Love That Will not Let Me Go

On this Valentine’s Day, I share with you my favorite Truths about love.
Before our love for others, before their love for us, before any love we have for ourselves, there is the love of the One Who created us.
We might consider this a Valentine’s Day Card from the Lord!

Oh give thanks to the Lord , for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! Psalms 118:1

heart-3147976_1920…[May] you, being rooted and grounded in love…have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19

God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.  1 John 4:8-9

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  1 Corinthians 13:4-7

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

…But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.  1 John 3:16hearts

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:38-39

We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19

Enjoy and rest in His affection for you today, even as you express your love for others.

Question: What is your favorite truth/verse about love?

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The End of Our Searching

I hate being lost.

Few things are more frustrating to me than taking a wrong turn and having no idea what to do next. I am, as they say, directionally challenged, so I have made many a wrong turn in my life.

sign wrong wayIt was a happy day when someone invented MapQuest, and then even better, a GPS so that accurate directions could be right at my fingertips. Not only that, but when I sometimes make a wrong turn EVEN with GPS, my phone automatically reroutes, so that, basically, I can never be on the wrong track!

If only the rest of life had a GPS.

Continue reading “The End of Our Searching”

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Prayer that Hurts

Like you, I pray lots of different prayers. Joyful prayer when a long-awaited request is granted. Pleading prayer when in a tight spot. Tearful prayer when the heart is broken.

pleading prayerAnd then there’s prayer for others when you care about them. When we care enough to hurt.

It’s the kind of prayer mentioned in one of Paul’s letters:

“Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God.” -‭‭Colossians‬ ‭4:12‬ ‭ESV‬‬

That word struggling is the Greek word “agōnizomai” from which we get our word “agonize.” I picture Epaphras on his knees, tears streaming, imploring God on behalf of his friends at the Colossian church: “Would You strengthen them to stand mature and fully assured in Your will O God!”

I’ll be honest: it’s easy for me to agonize in prayer when it comes to my own needs. There are times I definitely shed tears over things that are troubling me, and I implore God to deliver me from circumstances that are beyond my control.

But to agonize for others? To shed tears over their well being? That doesn’t come naturally.

It’s happened at times for my wife and my children. There are times when I so want good for them that it churns me up on the inside. Maybe that’s a step toward agonizing prayer.

And occasionally it happens as I pray for the flock at church – I see the pull of culture and the dead ends people pursue as the Enemy lures them, and I pray fervently (maybe even agonizingly) for God’s deliverance from these clutches. On a few occasions I have said to God, “If you give me tears to cry for these people, I will cry them.” Maybe that’s a form of agonizing prayer.

I have to say that in my limited experience, agonizing prayer is draining. Maybe that’s why I don’t do it very often. Weeping and pleading make a withdrawal on my emotional tank. BUT – and this is huge – it makes a deposit in the spiritual tank of someone else.

As Epaphras did for his loved ones. As many others have done for me.

Just yesterday someone told me they had been praying for me “intensely” for the last 24 hours. What a gift!

Whenever I sense the Lord drawing me into fervent, even agonizing prayer for someone, my first thought is – I don’t know what to say. Here again Epaphras helps us – he prayed for two significant things:

That they would stand mature. The Greek word for “mature” has a number of senses: complete, finished, not lacking any moral quality. We can’t go wrong asking that others would grow in their moral conduct.

Pray against spiritual immaturity, self-centeredness, and idolatry. Our world is in desperate need of those who walk so closely with God that their lives radiate His purity, love and truth. Pray that for those you love.

That they would stand fully assured in all the will of God. Wouldn’t you love to be in the zone where you are fully confident you are in God’s will and favor, nothing can succeed against you, you have all the resources you need for whatever assignment God gives you?

Pray that for those you love. Pray that they would successfully navigate the minefield of the world’s distractions and stay firmly tied to God’s perfect will for them (Romans 12:2).

It is a great privilege to come before the sovereign God of the universe in prayer.

It’s a great privilege to ask God to do good in the lives of those we care about.

And, it’s a good thing to sometimes pray so hard it hurts.

Question: What experience have you had with agonizing prayer?

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