I woke up early this morning thinking, if Jesus sent us a message through sweetheart candy, what would it look like? I’m pretty sure He was the first one who ever thought of asking us to “be Mine”. The other day I was reading the instructions in Leviticus for the priests of laying their hands on the head of the animal to be sacrificed for the sins of the people. An image came into my head of Jesus on the cross and my hand reaching out to touch Him to transfer my sins onto Him. It was heart wrenching. Even though we have been taught it and have read it in the Word over and over again, that made His love so much deeper to me.
He was the original creator of love language. Yet in view of all the Hallmark cards and love songs that have been written, I’m pretty sure He doesn’t get much credit for it. Without Him, where would love have come from? “Beloved let us love one another, for love is of God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows
God. He who does not love, does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested towards us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” I John 4:7-11 How’s that for a love story! And there’s more!!! I John 4 gives us a wonderful outline on how to love one another through the love of God. It says when we love one another, God abides in us and His love has been perfected in us. We can walk in true love when we are His! I’ve never seen Valentines Day as a day to honor the Lord, but Who else has exhibited such unconditional, selfless love for us? Who else keeps His hand extended no matter how many times we have walked past it, too busy to sit with Him, too preoccupied to dwell in His Presence? It’s easy to get so caught up in caring for others even, trying to fit one more thing to do for someone into the day, that I’ll find myself trying to do it all in my strength. I forget that He is the One who created my heart and through rebirth, has given me the compassion to even reach out to them.
I woke up at 3 a.m. and couldn’t go back to sleep thinking about everything that has to be done each day for the next week for the ministry, 3 halfway houses, the homeless, the recovery meeting… my brain was spinning. Then, in an instant, the Lord changed my whole thought process. I look at the calendar and everything on the “to do list”, and think, “what was I thinking?!” While someone else would look at it and become energized and excited at getting it all done. I became so grateful that this is what my life is now. That the challenges are no longer whether I am going to get evicted or not, or how long will I be without running water. But instead there’s this wonderful well of Living water that we have the privilege of being vessels for. He not only first made our hearts, but when we tainted them, He was completely willing to pave the way to remake them for us. So that’s what led me to think of Him as the very One we should honor this month as the absolute best lover of our soul.
He loves us so much, that He calls us His bride. He proposed to us before we were even born. Yes, I guess you could call it an arranged marriage, but the benefits are phenomenal! You may think I’m going a little overboard, but I have to tell you, I have fallen completely in love with This Guy all over again this morning! I hope as you read this, your heart is crying out with a resounding “yes!” “I will & I do!” Be fully committed to the One who is fully committed to you. If you need a reference, I will vouch for Him, He says what He means and He means what He says! He is the Way, the Truth & the Life. He will never leave you nor forsake you. All His promises are yes and amen. “And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” Rev 22:17 FREE!!! Does it get any better?!!!!
And that takes us back to I John 4:19 “We love Him because He first loved us.” His word and His love are complete for us. We are completely cared for, completely held, completely secure because of who He is.
At the time of this writing, our treasurer has declined rapidly. He is only 6 weeks out from his cancer diagnosis and is now on hospice. Please agree with us as we speak against the devourer in the name of Jesus.
(I apologize if any of your end-of-year donor receipts were incorrect. Please do not hesitate to call me for a correction. It’s totally my fault. One of our supporters, who I am very grateful too, called to tell me I had left the amount out completely.) Its hard to understand suffering. Words fail. But Jesus does not. I had a dream a few nights ago. I was looking at this long winding, curvy, hilly road, with severe highs and lows. It was amazing how far I could see. I was on a journey that I was excited about because the destination was a place I’ve always dreamed of being and knew when I got there, I’d never lack for anything and the circumstances were going to be amazing. As I looked at the road ahead, the dips actually made me feel like I’d faint and I wondered if I’d remember how hard the trip was when I got there and all of a sudden all of my troubles would be over. Then I woke up.
He loves us. His plan for us is perfect. The journey is difficult but if we could see what’s ahead, we’d press on with every ounce of strength we could muster because it is going to be fantastic, beyond beautiful, absolutely everything we’ve ever hoped for. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18
“But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. Likewise, the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Romans 8:25-26. I had a dream minutes before the one about the road, of a stranger walking up to me who said he was sent to pray for me. Jesus has not left without One to intercede for us, not only does He intercede at the right hand of the Father, but He sent us a backup, the Holy Spirit.
As for the ministry, we are now going into a 3rd women’s shelter and teaching crafts. And our feeding the homeless has increased dramatically. It’s a busy time! I’m so grateful for all of you who have sown into our ministry. You would be amazed if you seen the crowd you are blessing! I can’t thank you enough for loving the Lord and being a part of our family.
Yesterday, I was on the phone with a dear brother, who actually makes up our envelopes each month. After sharing some of my stress, he prayed for me. He was a friend of my parents and so it was like getting a fatherly hug through the phone! I didn’t ask for the prayer, he just did it. If the Lord puts it on your heart to pray with someone, don’t question it, don’t worry about it, just do it and He will be faithful to accomplish what He wants done with it. There is no value we can put on being part of the body of Christ, it is priceless!
Have a wonderful month and enjoy loving Jesus!
Your sister in Him,