LOVE IS NOT BOASTFUL

boastful_person_tshirts-r585dd41b1be7474f98d285669ab68c8d_804g5_512Love is not boastful

boast·ful – ˈbōs(t)fəl/
adjective – showing excessive pride and self-satisfaction in one’s achievements, possessions, or abilities.

It’s hard to show someone else love when we’re too focused on ourselves.  It’s difficult to carry on a conversation with someone when we’re thinking of all the great things we did that day.  We’re not listening to them, we’re just waiting for them to stop talking so we can share how awesome we are.  And no one has a chance to say, “Good job!” because we’ve already told them what a great job we’ve done.  Ever met that type of person? Ever BEEN that type of person?  I think we all have been honestly.

Matter of fact, Facebook and Instagram have become a perfect avenue for boasting.  I know that’s hard to consider, it’s hard for me too.  I look at things I’ve posted just this week and have to ask myself…was I being boastful?  I was actually tempted to skip this section in my “Love Is” category because the more I thought about what boasting is, the more I realized I do it!  That’s what I love about the word of God though.  It reveals things in us that need to be dealt with.  God says to love and He says that love is not boastful, so if that’s in me, I want it gone. Not addressing that in myself is being prideful and that’s the next thing that God says love is NOT.

To sum it up, we can’t glorify God if we’re busy glorifying ourselves.

Let someone else praise you, not your own mouth – a stranger, not your own lips. – Proverbs 27:2

Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the LORD.” – 1 Corinthians 1:31

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up in honor. – James 4:10

FIND OUT FOR YOURSELF

your-talent-is-gods-gift-to-you_what-you-do-with-it-is-your-gift-back-to-godToday I was reading about when the queen of Sheba came to Jerusalem to test King Solomon.  She had heard about his fame and wanted to know if there was really any truth to all this.  The Bible says she talked with him about everything she had on her mind and Solomon had answers for all of her questions.

When the Queen realized how wise the King was and the incredible palace he had built, she was overwhelmed.  She was amazed at everything about him.  So much so, that she “exclaimed to the King, “Everything I heard in my country about your achievements and wisdom is true!  I didn’t believe what was said until I arrived here and saw it with my own eyes.  In fact, I had not heard the half of it!  Your wisdom and prosperity are far beyond what I was told.” Then she goes on to say, “Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, He has made you king so you can rule with justice and righteousness.

After this, she gave the King gifts and more gifts that helped build the Temple of the Lord, and make instruments for the musicians. In closing, it says that King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba whatever she asked for.  This is found in 1 Kings 10:1-13.

Now, the question is: are you just sitting there listening to someone else tell you about the King of Kings (which is probably just the half of it) or are you visiting Jesus yourself?  You’ve heard of His greatness, you’ve heard how He has all the answers, you’ve heard that He is the way to eternal life…but have you talked to Him?  Have you seen this with your own eyes?  Are you just going by what you’ve been told or have you asked Jesus what the plan is for YOUR life?  Have you told him what’s on your mind? Have you asked Him why you’re struggling the way you are? Have you asked Him why God made you the way He did?

And if you’re saying yes, I have talked to Him directly…then have you done the next thing the queen did and given Him your gifts, your talents, abilities, time, finances, etc. to be used to magnify His Kingdom?  If not, do so and watch your life begin to change.  Watch joy and prosperity begin to flow through you. Watch family members lives be saved, changed, and transformed. See your life filled with love, justice and righteousness because of God’s love for you!  Ask Him for anything and it will be given to you. Matthew 7:7

Stop taking everyone else’s word for it and find out for yourself.

LOVE IS NOT JEALOUS

jealousy-2Love is not jealous                                                       jeal·ous -ˈjeləs/  adjective – feeling or showing envy of someone or their achievements and advantages, feeling or showing suspicion of someone’s unfaithfulness in a relationship, fiercely protective or vigilant of one’s rights or possessions.

I’m pretty sure I made myself a pro at this one!  I learned rather quickly (but not quickly enough) that love is NOT jealous.  When my husband (Reese) and I were first married I had so much jealousy in me I’m surprised I had room for any love!

I was jealous when he got called into full time MINISTRY and was able to quit his other job while I was still working at an office.  I was jealous of women who were talented enough to be up on stage with him during WORSHIP.  Yep, I said it…worship.  I was jealous of any time he was away from home at all which was pretty much just at the CHURCH or for the church.  Sounds like a straight out ploy of the devil, don’t ya think?  Or was it just a lack of self confidence?  I was making myself miserable because of jealousy. I loved my husband dearly, but wasn’t expressing it to him at all because I was too busy wanting things that didn’t belong to me.

I don’t know exactly when things changed for me in that area but I know how.  I asked God to search my heart and point out anything in me that was offensive to Him.  Jealousy was revealed rather quickly.  I began asking God what my purpose was.  He showed me first of all, that I am in the full time ministry as well and I am to serve beside my husband.   I was reminded that God handpicked my workplace out for me and that I was to be a light there for Him.  I had no idea that once that purpose was fulfilled He would allow me to work from home and be our children’s teacher, making that part of my full time ministry as well.

My eyes were opened up more and more as God began revealing the jealousy in my heart.  The women up on stage, they were using their talents to worship God and I wanted it so I could be closer to my husband! How ignorant is that?  On top of that, jealousy was blinding me of my own gifts and talents.  (I would discover those later) but for now, I was free to praise and worship God with a loving heart again.

The next thing I learned was that Reese’s time away from us was spent serving God…so really…I was jealous of God!  God, the One who GAVE me my husband.  How could I not be willing to share him?  Jealousy caused me to make my husband feel bad when he would leave for conferences or worship events or youth functions, etc.  He wasn’t even able to fully focus on what God wanted from him because of MY jealousy.  Once I saw this for what it was, my heart began to change.  Praise God my husband was patient with me during this time and still is.

I’m not saying I’ve perfected this, but I can definitely recognize it quicker and shut it down faster.  Just this past weekend he has been at a men’s retreat that I was actually excited for him to go on!  And I’ve also encouraged him to sign up for another one next year.  He will actually be going to one of my favorite places in the country but instead of being jealous, I’m praying about how God is going to move in his life and ours because of it.

Getting rid of jealousy has caused me to have more love for other people, my husband, myself, my children, and my God.  Love is NOT jealous.

Love is patient and kind.  Love is not jealous… 1 Corinthians 13:4

BECAUSE HE SAID SO

he said so“This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the One He sent.” – Jesus

“I am the bread of life.  Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again.  Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” – Jesus

“I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” – Jesus

“For God so loved  the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” – Jesus

“What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man. When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in Heaven.” – Jesus

“God’s light came in to the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.  All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.” – Jesus

“Love your enemies! Do good to them. Lend to them without expecting to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for He is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate.” – Jesus

“Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Jesus

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” – Jesus

John 6:29; John 6:35; John 3:3; John 3:16; Luke 6:22,23; John 3:19-20; Luke 6:35-36; Matthew 20:26-28; John 16:33

 

WHO IS IN YOUR MIRROR?

cat and lionWhat do you see when you look in the mirror?

A.   Are you filled with disgust?  Do you see every imperfection, everything you want to change?  Are you wondering how you got there and wishing you could go back somewhere else?  Are you seeing every failure and unaccomplished goal in your life?  Do you just see tears from a shattered heart? Or…

B.  Do you see what God sees?  His beautiful creation, handcrafted into His perfection.  Do you see someone who is an overcomer, a finisher, a conqueror of all things!  Do you see beauty inside and out no matter what magazines, or Hollywood, or your peers may say or think?  Do you see someone achieving their dreams, reaching their goals, and doing whatever God has called them to do? Do you see someone who is so special and loved so deeply that someone else DIED for them?

Who are you seeing in the mirror…because that’s who you are!  So if you’re not seeing yourself as described in section B….go look again! You have to see yourself as God sees you and BELIEVE IT.

If the enemy can get you to see yourself as ugly, worthless, poor, and unloved…you won’t feel like you can accomplish anything…especially for God.  The enemy came to steal your dreams, kill your hope, and destroy your future.  Is that what you want?

Jesus did NOT die on the cross so that you could continue on with a “poor me”, “nobody will ever love me”, “I’m worthless” attitude.  No…Jesus died to give you life and give it to you more abundantly!

Now…who is in your mirror?

“The thief cometh not, but that he may steal, and kill, and destroy: I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.” – John 10:10

 

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE GOD

bigdreamsEven when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping – believing that he would become the father of many nations (even though he was childless).  Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise.  In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God.  He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever He promises.  Romans 4:18, 20

When you look at your children and think they’re a lost cause…you’ve just underestimated God.  Because when you think for a second that any person can never change…you’ve underestimated God.  When you believe you’re so far in debt there’s no way you’ll ever get out…you’ve underestimated God.  If you think you can’t ever be loved by anyone…you have most certainly underestimated God.  I could go on…but I think you get the picture.

There are many people in the Bible who wouldn’t have had their success story if they had underestimated God;  Moses, Joseph, Esther, Jonah, and even Job!  Not to mention Ruth and Rahab who didn’t underestimate God and they didn’t even consider Him THEIR God but they chose to follow.

I would not be who I am if I had underestimated what God could do in my life.  If I had left it up to my own capabilities, my own thoughts of who I was or ever will be, and stayed on the path that I created for myself, I would still be a broken soul, lost in darkness, searching for happiness in all the wrong places.  But no…that’s not the God I follow!  He is Almighty, All Knowing, Magnificent, my King, my Savior, my Best Friend, my Comforter, my Healer, my Redeemer.  He is my All In All, my Provider, my Hope, my Peace, my Joy, my Love.  And He is that for YOU!  Just believe it and don’t underestimate what He can do!

WISDOM – YOU NEED IT!

wisdomGod told King Solomon he could have whatever he wanted, and he asked for wisdom.  I believe he already had more wisdom than most people though because who else would have been smart enough to ask for that??  He became the wisest King that ever lived and God gave him riches and fame as a bonus!  That was one wise request!  We all need wisdom…but what is it?

Wisdom is beneficial and will multiply your days and years!  Wisdom is having good judgment, making smart decisions. Wisdom can save you from punishment and disasters. Wisdom does away with pride. Wisdom is feeding yourself with the book with red letters, not fifty shades of grey.  Wisdom is accepting constructive criticism and being even-tempered.  Wisdom is knowing what to say, when to say it, and knowing when to just be silent.  Wisdom is fear of the Lord and knowledge of the Holy One.  Wisdom is loving yourself enough to acquire more wisdom by asking for advice, listening to instruction and never turning your back on knowledge.  Wisdom is Jesus Christ…we all need it because we all need Him.

But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God… God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; He made us pure and holy, and He freed us from sin. –             1 Corinthians 24;30

Wise words come from the lips of people with understanding, but those lacking sense will be beaten with a rod. Wise people treasure knowledge, but the babbling of a fool invites disaster. – Proverbs 10:13-14

Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. – Proverbs 11:2 NLT 

Wisdom is enshrined in an understanding heart; wisdom is not found among fools. – Proverbs 14:33 NLT

A wise person is hungry for knowledge while the fool feeds on trash. -Proverbs 15:14 

If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise. Fear of the Lord teaches wisdom; humility precedes honor. -Proverbs 15:31, 33 NLT

From a wise mind comes wise speech; the words of the wise are persuasive. – Proverbs 16:23 NLT

A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent. – Proverbs 17:27-28 NLT

Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom.  Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment.  Wisdom will multiply your days and add years to your life. If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer. – Proverbs 9 – 12

To acquire wisdom is to love yourself; people who cherish understanding will prosper. – Proverbs 19:8 NLT

Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. – Proverbs 19:20 NLT

If you stop listening to instruction, my child, you will turn your back on knowledge. – Proverbs 19:27 NLT

10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for wisdom. 11 So God replied, “Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have not asked for a long life or wealth or the death of your enemies— 12 I will give you what you asked for! I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has had or ever will have! 13 And I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life! – 1Kings 3:10-13

THE EASY LIFE

Finish-the-Race-Acts-2024Ever lose that burning passion to follow God? That desire to rise up early in the morning, seek Him and then pursue every unbeliever you know?

Don’t you ever just want to go back to the “easy life” where you were free to do whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted.  Ever miss those times where everyone was your “best” friend and you had plenty because you were in with the crowd, and you all had each other’s backs?

Don’t you sometimes miss where doing “whatever” caused you to wake up with a crazy hangover that you got to brag to all your “best” friends about?  And since you could do it whenever you wanted you were up until 4 am but it was okay because you didn’t have to be at work until 6.  And don’t you miss when your “best” friend stole your boyfriend and it was cool because then you could share both of their dirty secrets with all your other “best” friends?

Don’t you ever just wish you could go back to those days of innocent fun?  Those days where you didn’t feel like you were offending people with your beliefs.  Besides, you weren’t hurting anyone but yourself. Well, except your friends, your parents, possibly your kids and spouse (or future ones), your “best” friend and ex-boyfriend, your employer, oh and every person you could have led to salvation. But really no one else was affected.  So don’t you want to go back to those days?

Sadly, some of you are still saying yes.  Hopefully more of you are saying no.  I’m not sure what your answer is, but I know mine and I shall not be like a dog returning to it’s vomit or a washed pig that returns to the mud.  (2 Peter 2:22)

I choose to stay on the course set before me and finish the race on fire for Christ.  I will not lose my passion, I will not desire the things of this world and I will guard myself and my family from allowing any evil into our home.  I will show my children the love of the Father.  I will teach them His ways, I will direct them onto the right path so that when they are older they will not leave it. (Proverbs 22:6)  When criticism comes, I will hold strong to my faith and my convictions and I WILL hear the words, “Well done, thy good and faithful servant!”

Don’t lose sight of what is to come!

DO YOU KNOW HIS FATHER?

Do you know jesus2Do people who know you, know who your Father is?

Imagine a little boy standing somewhere alone and a stranger comes  up and says, “Hey, your daddy told me to pick you up”.  The boy says, “Do you know my name?” and the stranger says, “No, but I know your dad”.  And the boy replies, “If you don’t know my name, then you don’t know who my daddy is!”

If I really know someone….especially someone well enough to go pick up my child for me.  They will know my child’s name.  If I want to have a close relationship with somebody, I need to get to know them.  I need to ask about their children and grandchildren, their spouse, their job, their life.  I can’t just assume we are in a friendship if I know nothing about them.

When I was growing up, all my friends knew who my daddy was. Most of them even had a crush on him. 🙂 He was our little league coach for many years, attended all my basketball games, came to all my awards assemblies, and we worked together for over 15 years. You couldn’t know me and not know my daddy.

You can’t know Jesus without knowing who is Father is.  You can’t know His Father without knowing who Jesus is.  To have an intimate relationship with the Lord, you need to spend time getting to know every aspect of who He is.  Most of us know that God created the world, but do you know exactly what order He created it in and why?  We have heard about Jesus dying on the cross, but do you know He is God in the flesh?  Do you know that He left His throne in Heaven knowing that He would die a horrible death and that He did that for YOU?  Do you know where He was for those 3 days he was dead?  When He returned, do you know He left the Holy Spirit?  Do you know who the Holy Spirit is and why it’s so important to listen to Him?

Sure you can find out answers to these questions by listening to a preacher once a week or by reading a devotion written by someone else.  I can find out all about Sandra Bullock and her kids by watching the news but that doesn’t mean I have a friendship with her or even know her at all.

Have you ever played that Telephone game?  Where one person tells someone something like “I have a purple butterfly” and they have to pass it along through other people?  The last person says what they think the first person says and it comes out something like, “Mike has a black eye”.

You can not rely on others to tell you what God wants to say to YOU.  You need to spend time getting to know the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit by reading the Word and listening to God yourself.  Find out what God wants you to know about Him.

“I am one witness, and my Father who sent me is the other.”  “Where is your father?” they asked.  Jesus answered, “Since you don’t know who I am, you don’t know who my Father is. If you knew me, then you would know my Father, too.”John 8:18-19

 

LOVE IS KIND

kindnessLove is kind
kind·ness ˈkīn(d)nəs/
noun  – the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.
Love is being kind to your neighbor.  Get to know the people around you.  The store cashier, your waitress, your actual next door neighbor.  Be friendly, talk to them, ask them how their day is.  Be generous, pay for the person’s coffee behind you in line.  Mow your neighbors lawn.  Keep an eye on their house when they are out of town.  Be considerate.  Don’t park in front of their mailbox or let your dog do his business in their yard.  Let someone go ahead of you at the grocery store.  There are many ways to show love to our neighbors through kindness. I believe, however, that we can get in such a hurry to get our own things done that we don’t stop to even consider showing kindness towards others.  How can you be kind to a neighbor today?
Love is being kind to your family.  Many times our families seem to get the wrath of our frustrations.  If we’re mad at our boss, we don’t normally yell at them, instead we go home and take it out on our children or our spouse.  We don’t realize that our day would get much better if we came home and showed kindness to our family instead.  I believe many of us just assume our family should know we love them so we don’t put any effort into keeping them in our lives like we may do with friends.  Yet when our children move away, or when our spouse is tired of being treated wrong, we’re going to really wish we had shown them more love by being kind.  Love on your family today through kindness.
Love is being kind to God.  Yes, it’s true, we can treat God with un-kindess and many people do.  Using His name in vain, throwing it out there like a curse word.  Blaming Him for things that we have brought on ourselves.  Only talking to Him when we really need something.  We need to be kind to God just like we need to be kind to our friends and family.  We need to have a relationship with God which comes from visiting with Him daily, loving on Him, showing Him respect, praising Him for ALL things.
God has gone way out of His way to show us His love through kindness. (Remember, kindness is the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate).  God came to earth in the flesh to befriend us sinners.  Giving His life as a sacrifice for ours, which was an extremely generous gift!  And He is considerate of the fact that we just can’t do it on our own so He allows Himself to live inside of us to be our helper.  God is so kind! Shouldn’t we be?

Love it patient, love is kind….

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. –                            1 Corinthians 13:4-7

LOVE IS PATIENT

patience-quoteLove is patient
1pa·tient adjective \ˈpā-shənt\
: able to remain calm and not become annoyed when waiting for a long time or when dealing with problems or difficult people
: done in a careful way over a long period of time without hurrying

Love is being patient with your child.  I’m just assuming your child is many years behind you, so why expect them to know everything you know?  How long did it take you to learn to tie your shoes, to read and write, to figure out which friends to choose?

Children have a slower response time than adults.  Give them a minute to comprehend what you’re saying before you scold them for not listening.  We also expect them to run to keep up with us and they have to because their legs are more than likely shorter than ours.  But why don’t we slow down for them?  What’s our hurry?  Is it because you’re running late all the time?  Check out “God Margins” parts 1, 2, and 3 here.  This should help you out in that area.

Love is being patient with your spouse.  They are of the opposite sex. Therefore, they think differently than you do, so it may take you a while to understand where they’re coming from.  My husband is extremely patient with me, and I’m so grateful for that.  I know he hasn’t quite figured me out (still working on that myself) but he has learned the concept of patience and helped me with it as well.

Love is being patient with unbelievers.  You can’t force someone into believing in Jesus, so just be there for them.  That way when they are ready, they know they can come to you.  How long was it before you gave your life to Christ?  For me, it was 25 years.  What if God hadn’t been patient with me?  What if the people He placed in my life to lead me to the Lord hadn’t been patient with me?  I don’t want to even consider where my life would be right now.

Love is patient in LIFE!  For example, traffic.  My husband touched on this in his sermon yesterday.  We get in such a hurry driving that we’re willing to pull over onto the shoulder, where all the debris is, just to get ahead.  We’re willing to put ourselves and others in a dangerous situation because we’re not patient with who’s ahead of us.  We need to slow down and understand that we will get where God wants us to in His timing.  We just need to be patient in getting there.  What better way to show God how much we love Him than by being patient and trusting Him to do things His way instead of our own?

Love it patient and so much more, but can we at least start there?

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. –                            1 Corinthians 13:4-7

WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS?

20141001_103336We attended a minister’s conference this week at Andrew Wommack’s new facility in Woodland Park, Colorado.  The area was absolutely the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen.

 

oxygenWe rode the train up to the top of Pike’s Peak and it was breathtaking!  So much so that we spent $8 on a can of compressed oxygen!

 

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The trip was incredible though, every bit of it.  Being in the middle of God’s magnificent handiwork and seeing His beauty at its finest was an absolute plus!

 

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Being surrounded by hundreds of people worshiping our Lord Jesus Christ together in one accord was the cherry on top!  The excitement in the room as we sang praises to God was overwhelming!

 

The speakers, I believe, were handpicked by God.  The words of wisdom they spoke will stay with me forever.  I came expecting great things and I recieved them! So I just wanted to share with you a handful of nuggets I took away with me.  (I added links to their ministry websites as well.)  Enjoy!

20140930_212129“When you get to a place where you have to depend on God, that’s a good place to be!”

“You have to come to the end of yourself before you come to the beginning of God”

“God wants to use you more than you want to be used by God.  Ask God to make you usable.” – Andrew Womack

duane sheriff“God isn’t interested in the size of your church, He is interested in the size of your heart for the people He sent to you”

“Spiritual burnout doesn’t come from what you’re doing, but how you do what you do.” – Duane Sheriff

bob nichols“Where you dwell is your Heaven or Hell”

“When God is all you have, you find out God is all you need.” – Bob Nichols

 

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“You can’t lead right, if you don’t believe right” – Creflo Dollar

“Difference between a self-serving leader and a servant leader is how they take feedback” – Creflo Dollar

“Bad we deserve, but don’t get is mercy.  Good that we don’t deserve, but get, is grace” – Creflo Dollar

Again, I went on this trip with high expectations of receiving an overload from God!  I received what I expected!  What expectations do you have?