Free To Love

She doesn’t deserve it.

He doesn’t deserve it.

It’s not like he is going to return the favor.

I was always careful of who I extended love to for the fear of getting hurt. Hurt in maybe not receiving it back. Hurt in maybe a betrayal. I was so focused on what I can get out of these relationships, and when things didn’t go my way I would feel down. I would even measure churches that way with phrases like,

I just didn’t feel loved there.

Or

I didn’t get much out of the service.

My consumerism mentality was always in full swing at churches, and I still felt emptyish. My feelings would always be dictated by the words and actions of other people. Talk about being an emotional rollercoaster! Then one day truth came in love and corrected my ailing heart. Jesus enlarged my heart so that I could be filled with His love. It was His love that began to soften this brittle heart of mine. His love that strengthened it. And His love that flows through me. God the Father is the ultimate giver, and my dependence of love was redirected to Him. The living water that I was craving began to satisfy my soul.

 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.  Eph. 3:14-19

This breath of fresh air was so exciting. I am free to love! Wow! Why would I ever let the actions of other people dictate how I feel or what I do. They are not lord of my life. Jesus is! Now I can love like Jesus. Freely. Unconditionally. With no strings attached. Instead of going to church to always get something out, now I can be:

That vessel of mercy.

That vessel of love.

That vessel of forgiveness.

I can be like the one who lives in me empowered by His Spirit! So now when people love me back…that is great! And when they don’t…it’s not the end of the world, because I am  grounded and rooted in the Father’s love. Lets let truth invade our soul, and let God fill us in faith.

You are Free to Love

 

*I believe that in order to freely love, you have to believe that you are truly loved and known by God. He knows you. He knows your name. This can be a battle of the mind, but take it by faith, since we are people who live through faith by grace. Read the letter of Ephesians, and make it personal.*

**One day I woke up and decided to say out loud “wow…I can’t believe Jesus really loves me! I am a child of God.” It totally set the tone for my day, and I felt joy! (which can be rare for me). I’m not saying I am perfect, because there are still days where I wake up feeling like crap haha But I think that is part of the battle, to really see ourselves in light of what God thinks of us, and to take it by faith…even when the feelings may not follow.**

***By the way, I am a night owl, and a part of me dies every time I have to wake up early 😉 ***

 

 

Advertisements

A Generous Father

You are worthless.

You’ll never make it.

You call yourself a Christian?!

With these thoughts flying around my head, I was feeling particularly down that spring semester. I felt that God was barely tolerating me, and that he was never pleased with anything I did. I remember walking to class feeling the weight of condemnation on my shoulder. “Well…I guess the best I can do is just hold on till the end and see what happens” I thought. It was such a pitiful outlook on life, and I believed it. Walking in class I was happy to see familiar faces of my brothers and sisters, but I kept my mask on well. God forbid they find out how I feel. I sat down and flipped my Bible open to Ephesians. Life would never be the same after that, and as we read the first chapter all heaven broke loose over me:

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according TO THE RICHES OF HIS GRACE, which he LAVISHED upon us”(Eph. 1:7-8a)

I was desperate. I felt ashamed. I felt rejected and condemned.

And God came.

The Holy Spirit hit me hard. His grace, and mercy, and love began to wash me over. He began to break every single lie that had laid hold on my life. I sat there with tears running down my face. God the Father didn’t just squeeze out some stingy grace, on the contrary, He LAVISHED it upon me. All those years I had let these lies rob me of my joy, rob me of my intimacy with the Father, and rob me of an empowering Christian life. Never again!

God showed his desire for me through Jesus on the cross!

He LAVISHES His grace on me.

He pursues me with His love and mercy, and calls me to himself! He…wants me! (I could not believe it! God actually wants me!)

For the first time in many years I could actually say out loud, “Thank you Father for loving me.” Those putrid lies from the enemy are buried with the old self…and they will stay buried. His truth actually sets us free.

Thank you Jesus!

*”Don’t base your truth on experiences or failures. Base it on His truth, and keep running after it.”- Dan Mohler*

** Dan Mohler is one of my favorite preachers on the topic of identity. A straight talk type of guy who is not afraid to back down on what the Bible says about you, despite how you are feeling or what you have done. Check him out on youTube…or don’t. It’s your life 😉 **

***Thank you Dr. Jon Marshall for being a faithful professor in class!***