Faith, God, Jesus, Uncategorized

Love God, Love Everybody

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It’s just so simple. Love God with all you’ve got, and love others like yourself. Well, that was easy. Please go back to your normal routine, and enjoy the picture of the Nevada desert. Hahaha! I wish just reading those words made loving God and loving others effortless.

What’s the greatest commandment according to Jesus?

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:37-39, NIV

I think about these verses every day. For me, it all boils down to this. The greatest commandment is the umbrella under which all other commandments fall. Love God with all I’ve got and love my neighbors, which is my family and every person, the same way I love myself.

“Love your neighbor as yourself” does not mean to love myself first, before I can love others. It just means in the same way we care for ourselves and our burdens, we show that same level of care and concern for others. Our neighbor is everyone and anyone. Your family, friends, and actual neighbors are your “neighbors”. We don’t get to pick and choose who we love. Though we try, we are called to something different.

Luke 10:30-37 tells the story of the Good Samaritan. Read this story for yourself. It gives a great example of how to be a good neighbor, and to show real love.

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10-36-37, NIV 

We are to love all people. Every single person was made in the image of God.

So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27, NIV

We need to ask God to help us see people the way He does. If I look at people with my own judgements and opinions then I’m not going to love them very well. If I look at others according to God’s view and that He made them, I can see their hearts much easier.

Loving others is really hard. Loving difficult people is nearly impossible. We don’t have to be best friends with everyone, or hang out with everyone, but we are told to love. We cannot love based on our own feelings or perceptions. Our love for others is based on the love Jesus has placed in our hearts. I cannot properly show love without God. He is love.

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.  1 John 4:8, NIV

Jesus loved me first before I ever knew Him or loved Him.

We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19, NIV

Love is so much bigger than like. The love Jesus gives us is beyond anything we will experience from another person. Jesus gave His life for us because He loves us.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8, NIV

How do we love God with every part of us? It means we don’t hold anything back from God. Loving God is a natural response from a genuine relationship with Him. The more you know God, the more you will love Him. He gave us full access to Him because of Jesus.

To love God with all my heart, soul, and mind means I put Him first in my life. I give Him everything. I praise Him. Read His word. Pray. Ask Him to fill my mind with His thoughts. It is a daily choice to love God with every part of me. Though I will never love Him perfectly, I will make a choice to let my heart be loyal to Him first and foremost.

The Spurgeon Study Bible says:

“‘With all your heart’ means intensely. ‘With all your soul’ means sincerely, most lovingly. ‘And with all your strength’ means with all our energy, with every faculty, with every possibility of our nature.”

The greatest commandment to love God with every ounce of me and to love people is impossible. If I rely on myself to accomplish these acts, then it’s a failure every time. When I rely on Jesus, I can love the way He loves.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Jon 15:5, NIV 

Loving God and loving everybody is how we shine our lights in this dark world. We have the awesome responsibility to be Jesus’ hands and feet to every person we encounter. We were never meant to do it in our own ability. Otherwise we’d never need Jesus. We need Jesus every moment, of every hour, of every day.

Let’s love our awesome God with everything we’ve got. Let’s love His kids well.

Love you all,

Meghan

 

Father God,

Thank you for your perfect love. Thank you for sending your son, Jesus to save us. Help us God, to love you and love others greatly. We cannot properly love people without You. Show us others, the way you see them. Let us see hearts and souls. Help us to see the hurting, lost, and broken. Use us, imperfect vessels, to love people. Thank you for the privilege we get to show Your love. We praise you!

Amen

 

Faith, God, Jesus, Uncategorized

Live for Today

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Today you have been given a gift. The gift of time. There are 1440 minutes in your gift. You and I get this precious gift of time, each and every day.

This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.        Psalm 118:24, ESV 

God made our days and He numbered them.

Lord, reveal to me the end of my life
and the number of my days.
Let me know how short-lived I am.
 You, indeed, have made my days short in length,
and my life span as nothing in Your sight.
Yes, every mortal man is only a vapor.Selah    Psalm 39:4-5, HCSB

How much time do we waste each day? I don’t believe the goal is to fill every single minute with non-stop activity. We’ve all got necassary day-to-day duties that are unavoidable. Sleep takes up a certain amount of our hours. Work. Other daily responsibilities like cooking, errands, caring for our families, and a long list of daily tasks fill our routines. And yes, there should be a little down time each day, to recharge your batteries.

    A person’s days are determined;
    you have decreed the number of his months
    and have set limits he cannot exceed.   Job 14:5, NIV

So, if God ordained our days, and He ordained our lives, then He knows we have normal routine stuff that needs to take place. He also has ordained big and small events in our lives every day; that give us opportunities to make a difference for His Kingdom.

This is not the Carpe Diem trendy thinking of our culture. Seize the day is associated with self. Go for it. Take everything you can from each day. This type of thinking says the day is yours. As Christians, each day is a gift from the Lord that He made, and it’s not all ours for the taking.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Ephesians 2:10, NIV

God has Kingdom work for us to accomplish. And we need Him to do what He’s called us to. Maybe you don’t know your specific calling yet. Start asking God what He has you here for. Each of us has a unique purpose. In the meantime, look for daily small moments to share the love of Jesus. Working hard to provide for your family matters. Cooking a meal for your family is loving. Going to the grocery store and getting food and other essentials is important. We’re human and we need food. Being kind to the checker at the store. Helping an elderly shopper with reaching an item. (Maybe after the covid19 6 feet away craziness is over.)

There are moments each day that we can make a difference. Praying for someone, sharing the Gospel, helping a neighbor. Giving a friend a ride. Listening to your children’s ideas and hopes. Encouraging your spouse. Forgiving that person you’ve been holding a grudge against. Love God. Love your family. Love strangers you cross paths with. Love your annoying neighbor.

These are not easy on our own. They are impossible in our own abilities. We need filled up before we can overflow with the love of Christ.

Yesterday is the past. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have today.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34, NIV

We are all very aware we’ve got enough to deal with today. Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow. We are supposed to live in today. We can still make plans, and pray about future events, and circumstances. But, we are to leave those at Jesus feet and get on with our day. I know, that’s super difficult. At least for me it is.

Give each day the care it deserves. It may not be flashy but it is a gift from the Lord. Every day is not some thrill ride. Many days can be mundane and quite ordinary, but God ordained them. Thank Him for each day.

Thank God on the good days.

Thank God on the awful days.

Thank God every single day. He made it just for you.

Is Jesus Christ your Savior? Today would be a great day to accept His free gift of salvation. Tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Love you all,

Meghan

 

Go to my contact page and email me if you need prayer.

 

Faith, Jesus, Salvation, Uncategorized

The Aroma of Christ

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Lean into your screen. Now inhale. Can you smell it? I really wish you could right now. Imagine sitting on my patio together as the sweet aroma of jasmine gently drifts past us. This lovely plant is growing on the fence in my backyard and it’s in full bloom. I’ve been sitting outside in the mornings with my coffee, my bible, and the delightful scent of jasmine. What a great way to start the day.

Jasmine is one of my all time favorite flowers. Clusters of delicate white flowers releasing their pleasing scent. The smell is intoxicating. I am reminded of my childhood in California as the enchanting fragrance of jasmine is in the air. Scent is the strongest of our human senses.

Two people can smell the same thing with different results. To one it can be offensive, and to the other it’s the best thing they have ever smelled. I can’t imagine many being offended at the smell of jasmine, but I’m sure they exist.

The Bible tells us that as Christians we are the aroma of Christ. What does that mean?

14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?

(2 Corinthians 2: 14-16, NIV)

Paul used the analagy of a triumphal procession in a Roman military parade to compare Christians to non-Christians.

Back in the day, when a Roman general had a victory on the battelfield there was a great parade through the streets of Rome. They had a very specific route taken through the city, all to show off their triumph. Senators, and state officials led the way, followed by trumpeters, and carts loaded with the spoils of war. There were musicians, and exoctic animals from the defeated enemy. Bulls and oxen were brought along for sacrifice to their Roman gods. Infantry, and the general’s adult sons were also included. It was over the top.

Also in this great procession, were the captives of war. The enemy leaders were paraded through the streets in chains on their way to prison, and ultimately their execution. Garlands of flowers were carried and incense was burned by the Roman priests. The aroma was sweet for the victors, and meant death for the captives. Same smell, different meaning.

The message of Jesus Christ is a death sentence for those who reject it. That same message is life for those who recieve Christ as Savior. The same beautiful fragrance, yet death for one and triumph for the other.

17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 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. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 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.

(John 3:17-21, NIV)

Christ followers get the awesome privilege to spread the fragrance of life. This is not on our own ability. It is God at work in every Believer, sharing His sweet, glorious aroma. Even better than the scent of jasmine.

Jesus loves you and wants life for you. I pray you know Him as your Savior.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

(2 Peter 3:9, NIV)

Love you all,

Meghan

P.S. If you need prayer go to my contact page. God bless you!

Holy Spirit, Jesus, Uncategorized

From Glory to Glory

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This caterpillar has been hanging out on my parsley for several days. They are sometimes called parsley caterpillars. Soon, it will form it’s cocoon, and emerge as an eastern black swallowtail butterfly. It’s going to be fun to watch the transformation. I’m eagerly awaiting the beautiful butterfly that will appear.

Yes, this caterpillar is eating my parsley right now. It’s not going to make a dent though. My parsley is the size of a shrub, so there’s plenty to spare. It will be worth it to have a butterfly that is both gorgeous, and useful to help with pollinating. I wonder if this little creature knows what’s coming.

If he knew he was about to get some amazing wings, maybe he would hurry into his cocoon.

I feel like this caterpillar at times. Completely content with where I’m at. Just hanging out and thinking everything is just fine. I don’t want God to shake things up by putting me in a cocoon. That sounds terrible. Can’t I just hang out and eat parsley all day with sunshine on my back?

God won’t allow me to stay where I’m at. He sees things I cannot. God knows everything, and knows what going into the cocoon will do for me. God wants me to get those beautiful wings and fly.

When we accept Jesus Christ as our savior, that’s just the beginning. God wants us to be like Jesus. Live like Him. Love like Him. Forgive like Him. Follow the Father like Him.

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20, NIV) 

 

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2, NIV)

“Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” (1 John 2:6, NIV)

Yes I want to be more like Jesus, but that’s a tall order. On my own, that’s impossible.

This transformation happens through the power of the Holy Spirit in each believer. I have zero ability to become like Jesus in my own strength. It would be phony. A fully surrendered life to Jesus brings that transforming power.

We get saved by grace through faith in Jesus, and then He begins to work on us. Clean us up. Heal us. Set us free. It’s not easy work though. It can be quite painful. There are times when we have to go into the cocoon and wait, and be transformed.

We get impatient. Restless. It’s too hard. We try to break out of the cocoon too early.

When we trust God and His transforming work in us, we get the most lovely wings. We end up a little more like Jesus each time. There will be lots of cocoons in our lifetimes before we end up in the ultimate glorious place, heaven.

He’s changing us. So hold on to Him. Be patient and trust the tramsformative work He is doing.

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18, NASB)

Love you all,
Meghan

 

Faith, Jesus, Trials, Uncategorized

The Opposite of Fear

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I remember the nightlight in the bedroom that my little sister and I shared. With five kids, it was helpful that the two youngest could share a room. I loved that blue bedroom. The carpet was dark blue, so my mom made the best of it and sewed matching blue bedspreads and curtains. Underneath my little vanity table was a nightlight. We could not sleep without it. I wasn’t a huge fan of the nightlight, but my sister was afraid of the dark, so I tolerated the light.

It’s funny how during the day our room was so cheery, with our stuffed animals and toys. It was a happy spot where we played and created make believe worlds. At night, the room could appear scary. The exact same room that we were in just hours before, happily playing, became a fearful place in the dark. As soon as we switched our nightlight on, everything was OK.

That tiny little light illuminated all the shadows and possible monsters. Suddenly, we saw our stuffed animals smiling back at us. We could sleep in peace. The exact same space in the dark and the light, appeared completely different at night in our little kid brains. That’s where imagination takes off. Those creative ideas we had during the day for play, became the stuff of potential nightmares at night.

We live in a time of great fear. With so much knowledge at our fingertips, maybe too much, fear can take hold. Some of those fears are legimate and some are not. I like to call it the “What if?” scenario.

What if I lose my job?

What if I lose my spouse?

What if I get hurt?

What if I get into an accident?

What if I get cancer?

What if … (fill in the blank)

What if. What if. What if.

All of those unknowns are in the dark. We can’t see the possible danger, but we can create potential negative outcomes in our head. Jesus is the light. We must follow Him and go where He leads as He lights our path. We don’t have to know everything, but we can fully trust the One who does.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12, ESV)

How much do we actually have control over? Not much. I can control me and my repsonse to situations, circumstances, and people. As Christians we can fully rely on our savior, Jesus. He is my constant in the fear. He is the solid Rock. My foundation is sure in Christ. No matter the fear. No matter the “What if”. No matter the pain. No matter the trouble. No matter the trial.

Jesus is my protector.

Jesus is my provider.

Jesus is my comforter.

Jesus is my savior.

Jesus is my peace.

The opposite of fear is peace. I can have peace in storms, trials, and heartaches.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27, NIV)

Jesus gives us peace. He does not give us worry. He does not give us fear. He does not give us fret. The peace Jesus gives is not based on circumstances. Jesus’ peace is based on Him. 

Jesus is the Prince of Peace.

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6, KJV) 

You may be struggling with fear. It’s gripped you and there seems no way out. There is good news for you! There is a way out. Jesus is reaching out to you. He will carry you until you are strong enough to walk on your own. He can set you free from the fear. Give it all to Him, The Prince of Peace.

Love you all,

Meghan

 

 

Heavenly Father,

We come boldly to your throne of grace. We need your peace in this crazy, broken world. Keep our eyes and hearts fixed on you. For all of those gripped with fear, may your perfect peace bring comfort and hope. Help us to follow your light, Jesus, where there is no darkness. We thank you and praise you!

Amen

 

Please send me an email if you need prayer!

 

 

 

Photo by Tobias Bjørkli on Pexels.com
Faith, Jesus, Uncategorized

Get Some Rest

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Achieve. Produce. Work. Don’t stop.

We are an achievement driven culture. At least in America. The message is consistently sent that our worth is based on our contribution to society. If we’re not doing, then we’re not living.

We’ve got jobs, and responsibilities. In order to thrive, work is required. It’s all part of the “being human” gig. Work can be good and rewarding.

Hard work and achievements do matter. As Christians, we have the important responsibility to serve the Lord. We give, labor, and strive, all for the Kingdom. We each have a “calling” to do good works for Christ.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10, NIV)

Super important, and quite exciting to be a part of what God is doing. What about rest? What about just being? God is our maker and knows we need rest. He made us with the need for rest.

We are not designed to go nonstop. We are meant to rest in Christ. This beautiful act is not always easy.

In Mark 6 we read about the disciples needing rest. Actually, I don’t think they knew they needed rest, but Jesus knew exactly what they needed.

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”(Mark 6:31, NIV)

Three things are required for rest.

Jesus, solitude, and quiet.

Sounds easy, right?

It’s definitely simple, but not always easy. We are so busy doing, that stopping to rest sounds like we’re doing nothing. Like, we’re wasting time.

Rest is a verb. When we choose to get alone, and quiet ourselves it’s an action. When we invite Jesus into that time and space it’s life changing. Only Jesus can give us real rest. Jesus will fill us up, if we let him.

The world takes from us, Jesus constantly gives to us.

Rest in Jesus is like breathing in the purest air. It’s like feeling the warm sun on your face.

Real rest comes from Jesus. He gives rest to our weary souls.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30, NIV)

Is your soul weary? Are you tired? Maybe burned out?

You might be thinking Where am I going to squeeze in one more thing? It’s not to burden you. It’s to encourage and help you. I strongly encourage you to pick a time to step away. Even if it’s just five minutes. Find a quiet spot. It doesn’t have to be pretty. Closets work.

No phone. No noise. Just you and Jesus. Talk with Him. Listen to Him. Grab your Bible. Ask Him to speak to you. You can also do nothing and just sit with Jesus.

Jesus is waiting for you. He will give you the rest you so desperately need.

Love you all,

Meghan

Heavenly Father,

We are tired. Our souls can get so tired and weary. You know our limits and how much we need to rest in Jesus. Help us all to make rest in Christ a priority. Show us how to rest in you. Show us where and when to spend time alone with Jesus. We need you. We love you and praise you Father!

Amen

 

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com
Faith, Jesus, Uncategorized

Cookie Crumbs

I wrote this last year on December 24th. It’s my first re-blog of a previous post.

The faith of the Canaanite Woman always confused me until I got revelation on the true meaning of this story. Some crumbs have a much bigger meaning.

May it encourage you and refresh your faith.

Merry Christmas!

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Read about bold faith here:

via Cookie Crumbs