heart quails within me.

 

Think again!

The news?

Think again…

Think on a hymn, or a song that will bring about a calm-while the world around us whirls in a violent storm. The verses written a century ago, ring true as if they were written an hour ago:

“This is my Father’s world, O let me ne’er forget That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the Ruler yet. This is my Father’s world, The battle is not done, Jesus, who died, shall be satisfied, And earth and heav’n be one.”

‘This is my Father’s world, O let me never forget’… 

Remember  Pooh when he couldn’t find his honey? Think, think, think,”  he said. We must remember what is even sweeter than honey- it’s God’s words- instead of news before going to bed- God’s word needs be read instead!

You might not believe me. Perhaps you’ve never tasted ‘sweeter than honey.’ Perhaps you have no idea that God’s deeply loves you. Trust me, there is so much more than the news we see.

Right next door to the infamous Psalm 23 is power and glory in Psalm 24. How we need to be reminded: ‘The earth is the Lord’s’!

And even more than that, ‘ all the fullness therein’, ‘the world and every creature and being within, are His ! Are His! And many don’t even know! They live their lives as if they are in control!’

This is my Fathers world, And to my listening ears; All nature sings and round me rings The music of the spheres.

This is my Fathers world; I rest me in the thought Of rocks and trees of skies and seas; His hand the wonders wrought.’ ( This is my Fathers world, Maltbie D Babcock).

Jesus still knocks on the doors of our hearts. It is time to stop striving and surrender to Him.

“Lift up your heads, O you gates; and be lifted up, you age abiding doors; that the King of glory may come in.’ This is the word of God in Psalm 24.

Bring on a new day and see the light and hear the music again… Seek the the Lord, be part of the generation who begins again to remember what’s true- ‘ the earth is the Lord’s, and He cares for you.’

Seek the Lord while He may be found. Seek the Lord, and your feet will stand on solid ground!


 

Sometimes, it’s best to sit with a hymnal!

“Give to the winds thy fears; Hope and be undismayed; God hears thy sighs and counts thy tears, God shall lift up thy head.” (Paul Gerbhardt, translated by John Wesley, 1737).

We are tempted to be dismayed –  how I love these words translated by Wesley in 1737: “Give to the winds thy fears; hope and be undismayed.”

‘Hope and be undismayed!’ That is what the hymn that speaks tells our ‘tempted hearts’ to say.  We must speak to our souls and give them words to think – today, today, in 2016 perhaps these words are what we must repeat:

“Give to the winds thy fears; Hope and be undismayed; God hears thy sighs and counts thy tears, God shall lift up thy head.”

Why not be dismayed?! These are times of great trouble. Persecuted Christians imprisoned, economic struggles, deceptive governments, struggles in the church, physical illnesses, and losses… of great magnitude.

Where is comfort when struggling with loss? Where is hope when we can’t see the end? Perhaps the Spirit breathes truth in the night when we speak to ourselves words from old hymns:

“Through waves and clouds and storms, He gently clears thy way; Wait thou His time; So shall this night soon end in joyous day.”

“Leave to God’s sov’reign sway to choose and to command; So shall thou, wond’ring, own that way, How wise, how strong His hand!”

“Let us in life, in death, Thy steadfast truth declare, And publish with our latest breath Thy love and guardian care.”

“Far, far above thy thought, His counsel shall appear, When fully He the work hath wrought that caused thy needless fear.”

I have today. I don’t know what tomorrow brings, so today I will think on these things and write what God shows me:“Leave to God’s sov’reign sway, to choose and to command; So shall thou, wond’ring, own that way, How wise, how strong His hand!”

“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth…;” (Is. 55:10,11).

“…It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Is. 55:11). “Through waves and clouds and storms, He gently clears Thy way; Wait thou His time; so shall the night soon end in joyous day.” 

“Will you believe Me, even in this?” I hear the Lord speak to my heart. I have a choice to make. Either a ‘faith’ choice to believe or a choice to fear and fret. I have a choice today. ” Oh, God, what does Your word say?”

“Do not fret…trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and feed on His faithfulness…commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass…rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret – it only causes harm.” (Psalm 37:1-8).

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Is. 55:8,9). 

‘Let us in life, in death, Thy steadfast truth declare, And publish with our latest breath Thy love and guardian care.” “Far, far above thy thought His counsel shall appear, When fully He the work hath wrought That caused thy needless fear.”

“Faith choices Lord! Help me make ‘faith choices – and believe Your word:

“For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, And instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; And it shall be to the  LORD for a name, For an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” Is. 55:12,13).

So today, I choose to do and believe:  “Give to the winds thy fears; hope and be undismayed; God hears thy sighs and counts thy tears, God shall lift up thy head.”

Today I choose…to praise in the waiting. To worship while I wait…

“Lord, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me. Many are they who say of me, “There is no help for him in God.” Selah   “Through waves and clouds and storms, He gently clears thy way; Waith thou His time; so shall this night soon end in joyous day.”But You. O LORD are a shild for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried to the LORD with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill.    Selah  (Psalm 3:3,4). 

Pause, and think calmly of that…

“Speak out to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, offering praise with voices [and instruments], making melody with all your heart to the Lord.” (Eph.5:19, Amplified).

 

Marriage? Like gardens…

Face to face, with the winter past, in my garden I find- what a great mess!

‘Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?’

Quite honestly, it’s time to get to work, in my garden, that is…but as I go out to begin to tackle  the weeds, my mind reminds me…”this is what your marriage needs!”

What a humbling thought, as my pride was broken down…but then the words were somehow heard, without a sound:

 an old proverb came knocking at my heart’s door:  Prov. 24:30-34, ‘I walked by the field of a lazy person, the vineyard of one with no common sense. I saw that it was overgrown with nettles and weeds, and it’s walls were all broken down.’ …

was this a big warning from Providence? And what does that mean, ‘no common sense!?’

I think of the rocks, the weeds, the old debris,  then of the wonderful flowers and  great beauty – If  only I choose to cut through all of these!

It’s hard work, but it’s worth it. Every ounce of sweat and tears brings joy and beauty, and ultimately, to the Lord, it brings Him glory! What a revelation… and the words in the Bible speak on and tell a story:

“When I saw it, (the broken down wall and garden a mess), I considered it well;  and I looked on as if it were a test.    ‘A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest; So shall your poverty come like a prowler, And your need like an armed bandit.’ (OK, so I paraphrased  a bit!)

‘I considered it well,  not only being lazy, but being quite contrary as the nursery rhyme flows-will not a beautiful garden grow! ‘Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart’ change direction, dear Lord!

My weed-like thoughts have to go!

As I pull and pull these stubborn ol’ weeds, Dear Lord Jesus  will You please take these,

take these thoughts that are angry and negative and gloomy, and will You turn them around that I might think something good, and something noble and even something nice – thoughts that might birth life – instead of destruction-that  the thoughts in my mind I will guard and protect that they will produce-  beauty and glory and honor and thanks!

God help us in our marriages! We need You  to  keep us ! Give us a ‘B’, Yes, B-that we can be a Blessing to our mate. Give us courage to ‘E’ Edify him or edify her. Give us willingness  with a capital ‘S’ that we take the time to Share our space and our thoughts, and give us a ‘T’ that we might discover the beauty of Touch!

Please help me remember what book I read that from? All I know is, this is great wisdom!

Hey! This is hard work! But it’s time to choose to ‘Do it!’ To get in there and get our hands in the dirt and put out those weeds and take out those rocks, to break up that ground and make it all soft. That the seed may be planted, and though it may die, it sprouts up like a miracle and brings up  new life.

It is time to tend the garden of our relationships with people, and God shows the way, though hard, yet quite simple.’Break up that rocky soil’ -it’s time to seek the Lord. He will show you how, the instructions are in His word!

Spend time in prayer,  read a daily Proverb: ‘a little here, a little there,’ not just one time a year! Or we will end up with our beautiful garden all overgrown with thorns!

This is not what we want! We want beauty to be born!

Does anyone know where my gardening gloves are? I’ve got a garden to tend to…oh my! Look at those thorns!

Proverbs 24:30-34,I passed by the field of a sluggard,
    by the vineyard of a man lacking sense,
31 and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns;
    the ground was covered with nettles,
    and its stone wall was broken down.
32 Then I saw and considered it;
    I looked and received instruction.
33 A little sleep, a little slumber,
    a little folding of the hands to rest,
34 and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
    and want like an armed man.

Hosea 10:12, Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.

Psalm 19:14, May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

 

“All we need is love…”

“All we need is love…”  a song from yesteryear. The Beatles bring a melody to a common thought on the human mind. Perhaps you don’t know the song; the words say it all: “All we need is love.”

It all sounds so ‘simple’ yet is far from all that. God’s love is deep, real deep – it only depends on one thing – God’s love alone, depends on Him! He is love-He is faithful. He’s trustworthy, always the same –  Jesus laid down His life for us, not because of great things we have done, – not at all , that thought’s insane!

it’s simply because God’s love is ‘other’s centered’ –always, unconditional, even non-reciprocal! He loves, because He is Love…it doesn’t depend upon us! God’s love keeps on loving even when not received, even when it is made to ‘be quiet’, even when there is no response – God’s love isn’t, “I’ll love you if you love Me.”

God’s love is not ‘give and take’. God’s love ‘Gives, then waits…’

Who is patient and suffers long anymore? God is…to be sure. Read His word and walk with His Son-not one bit of political correctness in Him, will you find.

The letters are written. The Book is complete. Gems tucked in the pages that do even more than speak. There is power in the word, that cuts to the heart…

Come to me and I will give you rest—all of you who work so hard beneath a heavy yoke. Wear my yoke—for it fits perfectly—and let me teach you; for I am gentle and humble, and you shall find rest for your souls; for I give you only light burdens.” Matthew 11:28, Jesus’ own invitation, and yet many simply delay…they believe the lies that He points His finger, “Do this”, or “Do that, or I won’t love you this day!”

That is not Jesus! That is mankind – the natural man who is nothing by himself- only conditional love to find! Are we kidding ourselves, that ‘good lies within.’ Let’s be honest- there is a self-centeredness inside… and God calls this ‘sin!’

“That’s what I mean, Christians are so judge-mental!”  you might react and cross your arms in front of your chest  but let’s get the perspective from God up above, “ALL have sinned and fall short of His glory.” (2). This includes you and me and every race! This includes the good, the bad and …you know the story.

Here is love calling, Himself, calls and speaks:  “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” This is love, in Jeremiah 31 verse three.

and God waits,…He suffers long. He is patient and kind and seeks not His own way. He is not rude, He’s not puffed up. (1).

He’s misunderstood, He’s rejected each day. He’s the ‘Father of Light’, and He loves…He loves…He is our example, moment by moment –  He is the Way.

His love is like no other. Human brains cannot comprehend. But there is no power – no power at all, to love…with ‘true’ love,…without Him.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (2).

“Yes, yes, yes, I’ve heard that before!”  I even could recite it when I was only 4!”

God’s love depends on God alone. God’s love is faithful. Beyond earthly thought, so far above…trusted always and forever – above all we can imagine! Higher than the heavens, uncomprehensible!

It was never about us, being acceptable and good… We have been messed up since Eve ate the fruit!

God’s love is always willing, to see the best about the person you can’t.

God’s love is always ready to defend the one  that is last… and the broken. He is willing for ‘the least’ to stand.

Behold! Look! Hear and glean…this is God’s love in 1 Corinthians 13!
(1) 1 Cor. 13. “God’s love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud,never haughty or selfish or rude. God’s Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. If you love someone [with the kind of love that God gives and supplies ],  you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him. God’s love never fails.” (Living Bible).

Today, can we sing a melody and even add a harmony – with 3 major chords and a minor in the middle. We sing about God’s love, God’s love is able. What the world needs now is God’s love- but how? Winter’s been long, it’s time for spring – Can we put off the old, and allow God to ‘do a new thing?’

“Come to Me, I allow you to be ‘you’. Don’t hide who you are. I even know right now, it’s true. I can take your anger and all your disappointments, I can listen to your bitterness and take all your sin – other’s can’t handle all that’s in and within!

I AM able to do exceedingly abundantly above all you can imagine, (3). I offer forgiveness and grace and mercy and compassion. Come to Me now, lay your life down. Surrender your way and the sin that has chained you. I have the key to restore and much more  than that – with the love and the grace that I give to you, you will then be able to follow through – and have that love and grace to forgive others too!

The joy of the Lord will again be your strength. Even when others refuse to love you, you will will be strengthened to let My love continually flow, yes My grace is sufficient wherever you go. ‘Surely goodness and mercy shall follow you, and you will dwell in My house as I dwell in your praises. You are washed and made clean, set aside what you ‘know’ and grow and grow in My grace, seek My word and My face!

“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (4). And the Spirit of the Lord…is love. Can you hear My voice now? “I have loved you with an everlasting love...” with lovingkindness have I drawn you? My dear child, talk with Me now.”

“When you pass through the waters I will be with you; and through the rivers, they won’t overflow you; when you walk through the fire, you won’t be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord…You are precious in My sight and I love you. ” (Isaiah 43:2-4).

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(1) 1 Corinthians 13.

(2) “John 3:16.

(3). (Ephesians 3:19,20,21)“…and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. 20Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

(4). 2 Corinthians 3:17.