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“Love is Love”… Is It Really?

Love is Love“LOVE IS LOVE”… I’ve been seeing more and more of that lately!
It sounds good, but is it really true?
Rather than moving in and taking a closer look at the assertion, maybe it would help to step back to view the broader landscape of Love – one that transcends romantic feelings and relationships, even commitments and vows, that rides the hills and valleys of the vast spectrum of human emotions and desires, and that in its fullest, purest (holiest) sense, defines the Creator Himself (1 John 4:8).
There may certainly be some overlap, but psychologists today categorize love into SEVEN general areas below; every one of them found in the Bible:
1. LUDUS – playful, uncommitted, flirtatious (egoistic, self-focused)
2. EROS – sexual, passionate (egoistic, self-focused)
3. PHILIA – friendship, goodwill (mutualistic, give/receive)
4. STORGE – familial (parent/child, kinfolk)
5. PRAGMA – practical, making it work (mutualistic, shared goal)
6. PHILAUTIA – self-love, inflated self-importance (narcissistic)
7. AGAPE – unselfish, unconditional, charity, given to the undeserving (altruistic, give expecting nothing in return)
Considering the many different types of human love that exist – some very self-centered, others very others-centered – and the complexities within each, it’s hard to really qualify the “love is love” motto. What kind of love is what kind of love?
One thing that stands out clearly to me is that only one of those seven types of love describes God’s Love – the Self-LESS AGAPE love. This Love suffered and died on a Cross, no, not just for righteous men, but for the worst of all sinners, for His enemies – the very men hammering nails through his hands and feet. It was for ME Christ died – that the Father might forgive MY sins and grant ME Eternal Life because of the Agape Love of Christ demonstrated by His shed Blood at Calvary.
“And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.” – Luke 23:33, 34 KJV
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8 KJV
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” – Matthew 5:44 KJV
Because Christ demonstrated what True Love looks like – Creator of heaven and earth giving His life to save ours, caring so for the souls of men, that we would desire to love like Him – ready to be mocked, ridiculed, persecuted, even killed to save a single man’s soul. That we would obey Him.
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” – John 14:15 KJV
“Agape love is a thinking, rational, kind of deliberate love that is motivated by what is holy and good. There are times when this kind of love results in less than pleasant actions. When speaking to the Corinthian church concerning a man engaged in unrepentant sin, the apostle Paul wrote these sobering words, “… you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 5:5 MEV. Agape love says that this man’s eternal soul is more important than his temporal comfort, therefore actions should be taken to help him realize the depth of his sin.” – Robert Driskell
No, love is not love is not love.
God’s Love stands alone, seen in those who know Him.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” – John 3:16 KJV

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AUTHOR REQUEST: Please LIKE, REBLOG or COMMENT at bottom of post…I would love to hear your personal response and/or questions! If you feel someone else could benefit from a post or from this blog, please SHARE with others in your social media circles – this blog is intended to bless and encourage as many as possible! Thank you and God bless you!! Nancy

 

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All I Need

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The Lord is my Shepherd
I shall not be in want
He satisfies me with waters of life
He lifts me up and restores my countenance
He reminds me of His Grace on me
And forgives all my sin

The Lord is my Shepherd
He loves me and leads me and tends to my needs
He knows what I want and He showers me
With riches from His heart
That I might never be in need

The Lord knows everything about me
So is intimate and caring beyond measure
He Who put the stars in the sky
And created the vast expanses of the Universe
He Who created with beauty and complexity
Things my own eyes cannot see

This Lord of all Lords loves me beyond all
For He made me in His image
And His likeness that He might love me
As I need to be loved
And He might fill me
As I need to be filled

The Lord of All, the Lord on High
He is my Shepherd, My Radiant King
The One Who gave His life for me
Gives me all I need to live
In Him I live and move and have my being
In Him I glorify God on High
Through His Spirit I accomplish all things
He set forth for me from the beginning of time

His Plan for my life is Perfect
His timing for my beginning and end
He shall direct my steps every moment
And He forever will be my Friend
For Christ is my Lord and Savior
His Grace is sufficient for me
His Love brought me into this world
And shall forever be with me

 

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AUTHOR REQUEST: Please LIKE, RE-BLOG or COMMENT at bottom of post…I would love to hear your personal response and/or questions! If you feel someone else could benefit from a post or from this blog, please SHARE with others in your social media circles- this blog is intended to bless and encourage as many as possible! Thank you and God bless you!!

 

Glimpse of the Holy One

imageWe are to demonstrate kindness and compassion to others, according to Jesus’ example and Words. Tall order. Especially when you want to do just the opposite. Like when someone cuts you off when you’re talking, or walking, or driving. Or is rude to you for no reason. Or points out a fault or a sin of the past you can do nothing about. Or maybe is making your life miserable from hurt or pain of their own.

There are many justifications we can make for treating others unkindly right back. Jesus saw beyond the offense right into the heart. And He took much more undeservedly than we ever will. To those jeering men pounding nails into his bloody feet, He looked to His Father and said, “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.” We cannot see the heart as Jesus does, but can we see beyond an offense? Justice may be the goal, but can we accept something we don’t deserve? God may have forgiven us every one of our sins, but have we forgiven the one who mocked or hurt us yesterday, last week, last year?

This is not about condoning wrongful behavior or remaining complacent in a harmful situation. Wisdom comes from God and will always guide your soul to wellness. This IS about not resembling the fallen world in our responses to others, but reflecting the Holy Spirit and His unconscionable Love toward us. How do we do this? -ABIDE IN HIM. REMAIN IN CONSTANT PRAYER. STAY HUMBLE BEFORE GOD. Remember what Christ did for you and extend His Loving Kindness to others. Lives are transformed by a glimpse of the Holy One. Be a Light in the darkness of others’ lives even if you want to do the opposite. Trust in God to make all things right and to bless you as you submit in trust and obedience to Him.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” -Romans 12:2a

“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” – Romans 12:14

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:32

 

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AUTHOR REQUEST: Please LIKE, REBLOG or COMMENT at bottom of post…I would love to hear your personal response and/or questions! If you feel someone else could benefit from a post or from this blog, please SHARE with others in your social media circles- this blog is intended to bless and encourage as many as possible! Thank you and God bless you!!

Spooky Kind of Love

imageMany Christians are spooked by the thought of celebrating Halloween. Others fear not as the ghostly date arrives and embrace the dark thrill of the night. I’ve personally been on both sides of the creaking fence and have heard Christian arguments both for and against participating in this the creepiest of holidays.

As a child, my parents took us out every Halloween- it was so much fun figuring out costumes, getting all dressed up, crunching through leaves with friends, checking out the cool decorations and clawing in as much candy as possible! Of course Halloween had a different complexion back in the 60s, but even then some Christians preferred to remain still in the darkness of their domains to lighting up a porch full of goblins chanting trick or treat on All Saints Eve.

I guess my own fun childhood memories crept into my adult years, and even after becoming a born-again Christian at 29, I found myself at the front door of my own house all dressed up blissfully passing out treats every Halloween. As the years went by, however, celebrating became more and more “uncomfortable” for me, like putting on a costume that didn’t fit. Perhaps it was because I was growing in Christ, studying the Bible and developing increasing relationships with fellow Christians. The issue was all the more daunting when my own two little goblins were unearthed! 😉 Now haunted by the impending event, I recall recoiling inside while my husband, unhaunted and not wanting our young sons to miss out, continued to escort them into the unholy night. But things changed.

I do believe it was the Holy Spirit Who shined His Light into my zombie-like participation in Halloween, and later into my husband’s. God redirected our steps as we began whisking away with the boys on Fright Night, and for years clenched a replacement of fearless fun like the movies, bowling or the arcade. Then a few years ago, it happened again. Something began to feel uncomfortable to me- the idea of fleeing from this night wasn’t fitting well anymore. As a Christian, I knew we are not to conform to the pattern of this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. We are to fear the Lord and to shun evil. I knew the chain of reasons not to mindlessly participate in Halloween. But I had been Enlightened, and my heart was being nudged to the possibility of being a Light in the Darkness. Instead of thinking about all the evil PARTS of the holiday, its pagan origins, etc. as reasons for me to VANISH, I was now unable to stop thinking about all the PEOPLE crunching through the leaves and all the reasons I should be very much PRESENT. Unwittingly, I was embracing the mindset of my enchanting late Mom who repeatedly used to pronounce: “People are more important than things.” Indeed, every single soul is important to God.

Today, I find myself boldly perched atop the creaking fence, my Light on its Rightful Lampstand. My boys are older now, but I DELIGHT  in the arrival of Halloween! Not because I embrace its pagan origins or am enchanted by its wicked themes, and not because I’m going to dress them up and crunch through the night for candy. I DELIGHT IN THE HOLY OPPORTUNITY TO TELL OTHERS THE GREATEST NEWS OF ALL- THE LIFESAVING GOSPEL OF THE GRACE OF GOD THROUGH CHRIST JESUS- HALLOWED BE THY MOST HOLY NAME!

You may or may not be spooked by Halloween, but if you dare come to my house, you can be sure I and my family will be cheerfully present flesh and blood, and you and your family will find pleasant decorations and pots of the most heavenly treats set out for your personal picking! But the BEST THING you will find is GOD’S SAVING LOVE IN CHRIST- Compact Bibles and Christian Devotionals ready to scoop up and a family unafraid to share God’s Love in the darkest of nights where Light, after all, shines brightest!

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” -John 1:5

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AUTHOR REQUEST: Please LIKE, REBLOG or COMMENT at bottom of post…I would love to hear your personal response and/or questions! If you feel someone else could benefit from a post or from this blog, please SHARE with others in your social media circles- this blog is intended to bless and encourage as many as possible! Thank you and God bless you!!

Present Eternity

imageI am fearful to write this article.  Fearful because God gave me many thoughts at once this morning, and they all have to do with time and eternity.  The subject is too big for me, for both what I am able to comprehend and write.  My very last post touched on this subject… why am I hearing more now?  I don’t know, but I do know the thought crossed my mind this morning that I need to turn my plans over to God each day, and not keep asking Him to sign off on mine.
 
What do I do with this, Lord?  This is a first… that I have heard clearly from You, yet not known what to do.  I feel you’ve given me the pieces, but I have no idea how to put this together.  I recall immediately, John 3:30: “He must become greater; I must become less.”  I am less, Lord.  Write.
 
The Present is all that we have.  It is immediately connected to Eternity.  The Present is the Only Time of Value.  But Wait!, you say- history holds great value and so will the future, for posterity’s sake!  Listen closely- the Past only has value because it once was the Present- which granted it the right to become the Past.  The Future only has value if it becomes the Present- if it does not, it is only a thought, not a reality (keep that in mind as you make Present decisions!).
Picture a timeline of 3 doors.  The Present is the Door through which we see Eternity.  The Door of the Past is closed and locked on millions upon millions of Present moments gone by.  The Door of the Future might not ever be opened.
Do you see how invaluable the Present is?… How ETERNAL the Present is?  There is no Time in Eternity as we know it here in our finite earthly lives.  Earthly time consists of past+Present+future earthly moments.  Human history had a start point (Adam and Eve) and it will have an end point (End Times).  Eternity, however, consists of Entirely Present Moments!  No beginning (past), no end (future).  That is why our Earthly Present so closely resembles Eternity.  As C.S. Lewis said, “…the Present is all lit up with eternal rays.”
Here is my hand-sketch of how I see our Present in relationship with Eternity (3 doors above).  Sorry, it’s crude.:
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And here is why we humans even think at all about life beyond this finite earthly experience:
“He [God]… has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds, yet so that men cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.”  -Ecc 3:11b AMP
Wow!  I consider Eternity because God planted that desire in me as His special creation!  God reminds me that I existed in His Infinite Mind long before I physically came to be, in the Words of the psalmist~
 
“My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.   
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.”    -Psa 139:15-16
…and in Paul speaking to followers of Christ Jesus at Ephesus~
“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.  In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.”  -Eph 1:4-6
Now, as I ponder the state of no beginning and no end, knowing I am created as an Eternal being, I am hit with the realization that I am living Eternity AT PRESENT!!!   Does this make sense to you?  Is your mind blown like mine?!!
Believe me, folks, I am becoming aware of things as I type- I spoke of my fear and apprehension upfront and not knowing where God was taking me… or those brave enough to come along! 🙂
I believe this is a perfect place to segue to my previous article, “Today Salvation is Yours!”  So- Go there!  Read!!  Know that you are walking in Eternity at Present, and NOW is the Time to call on the Name of The Lord and be saved from an unspeakably horrible Eternity without Him!  Christ saved you from Eternal torment for a Reason- to dwell with Him Forever in Eternal Joy!  It is YOUR choice, but don’t wait to make it… Tomorrow is an uncertainty, Eternity is NOW!
 
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord [Jesus] will be saved”   -Acts 2:21, Rom 10:13
 
“Salvation is found in no one else [Jesus], for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”   -Acts 4:12
 
“I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”   -2 Cor 6:2b
“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.”   -John 3:16
God bless you!!!
Nancy
(All underline mine)
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AUTHOR REQUEST:  Please LIKE, REBLOG or COMMENT at bottom of post…I would love to hear your personal response and/or questions!  If you feel someone else could benefit from a post or from this blog, please SHARE with others in your social media circles- this blog is intended to bless and encourage as many as possible!  Thank you and God bless you!!

Today Salvation is Yours!

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You are reading this right now because God Almighty has blessed you with these very moments of life.  He knows exactly when you will depart from earth.  He knows exactly what you will choose to do with this day, He knows if you have the rest of it, He knows if you have tomorrow.  It is easy to assume that we have the rest of today, even tomorrow- after all, we woke up this morning and we have every morning for how many years now.  But yesterday does not promise tomorrow, or even the rest of today.

Does this put a new value on the PRESENT for you?

When I consider all of the amazing accomplishments of mankind through history, I remain astounded that there are still people who believe this life on earth is all that there is.  We know that Death comes to every man, regardless of his accomplishments.  So why even try if there is no Hereafter?  To make things better for the next generation who will also perish?  Everything so that we may follow each other into the pit?

The truth is- there is an Eternal Value for everything that happens on earth, for the God of Eternity created everything and by Him all things are held together (Col 1:17) and have their Purpose (Eph 1:11).  Though our mortal bodies stand for a limited time, our spirits move and live forever, praise be to God!  Listen to the Words of Jesus:

“The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.”  -John 6:63

God has made it clear what lasts forever~

“All men are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.                                   The grass withers and the flowers fall,
because the breath of the Lord blows on them.
Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God stands forever.”  –
Isa 40:6b-8

As Jesus said~

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”  -Matthew 24:35

Is there any doubt that TODAY is the Day for you to come to know God?  The Past is gone, and Tomorrow is not guaranteed to you.  Do you see the Value of This Day of life for you?- the Eternal Value of your Present breathing moments?

“I tell you, NOW is the time of God’s favor, NOW is the day of salvation.”  -2 Cor 6:2b

“The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.”   -Rom 13:11b

Former atheist, Christian C.S. Lewis in “The Screwtape Letters,” said~

“The Future is, of all things, the thing least like eternity. It is the most temporal part of time–for the Past is frozen and no longer flows, and the Present is all lit up with eternal rays.”  

“Lit up with eternal rays”?…

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  -John 8:12

“The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord [Jesus] will be saved.’”  Acts 2:20-21

NOW-

Today, if only you would hear his voice, ‘Do not harden your hearts…'”  -Psalm 95:7b-8

Do you hear God’s Voice?  Do not harden your heart!… TODAY IS THE DAY OF SALVATION!  NOW is the ONLY TIME you are guaranteed!   If you do not know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, speak with Him NOW!  Confess your sins and need for His forgiveness, thank Him for shedding His blood on the Cross to pay the penalty for your sins, and PRAISE GOD for your guaranteed Eternity with Him!  Open God’s Word- full of the Spirit and Life which lasts forever- and READ IT!   You have come into The Light- God’s Rays of Salvation shine upon you!
I rejoice in our fellowship in Christ!  Allow me to share my personal testimony with you, found under, “The Question That Changed My Life Forever.”  May God bless you as you walk in His Saving Grace!  Love, Nancy

(Note: 2 Cor 6:2b CAPS mine).

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AUTHOR REQUEST:  Please LIKE, REBLOG or COMMENT at bottom of post…I would love to hear your personal response and/or questions!  If you feel someone else could benefit from a post or from this blog, please SHARE with others in your social media circles- this blog is intended to bless and encourage as many as possible!  Thank you and God bless you!!

In His Grip

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Do you remember when you were little and your daddy held your hand from way up high and you walked with him?  You couldn’t see the path ahead, but you trusted where you were going because your daddy was leading you, and he would never put you in harm’s way.  You had no doubt you were completely safe and loved as you walked by his side.

At least that’s how you felt.  Truth is- something could have happened to you or your daddy any of the times you walked together.  Perhaps for some of you, it did.  For others, memories of daddy don’t faintly resemble a loving, hand-in-hand scenario: you may have endured years of neglect or abuse, perhaps been abandoned, and you have no idea what a loving father looks like.

Well, God tells us EXACTLY what a loving father looks like in Psalm 121:

“He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand; 

the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.”

Our Heavenly Father gives much more than a feeling of security… He gives His Promise to those who trust in Him!  Not only does our Father God hold our hand and walk with us every moment of our lives, but we can trust that He makes our paths straight, keeps us safe from harm, and absolutely NEVER lets go!

Now,… feel your right hand being held by God:

“Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.” [Psalm 73:23]

Then look up… lean in to your Daddy:

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” [Proverbs 3:4-6]

As you walk confidently with Him, relax in His loving Protection:

“If you say, ‘The Lord is my refuge,’ and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.  For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;” [Psalm 91:9-11] 

Finally, rejoice in your Father’s Promise that He will never ever leave you!:

“As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  [Joshua 1:5b]

just as Jesus told His disciples:

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”    [Matthew 28:20b]

> Know that God walks with you hand-in-hand every moment.  Trust where He leads.  Lean in to His Loving Provision.  You are in His Grip- His Perfect Fatherly Care!

 

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AUTHOR REQUEST:  Please LIKE, REBLOG or COMMENT at bottom of post…I would love to hear your personal response and/or questions!  If you feel someone else could benefit from a post or from this blog, please SHARE with others in your social media circles- this blog is intended to bless and encourage as many as possible!  Thank you and God bless you!!