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Oh the Love of God!

Oh, yes the wonderful love of God is way beyond human comprehension. Every time I am led by the Spirit to fast and pray for others and I think I am being such a huge blessing to them; alas Jesus presses upon my heart the fact that He heard and answered all according to His will. What peace follows. Not only peace, but the humbleness of realizing that not only did God hear my prayers, He also blessed me with amazing joy. This is the joy all God’s children experience when we just simply obey the prompting of the Holy Spirit, such as when we lead lost souls to Salvation. I guess what I am trying to say is that when we let the Lord use us to accomplish His will, in our minds we think more of the blessing we are doing for others. Then God goes and sends the filling of his Holy Spirit to bless us as well. Wow! What a blessing that He would use us lowly humans, even though He surely does not ‘need’ us to accomplish His purpose, but He loves to bless us. Well, enough said. It is so very hard to put these blessings of a joyful heart, that only God can give, into human words. I was not looking for a blessing for me, but I got one anyway!

I just want to thank you Lord!

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2018 in God's Love

 

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No More an Enabler

As a natural-born caregiver (oldest of 7 children), I have had tendencies in the past to attract alcoholic/addicts into my life. I used to think I had a neon sign on my forehead saying, “Here I am, abuse/use me…” My ex-husband was an abusive alcoholic/drug addict. When I decided I was leaving for good, he checked himself into a St. Luke’s rehab hospital for a 3-week program (he was back to his old ways within 3 months because he would not call on his sponsor and his ‘friends’ would not come around any more). It was during the family therapy groups there that I learned what enablers were. I also learned a lot about what it means to be an enabler from the Al-Anon program. Both parties have dysfunctional issues that need to be dealt with, mainly self-worth and who we are in Christ.

Enabling is codependency in action. An enabler is someone who responds to another’s problem by attempting to take care of the situation by making things all right. Feeling that the other person’s problem is most likely our fault, an enabler allows the behavior to determine our worth. Only when we are doing for others do we feel “I’m somebody, I’m appreciated, I have value.” This over-developed sense of responsibility makes it hard to let go and allow others to take responsibility for their own behavior and problems.

The solution to the quicksand of enabling is found in a new understanding of what God says about our relationships with others and about who God is and who we are.

Scripture makes it clear that no one is responsible for the actions of others – Romans 14:12 “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” From time to time I still need this reminder. I have learned to catch and overcome that feeling that “it must be my fault” or “I must have done something wrong” so I need to fix whatever is wrong when someone seems in a bad mood. Since I know I have done nothing amiss to them, I ask myself, “Could it be they are having a bad day, or maybe something happened to them today…” I then say a prayer for them and try to be an encouragement, even if just by giving a hug.

When the rich young ruler came to Jesus – Mark 10:17-22 “And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.” Jesus spoke truth to him, then He let him make his own decision. He did not attempt to follow the young man or manipulate his actions–though He loved him dearly.

Letting go is hard, and those who may have become accustomed to our enabling abilities will not take kindly to our letting them go. In fact, they may react in very hateful ways and we may never see them again. However, understanding that God alone is the Great Shepherd – John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”, and that He does His job well – Isaiah 40:11 “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” makes it possible for us to release even one greatly loved to the Lord. I have found that when I have let go of those who loved me for all I would do for them, I have released them into the loving arms of Jesus and His healing hand, because He loves each and every one of us as the individuals that we are.

The enabler, most of all, needs to understand who she/he is in Christ – Ephesians 1:17, 18 “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,” We are of great value because God loves us–not because of what we do, but for who we are as His beloved children. The Lord loved us before we had a chance to accomplish or fail at anything; and as a new creation in Christ Jesus, we are holy and blameless in His eyes – Ephesians 1:4 “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:” God’s love and mercy toward us (even before the foundation of the world!) are rich and great – Ephesians 2:4, 5 “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)”, and we are His children because God wills for us to be so, not because we have earned favor on our own merit – Ephesians 1:5 “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will”.

After two failed marriages, I finally took time to know who I was and who I am, and I learned that God loves me for who I am in Him, a sinner saved by Grace. He also showed me (by sending me a man who loves me more than I thought it possible to be loved by any man, when I least expected it) that I am a pretty good ole gal worth loving. I in no way deserve abuse, and I am not responsible for how someone else may be feeling or what they may be going through. Had I taken time to grow in Him in my younger days, I would have known to go to Him about the soul mate He had for me.

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2015 in God's Love

 

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Theology – The Doctrine of God-Part 3

III. His Moral Attributes – Attributes are characteristics revealed in personal interaction with mankind. Some of God’s moral attributes include:

A. Holiness – Holiness means “to be totally separated from sin and evil.” It is the perfection of God whereby He abhors that which is evil and demands purity. Because of God’s holiness, a sinful individual has no right to come into God’s presence. For this reason, God turned His back on His own Son when Jesus “became sin for us.” God is a Holy God – 1 Peter 1:16 “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” This is His greatest attribute. All other attributes of God are subject to His holiness. It is this holiness that is announced perpetually and eternally in Heaven: “And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.” (Isaiah 6:3) “And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” (Revelation 4:8)

B. Justice – God is a just God. He exists eternally as a Judge who will mete out judgment. A Judge must condemn the guilty or let the innocent go free. As a Judge, God is remunerative (rewarding) and retributive (chastening). Since God cannot act contrary to His laws, our crimes must be punished. A person must suffer for his own sin or accept God’s plan of redemption.

God is the one who has been wronged by sin, therefore He is the only one who can determine how restitution is made. God has determined that restitution be made by the shedding of innocent blood. Only Christ’s blood is innocent, so Christ died for our sins and shed His blood to satisfy the Judge of all the universe. A person who believes on God’s Son, Jesus, Christ, as their personal Saviour is then pardoned and justified from all of their sins as the Judge considers the payment to have been paid in full by His Son Jesus Christ. “And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.” (Acts 13:39)

C. Righteousness – The attribute that causes God to always do right. “That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25) This wonderful attribute of God guarantees that He will always keep His promises. It would be wrong for Him to not keep His word. This is why the believer gains so much assurance by holding to the promises of God – God is righteous and will keep His Word. “O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.” (Daniel 9:16) Because He is a righteous God, it is impossible for Him to do wrong or to lie.

D. Love – The world uses the word “love” so flippantly that many believers have a very shallow view of Biblical love. Love is concern for the welfare of another even above one’s own welfare. The world’s idea of love is usually lust or, at best, selfishness. Lust is getting. Love is giving. Lust cannot wait to get. Love cannot wait to give.

As believers, we are commanded to love other believers, our enemies, and our Lord. We are to show our love for God by keeping His commandments and for others by sacrificing our lives for them. This is the type of love that was showed to us by God. “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (1 John 3:16) “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” (1 John 4:16)

E. Mercy – Mercy is God’s compassion in not giving the sinner what he deserves. “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.” (Micah 7:18) “Mercy” comes from a Hebrew word that is the same root as the word for a mother’s womb. It is caring for someone who is completely helpless. God cares for helpless people by His moral attribute of mercy.

F. Grace – Grace is the unmerited goodness and love of God for those who have forfeited it. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” (Ephesians 2:8) Whereas mercy is God not giving us what we deserve, grace is God giving us what we do not deserve. Grace is when God gives us His enablement and power to become what we ought to be, to go where we ought to go, and to do what we ought to do. Grace is God giving us all of His resources at every experience we have. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

G. Truth – God is a God of truth. He hates every lie. “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” (Numbers 23:19) “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” (John 17:17) “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:” (Hebrews 6:18)

These are just some of God’s moral attributes that He has revealed to us through His Word.

He's got the whole world ................

He’s got the whole world ……………. (Photo credit: ClaraDon)

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2013 in Eschatology

 

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