May you experience the love of Christ

“May you experience the love of Christ” is one of the best wishes you can express to someone. Every time I read that verse in the Bible, I am filled with anticipation and appreciation. It is not a wish that can’t be fulfilled. It is very much possible to experience the love of Christ. What is His love like? Is it measurable? Is it easy to experience? His love is too big for us to fully comprehend. It can’t be captured by feelings or even by words. It is the most powerful and the biggest force in the universe and yet it is directed to us. One of the keys to experiencing His love is to know that it exists, to be aware of it and to believe that it can be part of our lives. There are no sins, no mistakes, no transgressions, no iniquities that can separate us from the love of Christ. When we repent, the Lord always forgives. He wants for all of us to experience His love on a daily basis. The verb “experience” sounds as if this love were something that we can have temporarily and that we can enjoy on a limited basis. It is not a conditional and  short-term experience. God’s love is constant and it is always there. When we experience the love of Christ, we experience a powerful life that is complete. This life should be embraced every day. Today I want to encourage you to dive into the love of Christ and to welcome it all the time. The Lord loves us more than we will ever know but we can know that His love is here to stay and that no one and nothing can separate us from His love.

We’ve all been through times when we have felt unloved or rejected. No one seems to care during those periods of time or at least that is our perception. Rejection is a weapon of the enemy. He doesn’t want anyone to feel like he or she belongs anywhere. He wants people to feel lonely and isolated because it will separate them from God. The enemy is against love and if we can’t feel love from anyone then it will be even harder to feel love from God. God’s love is not like human love but human love gives us an idea and a glimpse at what God’s love is all about. Love gives us a sense of belonging but it also gives us a sense of security. We feel safe when we are loved and if there is no love, danger often seems imminent. All the good emotions and feelings that are attached to love are a disgrace to the enemy so trust that he will do whatever he can to prevent love from flourishing in our lives. He also likes to give us a false definition of love and his empty imitation of love can actually alienate us from God. If we think that love is only about receiving for instance, we can miss out on God’s love. God gives all the time but He also wants us to give but when our hearts tell us that love is about receiving and not about giving, we are in trouble. There are many interpretations of love that are erroneous and that are meant to blur the love of Christ. Fake love will never bring the fullness of life that can be found in the love of Christ. It will always make us want more and look for more and we can end up looking in all the wrong places.

“May you experience the love of Christ” means that there is a love that is way above human love and this love is alive and well. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever and His love is the same yesterday, today and forever. His love contains resurrection power and life. It liberates, it sets free and it opens doors. It rights the wrongs. It heals and it soothes. It brings peace and it tears down chaos and confusion. The love of Christ is superior to any kind of love and it can make miracles happen. It can change your troubled waters into the finest wine. It can part the seas and make you walk on dry land. It can open your blind (spiritual) eyes. It can provide amazing solutions. It can change the Sauls of your life into Pauls. It can move mountains. It can build strongholds of hope and it can shield you and protect you. The love of Christ is like no other love. My prayer today is that you experience it every day. May His love carry you, guide you, shelter you and feed you. The love of Christ is your weapon of choice against the enemy. Remind him that God so loved the world that He gave His only Son Jesus so that you shall not perish and you will not perish in Jesus’ name! Thank the Lord for His love. Trust and believe that it never leaves you. You will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Praise Him!

Suggested reading: John 3:16;  Ephesians 3:19; 1 John 4:9-14

The power of resting in the Lord

“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.” (Matthew 11:29 NIV). A yoke is a device designed to pair animals together. It is a type of harness. It is not a pleasant object. It encloses the heads of the animals. A yoke is also something that keeps people in bondage and that forces them to live in a difficult or unhappy state. In Matthew 11:29, Jesus is not talking about oppression or bondage. He is talking about the opposite. He doesn’t give the way the world does. What He has to offer is light, freeing and liberating. His yoke is rest, peace and relief. When you take up His yoke, you are attached to Him and you are enclosed with Him. Imagine how powerful that is. You are bound to the Savior and you are attached to the Lord Almighty. He is the King of freedom so freedom is what you can expect. He will give you rest and peace when you tie yourself to Him. When you make Him the source of everything in your life, He gives you everything you need including rest. It is hard to make things happen on our own. There is very little peace in this world and when we turn to the Prince of peace, we are thrown into a series of peaceful episodes that bring serenity and freedom. I can’t rest on my own understanding and on my own strength. I need the Word of God and I need the power of God. Because of my human limitations, I can only go so far. Today I want to encourage you to rest in the Lord and to take up His yoke. Find rest and peace in Him. Plug into the source of all peace and you will have restful moments that will challenge the chaos and the uneasy feelings that are crippling the world.

The Lord is gentle and humble in heart. It is something to ponder and reflect upon. God is not agitated, easily irritated and proud. He is a good God and His kindness can tear down all the evil and the hatred in this world. I have found refuge in His kindness many times when the world seemed mean and hostile. People like to get into conflicts for no apparent reason and they can pick a fight with innocent people. Harsh words and gratuitous hate are rampant and they are spreading like wildfire. When I turn to the Lord, I find myself in the presence of love and I can forget for a moment that the world can be a very ugly place. I choose to be where the Lord is and I choose to meet Him where He abides. I flee the evil ways of the world and put myself at the mercy of kindness and love. That is where I can rest. That is where I am surrounded by peace. I need to part from the world and join the Lord. If I don’t do that on a regular basis, I can’t rest well and I am in a state of turmoil after a while. Spiritual rest is important. Physical rest is crucial. Why? When we are tired it is not easy to be sensitive to the Lord and to His Spirit. When we are tired, the flesh takes over and our spirit is given a backseat. If I don’t get any rest, I don’t get enough Jesus time and if I don’t get enough Jesus time, I can easily feel disconnected from God.

There is power in resting in the Lord because we renew our strength and we are given new wings. Wings that allow us to fly above worry, fear and concerns. Have you noticed that it is easier to deal with problems when you are well-rested? It is physically, emotionally and spiritually true. The amount of rest you get will allow you to face the day and you will be ready to fight the fight of faith. Little rest will not give you the boldness and the confidence you need. When I sleep enough, I wake up refreshed and my morning prayer session is phenomenal. Prayer is a great way to get some rest spiritually. Prayer enables you to lean on the Holy Spirit and to power up. Prayer is you resting in the Lord’s arms and gaining the assurance that everything is taken care of and that the Lord is on your side. After praying at night, I picture myself resting in the arms of the Lord and I fall asleep very quickly. I thank Him for His peace and for the rest He provides all the time. The power of resting in the Lord is a little underrated. Resting in the Lord is very powerful because it is an act of surrender and an act of obedience. I pray that you take up the yoke of the Lord and that you trust He can give you rest. Rest in Him and you will be able to do things you never thought possible. You will find rest for your soul. This means that your emotions and your feelings will be more under control and you will have more peace and more joy. Don’t underestimate the power of resting in the Lord!

Suggested reading: Psalm 116:7; John 15;10-14; 1 Peter 2:21-23

God is good all the time

“God is good all the time” has been a powerful phrase used in Christian circles for a while now. It sounds good. It is reassuring but when you sit down and think about it, it is more than that. It is not just a popular phrase. It is a declaration to live by. If we live our lives with the awareness that God is good all the time, we have a way of handling anything life throws at us in a drastic way. If God is good all the time then He is good today, He will be good tomorrow and He was good yesterday. If God is good all the time, He is good no matter what happens to me and no matter how I feel. If God is good all the time, it doesn’t matter what I think or what I believe that is contradictory to God. He is still good. If God is good all the time, my problems, my pain and my fears can’t change God. If God is good all the time, the devil can be as bad as he wants, he won’t remove God’s goodness from Him.

 

 Well the truth is that God is indeed good all the time and that truth will set you free, friend. Apply it to your life. Apply it to what happens to you. Apply it to your thoughts. Apply it as much as you can. By applying it, I mean that you should hold it against events and things in your life. Anything that elevates itself above the Lord should come to submission to His great name and to His goodness. Anything that is negative should be squashed with the truth that God is good all the time and He will see you through all the time. Today I want to encourage you to declare that God is good all the time and to see what that means for your life.

 

When something bad happens, we tend to wonder how God could let such a terrible thing take place. I have heard people say that if God existed or if He were good then bad things shouldn’t happen. The Bible explains that the devil is the king of this world and therefore there is negativity everywhere. He has access to everything and everyone and he can make life a living hell. Some people experience very traumatic events while others seem to have quite a good life. Now, if someone doesn’t know Jesus as his or her personal Savior, it doesn’t matter how bad or good their life is. They could be a millionaire or they could be the most popular person on the planet, as long as Jesus is not their Lord and Savior, their life is that living hell I was talking about. When we accept Jesus into our lives, that hell goes away and His goodness is manifested in our lives first through salvation. However, being saved does not mean that we will never suffer or we will never have problems.

 

 Sometimes because we are saved and we are winning souls for the Lord, our lives are made more complicated. The enemy will always try to stop God’s work but that shouldn’t stop us from spreading God’s love and goodness. God will be good no matter how bad the enemy is. That revelation shed some major light in my life. If the enemy messes up with my life and hurts me, it doesn’t diminish God’s goodness. When the going gets tough, our awareness of God’s goodness can help us get through the hard times. Why? When we recognize that God is always good, we praise Him all the time. We honor Him. We exalt Him and we respect Him. These are all actions that bring deliverance because they bring the Spirit of the Lord into the scene and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. Remember how good God is today. Write it on the walls of your heart and say it out loud. You will stir up your faith and confuse the enemy.

 

The Lord is a stronghold on the days of trouble. Your bad days can seem to be extremely bad but the Lord’s goodness is a stronghold. It can’t be altered and it can’t be deleted. It is a force to reckon with. It is indestructible and invincible. Next time you are having a bad day, call on the goodness of God. Say how much bigger and stronger the goodness of God is. Stand your ground. God’s goodness is holding you and blessing you. You are protected. You have a refuge. God’s goodness is your refuge. It is a place of peace and a palace of hope. I love calling it a palace because it underlines the majesty of the Lord. His hope is housed in a palace that is magnificent. God’s goodness is beautiful! On the walls of the palace of hope are paintings of God’s goodness. You are in the paintings. You are there with a smile and with peace on your face. God is so good that He sent His Son so you can be that smiling person in the painting. Know that things are going to get better. Turn to Jesus. He is going to get you out of that mess. You are going to smile again and you are going to be at peace again. God is good all the time. Let His goodness show you how much He loves you. Stay in faith. The best is yet to come!

Suggested reading: Nahum 1:7; Mark 10:18; Romans 8:28

Our advocate 

Monday is here and there are so many promises we can hold on to all week to get us through the days. Today I want to focus on 1 John 2:1. I believe this promise is going to bless you and encourage you to face whatever comes your way. The scripture says “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father–Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.” Do you know anyone who doesn’t sin? We all do so this verse is for all of us. We will sin this week but we have Jesus so we shouldn’t live in condemnation. I want to draw your attention to the last part of the verse. Jesus is our advocate. Think about this truth this week. It is an incredibly powerful statement. An advocate is similar to a lawyer. The main difference is that an advocate doesn’t always get paid. A friend could be an advocate for you. An advocate will stand up for your rights and will be your supporter when you go through a trial. He or she will speak for you in front of your accusers. A lawyer takes up your case and stands by you throughout the whole ordeal. A good lawyer will win your case. What better advocate or lawyer could we ask for other than Jesus? He is the ultimate advocate. He is the high priest sitting by God. He will plead your case and bring you to victory. He is in direct contact with God the Father. Thanks to Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, we have a direct line to God. We have a direct phone line to heaven. His line is never busy. You won’t get disconnected. He might put you on hold but it’s always for a good reason. He will get back on the line and listen to you. The good news is that even before you dial his number through prayer, He already knows what you are going to ask Him. He will give you the desires of your heart even if you can’t remember His number. His grace is amazing. We do need to keep the habit of going to Him every chance we get. Talk to your advocate this week. You might go through the strangest trial of your life. A trial that you think you are going to lose. It might look bleak and dismal but remember Jesus has authority over all the universe and the world. He is also the number one winner. He won on the cross and His legacy lives on. While you are going through your trial, ask your advocate to give you peace and patience. He has a never ending supply of them. Know that He is right by your side and He can provide anything you need. Get excited about this week. Our awesome advocate is going to be with us all week long. This is a promise to keep in your heart and hold on to. This week is going to be amazing because Jesus is going to publicly support our cause and see us through any difficulties. He knows what our rights are and He will defend us day after day. Amen!Suggested reading: Psalm 37:4; Proverbs 31:8-9; John 14:16; Hebrews 8:1-2; 1 Timothy 2:5