"God doesn't want us to be shy with His gifts, but bold and loving and sensible." – 2 Timothy 1:7
I've been thinking a lot about the gifts our Lord has given to us.
There are gifts of hospitality, compassion and kindness; gifts of art—music, drawing, sculpting, writing. And there are the spiritual gifts, too—discernment, teaching, leadership, healing, mercy, giving, exhortation, prophecy and so on.
I just completed the first draft of my September novel, The First Love, featuring a subplot regarding divine healing. Growing up, I witnessed the healing of many people when the elders of the church were called to anoint the sick with oil and pray, or when an evangelist prayed for the sick in revival meetings. I even saw these miracles during my father's summer tent meetings, as well as my dear mother's healing from terminal cancer when I was a girl. (My book, The Sunroom, chronicles her miraculous healing, from my childhood perspective.)
It's remarkable that we don't hear about this very much anymore here in America, but divine healings are happening in other parts of the world. We're not to be shy about following Scripture, right? So, when I promise to pray for my reader-friends who are in need of healing or encouragement, or other needs, I want to do so with boldness and in love, in faith believing, as the Bible teaches. Prayer is the greatest source in the universe, never forget.
Are we using our gifts for God's glory alone? Are we doing everything in our power to light the flame of our passion for Christ…and to keep it burning for as long as we have breath?
Encouraging you to share your gifts with those who need them most,
"Let all that you do be done in love." – 1 Corinthians 16:14
This month is the so-called "love month." But what if we really set out to love one another, in real time, in real ways? And not only for a single month?
What if we each decided to be the one who loves the most in a relationship? It may seem like a risk, but why not try it? And what about pondering this?—that love does not equal happiness. You undoubtedly know people who say they're splitting up because they are no longer happy.
But isn't love a choice and not a feeling? A commitment to keep a promise—that's what really equals love, right?
So, I'm curious. Do you keep company with people whose relationships you respect? Do you surround yourself with others who are good role models for a loving, life-long relationship?
There are many aspects to the matter of loving well, but the highest and best love is the one God offers—He alone is the great Lover of our hearts...of our very souls. All other loves are a reflection of that best-ever Love.
I'm wishing you a love-month that jump-starts all your months and all the years ahead. I believe your corner of the world will be a brighter and better place for it!
"Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast." – Psalm 139:7-10
It is an absolute truth to stand on—we are not alone. Our great God and heavenly Father cares for us. He really does.
So, it's impossible to be without His precious presence, no matter where we are in our life journey. And we can always trust Him to do what is best, even when the way before us may seem totally insurmountable or too hazy to see.
Each and every day, we can say with firm conviction, "I trust You, Lord." If we're able to do this, we're accepting the fact that God is our sovereign Lord, and He alone will make the way clear. We no longer have to worry or fear—amazing, yes? We give up our grip on control to our Creator-God who knows, sees, and understands what we're experiencing. Even the hardest trials of our lives.
Cheering you on this New Year 2018!
"As for you, the anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit--just as it has taught you, remain in Him." – 1 John 2:27
Isn't it remarkable that we have Someone to teach us all things and continually remind us of His presence in our lives? That Someone is the Holy Spirit who offers a powerful work of completeness for all believers. In Him, we have everything we need and much more, including the assurance that He lives in us and will gently teach us as we journey through this life. The Holy Spirit also helps us know right from wrong, and He is a truthful leader and guide we can always trust . . . if we surrender to His will. The all-important "if."
Can you imagine a rushing spring that never dries up? Mind-boggling, I know. Yet, that is the very result of relinquishing our will to the work of the Holy Spirit. An amazing thought!
So, this Advent Season, why not cling to the precious promise our Lord and Savior gave to His disciples before He ascended to heaven, two thousand years ago? The Christ-Child in the manger truly is the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
Let us sing, rejoice, and be glad!