Response to Why Are You Still Single? (Single & Following Jesus Part V)


Aloha friends, 

So one of the frequent questions given to singles is “Why are you single?” It might be followed by a, “You are so beautiful/handsome. You are such a great person,” or a “Let me set you up with my (coworker, friend, this person I know, or a complete stranger).” 

Sometimes the person is unbelieveably rude and says something like, “I am so glad I found someone,” or “You better get moving the clock is ticking.” 

I had a lady tell me once she could never be me because I did not have anyone. Well, she was soon single. Her husband was caught cheating. As a matter of fact every woman who has looked down on me for being single ended up divorced/betrayed. No, I did not wish bad things on them. 

Their comments do not bother me. Why? I truly like who I am. With or without a mate, I like myself. A partner is not a means to validate my self worth. 

Some pity you. Some judge you. Some try to set you up on awful blind dates. Some assume all you do is think about marriage. There are healthy ways to deal. 

How do you deal? 

Well, offense is an option or a snarky comment. Don’t let the spirit of slap get you. 😉


The high road is understanding being single is not a curse nor will marriage fix everything. Marriage adds responsibilities, involves compromise, and is best suited for two people ready to attempt to love unselfishly. 

Paul stated very clearly that the married person focuses on their spouse while the single person has undivided focus on God. 

I really want to get married, what do I do? 

I enjoy being single, except at weddings and around certain people. Then I wish I had a fake spouse to bypass the akwardness. 🙂 Yet I know it is a great desire in the hearts of many. So here are some tidbits. 

1. Get comfy with who you are

Confidence attracts great things. 

Being single can cause some insecurity for some-the world is wondering why no one has chosen you. You may wonder this too. Yet know there are plenty of people married to the wrong person or in hellish marriages because they were impatient. They post like it’s bliss on Social Media, yet know of several faking the funk per say. 

The right thing for a person at the wrong time is still the wrong thing. 

2. Know God cares about the desires of your heart and His abilities trump a biological clock. 

I know people who married later in life and have amazing marriages. They had kids over 40, had the income to support those kids, and were mature enough to handle the marriage. When God gives gifts, they are custom. Custom gifts are not always quick or immediate. One can go create an Ishmael situation or wait on God/seek God for Issac. 

But my biological clock is like a time bomb! 

Abraham and Sarah are prime examples of God’s ability to defy biology. God created the body. God can do what people say cannot be done. I know most do not want their story to be that of Abraham and Issac. I simply wanted to encourage you that God is not limited. 

The desires of a person’s heart placed in the hands of God is the safest place they can be. 

3. Ask why you want to be married?

Selfishness is the thief of love, God love. If marriage is a means to fit in, fill a void, forgo lonliness, or deal with lust-those are the wrong motives. 

Marriage amplifies who a person is. Any issues hidden come bubbling up. What if that spouse get’s disfigured, can not meet physical needs, gets an illness…what then? What if for better or worse becomes the worse? If the objective is not to unselfishly love and honor someone for life, well relational breakdown occurs. 

4. Pray

There are people who say pray for your future spouse. I am not opposed to this. I truly think some of the greatest prayers are below…

Lord help me to find contentment in you alone. 

Lord purify my heart and help me to walk in purity. 

Lord show me how to love like you. 

Lord prepare me for what you have for me. 

Lord help me to guard my heart. 

Lord help me to steward others hearts well. 

Lord give me wisdom and increased discernment. 

Lord fill all the voids with you. 

Lord heal my soul. 

Lord protect me from the wrong choices. 

Lord hold my heart and do not let me give it to the wrong person. 

Lord prepare the person you have for me. Cause our paths to cross at the perfect time. 

Lord help me to find my identity in you. 

Lord strengthen me where I am weak.


Final thoughts…

People are getting married later in life. I hear from ladies that Christian men do not pursue them. I hear from Christian guys they are clueless how to date or have been repeadily rejected. So this leaves an interesting dynamic for those desiring children. Some opt for online dating. I have seen this work out great for many and not so great for a few. Some pray and hope God sends someone. Some give up all together. 

I will say that God is good and withholds nothing good. God’s timing is not always ours. Yet I have seen over and over the faithfulness of God. May knowing God be the aim. Those who seek first the Kingdom will gain so much more. The greatest gift is God! 

Praying for you! God wants His very best for you, for all of us. 

Love, 

Erin Lamb 

Who Said You’re Not Beautiful? (Killing Insecurity Part 2)

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For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful,

I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you

when I was made in the secret place,

when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed body;

all the days ordained for me were written in your book

before one of them came to be.

How precious to me are your thoughts,God!

How vast is the sum of them!

Were I to count them,

they would outnumber the grains of sand—

when I awake, I am still with you,~Psalm 139:14-18.

I started us out with Psalm 139. The Bible tells us that we were God’s idea. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. He is the beholder. So, if God calls us beautiful, why don’t more people feel empowered, beautiful, and valuable? There are so many reasons why we (humans) feel less than what God says. Let’s investigate some of the reasons why and seek to combat them.

1. The voice of man over the voice of God.

Children are not born believing they are ugly, unwanted, or not valuable. I have spent quite some time with children and if their parents encouraged and loved them, they are quite confident. They believe they are invincible. Some may be shy, but children don’t have a concept of beauty or what is considered ugly until someone tells them. There are some biological forces at work with attraction (we are more apt to be attracted to someone with certain symmetry and shapes), but for the most part we are told from childhood on up what we are to value and what we are not. Children who are labeled as cute are told, “He/she is so cute! So adorable!” Children are very perceptive. They can see what is considered valuable and what is not.

Our society works diligently to tell the world what is beautiful and valuable. Turn on the TV, look through a magazine…Marketing is designed to tell us what we need to do in order to be more beautiful or valuable. Here are some examples, “Get rid of those wrinkles, whiten those teeth, flatten those abs, build those muscles, look like this person, do this and you will be the most loved, liked, and happy person in the world.

The Problem: Allowing people (including ourselves) to define what is valuable or beautiful. Valuing the opinions of man over the opinion of God.

The Solution: Allowing God to define what is valuable or beautiful. God cannot lie. Meditating on His words, living in His acceptance, and professing His words ourselves.

It’s not easy to combat all the voices coming at us. From the time we are young there are voices attacking our identity. There is rejection from peers, negative words spoken over us, we are bombarded with images of people we are told are the most beautiful, successful, and valuable people in the world. We are told humility is self-deprecation (thinking we are nothing) which is simply another form of pride (valuing our opinion over God’s). We can’t go one day without being told what we can do to become more valuable, acceptable, beautiful. The truth is-we are already beautiful and valuable!

Prayer:

Father I ask for lies we believe about ourselves to be revealed, renounced, uprooted, and demolished. Replace every lie with Your truth. Help us to have Your thoughts as our thoughts. Protect our eyes from being fixed on the world’s standards and may they we permanently fixed on You!

2. Comparison.

I read this somewhere and it stuck with me, “Comparison is the thief of joy!” We become discontent when we compare ourselves to others. As humans we are taught to compare. “Which one of these is not like the other?” And when we are finished picking out what’s different, we were taught to discard the one that was different. When I was a kid, being tan with full features wasn’t glorified. I was teased in school for looking different from other kids. Now being tan/brown is celebrated. Women pay to have their eyes lifted to be wider and lips filled with collagen to be fuller. If I compare who I am to other people, I will never celebrate who God made me to be. God did not make us all to look the same or have the same gift combinations for a reason. He values diversity and every person has a special role in His Kingdom. It would be boring if we were all the same. We must accept and value who we are and what we have in order to have contentment and joy. No trying to keep up with the Joneses…or envying or being jealous of them either. We all have tremendous value, something to offer, and the love of an amazing Father!

Closing Thoughts:

You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You were God’s idea. No matter what anyone else says about you, you have tremendous value and worth. You were worth dying for. Jesus paid the highest price to redeem mankind. The value of something is determined by how much someone is willing to pay for it. God paid the highest price. I encourage you (I will do it too) to recited the verses of Psalm 139. Chew on, meditate on God’s word. And when those voices rise up and say, “You are not enough, not beautiful enough, not smart enough, not talented enough, not good enough,”…you and I can say, “I am who God says I am! I am a child of the King. He paid the highest price for me because He values me. I am made in His image. I am beautiful! In Him I am enough.

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Identity Crisis (Identity in Christ Part 3)

 

 

I am American. I am a woman. I am a daughter and sister. I am Scientist and Engineer. I am a worshiper, artist, and singer. All those statements are correct. However my true identity is a child of the King. Most people will tell you about their earthly citizenship. If we are a follower of Christ, we have a heavenly identity that is the most secure identity. Let’s look at Paul’s instruction.

Philippians 3: 12-21

12b I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Following Paul’s Example

15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

Paul was speaking in the previous passage about all the things that made him a model citizen, but none of those things made him right in the eyes of God. We are citizens of this world, but our eternal citizenship is in heaven. If we live from our true identity we don’t have an identity crisis. Many of us walk around unsure of who we are, what we can do in Christ, how valuable we are, and what we have access to as God’s child. We can live with only this earthly life in view struggling with our identity. Here are some examples.

1. People strive to be successful thinking that if they are, they will be more valuable. The truth is every person is already valued in heaven. God views success very differently than we do. God defines success as being faithful. Are we faithful to do what He says and faithful over what He’s given us. See passages on the talents, Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:12-28. God expects us to use what we are given.  We can be rich, respected, and successful and it does not make us more valuable to God. We have the highest value we can obtain in our identity in Christ.

2. People strive to have the perfect body, image, or looks. The truth is that every person is beautiful in the eyes of God. He made all things and people beautiful. Obtaining the perfect body, image, or looks does not make a person more valuable. God is so creative that He refused to make every person look the same. Every person is made in God’s image and the delight of His heart.

3. People strive to please God, instead of living loved by God. It’s easy to get caught up serving God and find identity in doing for God. Our identity cannot be in serving, ministry, or doing for Him. Our identity is in Christ and from that identity we serve, minister, and do things for God. He does not value us more for doing things for Him. Also if our service is out of obligation, it’s not from a pure heart. In Christ we are 100 percent approved of already.

4. People find their identity in their marital status, family, or relationships. In heaven none of those things make a person more valuable. God doesn’t look over at the angels and say, “Hey that’s John’s mom or dad, or Jack’s wife, or Susie’s best friend.” The relationships we use to find our identity and worth are not what God uses. Our marital status, family, or friend relationships are not our true identity. They do not make us more valuable.

5. People find their identity in the things of this world. This world will pass away and only God’s Kingdom will remain. Our identity in Christ will not change.

6. People find their identity in other people’s opinions of them. God doesn’t take a survey of other people opinions. People pleasing, allowing others to label us, and living under the umbrella of others opinions leads to idolatry. We either live for an audience of One or worship the opinions of people. If we live by the applause of people, we will die by their criticisms.

7. People find their identity in what they do. This does not just apply to occupation. It applies to not so positive things as well. People will say, “I am loser,” defining their worth by what they do or have done. People say, “I am an angry person or type A personality or …fill in the blank.” Labels limit what we can do. The way we see and define ourselves is important. If we see ourselves differently, we will behave differently. Also God doesn’t define us by our shortcomings, “That’s impatient Patty and angry Anita.” In Christ we are covered by the blood of Jesus. He looks at us through the finished work of the cross. He says, “That’s My child.” He doesn’t approve of everything we do, but He continues to love us. Our do (what we do) does not define our who (who we are in Christ).

You get the idea. If we are followers of Jesus, then our identity is only secure in Him. In Him we are forgiven, loved, cared for, accepted, chosen, set apart, and valuable. May we not have an identity crisis. Our lives are hidden in Christ.

No one could replace you. tumblr image.

Love’s Gonna Cost You

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not
proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no
record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there
are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

Love is a gift. Those are the words that ring in my mind when I think of love. It’s a gift. Jesus paid the ultimate price for our freedom and it was/is the greatest gift we could ever receive. He also gave us a great gift, the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you, John 16:7. We cannot love like God without the help of the Holy Spirit. It’s impossible. This Helper (the Holy Spirit) is a person. A person who will help us to love one another.

When you read the verses about love it’s challenging. It’s perfect love. It’s God’s love. It’s available to us 24/7 when we walk in the Spirit. He loves perfectly all the time.

I confess I struggle with love even with the Holy Spirit. I often ask God why? Since the Holy Spirit lives in me, and He’s the most powerful Being in the Universe, why is love so hard? Answer: Love costs us dearly. We are still living in these fleshly bodies that don’t want to continually sacrifice. It costs us pride to serve, love, and forgive. It cost us time to invest in people. It costs us energy to carry another person’s burden. It costs us resources to help a person in need. It costs us dearly to put another person’s needs above our own. Love’s gonna cost you. And if you really step out to love the way God loves, you open yourself up to be extremely vulnerable. Jesus was vulnerable to people. You will be vulnerable as well if you love deeply, and purely as He loves.

The good news. Real love is the most powerful force in the Universe. God is love, and when you love you are imitating Him. Love doesn’t always feel good. It doesn’t always make us warm and fuzzy inside. However, it is an indicator of who our Father is. If we abide in Him, than love abides in us.

My prayer for you this week is that God floods your heart with an abundance of His love and you tap into His love for you and others. You are loved more than you can imagine!

Job (Testing and Trials)

Job (Testing and Trials)

By Erin Lamb

“Job was a wealthy man living in a land called Uz with his large family and extensive flocks. He is “blameless” and “upright,” always careful to avoid doing evil (1:1). One day, Satan (“the Adversary”) appears before God in heaven. God boasts to Satan about Job’s goodness, but Satan argues that Job is only good because God has blessed him abundantly. Satan challenges God that, if given permission to punish the man, Job will turn and curse God. God allows Satan to torment Job to test this bold claim, but he forbids Satan to take Job’s life in the process,” from SparkNotes.

My pastor friend told me last week that going through trials is a compliment, a sign that God trusts you. I thought to myself, “God can You trust me less.” ☺ I can relate to Job. Can you? Maybe we haven’t had the exact same experiences of losing children, a spouse, our health, all our belongings all at the same time. But I am certain that we have all had our faith tested in some way. If we haven’t, then eventually we will. Jesus promised that in the world there would be trouble, but to take heart as He had overcome the world. The brief summary above tells us something about Job. He was not afflicted because he had done evil in the eyes of God. He was afflicted because the enemy wanted to steal his life and prove that Job would turn away from God.

The good things about Job’s life: He was well respected and honored by God. I love that God was boasting about Job in heaven. How great is it that Abba boasts about us? It does not matter if other people boast about you. What matters is what God is saying about you in heaven. To the people around you, even your friends and family, you may appear to be weak, sinful, and a mess. But in the eyes of God, you are more than precious. Job’s friends did not understand. His wife did not understand. But God did! God knows right where you are. He knows what is breaking your heart. He is boasting of your faithfulness in the heaven’s and He will give you double for your trouble. Job received double for what He lost. He did not curse God. Whatever happens to you, don’t lose faith in the goodness of God. You may have to cry it out, scream it out, counsel it out, but don’t lose faith in God. He is cheering for you! He will heal and restore you. He will never leave or forsake you. Dig in deep with Him. One thing I can promise, God is more than faithful.

What We Can Learn From Job:

1.      The devil must get permission to do everything he does. He is not all powerful. God would not allow him to take Job’s life. The devil is a created being with limited access to God’s children. He is not more powerful than God and operates on the leash God has him on. Big God; itty bitty devil.

2.      God was pleased with Job. So many times when we see people going through hard times we look for the sin in their life and judge them. It isn’t our place to judge. We have no idea what God is doing or what He will do.

3.      God will use any attack of the enemy for our ultimate good. I can’t always say that in the middle of a fiery trial, but I always see it in the end. God will work all things together for the good of those who love Him. It’s a promise, and God keeps His promises.

4.      God knows we are human. We are not strong enough to handle all that life throws at us. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit sustains us. If we try in our own human strength, we often fail. God is aware of that. He simply brushes us off and sends us back out! He says, “If you could do it on your own, you wouldn’t need Me.” As humans we will hurt, we will sometimes cry, we may get angry, and we may not understand. God is not intimidated by our weakness. God is attracted to our weakness. God is close to the broken-hearted. So if it hurts you, trust that He is closer to you than you could ever imagine.

5.      People may not ever understand. Job didn’t have an earthly advocate. His friends and family were less than supportive. But he did have God. God is the only One who understands 100 percent what is happening to you, even better than you do. He is the only One who can fix it. Don’t run from Him, run to Him.

6.      God thinks highly of you. I think so many times we see better than anyone else our failures, faults, and weaknesses. God sees His child. He sees the one He loves and would move heaven and earth for. He sees us through the eyes of love. He knows all there is to know about us, yet still yearns to be the center of our worlds. No one will love us like Him.

7.      Intimacy with God takes on deeper meaning in the trials of life. I thank God for the hard times because without them, I would not know the depths of His heart or have deep compassion for the hurting. It’s in those painful moments where you are sure your heart has broken forever and there is no hope, that He steps in and picks you up. He puts the pieces back together again. It is in those moments that you see that no one on this earth could even begin to compare with Him. You learn the rhythm of His heart. You learn the depths of His care. You learn things in the fire with God that no book can teach you and no person can snatch from you. You learn that when you survive what you thought would be the worst thing that could happen to you, that God is more than all powerful. He is a sustainer of life. So hang in there my friends.

God loves you. God is for you. He knows the way that you take. And He promises to be with you every step of the way.

“Abba I ask that for every person going through a fiery trial or who will be faced with a fiery trial that You would pour out Your sustaining power. Fill them from the top of their heads to the soles of their feet. Leave no part of their person untouched by Your hand. Do not allow them to faint under the hardships of this world for Your word says, ‘The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to Your glory that will be revealed in us.’ Help us to keep heaven’s perspective. Help us to fix our eyes on You. Heal every wound. Heal every hurt. Heal afflictions, diseases, emotional pain, physical pain, and do what only You can do. I bless each person with a deeper revelation of Your love, Your healing, and Your goodness. May the enemy be put to shame because the greater One lives in us. Thank you for Your love. In Jesus mighty name, Amen. Have a wonderful weekend.”

 

You Are a Unique Treasure

You Are a Unique Treasure

by Erin Lamb

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;  Your works are wonderful,  I know that full well, Psalm 139:14.

I belong to My beloved,  and His desire is for me, Song of Songs 7:10

Beautiful people. I wanted to share some pictures of my favorite flower, the orchid. I love all orchids. They come in so many colors, shapes, sizes, and variations. I love that God is creative. He is not only creative with the flowers He made. He was creative with all the people He made as well. Yeah God. Isn’t it great that we are not all the same? I think so. If we all had the same gifts and talents, then life would be boring. God takes delight in all the beautiful things He created, including us. He smiles on all that He has made. He thinks everything He made is beautiful. So, why in our culture is there such disparity between what God says and our reality?

I believe that we are all born with the desire to be accepted, loved, cherished, affirmed, and the desire for security. Some of us are born into loving homes that provide all those things. Some of us are born into families that did not include some of those things or any of those things. If we did grow up in a loving family, then we leave and venture out into a world that has a drastically different reality from heaven. The world says that we need to look a certain way, fit into a certain mold, or meet certain criteria in order to be beautiful. That’s untrue. Everything God makes is beautiful in His eyes, and only His opinion matters. Easier said than done, but I often wonder what life would be like if God controlled our thoughts.

The world also teaches us that we need the acceptance of other people, we need the nicest things, we need to be the smartest and brightest, we need to have a certain amount of money, influence, the right friends or significant other, that we need a great spouse in order to have value and security. If we obtain all these things, then we will be valuable. Absolutely untrue. What makes a person valuable is one thing, being a child of God and only He can provide complete security and identity.

God views us all the same, as objects of His affection. He loves us all the same, even those who don’t know Him. Humans like comparison so we can feel better about ourselves. God however looks at us individually as a unique treasure. He doesn’t say to the lion, “Be more like a tiger.” He tells the lion, “Be the best lion you can be.” He is saying the same to us, “Be the best you, you can be! You are My unique treasure. I made you to shine brightly for Me. I don’t want you to be anyone else. Just be you.”  Yes, when we invite Him into our lives He begins to make changes, but He simply removes anything that would hinder true freedom or things that are detrimental to us. When He makes changes in our lives it’s always to make us the truest version of ourselves, who He created us to be.

There is so much freedom that comes from surrendering our identity to God. He knows everything about us and loves us unconditionally. Only He can tell us who we are, what we are here for, and only He can provide ultimate security through relationship with Him. God wants us to believe that His words and thoughts toward us are true. God likes us. God loves us! God says, “You are a unique treasure.” Check out the orchid pics below. All different, all beautiful.

The Order of Love

The Order of Love
By Erin Lamb

Jesus replied:

‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments,” Matthew 22: 39-40.

The context of these verses are that the Pharisees and Sadducees were trying to trap Jesus by asking what is the greatest commandment. He had just put their questions to rest about the resurrection. Jesus always has the perfect answer, see verses from Matthew 22 above. Fast forward to us, modern day Christians. We are no longer under the law, but under grace. We don’t serve God to win His approval or love others to win His approval. Everything needed was already given in Christ. Through relationship with Him we are made righteous, not by works or living under the law, but by faith and relationship with Jesus. That’s good news, that we are invited into a deep love relationship with God Himself. 

There is however a principle to this verse (something we can learn from it). God is a God of order. He is perfect in His ways. The engineer in me loves this about Him. He does things in order. He is not messy, sloppy, nor does He half do anything. The order of love was designed by Him. It goes as follows.

The Order of Love:

1.      Receive love from God. If we do not first receive His love for us, we have nothing to give Him back. We have nothing to give ourselves or others. The first step is always receiving His love by faith and trusting in His unfailing love for us. If we refuse to believe that God loves us, there is a breakdown in the flow of love. We will not be able to love Him, ourselves, or anyone else the way He intended. If we have not received His mercy, grace, acceptance, and love, it will not flow out of us.

2.      Love God. If we put anything ahead of God it will destroy us. Money, relationships, ministry, image, spouse, significant other, work…anything we place ahead of devotion to Him becomes an idol. We are called to love Him back with the love He gives us. As the vertical (God) relationship is worked out, the horizontal (others) relationship get better and better.

3.      Love Yourself. I have heard way too many people say that humility is hating yourself, picking yourself apart, and debasing yourself. That is not scriptural and is a false form of pride. Jesus didn’t do it, therefore it is not humility. He was perfect in humility, yet He loved Himself and was confident in who God made Him to be. If we do not love and accept ourselves we cannot love others. You cannot give away what you do not have. The way you judge yourself, is how you will judge others.

4.      Love Others. Many times we try to love people first without going in the order of love. It fails. It fails because God’s ways are perfect. We cannot love people the way He wants them loved in our strength, in our own power, and with our human love. It will fail. His love however, never fails. It is perfect. If we love in the order He planned for it go, then there will be fruit. It will be love that is patient, kind, long suffering, gentle, forgiving, truthful, humble, not envious or jealous, giving, serving, filled with compassion, and self controlled. 

Lastly, one of the things that popped into my head this week was that we say, “I love you,” all the time to people. But what does that mean? Sometimes I want to ask people, “What does that mean to you?” We attribute love to kindness, spending time, and superficial things. However, love is more than that. Here are my definitions of love. Love means I will correct you in love if you are wrong. Love means I will suffer with you. Love means I will pray for you. Love means I will sacrifice for you. Love means I will put your best interests, and God’s best interests for you at the forefront of my mind. Love means I will feed you if you’re hungry, clothe you if you are naked, encourage you, be there to help you, be a good steward of your heart, time, and anything connected to you. Love means I will treat all things connected to you with love and respect. Love means I will give you the benefit of the doubt until you prove otherwise. Love means I will forgive you and seek to give you the very best of me. Love means I will be honest, transparent, hopeful, merciful, and seek God for the source of love for you. Love means I will be kind to you to the best of my ability and seek God for more of His love for you.

Sometimes people love us with all that they have, but if God is not the source of that love, then it will fall short. If you encounter someone who doesn’t love you well, pray that the order of love come into alignment into their lives. Also check your heart and see if your expectations are reasonable, people were never intended to replace God. Only God can give a love that does not fail. However, by praying for the person, there is hope for change. Only God can change a person from the inside out, we cannot. We can love them, but only He can change the person so they can receive love and grow in love.
 

My prayer this year is that the order of love in lives comes into alignment. We are in this together, all learning from an awesome God!

“Abba, thank You for Your mercy, love, forgiveness, grace, and all that You have done for us. Fill us to overflow with Your love. Help us to receive Your love, Your mercy, Your grace, Your acceptance. Help us to love and accept ourselves and then love others. Fill the gaps. Heal anything that hinders us from receiving Your love. Teach us your ways. Thank You! Thank You for Jesus. May He increase in us and may we be beacons of light for all the world to see. In Jesus mighty name, Amen.”