Ephesians 3:14-19 NKJV – Fill us to Your fullness

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Oh how wonderful our Lord Jesus Christ is and how wonderful His love is for us. Sometimes we take that for granted. We forget where His love and riches and strength comes from. We forget that Jesus paid it all at Calvary. He paid the price for you and me and for all that we face so that one day we would comprehend the magnitude of His love for us.

Jesus Christ’s total giving of Himself for us is shown by His obedient suffering and death on the cross. This act reveals His amazing love for us and it continues to motivate us even today. “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (1 John 3:16 NKJV) Christ accepted the painful death of the Cross so that we might be saved from eternal punishment.

Scripture offers an understanding of the source, character and value of love, based on the nature and actions of God. God’s very character is love. “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7 NKJV) We are rooted and grounded in love; the love of Jesus when we call upon Him to be our Lord and Savior. Jesus comes into our hearts through faith and that faith should be active in our lives. When our faith is made active in us, we are transformed. Transformed by the love of Christ. God’s desire is for us to overflow with the love of Jesus so that those we come in contact with see that same love. The love of God the Father for His only Son is the source of the love that binds the fellowship of believers together as a family. By giving us His Son, the Father introduced us to the perfect love and eternal life that the Father and the Son have always enjoyed. And Jesus has prepared a place for us to join Him and the Father in eternal glory. “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:1-3 NKJV)

Friend, there is a reason why we bow our hearts to a living God, in Jesus Christ. We bow because we have been purchased for a price. The price was Jesus’ life. His death and subsequent resurrection enables us to call upon Him as Lord and Savior. Then we have assurance that we will share with Him all His riches, we will be strengthened and in the end we will be able to fully comprehend what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; and be filled with all the fullness of God.

You might be asking, “How do I start? I’ve taken Jesus love for granted. How can His love in me be made active?” Well, it begins with prayer. Humble prayer, asking God to reveal the magnitude of His love through His Word. When we go to God in prayer, seeking to understand His Word, we are asking God to take residence in our request and He will. Prayer is the power by which God’s promises are released. Let’s take time daily to pray and seek the love of Christ in us so that we can return that love to Him and to a lost and dying humanity. When we do that God promises that we will be filled with all the fullness of God.

Dear Jesus, thank You for Your sacrifice for us. Thank You that You paid the price for our salvation. Lord, we come to You in humble prayer. Reveal to us the magnitude of Your love for us so that we can be a lighthouse to a lost and dying world. May we love others as You love us. Fill us Lord to Your fullness. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

John 15:9 NKJV – Love as the Father loves you

As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.

This morning I sit meditating on the incredible goodness of God and how much He has poured out in my life because He loves me. This morning marks an anniversary; the day I became the husband of the most wonderful and beautiful woman of God. This is not a tribute to her, but rather it lifts up and praises God for all He’s done for me.

The amazing love of the Father toward me can be summed up this way – Jesus Christ’s total giving of Himself, shown supremely in his obedient suffering and death on the cross. God gave me His One and only Son, so that I can spend eternity with Him in heaven one day, free from all sin and bondage, sorrow and tears, and remain there praising God. Jesus Christ’s total giving of Himself at Calvary and His resurrection from the grave opened the door to God’s throne room where I can enter in each and every day and worship Him, love Him, talk with Him, be challenged by Him, and be guided by Him. Each and every day. The gift continues to keep giving. Jesus continues each day to give Himself to me over and over again. That is how much the Father loves me. And it’s the same for you. “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39 NKJV) Amen and Hallelujah!!!

In regards to my beautiful wife, God knew before time began that we would become husband and wife and that He would set before us our steps to take together. When I sought God to help me understand what His love meant, He sent me my wife. And today I shout, “Thank you God, the giver a good gifts. O how you have blessed me.”

Jesus Christ is the supreme lover of your soul. “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:13-19 NKJV) God loves us in ways we cannot comprehend and all He accomplishes through us and for us is grounded in love. And Jesus love motivated me to a Christian marriage. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her”. (Ephesians 5:25 NKJV)

Friend, I spent a long time over the last couple of days meditating on the love of God and how much He has blessed me. But there’s one important point I have not yet talked about. That is, as God has love me, I must abide in His love. Abide is defined as “to accept without opposition or question.” I must accept God’s love without any opposition or any question. I must then return my love to others under that same set of rules. It’s called unconditional love. That is exactly what God designed for us to do. To love others as He loves us. And that is exactly how I love my wife. “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NKJV)

Dear God, thank You for Your unconditional love for us. Thank You that You gave Your Son, Jesus, to us to save us. That through that act of perfect love, we can love others as You have loved us. Thank You God for those You have given us; to be a part of Your plan for us. Thank You God for my bride, whom You chose, to be my wife. You have blessed me indeed. May all we say and do give glory and honor to Your Name. May we abide in Your love and pour out that same love to others. In Jesus Name. AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Jeremiah 29:12-13 NKJV – An attitude of gratitude

Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Jeremiah notes that the future of the people in exile rested on God’s gracious promise.  God had plans for His people, plans for prosperity and to give them hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) But this verse follows with what will happen when we call upon the Lord and pray. I realized something while I looked at this verse.  A very tangible element of restoration with the Lord or from circumstances is predicated on seeking God with our whole heart.

You might ask, “Don’t I always seek God with my whole heart when I pray?”  I don’t know.  You’ll have to decide.  But I think that it is important that when we seek God in prayer that we don’t take it lightly.  We need to realize that prayer is based on God’s love for us and through His grace, He provides us things for which we do not deserve.  While through His mercy He shields us from those things we do deserve.

It’s only possible to approach God in prayer because of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice.  “For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.” (Ephesians 2:18 NKJV)  So again I say that I think it is important to realize that coming to the Lord in prayer requires a humbleness and a willingness to have an “attitude of gratitude”.  Reverence for God results from considering His nature and all that He has done.  “Only fear the Lord, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you.” (1 Samuel 12:24 NKJV)

Friend, we can be confident that God will respond to our prayers because of His great mercy and grace.  But we have a responsibility to approach God with reverence and love for all that He has done.  God gave us His only Son, Jesus and through Jesus we can share in God’s glorious presence.  God promises that if we seek Him, we will find Him, if we seek Him with all of our heart.  I don’t know about you, but I’m searching for God with all that is within me.  Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me. Bless His Holy Name.

Precious Lord, thank You that we can call upon You and pray to You.  Thank You that You promise to listen.  And when we seek You with all of our hearts, we will find You.  Thank You for Your great mercy and grace.  Teach us Lord through Your Word the attitude of gratitude when we call upon your Name.  Thank You for Your everlasting love for us that brings us into fellowship with You in prayer.  In Jesus Name.  AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

John 17:24 NIV – May they be with me where I am

Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

There are no words that can be said or even thought that can describe the depth and magnitude of Jesus’ love for us in this verse.  Oh my, what indescribable love!

Prayer was the essence of Jesus Christ’s relationship with the Father.  He prayed for Himself and His mission, and He also prayed for us.  Jesus continues to pray for us right now; in every moment of time.  “Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them.” (Hebrews 7:25 NIV)  It says, “He always lives to intercede for them.”  That’s you and me.  Every moment of time.  Always.  Because Jesus lives!  What an incredible act of love for us.  That Jesus never ceases to intercede for us.

And just as Jesus prayed to the Father, we can turn to the Father as well in prayer.  Jesus made that possible because of His blood sacrifice for us at Calvary.  “In Him and through faith in Hem we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” (Ephesians 3:12 NIV) 

Prayer reflects a longing after God.  “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for You, my God.  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.  When can I go and meet with God?” (Psalm 42:1-2 NIV) 

Prayer acknowledges our dependence on Him.  When we feel under qualified and overwhelmed, we might be exactly where God wants us.  These moments force us to pray like everything depends on God.  In times like these, dependence drives us to our knees.  “Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to You I pray.” (Psalm 5:2 NIV)  Dependence on God for help with spiritual or physical needs arises out of our awareness of human helplessness.

Prayer is an act of worship; prayer is turning to God in awe and the realization of how wonderful He is.  Prayer is a natural part of worship; to know God is to want to worship Him and pray to Him.

Friend, Jesus worshiped the Father in prayer and desired for all of us to share in the His glory.  We, too, can demonstrate that same worship to the Father when we pray.  Our prayers should reflect our longing, our dependence, and our worship to God.

Dear Lord, thank You for Your great love for us; that You desire that we spend eternity with You.  Lord, You faced a brutal and painful death, yet You stopped and prayed for us.  Thank You Lord.  What indescribable love that You gave Your life for us so that we can live.  Lord, forgive us when we forget of Your great love and turn away from You.  Teach us to pray; to acknowledge our longing for You, our dependence upon You and to worship You in prayer.  In Jesus Name.  AMEN

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Psalm 43:3-4 – The Message – Take me to that place Lord (with Video)

Give me Your lantern and compass, give me a map, so I can find my way to the scared mountain, to the place of Your presence, to enter the place of worship, meet my exuberant God, sing my thanks with a harp, magnificent God, my God.

Sometimes the pure essence of our Almighty God washes over me and I find myself without words to describe His unfailing and everlasting love.  All I know is I want to be where He is.  In the presence of God.  Somehow, I need to find a way to get there.  At all costs, I need to find the path that takes me to where He is seated.  I want to see all His glory and worship Him as He deserves.  I think of what Isaiah said, “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple.” (Isaiah 6:1 NKJV)

That’s what I’m talking about.  What I’ve learned when this unmistakable desire to be with God comes to me, is that these are the times God has something very special for me to further bless our relationship.  I find that God speaks more clearly when I’ve discerned it’s time to find God and run to Him.  I can’t tell you how many times this has happened, but what I can tell you it’s happened during time of great peace and blessing and also times of great despair and confusion.

God’s majesty, the greatness and splendor of God, revealed in His creation.  God is worthy of praise and adoration.  Majesty belongs to God.  “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head over all.” (1 Chronicles 29:11 NKJV)

Today, in the middle of work, the need to get to God came over me.  I felt the need to pursue Him; to find Him.  Now, there wasn’t any way that I could actually do that in the middle of the work day, but I kept my mind on Him.  My thoughts were on God and His presence.  I desired the Holy Spirit to refill me.  To restore in me the fire and zeal for all that is God.  I knew what I wanted to say to God.  What my prayer would be, but I didn’t have the words.  But then it came.

“Take me to that place Lord where there’s nothing else but me and You.  Longing for Your presence, I know that You’re calling me to You.”

Friend, I write this to encourage you to just take the time to find where God is, where His presence resides, and run to Him.  Set everything aside; let nothing stop you.  Go and let God reveal His majesty to you as He did to Isaiah.  There will be times when we can’t run to God immediately, but we can keep God close by having our minds fixed on Him.  Remember what God’s Word says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because He trusts You.” (Isaiah 26:3 NKJV)  Who resides in that perfect peace?  Yes, you got it.  It’s God!  It is there where you can begin to feel His presence and feel His desire to be with you.  Keep your mind on God and you will find the way to the sacred mountain, the place of His presence.  There you will meet your exuberant God!

Holy Lord, I desire to be where You are.  To worship You and sing my thanks to You.  Lord, help me find the way.  Help me keep my mind on You.  Pour out Your perfect peace so that I know that You are near.  In Jesus Name.  AMEN.

Don’t believe me, believe God!

Psalm 116:12-13 NKJV – A psalm of thanksgiving

What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me?  I will take up the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord.

What do we possess that we could offer it up to the Lord for all of the things He has provided and given and bestowed towards us?  Do we have anything that would measure up or even be looked at as having equal value to the giving of God’s own Son, Jesus, so that we could have eternal life?

We must therefore be thankful for God’s heartfelt love toward us expressed by His mercy and grace.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 NKJV)

We must therefore be thankful for God’s goodness.  “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.   Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.  For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.” (Psalm 100:4-5 NKJV) 

We must therefore be thankful for deliverance from the things that come against us; that the adversary throws at us.  “And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord; it shall rejoice in His salvation.  All my bones shall say, ‘Lord, who is like You, delivering the poor from him who is too strong for him, yes, the poor and the needy from him who plunders him?” (Psalm 35:9-10 NKJV)  The word “plunder” hear means to rob by open force as in war or hostile raids.  The enemy is our enemy.  The enemy seeks to plunder all that God has given us.  But thanks be to God, the Lord is our deliverer.

We must therefore be thankful for answered prayer.  “In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul.” (Psalm 138:3 NKJV)  God hears and answers each and every prayer you pray.  God has promised to answer your prayers.

We must therefore be thankful for Jesus Christ.  “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15 NKJV)  God’s own excellent generosity to us, His beloved Son.  The gift of Jesus.  The perfect gift; not limited to one person or one place but applies to all of us, all over the world.  God’s work of salvation is accomplished supremely through the Cross and the resurrection of Jesus.  Through faith in the Son of God, we are able to share in all of the benefits won by Jesus in obedience to God.  “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20 NKJV)

Friend, prayer embraces praising God for who He is, thanking Him for what He has already done, and looking forward with joy to what He has promised us in the future.  I ask again, what shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me?  The only thing that I can render to God is my belief in His Son, Jesus.  I can’t do or accomplish one single thing to match the matchless One.  I am simply to believe.  Then, by God’s grace and God’s mercy, He gives to us the cup of salvation.  Will you call upon the name of the Lord?

Dear Lord, thank You for all You have given us.  Thank You Lord for Your heartfelt love.  Thank You Lord for being our deliverer.  Thank You Lord for hearing and answering our prayers.  And thank You God for Your Son, Jesus, who gave His life for us.  Jesus, You are the perfect gift; the spotless Lamb; the Son of God.  You gave Your life for us so that we could have eternal life.  Thank You for the cup of salvation.  We love You Lord.  In Jesus Name.  AMEN.

 Don’t believe me, believe God!

 

Psalm 117:2 NKJV – God’s merciful kindness

“For His merciful kindness is great toward us, and the truth of the Lord endures forever.  Praise the Lord!”

God’s merciful kindness is granted to us, His beloved children.  This kind of steadfast love celebrates God’s covenant relationship with us.  This merciful kindness was reflected at Moses in Exodus 34:6 (NKJV) – “And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth.”  Our finite minds cannot comprehend this kindness.  But we can be assured that it is the truth.

God’s Word indicates the ways in which God relates to His children.  Not only does God grant merciful kindness and truth, He demonstrates His love, His compassion, His grace, His patience with us, and His faithfulness.  What an incredible list of attributes set aside as gifts from God to His children, and the perfect reason why we need to worship and adore Almighty God.

I don’t know about you, but what the world offers in gifts will never surpass the magnitude of love and blessings given to us by God.  What the world offers will wither away, but what God gives to us will endure forever.  Scripture emphasizes the importance of giving thanks to God for all His gifts and works, both as an expression of our dependence upon Him and gratitude to Him.  We are to give thanks in all circumstances.  “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NKJV)

Friend, we are fast approaching Thanksgiving Day, where we can choose to bow our hearts and minds to a loving and faithful God who grants us undeserved mercy, kindness, and grace.  I say that we can choose because it’s true.  We can choose to celebrate what the world says is important during the holiday or we can choose to spend time thanking God.  For me, I will choose the latter.  If it were not for God’s intervention in my life, I would not even be here chatting with you.

Dear Lord, thank You for Your abounding mercy and kindness. You are the Way, the Truth, and the Life and You endure forever.  Your love is matchless and You are our greatest gift.  We give You praise, now and forever.  In Jesus Name.  AMEN.

 Don’t believe me, believe God!