Praise the Lord! For June 10, 2015

A Life Of Abundance

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” ~ John 10:10.

What do you think of when you consider a life of abundance? I know of few people who think of poverty, depravity, struggle and hardship when they consider the abundant life. I think we all fall into the pit of thinking that things being less than perfect is a sign that we do not have this promise fulfilled in our reality.

The other day, while rolling around in my head those storm tossed situations that seem unending, God spoke to my heart, “Abundance is unhindered by circumstance. And circumstance is opportunity for abundance.”

Immediately I understood that God’s abundance promised to us is not that we will be rich in earthly wealth. It is not that trouble will never touch us. Always in this life, we will have opportunity to find things rolling around in our troubled minds.

Despite our circumstances right now, beloved ~ poverty, trouble, discord, want, need, desires unfulfilled, loneliness, uncertain futures, etc. ~ despite these things we can have the abundance of life in God. Those near to Him in faith and hope do have that abundance despite troubled lives. We find God’s abundance in the assurance of His love and care for us, knowing He will help us through each storm and meet our need with eternal purpose, realizing we are never truly alone and we can trust Him despite our earthly situations. Beloved, we find that abundance in faith that fully trusts God.

Greater still is the understanding that our abundance is God. He is our shield and our very great reward. The footnote for Genesis 15:1 says that “your reward shall be very great” is more truly translated “I AM your very great reward.” When we have God ~ a vitally growing, trusting, loving, functional relationship with God, we have our abundance. He will never fail nor forsake those whose heart is set firm to trust in Him.

So praise the Lord in times of struggle, looking surely to Him who is faithful. Remember that He is faithful and He will provide the need of those who seek Him with whole heart. Find your security, assurance, and satisfaction in Him. When we fail to realize that He is our abundance, a challenge in life that runs for a long time will bring us to a defeated spirit that does not work the will of God in the situation. In realizing that every challenge in life is opportunity to trust God’s abundance, that abundance becomes our The_Comforter2help to weather every storm. So, beloved, only believe in God’s faithful love that never leaves nor forsakes us and have a blessed day.

“I saw the Lord always in my presence; For He is at my right hand, so that I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue exulted; Moreover my flesh also will live in hope; Because You will not abandon my soul to Hades, Nor allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of gladness with Your presence” ~ Acts 2:25-28.

Things Leading to Perfect Peace ~ Part 5

Called Friend ~ Deepening Relationship

“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. This I command you, that you love one another” ~ John 15:12-17.

Hear these words of Jesus, beloved. “No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.”

What did the disciples have that made them friends instead of slaves? They possessed a vitally growing relationship with Christ. This reality of growing in relationship with God that makes us friends He shares His life with is ours to have and possess in Christ by the power of His Holy Spirit working in and through us. That reality begins with understanding this love that God has for us, a love that lays down His life on our behalf. That love is the perfect love that casts out all fear.

Think about your most trusted friend. What is it about your relationship with that friend that helps you know that wherever you go, whatever you do, that relationship will always be there? For me that ingredient that makes for true and lasting friendship is trust in the love they have for me and me for them.

walking-with-godI have three friends who moved off many years ago. These friends stay in touch through our marvelous technologies that span space and time to bring us closer together. I can be who I am with these friends and know they love me as I am, even when I am not my best self. We may not see each other often, but when we do, it is as if we never parted company. We may not always like what the other does, but we love each other anyway. And we know that when we struggle, there is always the other to reach out a loving hand to help us to come up higher in life as God’s chosen friend.

That is another thing I look for in a human friendship. I look for a growing relationship with God. I want people around me who know Him and are able to encourage my walk with Him. One reason for that is not only that these friends have a growing relationship with God that makes them ably equipped to counsel me from His perspective, but they possess His abiding presence, being available instruments to Him, allowing Him to reach out and touch me through their lives: and me to them. Just now I received a text from one of them that I do not hear from often, but she knows when she is in need, I am here for her, just as she is for me.

Beloved, that is what God wants with us. This desire for a relationship that is vitally growing and available, able to encourage and help to rise up to greater heights is not foreign to God. It is His image at work in us. God is love. Love’s most vital need is someone to give itself to and for; and its greatest desire is to find that love returned in kind.

When we have this growing reality at work in us, knowing God and being known by Him, mutually loving and giving self to bring the other higher, Him lifting us to higher ground as we lift Him to greater glory, shining ever brighter, we have friendship with God and a love that casts out fear.

Fear cannot reside where true love’s trust abides. God loves you. You can trust that even when you are in a pit of despair because of poor decisions that caused you to fall away for a time. He reaches out in love, desiring to grab your right hand and help you to higher ground. When we move away from Him, He is still there, waiting to hear from us andJesus 01 - water walk reach out His hand of love, help and companionship.

Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Nothing means NOTHING! Not even the bad decisions we make in falling away from Him can remove His love from us. His sacrifice of love remains even in our darkest days. Though He hates where we are and what was done to put us in such a state of affairs, He still loves us and longs for our presence. So reach up and trust His love to grab you and help you be your best self to the glory of Him who loves you more than life itself.

“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. This I command you, that you love one another” ~ John 15:12-17.

Oh, beloved. What great peace it is that comes to the heart of the one who truly understands, receives, believes, trusts and grows strong in this friendship found in a deep and abiding love relationship with God the Father through Jesus the Son in the power of the Spirit abiding within us. And we know this love abides in us as we come to desire His will over our own, laying down our lives by picking up His desire for us and making that our possession for a life of abundance with Him.