Tag : god
Tag : god
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.“
(1 John 4:7-12, NIV)
With Valentine’s day around the corner, everyone is getting ready to celebrate love. Moms are running out to buy cards, gifts for their kids, their friends, and teachers. Men are planning romantic dinners, getaways, and ordering floral arrangements. Single people throw parties to get through this holiday that represents what the world has come to describe as love—feelings; romantic feelings. While we are hurrying to stores and making reservations to fancy restaurants, let’s reflect on what truly is love and the power of Love. Love is not a “feeling.” The Bible tells us in 1 John 4:16-17 “God is Love” and tells us “How love is made complete among us.” It’s simple; when God is among us, Love is among us because GOD IS LOVE. Love, the way the world defines it, is a feeling; an emotion that people follow. We as believers follow Jesus who is Love in the flesh.
“This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus.”
(1 John 4:13-17, NIV)
God freely gave His Holy Spirit to anyone who believed in Him. This power of Love/God is available to all of us. Romans 8:11 tells us that all those who place their faith in Jesus are immediately and permanently indwelled with the Holy Spirit. It is that simple. As believers, the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each of us. We are all parts of one body, the body of Christ. We are all baptized into one body and made to drink of one Spirit. This power of Love/God/Holy Spirit is in us every moment of the day and can be shared with anyone we encounter. We can reflect God when we show Love to others. Love is not a feeling or an emotion, Love is God. We are called to witness and rejoice in the power of the Holy Spirit, and to bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. This year let’s celebrate True Love, let’s celebrate God.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
(1 John 4:18, NIV)
Before I traveled to Israel the first time in 2014, I was told I had been invited by the “Host” (Lord of Hosts) and that he had a message for me once I arrived. The message was that my Jewish father died but my Jewish roots never died. That holy communique led me on a journey to where I am now—working on a Doctor of Ministry Degree in Messianic Jewish Studies and fighting antisemitism through documentaries.
It was a big trip with a big message, but as I journeyed to Israel eight years later, I knew God had more surprises available so I asked for some aha moments in the land. He did not waste time.
On the first day of our tour in Bethlehem, our tour guide, Joseph, while speaking about John the Baptist’s mother, Elizabeth, shared the English meaning of her name. My name Lisa is a derivative of Elizabeth and I had always thought the name translated as “Consecrated of God.” However, Joseph turned my world upside down when he said, “Elizabeth means God’s promise.” God’s promise? It hit me that my being named Lisa was no accident. God knew before I was born that I would one day lead a ministry called “Pearls of Promise” so he actually named me promise.
At that moment, Psalm 139 came to mind. Verse 13 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Later in Psalm 139:16 it says, “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” These verses are not only true for me, but also for you. You were formed by God with a purpose in mind and birthed exactly the way he designed you—your appearance, personality, and giftedness. God had a plan for you from the beginning and if you have sought his guidance for your life, you are probably walking in that plan right now.
What is your name? Our names have meaning. I encourage you to discover what yours represents. You might also find out your name was no accident and that God knew from the beginning what he had in store for your life.
“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
(Luke 10:38-42, NIV)
As we start this new year, ask yourself, “Am I too busy to spend time with the Lord?” Many of us hit the floor running as soon as we wake up every morning. It seems like there aren’t enough hours in a day to get all the things we need to do, accomplished in a day. I just attended a conference at my Church where Derwin Gray, a guest speaker at the conference said, “Busy is “Being Under Satan’s Yoke.” Just like that it hit me. The world we live in today is so “busy” that we get distracted, like Martha, and forget Who really matters. Jesus says to Martha, “You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only me.”
“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.”
(John 15:5, NIV)
We are an extension of Jesus; He is our core being. Apart from Him we can do nothing, like a branch cut off from the vine, we will surely die. In 2 Corinthians 4, the Bible says, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ.” Still today, we can see the influence of the ruler of this world on the ideals, philosophy, opinions, and view of many people. His influence also encompasses businesses, schools and even some of our Churches. His lies and deceptions have penetrated the minds of people who are too “busy” to spend time reading the Word. Reading Scripture morning and night is the best defense against the enemy’s attack on our minds.
We have a growing mental health crisis in the United States, and I believe it is directly linked with our “busy” lives. Parents are so busy that our children are not getting the love and fellowship that God intended. Money is a driving factor for parents working long hours, while kids are home fending for themselves. This year decide to spend more quiet moments with Jesus and your loved ones and do not be under Satan’s yoke.
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.“
(Ephesians 5:15-17, ESV)
Our POP Blog is taking a short vacation after today. We will be back with all new blogs on Saturday, January 28th. Have a blessed week!
Almost 30 years ago, God and I connected on the love song, Have I Told You Lately. I was a rededicated Christian, reporting for ESPN and driving to Boston to do a story on the Celtics. I popped in a Rod Stewart tape and the song Have I Told You Lately played. I began to sing that at the top of my lungs to God: Have I told you lately that I love you? Have I told you there’s no one else above you? And I belted out the song to Him all the way to Boston.
After that that Have I Told You Lately played everywhere I went—the grocery store, the drug store, the band at the restaurant played it—and I knew my heavenly Father heard me singing out of love to Him. He was telling me He loved me too.
This week, I had a morning where my love tank was running on fumes. I was cleaning the house and had my playlist going, when at my lowest moment Have I Told You Lately popped up. It was perfect timing and I know God was reminding me of how much He loves me. I also realized it’s still our song.
Lamentations 3:22 says, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases” (ESV). In 1 Corinthians 13:8, Paul said, God’s love never ends while other things like knowledge and prophecies will cease to exist. God loves us forever!
The Lord has been speaking to me a lot about His love lately. As believers, it is all we are required to do—to love God and love one another. We are not called to judge. We are not called to punish. We are not called to hate. If we are not loving unconditionally, we need to check our relationship with God. 1 John 4:8 says, “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love” (ESV).
So today, I think I’m supposed to say, “Have I told you lately that God loves you?” He loves you more than you can mind can comprehend, and if you remain connected to Him, He’ll remind you of His love just at the right moment. Maybe that moment is now.
Categories: Devotion of the Week
God delights in giving His children favor but we have to ask for it since He is the originator of favor. Psalm 90:17 says, “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!” (ESV)
I pray for God’s favor over almost everything I do, whether it’s favor over our family, favor over ministry, or favor over plans. I am already praying for a future written doctoral project where I am laying the groundwork. It will require open doors and God’s favor for this project to be realized.
What favor do you need in the New Year?
The Bible speaks about many who received His favor. Noah found favor (Genesis 6:8). Moses obtained favor (Exodus 33:17). Joseph received God’s favor (Genesis 39:4). Daniel was given favor (Daniel 1:9). Mary found favor (Luke 1:30). Even Jesus was the recipient of His Father’s favor (Luke 2:52).
And this same favor is available for us.
For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord… (Proverbs 8:35).
Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man (Proverbs 3:3-4).
Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor (Proverbs 3:34).
I believe God can also remove favor. It might be because we have slipped away from an intimate relationship with Him. Perhaps we have unconfessed sin. Or it could be because He is trying to move us to another place or position. When I begin to see a loss of favor, I pray, Lord, what are you telling me through this experience? Usually, he has another assignment for me, and because I am fiercely loyal, He has to shake things up so I will leave.
So will you seek God’s favor in 2023? His favor has a lifetime guarantee. All He asks is for us is to follow and worship Him.
Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people; praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime…” (Psalm 30:5).