Tag Archives: love

My God is…abounding in steadfast love Numbers 14:18

JesushuggingcryinggirlNumbers 14:18 – ‘The Lord is slow to anger,
and abounding in steadfast love,
forgiving iniquity and transgression,
but by no means clearing the guilty,
visiting the iniquity of the parents
upon the children
to the third and the fourth generation.’

Definition of ABOUND

1: to be present in large numbers or in great quantity : be prevalent
2: to be copiously supplied —used with in or with <life abounded in mysteries — Norman Mailer> <institutions abound with evidence of his success — Johns Hopkins Magazine>
What do you abound in? 
Time for a little reflection. What do you abound in? Can you make a list? They can be good or bad – we’re not looking to bash ourselves, just take an honest look.
Jill abounds in:
  • empathy
  • sarcastic remarks
  • bad language
  • encouragement
  • laziness
  • forgiveness
  • flexibility

God is abounding in steadfast love. God has steadfast love, and he has a lot of it. He is abounding in it. He has large amounts of it. He has more than He could need. Some might say He’s dripping or oozing steadfast love. He abounds so much that whoever He touches with His steadfast love are able to share that steadfast love with others. We love, because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).  Most of the verses in the Bible that use the word abounding are in reference to God’s steadfast love. I think that speaks to the immensity of it. He has tons of it to give, and will never run out. His love endures forever. 

Definition of STEADFAST

1 a : firmly fixed in place : immovable

   b : not subject to change <the steadfast doctrine of original sin — Ellen Glasgow>
2: firm in belief, determination, or adherence : loyal <her followers have remained steadfast>
Not subject to change
God isn’t going to stop loving you. Even if you stop loving Him. He will go right on loving you. He is abounding, oozing, dripping with steadfast love. Unchanging love. His love never ends. How comforting is it to know that God will always love you. You can’t do anything to earn that love or to lose that love. His steadfast love has more to do with Him than with you. He can’t help himself. He’s got so much love. He loves you know matter the condition of your heart, the guilt that you feel, the job that you have, the friends that you make (or don’t) and the bathroom that you clean (or don’t). God’s love is never going to change. It is firmly fixed. Just like the word abounding in the Bible seems to be significantly connected to steadfast love, when you’re talking about steadfast in the Bible it almost always has to do with God’s love. God’s love for you is so immense, so vast that it will never change. It is steadfast.
What are you abounding in?

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My God is…rebuking Hebrews 12:5-6

Hebrews 12:5-6 Dad disciplining son

And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”


Do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you

Have you ever been rebuked? Told that your behavior is unacceptable?  This will probably not come as a surprise, but I have. When I was growing up, I think rebuking was my parents favorite form of punishment. My best friend growing up used to get in trouble all the time. She didn’t have to do much wrong to get grounded. I would do the same or worse and only get a talking to. She asked me one time, “Why don’t you do more wrong? All your parents do is talk to you as punishment.” I explained to her that I didn’t want to have to find out what was after the talking to. I listened to my parents, because I guess I knew they could have done much worse than talking to me, and I think the thing that was most difficult for me with the “talking to” I received is that my parents showed their disappointment in my behavior. I loved my parents and wanted to please them, so a talking to was all it took, I guess. Also my mom didn’t like to ground us, because that meant she would have to ruin her life staying home to make sure we obeyed the grounding. She didn’t want to be grounded because we did something wrong.

Why do parents discipline their children? 

I’m sure we’ve all seen the kids who have been raised with no discipline. I guess not all parents discipline well, but most parents have certain things that do matter to them, and if their responsible at all they make an effort to properly discipline their children. Do they do it so other people will think they’re good parents? Maybe, but I think the real motivation is love. They love their children and want to help their children grow up and be able to live fulfilling lives without getting in a lot of trouble they can’t get out of on their own.

God disciplines us. 

In the same way that loving parents discipline us, the Lord disciplines us, and the verse above tells us how we should respond to that disciplining. ” do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son” So if you’re going through something right now, and you feel like the Lord is neglecting you, punishing you or abandoning you, know that He still loves you. He hasn’t changed. He is consistent. His love for you does mean that sometimes we have to face the consequences of our sins. Sometimes we have to face things that don’t seem fair. But God does not abandon us, but loves us like His children. Sometimes letting us learn small lessons so we don’t have to face the bigger ones, and sometimes facing the bigger ones because the smaller ones haven’t gotten through to us. He takes no pleasure in our pain, but does know what is necessary for our growth in our faith in Him.

He loves us. 

No matter what is going on in your life, you can cling to the fatherly love of your Lord. He cares about you more than you care about yourself. Turn to Him for your refuge, strength and fair discipline.

Have you been rebuked?



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Posted by on January 11, 2013 in Hebrews, My God is Rebuking


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My God is…empowering 2 Timothy 1:6-7


God did not make us timid

2 Timothy 1:6-7  For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

When are you timid? 

Maybe you’re not. I don’t think most people consider me timid, but when I enter a room, I can be quite shy. I’ll be looking around for anyone who makes eye contact that I can comfortably go hang by (sometimes for the rest of the night). I’m not very brave in social situations. Not at all timid once you get to know me, but those first meetings (especially if I can’t remember your name) are hard for me. I’m a bit insecure sometimes.

Why are we sometimes timid? 

I think the reason we’re sometimes timid is because we’re looking for our self-worth in the wrong places. We’re looking at getting our self-worth through other people, our work, our money or position. But in the verse above it seems to be related to the gifts God has given us, and we’re to use those gifts for God’s glory.


What do you think of when you think of power? A super hero? Your boss? Your father? I think in reality power for me is security. Feeling comfortable in my own skin and not being affected (as much) by the negativity around me. The definition of power a few places is to be able to produce an effect. Here it is telling us that by the Holy Spirit we are given the ability to produce an effect. We can be effective for Christ.


I’m sure most of us know that the commandments Jesus talked about were about love: Mark 12: 29-31,  “Jesus answered, “Here is the most important one. Moses said, ‘Israel, listen to me. The Lord is our God. The Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your mind and with all your strength.’ (Deuteronomy 6:4,5) And here is the second one. ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ (Leviticus 19:18) There is no commandment more important than these.”” Giving us through the Holy Spirit the ability to love, God is giving us the ability to fulfill His commandments (ok – not perfectly, but without Him, we’re incapable of true love – loving those who don’t deserve it – as Christ loves us).

Self Discipline

Ok – if you’re anything like me being given the gift of self-discipline is like getting socks at Christmas. Useful, but not very exciting. At least it used to be. I’m finding that as I grow up (yes I’m still working at that) I find being self disciplined helps me avoid a lot of self loathing, a lot of over eating, snapping at my family, being selfish (or at least recognizing it) and loads of other sins I would rather not reveal this morning. Being able to have self-discipline also allows me to focus and keep my eyes fixed on the Lord. Still not perfect at it, but learning to daily seek God is a self-discipline.

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God

Practice, practice, practice. Everything we want to be truly good at takes practice, or doing something over an over again. Have you ever fanned anything into flames? I truly try to avoid open fires for the most part, so this hasn’t happened to me very often, but I do watch Survivor (don’t hold that against me) and it’s really hard work for them to get a fire going. After they finally get a spark, they have to fan it into flames to get a fire worth using started. Our faith is the same way. If we leave it alone and don’t tend to it, it will diminish, or even peter out. But if we fan it into flames, by reading the word of God and renewing our mind we will be transformed. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

What are you fanning into flames?



Posted by on December 13, 2012 in 2 Timothy, My God is empowering


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My God is…not unjust Hebrews 6:9-11

Hebrews 6:9-11 – Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case—the things that have to do with salvation. God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized.

Getting discouraged while doing good

Has it ever happened to you? Have you been in a meeting, come up with an idea, and because you came up with it, you’re now the implementor as well. Sometimes that’s good, but sometimes you have an idea, but you’re not the one with the gifts to get the job done. This can be very discouraging. Sometimes you think you’ve been given a great idea or way to spread the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ through a Bible Study, discussion, event or maybe even a game night, but no one shows. You put a lot of work in, but it all seems for not.

God is not unjust

The verse above is very encouraging to me. I think of the times I have helped someone, only to have them complain about how I helped later. Or maybe I helped out at the church, and no one even noticed. Sure that’s probably a selfish attitude, but it’s also not true. Someone did notice. This verse from Hebrews reminds us that God notices, “He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”

He will not forget the love you have shown Him

Sometimes we want the person we helped to value our help as much as we value our own time. We might think to ourselves, I could have been getting the grocery shopping done, or been getting a pedicure, instead I’m helping this ungrateful person. But here is where we need to remember who we’re really serving. God will not forget the love you have shown him. In the verse above it tells us we show God our love as we have helped His people and continue to help them. As one of my dear friends from Bible study would say, “Serve them with love.” She has said this when she knew we were talking about people we found hard to love and to serve. I loved the phrase already, but coupled with the reminder from Hebrews that we’re showing God love through helping others makes that a little sweeter in the mouth. I can serve them with love, because of His love for me and my love for Him. God makes serving others with love possible.

We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end

We are called to show others love no matter what. We are to be diligent in doing good for others until our very last hour. Why? “So that what you hope for may be fully realized.” Our good works and love shown for others doesn’t get us to heaven, but it is a sign that we love our Lord above all else, and believing in God is the saving Grace we desire.

Can you serve them with love?

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Posted by on October 25, 2012 in Hebrews, My God is not unjust


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My God is…the One who lifts my head high Psalm 3

Psalm 3 

Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him. ”

But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.

I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain.

I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.

Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked.

From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.

Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me!

I have an unusual laugh. Some say it sounds like a machine gun. I’m guessing some find it very annoying. In fact I’m sure of it. I remember coming into a new job. I climbed the stairs looking to find the woman who was going to train me. She was one of the people who had interviewed me. As I approached the office, I heard her say something like, “Wait till you hear her laugh, it’s crazy”. What to do! Should I turn around and walk out? How will I stop myself from crying? Should I walk in as if nothing has happened, when I feel so hurt?

But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.

I chose the last option. Said a little prayer, put a smile on my face and walked in and introduced myself. The words she had said were still lingering in the air. You could see they all realized that I would likely have heard what was said. I prayed again, and the Lord lifted my head. He helped me to get through that first day. Of course I went home and cried, telling my wonderful husband between hyperventilating type breaths how much the people at my new job hated me.

Eventually I became a real part of the office. The people in the room that day came to accept me for who I was. The problem that first day? They didn’t know who I was. To them, I was loud with a funny laugh. I even became friends with the woman who said those things.

The Lord lifts my head high

Embarrassing moments happen all the time (at least to me). Sometimes they don’t even have to happen for me to drop my head in shame. I just think about what might happen and I start to feel down, letting satan get a foothold in my life. I begin to doubt my gifts, abilities and sadly even my Lord.

Avoiding eye contact

When my boys do something wrong, they walk into the room, avoiding eye contact with me looking at the ground. Sometimes they’re even shedding a tear or two. “Look at me”, I’ll say, as I lift their head so our eyes can meet. We talk about what went wrong and how to fix it. Then I look in their eyes, pronounce forgiveness for their sins, and tell them that I love them.

When we do things that are stupid, selfish or sinful, I think we avoid eye contact with the Lord. We start shifting our gaze from Him, because looking at His perfection reminds us how we’ve fallen short. But God doesn’t leave us shifting our eyes from side to side. He lifts our head high so we might look in His eyes and see His love. The love He showed by sending His son to die for us that we might be forgiven of our short comings and sins, and instead of death, spend eternal life with Him.

Keep your eyes on Him

Yes when you look at Him, you may be reminded of your sin, but keep looking, don’t turn away. God wants to tell you how much he loves you.

Are you avoiding eye contact with God?




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My God is a Miracle Worker – John 21:25

John 21:25 – Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

The whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

Isn’t that the truth. I think about my own life and the amazing things the Lord has done for me, and I’m pretty sure my book of God’s Miracles would be pretty long too – even if all I did was list them. Sometimes when I’m going through something I feel like the Lord isn’t there, and it becomes hard for me to believe that Jesus would perform a miracle for little old me. Sometimes I’m too busy controlling the situation to hand it over to God and let His will be done. But when I have, amazing things have happened.

My son was born with Tetralogy of Fallot

When my son was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot, we had never heard of it. The Doctor explained to us that our newborn would have to have open heart bi-pass surgery within the first year of his life. We were shocked. In the office we took the news calmly, but when we got home I broke down. I was really freaking out. Around 9 months old he had the surgery. The thing I remember most is handing him over to the surgical team. They stood there with a mask to administer something to put him to sleep. Five of them looking at me, one with his arms outstretched to take my baby from me. They were going to cut his heart open. I had been calm the whole day leading up to the surgery, but in that moment, I new I had to surrender his care to the doctors and to God, because I truly couldn’t fix this problem for him.

Years later, during a choir rehearsal at church, a man stood up to give a devotion. He began telling the story of how his son had Tetralogy of Fallot. But his story was different. His son had to have multiple surgeries. He was twelve at the time and had over 5 surgeries already. I started to cry. I was overwhelmed knowing how the Lord had given our son a full recovery. The doctors had said he would never have to have heart surgery for Tetralogy again. That was when I knew the fullness of the miracle that had occurred. My son was healthy and amazed all the heart doctors he has seen since.

God has healed my heart

Another miraculous event in my life has happened more recently. I have an amazing husband. He has always been kind and considerate, but sometimes I still felt I wanted more love from him. I felt needy, and I could tell he felt I was needy too. We didn’t fight often, but when we did – watch out! I felt like he thought, I told you I love you, and that’s the truth until further notice, and that he didn’t really need to tell me again, unless something changed. Well, I’m a girl, and this was hard for me. I didn’t know how to make it better. There really wasn’t much to complain about, and when I did, I couldn’t put my finger on the real problem.

I had heard about a book called, “Love and Respect” on the radio. It talked about how women need love and men need respect. It was surprising to me, and I was pretty sure wrong. I thought, my husband needs love more than respect. I decided to find out. When my husband came downstairs, I asked him which was more important to him, love or respect, and without another breath he said, “Respect!”. There wasn’t a doubt in his mind. I could see I hadn’t been approaching him with that in mind, and I ordered the book (actually I accidentally ordered the second one, but that works too). I read through about half of it and got distracted. Then a few months ago, my counselor recommended it to me. I said I had already read most of it.

When I got home, I talked to my husband and he agreed to read it with me. This is when the miracle happened. By reading Ephesians 5:33 : “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” and the book, he realized that God made me to need love. It’s not that I’m needy because of some personal deficiency, but that God intended it that way. He got it.

How has life changed because of this miracle?

We’re not finished reading the book, but already things are so much better. Remember, I said I had a good marriage before, but this is truly wonderful. Now my husband, of his own doing is showing me love in all the ways I had hoped he would. When we’re at a function, he crosses the room to talk to me. He’ll compliment me in front of others. He tells me its a joy to see my smile. These things are not that different from what he did before, but it’s also the attitude behind it. He assumes I want to bless him with respect, and I assume the things that used to annoy me are not things he’s doing to irritate me. We have more patience with each other, and are really enjoying a new lease on life. My counselor said she thought it was a very powerful book, and I have to agree. It get’s its power by being focused on the truths in God’s word.

Do you need love, or respect?


Posted by on January 25, 2012 in God is a Miracle Worker, John


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My God is … Love 1 John 3:1

1 John 3:1 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us. 

Love is mentioned a lot in the Bible. We’re told we’re to love one another (almost 20 times). Husbands are told to love their wives. But one of the best ways (in my humble opinion) the word love is used is to describe the wonderful and unconditional love the “Father has lavished on us”

Because God first loved us we’re able to show love to others. Even if they don’t deserve it. That can be really hard, but it can also be really rewarding. People are changed by love. Imagine the young student who has never felt very smart in school is shown some loving patience and encouragement from a teacher. That can be very inspiring to the student.

Have you ever been shown love when you didn’t deserve it. Besides from God. Has anyone ever been nice to you even though you were being a jerk? What would happen if you get upset in a grocery store? You lose it and start getting a bit loud with the person checking you out. The manager comes over and lovingly finds out what is wrong and helps you solve the problem. Are you still yelling? No. The manager, with an act of love and respect changed your behavior.

Are you spoiled?

When I was a kid (I’m sure it still is said today), people would say, “Don’t give her that – you’re going to spoil that child.” There are people who are spoiled. Who can never get enough or don’t appreciate the gifts they’ve been given. In the verse above, we see that God has lavished love on us. We are children of the King, the Lord of lords. How could we need anything else? But often I find myself complaining about what I do not have.

I always want more. God is lavishing His love on me and I want more. Lavishing isn’t just getting, it’s getting in abundance. More than I need. He’s giving me more love than I need. What joy that should bring to my heart. It does bring joy, but a somber reality that some times I act like a spoiled brat instead of someone who has all the love a person could ever want.

Lavishing love on others

To lavish love on someone who doesn’t deserve it is contrary to what this world is about, but aren’t we as Christians supposed to be different (in a good way). Wouldn’t it stand out if while someone was yelling at you for the way you parked, you waited patiently until they were done yelling to move your car. What if your spouse says something unkind. Can you stand out and lavish love by not retaliating? How about when your child comes in and confesses to putting a big scratch on your car? Can we lavish the love we’ve been given even then. Only with the strength give to us by Christ could we even try.

Because He first loved us we can lavish love on others. I’m going to challenge myself to find ways to lavish love on people. In my family and community. I’m going to pray for opportunities to show people I love them even when they may not deserve it. That’s scary (may mean I’m going to encounter some real winners over the next few days). But I truly want to understand the amazing love that has been lavished on me. I certainly don’t deserve it.

Are you spoiled? Are you Lavishing love on someone?

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Posted by on January 10, 2012 in 1 John, God is Love


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God is … Love – 1 John 4:8

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8 (NIV)

God is Love.

That seems like such a simple statement, but it’s not really. Not to me. Loving someone isn’t easy. It takes work. I’m not sure we can fully understand the love our Lord has for us. I feel like it’s something more complex than the philos (brotherly love) I might be referring to when I say “I love you, man”. God’s love is more intimate than the eros (erotic) love I have for my husband. And while I suppose the Agape love (unconditional love) we have for our children may be the closest definition of God’s love, I’m guessing it falls short of all that His love provides.

Unconditional Love

Unconditional love is an amazing thing all on its own. To love someone, no matter what. Even if they fail you by lying or cheating. Your children lie to you (or at least mine lie to me). I believe it’s a condition of their sinful souls. I don’t love them any less because they lie, but I don’t love the lies. I think that’s how God feels about us as well. He loves us despite the sins we commit every day. I set out each day thinking I’m going to get it right. Throughout the day I make mistakes. Not all of them are probably sins, but most probably qualify. I may snap at my boys, a driver in front of me, or get impatient with the store clerk who is taking way too long and keeping me from my quiet time at home with the Lord. (That’s right – I can sin and think about the Lord at the same time – I’m crazy like that). But through it all he knows me, forgives me and delights in me. He is Love.

Being in Love with the Lord

I was the first woman my husband said, “I love you” to (or at least that’s what he told me – don’t correct me if I’m wrong, I prefer to live in my la-la-land). My husband and I work at our relationship everyday, and some days it’s a lot more work than other days. To be in a true relationship, you’re thinking about the other person, communicating with them, and enjoying their quirks and their sense of humor. Over the past few years, I have fallen in love with the Lord. I have had some great conversations with Him. Some of those conversations were painful, frustrating and down right sad. I’m not always happy with my Lord. Sometimes he pushes me out of my comfort zone so far that I get angry. I don’t like being stretched or frustrated by my constant failures as I learn something new. But there are other times…

My God has a sense of humor

Are you laughing at me or with me Lord? As I work at my relationship with the Lord through prayer, Bible study and relationships with the wonderful people I encounter, I see evidence of my God’s sense of humor all around me. Perhaps it’s that he is nudging me to work on my faith and I hear a song that touches exactly the right nerve to motivate me, and then follows that up with a friend who calls and reinforces the idea. The more I time I spend with God in prayer and Bible study, the more I see Him communicating in my everyday life. I don’t want to sound like some sort of goody two shoes who spends all her time reading the Bible and going to Bible study. I love those things, but trust me, the amount of commitment I’m making is so small in comparison to what I could be doing, and yet as I grow closer to Him (by spending more time with Him), the more I laugh at how He shows himself in my life.

Do you think the Lord has a sense of humor? If so – tell me about a time you two shared a laugh. If not – tell me why you don’t think the Lord has a sense of humor.

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Posted by on July 27, 2011 in 1 John, God is Love


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