Romans 8:37-39 (NIV)
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
My grandfather was a godly man. He lived a humble life. He loved his family wholeheartedly. When he would pray, it was with deep intensity. It was clear even in the simplicity of saying grace that his heart truly knew and loved the Lord. The last time our family visited my grandparents, while preparing to leave, the Lord impressed it upon my heart that this would be our last visit all together. I told my husband to stop the car and got out to hug him one more time. He whispered in my ear, “You know how much I love you and I always will.” Tears stung my eyes as I hugged more tightly feeling the frailness of the man who had been our family rock for so long. A couple weeks later, I received the call that my granddad was terribly ill but the doctors felt after surgery that he would fully recover. In my heart, the Lord told me to go. My grandmother, who also was a godly woman and responsible for my introduction to Jesus, met me outside the hospital doors. She wanted to talk before going to meet the rest of the family. We sat on a bench under a tree, she took my hands and gently whispered, “He is not coming home.” I leaned in close and said, “I know.” Everyone else in the hospital waiting room were counting on his recovery and return, but she did not want me to be upset. At this time, I was very pregnant. It was clear that everyone was sure that dad and grandpa would come home soon.
The doctors performed the surgery and he did wake up. Grandpa spoke to everyone but they did not want him to know I was there as the worry of me traveling in my condition might upset him. I was okay with it. Tomorrow – I could be his surprise. Well, tomorrow would not come and later that night we were called back to the hospital. As the family left me alone with him, my aunt gave me direct instructions. I was not to tell him it was okay if he wanted to go. I was to be positive and upbeat. So the ICU nurse and I would share my final moments with my grandfather, I held his hand. He looked so small and weak. This was not the way a man of his caliber should live. I leaned in really close to him. I told him that if he saw Jesus and heard the Lord calling him that that He was to run as fast as he could to the Lord and never look back. We would miss him and we love him but that we would all be okay. When I looked at the nurse who heard my every word, tears were running down her face. She had been praying that for him too as each person before me had come in begging him to stay and pull through. Early the next morning, my aunt went to get coffee and her daughter a bathroom break, which was the only time that grandpa had been left alone, he made a run for it and I believe Jesus caught him in the air. There is peace in such times when we know God’s Love and are confident in it. My grandpa knew God’s Love so death was his victory.
My grandfather lived to be more than 90 years old. His life was filled with many ups and downs. He was not perfect just forgiven. He was a good man with a good heart. He was humble and working. He loved me. I know that he loved me unconditionally. I miss him terribly even now more 13 years later. Oh how much more God loves us. I am asking myself, do I long for the Lord as I do this human person who gave me so much love and devotion? I should love and desire God more. We all that one person or group of people who love us the most. We depend on them, believe in them yet they are imperfectly flawed just like us. Imagine the possibilities if we put the same amount of love and attention into our relationship with the Lord, learning His Character, living in intimacy, try to imagine the unimaginable potential of perfect love.
When I think about God’s Love today, I am convinced that it is the only thing that we can know and become confident in. I do not know the plans that He has for me. I must seek Him wholeheartedly to discover them. (Jeremiah 29:11-13) He tells me that every single day of my life is prerecorded before I am born. (Psalm 139:16) The Lord tells me that I am predestined that I was chosen according to His Plan that works everything out to conformity with the Purpose of His Will which will always glorify God. (Ephesians 1:11-12) Although I do not know what He is doing all the time or why He allows certain things to happen, it says that, “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” (Romans 8:37) It is when we know that God loves us completely unconditionally that we can accept the ups and downs of life as progress allowing our soul to prosper through them all.
Are you convinced today? Do you believe that God loves you unconditionally? Love tainted by the world is reluctant to trust anything. Love has been convoluted and polluted to the point it is unrecognizable. So much so that even in goodwill, people are hesitant to accept a handout or anything that is called free. There is no such thing. This ideology has penetrated church thinking as well. Religion makes us do things even if it is only changing our appearance to earn the grace of God telling us we must look the part. It has become a performance rather than a procedure that opens the heart, repairing the breaches, so it can be filled with God’s Grace and Overflowing Love to be released as Light in the dark world. Yet in the end, when the church doors close, the music stops, the performance ends, and you are all alone left to deal with life on your own, do you know that God loves you even then. When you are alone, tempted, confused, overwhelmed, are you still confident that the Love of God is intact and fully operational? See whatever we do “for” God is meaningless outside of the acceptance of His Love. Completely. Unconditionally. Fully. Without a single reservation. God loves you. To live by faith and have confident hope requires spending some time in His Presence, studying His Word and communing with the Holy Spirit until we are completely convinced that God loves us. That is what we must know to become more than conquerors in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 2:3-7 (NIV)
Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.
Love is a commitment. How does the word describe love? Well, I looked it up. It calls love a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another. A feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection. Passion or desire. To like very much. This is the world’s idea of love. What does God say about love?
Mark 12:30-31 (NIV)
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
John 15:12-13 (NIV)
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
It is obvious that the way the world loves is different than the Love of God. God’s Love is fully comprehensive. It is a commitment of one’s entire life – mind, soul and body to love that which is the subject. This kind of love will impact every other love in your life once accepted. To experience the Love of God and His Fulfillment allows us to love others the same way without expecting perfect relationships from imperfect people. The Love of God fills every void in our heart so we can love others the same way from His Love. God’s Love completes us when we allow it to fill every void in our life. However, to approach God with less than our whole life will always leave breaches in our faith and confident hope because if we do not know God’s Love and believe enough to accept it. His Purpose and Plan for our life can never be carried out to perfection. It is in yielding our life to Jesus and then to others that we can experience the fullness and completion of God’s Love in us and for us. This is the birthplace of confident hope.
Right before our son had his transplant, he underwent three rounds of radical chemotherapy. The goal was to wipe out as many cancer cells as they could before extracting his bone marrow. The months that it had taken to obtain insurance approval to move forward with the procedure opened the window of relapse that we knew would happen. The doctors just wanted to reduce it as there was no time to continue treatment until it was gone. When the approval came, it was like a whirlwind of activity with many appointments, hospital stays, and paperwork. Our son’s life was completely in God’s Hands at this point, my eyes were on the finish line. It really didn’t matter the twists and turns. I was confident that we were going to win no matter what if we could just get moving. Well, the nurse came running down the hall with the latest scan results. She was teary and declaring the work of the Lord (literally), his scans were clear. Now most of the time, this would have been a cause for immediate rejoicing. But my eyes were not on this battle, I was set on winning the war. Sometimes we forget that this life is only a test and trial to qualify for the finish, when Jesus says, “Well done my faithful servant, enter in.” The Lord is challenging my heart today to approach every detail of my life with the same focus and intensity of seeing His Promises come to pass in every area of my life not just the matters of life and death.
Romans 8:5-8 (NIV)
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
To successfully live in God’s Peace and Prosperity is to accept God’s Love completely. We must know that He loves us no matter what is going on around us. To be convinced that no matter what the weapon is that we will win. I believe that healing comes three ways: God does it medically, miraculously or mercifully. Modern medicine is of God. Miracles are definitely from the same. There are times when God’s Mercy intervenes. To those who know the Love of God all three become acceptable outcomes. Our love for God should never be influenced by our external circumstances. This is accomplished by taking what we think about God and refining it with His Word. Taking what we know about God and putting it into practice, this is called wisdom. If we have no intention of loving God with our heart, mind, body and soul – there is no point. But for those who decide to know the Love of God and live in it – watch out miracles will begin to happen. Revival will break out around you. Renewal will begin in you. Your life will be restored contrary to the influences of the world around you. Are you living according to what you know or what you see? Faith and hope are required to live in God’s Love because it is not a tangible resource but an invisible hope.
The Holy Spirit helps in our weakness. (Romans 8:26) Have you given Him anything to work with? Do our thoughts and words line up with God’s Word or the world’s? This year, I want to be like a good soldier who does not get tangled up in civilian affairs. What we will wear? What we will do? How we will provide? All these things promote worry, stress, fear and doubt. When God places a desire in our heart that we know is of Him, He will work out all the details for our good. We must only know that His Love is real, faithful and true to produce the kind of self-control that commands our flesh led by His Spirit. To live on purpose is to know the Love of God and live in it. He has given us His Spirit to help us in the fight.
Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Do you know that God loves you today? Not based on who you are or what you do but solely because God chose to love you. This can change our perception of life completely when we seek God with our whole heart rather than just the broken pieces. God will take our life apart and put it back together according to His Plan and Purpose when we surrender it all to Him. All of it. Not just the parts threatening but all of it. I must be totally convinced that God loves me to have faith and confident hope because it comes at the cost of all of me. My prayer closet is the portal to a purpose-filled life and complete satisfaction, if I choose to leave it all right there at His Feet and walk according to His Word, Will and Way. I will be faced throughout this life with many tests and trials with only one purpose to know the Love of God and choose to live in it. There is no gray area. We love God or we do not. The choice is made much simpler when we experience His Love and grow confident in it. Those who do will celebrate victory after victory living as more than conquerors from Glory to Glory in Him. God’s Love is the Truth that all faith is based on that is our confident hope allowing us to live in the Light of it always.
John 3:16-21 (NIV)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.