What’s Love Got to do With It?

June 30, 2020 (Post #43)

(From Journal #3:  February 15, 2006)

I woke up early AGAIN with so many thoughts running through my head, I knew I had to get up and pray and spend time with You.

First Lord, You keep reminding me of 1 Corinthians 13:8 which says “Love never fails…”  NEVER.  But I confess that I find “walking in love” is much easier with strangers than the people closest to us sometimes?  Why can conflicts with loved ones be so hard to resolve?  

You showed me something about myself:  I don’t have a problem admitting when I’m wrong; I have a problem not getting credit when I’m right and others won’t apologize.  OUCH!  Every time I CHOOSE to speak love and demonstrate love, I am never a victim and the enemy gets a kick in the teeth!  Love never fails, no matter what the issue is.  Looks like I still need some work here.  Jesus, thank You for correction and conviction.

Proverbs 3:12:  For the Lord corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights.

Proverbs 10:17:  He who keeps instruction is in the way of life, but he who refuses correction goes astray.

Proverbs 12:1:  Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.

Corinthians 13:1-3:  If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

1 Corinthians 13:13:  So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

God’s Tool Box is Full

June 20, 2020  (Post #42)

(From Journal #3:  February 12, 2006)

This morning I saw a pastor on TV who had been diagnosed with Hepatitis C.   Treatment options had been presented to him, and none without side effects and risks.  He believes in divine healing and found himself thinking his choices were:  “I either have to go through treatment OR trust God to heal me.” In his mind he felt that treatment would make him a “faith-failure.”  His very wise mother told him that medicines are for healing and the enemy is about death.  He realized that he had put You in a box by thinking he could only be divinely healed in a certain way, and saw that You give us many tools to use for healing, like medicines, supplements, diet, etc.  It wasn’t a question of medicine OR trusting God; it was treatment AND trusting God.  

Oh, can I relate!  I just went through this myself.  Last week I finished my 4th and last treatment of my 2nd round of immunotherapy.  I thought about how in Deuteronomy 30:19, You told Moses and the Israelites “… I have set before you life and death; choose life…” I chose to see this treatment path as a part of Your healing and took it in faith.  I also thought about Naaman and how his pride and stubbornness almost cost him his healing.  

2 Kings 5:1, 10-15:  Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the Lord had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy.  Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.” But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.  Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.  Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel…” 

Don’t Cherish the Sin!

April 25, 2020 (Post #37)

(From Journal #3:  November 1, 2005)

This morning as I read the Word, Psalm 66:16-20 spoke so powerfully to me:

“Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what He has done for me. I cried out to Him with my mouth; His praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Praise be to God, Who has not rejected my prayer or withheld His love from me!”

The phrase “cherished sin” really jumped out at me.  What does it mean to cherish sin?  One definition describes cherish as to harbor, entertain, possess, hold on to, cling to, keep in one’s mind, foster, or nurture.  Wow, Lord!  This hit me between the eyes.

So often we pray about people and situations, but we “cherish” sin while we’re praying. We pray to You but we’re not really willing to lay down some things.  If we’re honest, we’re holding on to unforgiveness, anger, resentment, bad habits, addictions, unhealthy relationships, lack of self-discipline, greed, reckless spending and bad stewardship, and even downright laziness.

Lord, help me to be honest with myself about any sin I may be cherishing in my heart when I come to You in prayer, that my prayers are not hindered!

Psalm 26:2:   Test me, Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind;

Psalm 32:5:   I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.

Psalm 139:23-24:   Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

2 Corinthians 13:5:  Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test? 

Attention, Please!

February 8, 2020  (Post #26)

(From Journal #2:  August 12, 2005)

The CT scan back on July 8th was great; thank You, Jesus!  The lymph nodes continue to shrink as the Word eats away cancer.  So, I scan again in November.

Things have been busy this summer and I cannot believe I’ve been away from the journal for so long.  I’ve also allowed distractions to interfere with my study of Your Word.  But then You did what all good parents do:  You corrected me! You brought Proverbs 4:20-22 to my spirit and showed me I had not been attending to Your Word, and You were right.  

I know Your Word.  I believe Your Word.  I speak Your Word.  But lately, I haven’t been getting it before my eyes and in my ears enough.  I’ve been neglecting and not prioritizing my personal Bible study and haven’t been listening to the great teachers I like to follow.  I can’t “coast along” on what I know.  I must attend to Your Word to keep learning and for fresh revelation.  Also, I haven’t been “rejoicing in the Lord always.” I’ve been whining and complaining and focusing on the wrong things.  Forgive me, Lord.  Thank You for loving me enough to discipline and correct.

Proverbs 4:20-22: “My son, attend to My words; incline thine ear unto My sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.  For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.”

Hebrews 12:5-6: …“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.”

Proverbs 3:11-12:  My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction;  For whom the Lord loves, He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.

Philippians 4:4:  Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again:  Rejoice!