You Called Me Out Of Darkness

In a biblical context, darkness is the nonexistence of light and light represents God. “God is light.” 1John 1:5  So, the dark is the absence of Him and all that He is. Love, Compassion, Forgiveness, Trust, Devotion, Truth, Mercy, Sacrifice. The dark lacks all that He is, which is: Good. This is why even outside of the Word of God, darkness is also synonymous with evil. I was an inhabitant of the dark. I  could say that my life in the dark had elements of good, but it absolutely did not have God.Thus confirming that my home was truly dark. He shone Himself and called me out of the darkness so that I would live in the Light and could also be light. “You are the light of the world.” Matt 5:14. Now, I am illuminated. I cannot return to my former darkness and remain light because I cannot be both simultaneously. It’s only one or the other.  There isn’t a middle ground.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” 1Peter 2:9-10

This does not mean that darkness is never around. It is and it attempts to overtake me ever single day. The only way I can remain lit is to to draw from Him, His Love and His Word. “Your word is… a light on my path.” Ps 119:105  I also have the ability to bring light so that the dark is disabled. “Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them.” Eph 5:11 So, all this happens and I am perfect? No, I’m not, except in His Light.”… he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Heb 10:14  When my light is dim even in my best effort to shine out of love for Him, His radiates on my behalf because He loves me. He will take over in the the Light of Grace. “For darkness (sin)will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.” Rom 6:14  I gain His Loving Light which compels me to live in it.

“for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light.” Eph 5:8

Love Always???

It all sounds really good and simple. The one thing that I didn’t mention is that the darkness is much more persistent and compelling than I ever thought. In addition, I am much more susceptible to it than I would admit. It doesn’t take very much for it to try and creep in. I used to think it was more powerful when I was weak. But I realized this last year that when you are on a spiritual high, it can still overtake you. That is what happened to me. I was totally oblivious. Now, I understand. Darkness can disguise itself. It can hide behind or obscure itself around good. I want to do good. Others want to do good to me. But darkness is insidious and it can circumvent even good intention. While pursuing good, my nature and darkness meshed and produced pain. It was painful. It’s still painful. I think I have had the same place broken over and over about 100 times. It doesn’t even get a chance to scar. But, despite the unexpected heartache, I received the most incredible blessing ever. I met Jesus as He really is. I had known Him at conversion, but this time I was introduced to Him in depth and outside of the conventional methods that I knew. I just thought of Him as the Son of God and as the sacrifice that allowed me to be forgiven. I was so deficient in my understanding of Him. He was revealed as the multi dimensional being that He really is. Each dimension: an expression of His Love. It was the best thing that ever came out of such hurt. Even now, I am fascinated by Him. I think of Him and I know that He is everything that I need and if I am in a heaven mindset, He is everything I want. I once inclined so heavily towards human acceptance. It was a desire to acquire value from other’s view of me. Placing all of my worth on their assessment of me. But the only safe investment of me is the one invested in Him. He gives me a return 1000x what I put in. He enables me to then love in a human relationship through Him. This way, when humans fail, He is the foundation. But He also loves through others and He speaks in them and through them. So, they are still an extension of that loving foundation. I understand it to mean, the ones I love here and the ones who love me, are covered by His Love which makes up for a multitude of sins. For awhile there, the dark looked like it would have a victory and it did, a short term one. Ultimately, though, it couldn’t accomplish its goal. The Light came through.

For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son. Col 1:12

 

 

 

Finish Me

This New life in Christ is everything you need it to be. It’s just not always what you want it to be. If you are in it long enough, there might be times that you wonder and maybe you doubt about your role and your purpose. If you never have these thoughts, Amen. But I’m pretty sure there are many Christians that go through these times and it is usually when you are in a period of patience or when a prayer hasn’t given you the answers you desire. Sometimes, it is because you don’t see yourself as He does. Then, you may begin to speculate some or all out second guess. If any of us go through this, He isn’t shocked or taken aback. Clearly, He desires total trust, but He’s kept us here, in a world that has a very heavy influence on us and we have very little control. This is where a seldom talked about lie has to be highlighted. That a believer’s faith alone carries the whole relationship with Him and that fluctuations irreversibly damage your destiny. This is so very untrue. This is the truth: He has incredible faith in man and it does not vary based on ours. If He did not believe in us and that we could possibly respond to His Love in Sacrifice, he would have never done it. His Love has hope in us. Way more than we do in Him. Specifically, He has godly belief in you, the one who has His Heart and gave theirs in return. He is committed to you and He never lies so His word is concrete. This is what it says: – “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.” Ps 138:8 – “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil 1:6
– “for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Phil 2:13
-” I will accomplish all my purpose.” Isaiah 46:10

He is not distant, hanging back, leveling up and down according to your faithfulness. You do need faith, a faith rooted in His Perfect Love,  but a mustard seed is enough. His Sacrifice and His Spirit is your guarantee that He is determined to finish what He started. Today, believe that He believes in you.

Love Always

————–

If this were not true, I would be better off never knowing Him. I’d have no way of maintaining an all loving, consistent relationship with Him if my faith affected His. I have hope because He has hope in me and it stems from His Perfect Love. When He decided to pursue me, He was not enamored because of an idealistic image of me. He knew and knows me. That I am not a super human and that I will falter at times. Still, His faith in me was based on His belief that even though I am a human, I do have the capacity and capability to love and to change. And this He knew was true even before I would be transformed by rebirth. The human heart is equipped to love even if it is subpar compared to His. But still, it is able to love and that is what He was after. A response based on my own imperfect heart’s desire. He cherishes that initial response because it is completely voluntary and not powered by anything except my stunned gratitude for His Sacrifice. Once we merge our hearts, He gives me all that I need to stay with Him. He wants me and this means He will do, say, give, to me any good and godly thing that will ensure this. The end result is that I am now believed in, strengthened, and empowered by the One who made me. Even if my faith drops so low, it is almost gone, He will keep on believing. The only way I experience a hitch in this connection is if I walk away. I have seen the evidence of His faith in me. It has given me the ability to love in direct opposition to my own nature. And once I love, everything else in me joins in. I don’t renege or take it back. If I said it, I really mean it. While it’s true that I could waver in my conviction about my own faith, the love He caused to grow in me, does not. This love is the power of Him in me and I can’t deny it or minimize it. The recipients of my love are forever owners of it. Which is definitely not characteristic of the former me. The way I see it, it is definitive proof of his Faith in man. That He would entrust His own Loving Spirit in us believing that it would finish His loving work in us.

He Will Fulfill His Will

One day, I was given a do over. It was the day I was reborn. He, though, loved the original me. Because of that, I didn’t lose myself. It was a restart that made me clean but I remained. His plan was to enhance me with Himself by depositing His Spirit in me so I could transcend myself and reflect Him. The result is a flawed person who has the ability to toggle between humanity and spirituality. How do you think I do with this? Am I so mature that I consistently and effectively display Him daily? I’ll answer for you. I am weak and I am strong depending on my heart. Since my heart is under my control and I have both human and spiritual influence, I can decide. How can I choose His Way when I mostly live amidst human sway?  I can’t dig deep enough in myself. How will I get there? “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any tenderness and sympathy,  complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.” Phil 2:1-2  I so desperately need my heart to gain momentum from the crazy Love He has for me. This Love is so far above any other that it has made me at times into someone I’d never inhabit in my old life. How else would a person see emptying themselves for the sole benefit of others as a desirable thing? If that isn’t the reason behind my heart, the rest of the words and teachings will seem impossible. How aware of all this do you think He is? This verse tells you. He knows. And He only needs a willing heart. One that will work it’s way into obedience out of love and respect for His Love. Then, He takes it from there.

Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status… He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death…Phil2:5-8 (I realized after I finished this piece that Philippians only has one L. There you go, flawed)

Love Always???

I am not too concerned that people know about my inability to be consistently spiritual. It is the truth and I am not an anomaly in Christianity. I’m convinced that if I love Him with my best effort, He’ll cover the gap. In fact, I believe He even empowers me to love Him. He is crazy in love with me and I know it because He’s done all the work to ensure I can be with Him forever. He’s not taking any chances. Sometimes, it’s that understanding of His desire to do everything He can to give me the perfect ending that gives my heart the need to allow Him to love in me. To push through me and love, I guess, in spite of me. This is probably unclear but I don’t know how else to explain it. He can inhabit me and bypass my human tendencies in a way that allows me to be Him. And it’s not always just the sweet, kind, empathetic behaviours or acts.  It’s love for Him and/or for others. For Him, it can be a mindset change or a closeness or worship that is unique and super honoring.  For others, it can be serving love, compassion, etc. But sometimes it’s  teaching, or cutting through the fakery and being straight up.  I’ve needed that at times. It’s just Love, Love, Love in whatever way it manifests itself to heal and promote reconciliation and bless people and Him. It is all due to Him. He wants to give me the same Spirit of Love He has and that is what overwhelms my human nature to accomplish His purpose. So, that is why I don’t care if I’m viewed as faulty Christian. He does His best work in those conditions.

A Mountain Of Peace

Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
 nor my covenant of peace be removed,”
 says the Lord, who has compassion on you.  Isaiah 54:10

In the last days, the mountain of the LORD’s house will be the highest of all–the most important place on earth. It will be raised above the other hills, and people from all over the world will stream there to worship. Micah 4:1

I can walk to this place and just say what is in my heart and all that I’m feeling. I look out and I think about Him and I just start talking.  I just need Him to hear and know that I am convinced He is mine and I am His. I don’t know how I ever thought I was actually living before I knew Him. These days, I can borrow from Him when I need to and I can lean on Him.  I can bury myself in His Wing.  It is the most life assuring feeling ever.  I pray that I can reflect that in my life to others.  The ability to survive this life is only possible with His Help.  My Peace is in His Love.  I’m here to advertise that to anyone who doesn’t know it.  So, I started really being more proactive yesterday.  I thought, I can do this in the middle of all the uncertainty. He will bless it. I remember a preacher once said in a sermon. The people are there, but like a deck of cards, you have try to find the aces.  You may reach out to 2 or 48 before you find one, but they are there.  Those souls need His Peace just as much as mine does.  I am looking to find the ones who want to travel to His Mountain and find Peace.

 

Peace Mountain

Reach inside your heart
and you will see the
great I am ; your reason to be.
Resonate with truth and courage from on high.
Surely you will reach peace mountain
on your itinerary then you will see the
son of God in flight.
Blessed mountain is there for all to reach ;
in this space you will teach.
Kathleen De Rose
————–
He is not found in only one place.  He resides with us to provide the respite we need from the lies, stress, anxiety, doubt etc. this life tries to deposit in us. His Peace is a derivative of His Love and it will push out those things that are not of Him. Then His Peace takes over and we can really live.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Love Always ❤❤❤

The Rock

The Rock

 

God, listen to my cry!

Hear my prayer!

From the ends of the earth,

I cry to you for help

when my heart is overwhelmed.

Lead me to the towering rock of safety,

for you are my safe refuge,

a fortress where my enemies cannot reach

me. Let me live forever in your sanctuary,

safe beneath the shelter of your wings!

PS 61:1-4

Where do you go here on earth to find  strength, safety, protection that is steadfast, constant and unfailingly solid? Where is that place or person or entity? Does it exist? It doesn’t. Not here. I’ll never discover it in this world. I can’t run to a geographic location to escape. There isn’t a safe place on earth. And I won’t obtain it from any person, organization, or government. Humans are just too human.  It’s a hallmark of humanity, that sin and error is never that far from any of us. What is the hope for the stability and safekeeping of our souls?  Clearly, it has to be a Source greater than us.  Not just greater, actually. It must be the Power from which all things exist so that nothing can prevail over it. This is found only in The Rock. This is what I believe completely. I’m going to hold on to this Rock and put my life on it. He is that Rock and unlike everything else, He is Constant, Unchanging, Firm, Steady because He is Perfect. He is like this in Love. I won’t make it here without Him. This place is too unstable. And people are too(including me). I don’t know why it’s surprising sometimes when instability hits. It’s like my mind and heart have regressed spiritually in reaction. It happens and then I have to relearn that The Rock is my Foundation. So, I burrow into Him as deep as I can. My heart and my soul need to feel and know the truth. That I am Secure, Shielded, Supported by The Rock that is higher than I. This is true for anyone who stands on it. On Him, we are immovable.

And they remembered that God was their Rock, And the Most High God their Redeemer. Psalm 78:35

He’s solid Rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, An impregnable castle: I’m set for life. My help and glory are in God. So trust him absolutely; lay your lives on the line for him. God is a safe place to be. Man as such is smoke, woman as such, a mirage. Put them together, they’re nothing; two times nothing is nothing. Psalm 62:6-9

Love Always???

 

Love Always Protects Its Friends

pm

True Friends are priceless. The ones whom you reserve a place in your heart and give your love to because they are a part of who you are.  I believe that is why Jesus used the word friends to describe his new relationship with His disciples. “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15  Friends are on equal footing with family. Later, we read Jesus is our brother, so we can view friends and family as interchangeable terms. Friendship is a treasure and Jesus valued us on a stratospheric level of worth. Not because of us or our actions but because he just loves.  So, He did everything for the benefit of us, his friends. He even gave up his life to ensure Love would win over Death. “No one has greater love than this—that one lays down his life for his friends.” John 15:14 He did this so that in this life we would have hope and that one day we could be with Him.  He protects us until that day.

“Love always protects…” 1Corinthians 13:7

The Greek word for “protects” isstegei,  literally means “to cover” and includes the idea of protecting and preserving.  I believe that He wants us to emulate that heart toward our friends too. A desire to honor the relationship so that if there is the possibility of harm, we don’t introduce it or entertain it.  We can love everyone, but not nurture things that can hurt our friends. We are shrewd about our words and lives so that we can be loving, accepting, forgiving, to others but not allow our friends to suffer because we neglected to protect. A friend is loyal and faithful all the time in Love which protects.

“A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.” Prov 17:17

When you have established real friends, you’ll know it by the love you have for each other.  Real friends are always a hope, but I do believe He wants us to be careful. We don’t want to do harm to our friends by our choices.

“The righteous choose their friends carefully,” Prov 12:26

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” Matt 10:16

Love will love all, but will also do no harm, so it is shrewd and careful in all relationships. Especially so that it does no harm.

“Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” Romans 13:10

I am grateful for real friends and their care of me.  It’s my intent to be that way with them. To give them of myself as Jesus did to protect them from harm and not allow them to be hurt by my actions.

Protect in Love Always ???

I was talking to somebody today that was hoping humans could just be kind. I didn’t really know what to say.  I wonder too. Sometimes, I really do not understand why a person deliberately and without provocation or reason, mistreats another. I really cannot understand it. It’s the reason Love is so messy. To layer on Love while someone is purposefully hurtful in their actions, words, lies, deceit, unreasonable behaviour, etc. The person I was having the conversation with,  wasn’t confident humans could be kind. Well, I can’t change people.  But I can convert my own heart to deal with this.  It’s going to all have to go back to the study on what Compels us as Christians. Because sometimes that is the only thing that will bypass my own desire for justice. “Christ’s love compels us.” 2Cor 5:14  Then there’s hope to Love Always.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cross Over

This mortal life will never be ours to fully direct. I have given my best effort to influence it’s course, but there are too many other variables that impact my life which are out of my control. From the start it was obvious that this is true because I did not have any power over and no one asked my preference regarding the place or family I was born into. Since then, many different factors have affected my life, my heart & my character, including natural occurrences, others & their actions/inactions, time, etc. Out of this have come many beautiful things but also many sorrowful & painful things. It seems like this life is always a mixture of the two.The beauty is easy. It’s the suffering that’s hard to accept  Because of this, we are left with a decision. How do I deal with my hurt? I only really have control over my heart and attitude and I can decide how to help both. I can self soothe, self medicate, self comfort through a number of methods that insulate, numb, distract. None of these though, will provide what I really need. I need life. Not earthly life which dying. Real life. And real life is Love. “This is is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. 1John3:16 He’s perfect for my need. He showed me how He dealt with pain. In the midst of ultimate pain on the Cross, he was offered a drink twice. Only one was laced with myrrh for pain relief  “…they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it.” Mark 15:23. He refused to be desensitized. He took on the complete experience with the intent of giving me real Life/Love. He wanted me to have freedom from the need to only exist in this life attempting to provide my own joy between the hardship. He wanted me to have His Life.  My hope for escape was accomplished by His victory over Death through His Life which He laid down out of Love. In doing so, He constructed a spiritual bridge out of Love on which I could  ?Cross? over from death to Life.

“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” John 5:24

 

Love Always???

Compelling

What is the justification a person would have to allow them to alter their life and their heart for a Being they’ve never seen and a Sacrifice they never witnessed? What is so convincing?? Fear, pressure, religion, guilt, appearance, reward,self righteousness  love. All of these reasons? Some of them? One of them? None of them? You know. There’s only one powerful and persuasive reason. His Love. A love that is incomparable and immeasurable since it was willing to give itself up for it’s haters. Love’s hope was that it could break through willing hearts and move them to join with Him. It worked. Many people made that transformation as their own heart responded to His. So, I wonder, if at first I followed Him because of His Love, why are there moments that I am moved more by those first 7 reasons? His Love and the power that it displayed when it irreversibly  changed me. “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” “Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” 1 John 4:6

It sort of gives me comfort that I am not alone in being occasionally sidetracked by false motivation. Even the Corinthians needed to remember that as a new person, we are not defined by the past or by the world. Therefore, I am not obligated to be or do anything according to the standards of this world or the religious world. My life is fueled by His Love, and it does not matter how anyone else perceives me. I must act, speak, pray, dream, think, in accordance with the measure of love He has given me.  Since it is limitless, and undeserved, it is capable of prompting me to live a life that is like His.

His Love is completely able to produce in me the desire to be Him while I am here on earth and that includes speaking the truth in love about-

Obedience: “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.” John 14:23

Sin: “For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.” Matt 15:19

Love: “No one shows greater love than when he lays down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

Righteousness: “not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.” Phill 3:9

His Love is meant to be the exclusive driver of my life, not anything or anyone else.

Love Always???

On Purpose (less)

I am not a random occurrence.  A life that aimlessly exists, using up resources without reason. No, I have a purpose. I was created intentionally for a cause. I do not waver in my understanding of this since He has affirmed that this is true.

“.. all who claim me as their God,

… I have made them for my glory.

It was I who created them.” Isaiah 43:7

 

“I have been so amazingly and miraculously made. Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this.” Psalm 139:14

 

There is a very significant point to my life. It is good and right that I know this and that His design for my life is already planned.

 

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship,created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

 

I say this to you and I believe it so there doesn’t seem to be an issue because I appear to be in agreement with Him. Yet, there is…a…problem.  In my mind I’ve set out my plan and purpose according to my current understanding, but I am not the Planner. I somehow bypassed my conviction about this. I prayed, I listened, I received some direction and I started to move forward with my plans. Then 2 days ago, I was seeking advice about this ministry from a friend and he challenged me to purposefully be “purposeless”. What the?!!! This concept is hard for me. I want to map things out once I have some information and I never do anything last minute. His point, though, was that my purpose is not mine, it is His. This isn’t totally easy to grasp because I did pray and I was open to “signs” and also input from people. I think the real hitch is when I insert my micro plans in the blank spaces of His greater Plan because I want to get moving faster. There is only one Plan and my role in it is: “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” John 6:29. And:

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” Matthew 22:37-39  He will take my faith in His Love for me and my belief in His Word and He will fulfill His purpose. I just need to get out of the way.

“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;

your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.” Ps 138:8 (BTW,This removal of self includes unbelief in His Love that has made us invaluable. Those thoughts are not in His Plan)

Love/Truth

Truth doesn’t have to hold hands with Love. It can be all by itself and stand alone since it has strength as fact. Love, though, has to be married to Truth. Love can’t lie. Once deceit or lies are introduced, then Love dies. Love is incompatible with falsehood since Love seeks the good of others and dishonesty is self seeking. I’m super confident of this when I look at Him because He defines Love. “… God is Love.” 1John 4:8  So, if He is Love, I can replace God with Love in these verses:

Love is not a man, that He should lie. Numbers 23:19

“…it is impossible for Love to lie. Hebrews 6:18

Also the Love of Israel will not lie. 1Sam 15:29

I want that Love. I need that Love. So, do you. Real Love. True and Honest.  We can fall in it and be confident that it wants what is complete, good, and right for us. I can’t live without it. It’s hard for me to believe anyone can. I want to know that kind of Love and I want to give that kind of Love. Truth in Love and Love in Truth is straight from Heaven and who wouldn’t want to be otherworldly in their Love?  Love, because of it’s truth and purity, can bring forth things that were impossible before. Forgiveness, sacrifice, repentance, transformation, miracles, death to life. You never have to seek truth in love. It’s always been right there. Love just can’t pretend or hide what is true. So, Love will always endure as it remains grounded in what is genuine and authentic. And the foremost Truth in Love is that He is irrevocably in Love with us and because of it, we can also love like Him.

“… let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”  1John 4:7

“… let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1John 3:18

Yes, True Love exists. It landed on earth through the Cross and then moved from there into any willing heart.

Love Always ????????