The Love Of God
Isaiah 49:15 “…Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you!” ~NLT
On national TV the other day I saw a man apologize to his wife because he left the freezer open. He was apologizing because all the breast milk she had stored for their baby had melted and gone bad. Now as a man, I never understood, but one of the female reporters explained it well.
She said that as a mother, the process of their body producing milk is painful. Every ounce of milk produced from them is important as they save it for the baby. The reporter stated that being upset about losing a weeks’ worth of milk by leaving the freezer open is not only upsetting but unacceptable. But she was surprised and appreciated the action of husband apologizing on national TV.
The mother’s anger toward her husband for leaving the freezer open, was in consideration of the child. The mother’s pain in carrying the child for nine months, the pain in birthing the child and the painful healing process after birth is an unbreakable bond for a mother and that child. They both went through something together and the love present is the foundation for that unbreakable bond.
With that said, anything that requires blood, sweat and tears forms a bond for those who go through it together. When I went to boot camp at Fort Jackson, I met some great soldiers. I have many friends and I keep in touch with those I met in my military career, but I have not seen or been in contact with any of those I met at boot camp. But because of the blood sweat and tears we went through together; I won’t forget them.
Going back to the ‘mother and child’ bond. Understand that the mother’s side of the bond is stronger. The child was not understanding of the pain when it was born. The child sometimes grows up not being grateful for the mother’s love because it did not share in the pain and was unaware of the experience of the blood sweat and tears.
This is how we as God’s children are with the Father. We were unaware when He created us. We were unaware of the world and its history and because of that history God was creating us for the purpose of making this world better. The mother’s love for her children comes from God’s agape love for His children.
God says in the text above that even if it is possible for a mother not to love her child, He will still love us. Just as a child should trust its mother, we should trust the Father as He guides us in our lives. We should look to the Father for His direction in the purpose He created in us for our involvement in His plan and control for this world we live in.
I say this all the time; if we really knew just how much God loves us, we would not worry, doubt or live in fear in this world. Even though we go through the blood, sweat and the tears, know that God made us strong enough to endure, because that painful journey produces the good fruits of God’s plan for us all. Just like the precious fruit of a baby to a mother who endured the pains of labor.
May God bless and keep you as you journey in Jesus’ name,
Who's In Your Circle?
Place a hula-hoop down at your feet, step in it and consider those you would allow in that circle. When you look at it, it is a very small circle. So maybe you would say your spouse. Your children, maybe even your parents because that is such an intimate space.
Now widen it. Who would you allow in that circle? Friends, certain co-workers, family members you feel close with. Now put some distance between you and this next group. This is going to be your biggest circle, with the most distance. Let’s talk real feelings and emotions, who would you place here?
That person that talks a lot and you just can’t get away from. That person you feel gossips a lot and tells all your business. How about those family members you do not get along with but must have a relationship because they are family? Those co-workers that you don’t see eye to eye with. It’s obvious that this circle is for all of those you do not care to socialize with even if you must maintain some kind of relationship with them.
Think really hard about your circles. Then think even harder about the command you were given as a Christian. Mark 12:30-31 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is, Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other command greater than these.” ~CSB
When you refer to this text in Mark, this sets you up for your spiritual cleansing. You see it’s not about you or how you feel about a person, it is about your purpose and that person’s purpose. One may need the other to get the ‘kick-start’ they need to live in that purpose. If you deny a relationship with someone, regardless of how you feel about them, you are denying another of God’s children to be seeded by Him through you. And God will do this seeding through the love you have for that person. Therefore “…loving your neighbor…” is a command because it is a conduit for the Lord to work His miracle.
The next Word from the Lord to help us as we ponder our circles, is found in Matthew 28:19, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations…” In a way that only God can do, allow Him to teach, train and bring awareness of His great power in miracles through the testimony of what He has done for us. Our testimony about God in our lives mixed with God’s gospel is the foundation of your purpose for the kingdom.
That person we are trying to avoid because they talk too much, may have a blessing hidden in their words for our direction. That family member we wrote off may need God to reveal Himself through the love He created in us to give them so that they can become aware of the purpose that is inside them.
In other words, God did not give us the authority to decide who we place in those circles that we have created. It is God who decides who crosses our paths. And those paths are crossed for God to do a good work in us as well as those we encounter in our lives. We may not like the situations. But do not let those situations keep you from being a witness to the victory at the end of those encounters because this is how God shows the non-believing world He exists. And He choses to use you and I to do that. What an honor!
May God bless and keep you as you continue your journey in Jesus’ name,
“There’s a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish — but what are they for so many?”
John 6:9 CSB
I’m writing today’s devotional as I sit here watching my son warm up to play in his team’s football game. He is in middle school, and I am really proud of the athlete he is. He is little, but he accomplishes a lot. Last week he asked me, “Dad, do you think I’ll make it to the NFL?” My response to him, “Son, you can do whatever you put your mind to.” But in my mind, I had already quit on him. My immediate thought was how can he make it? All the kids that play football at this age won’t make the pros. My perspective was negative. Mainly because the world has shown me that the odds were against my son making the pros.
But I did look at the other perspective. I thought, all who play in the NFL once played at the age my son is. There was something special about those who excelled and made it. Those individuals realized their gifts. They spent their lives sharpening their skills and strengthening their talents so they could be the best at what they do.
God may bring us to a point in life and instead of us feeling that the task is too great for what 'little' we have. We must remember that He is our creator and has already given us all we need for the situation He has brought us to. This is my job as a father; to raise my son in knowing that his gifts come from above. And although he may be good now, he has to continue to sharpen his skills to make God’s gift in him stronger.
That young man in the text came to the services that day with just his lunch. That’s all he had. But God took that gift, and through His Son, feed 5000 people. That young man’s ‘little’ became bigger than the problem. And through that miracle everyone saw that God was in the house!
You should be excited when God puts you in the position of the miracle. My son for example, by me telling him he can do whatever he puts his mind to, I said this knowing that it’s my job to teach him to put God first.
When he does that, he then realizes what he has in strength and talent, he received from God. Being grateful for these gifts, he will work hard to keep his skills sharp so that the Lord can use him to teach and bless the world in His own way, not my son’s and not mine.
Now my perspective is clear and positive, if it’s God’s will, it will happen. God will take the little bit my son has and make it bigger than the problems of the world. Let God do that with you. Tell the devil that God has made you bigger than any problem and watch the Lord prove that to everyone around you. Just like He did with the boy with the five loaves and two fish.
By the way, my son caught the game winning touchdown tonight. As I pray that God Will teach him how to use his gifts for the kingdom, I equally pray God will bless others through you as you learn to use what you have from Him.
May God bless and keep you as you journey in Jesus’ name.
1 Peter 4:10 “God has given each of you a gift from His great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” ~NLT
I played football from 5 years old to 12th grade. I developed into a very impressive cornerback and strong safety. Often, I thought I would become a professional football player but that dream never happened. Why don’t some things fall in place when the chances look so good? Maybe it’s because if it’s not in God’s plan, we should be happy those things don’t happen.
On the other hand, little did I know, that during the same time I trained so hard to play football, I was spiritually being trained to do something else. In elementary school I drew comic books. I used to pass them around to my friends in school and they would read them. I would always leave them ‘hanging’ at the end of the comic so that they would want to read the next one.
I continued to draw in High School but no longer drew comics. Drawing and writing comic books were the foundation that would later lead me to another type of writing. During the late 80’s and mid-90’s, I wrote three books. I never published these books but instead wrote them as a hobby.
It wasn’t until 2017 when God would show me why He trained me spiritually in the ‘literary arts’ for all those years. I co-wrote with my wife our first published book concerning marriage ministry. Later that year I began to write devotionals. God allowed me to use my testimonies and mix them with His Word to serve others and allow Him to save lives through my actions in writing. This is a gift God has given me and I gratefully accept. In other words, even if I wanted something else for my life, if God is not in the plan, I don’t want it.
Think about this: if you feel stuck in an area you are strong in, search yourself through God’s Word and see if that’s really where God wants you to be. Just because we may be good in the area we are in, doesn’t necessarily mean we are on the ‘path prepared’ for us.
The scripture above says “Based on the gift each one has received…” The gift given from above was given from, “…His great variety of spiritual gifts…” and must be recognized. Each one of us has a gift from His variety of spiritual gifts. Our own custom-made gifts for Him to use through us for our own individual purpose in this world. This gift will not allow us to be ‘stuck’. Instead, this gift will allow us to bring meaning, light and hope to those God places in our path.
This gift can only be used if received. I didn’t receive the gift of written testimony until I submitted and gave my life to Christ. It was then the Lord allowed me to realize that I had this gift from Him all the time. Scriptures saved my life and made me aware of the beauty in an otherwise dark world. We all have access to that.
A great tool for seeking God’s Word for direction is through devotionals. Feel free to grab a copy of my new book, ‘Testimonies of Faith and Encouragement: A Weekly Devotional’ at this link: bit.ly/testimoniesoffaith
Allow God to take you to your place of purpose, so that you can be aware of the beauty of God’s existence and His power as He uses you to save lives. May God continue to bless you with His healing, direction, and love as you walk in Jesus’ name.
Authors Billy & Yolanda
This is the place where we share our heart through God's Word in faith that will inspire and empower you to live in peace.