Love Letter

Some people call their Bible a sword, and it is. To me, it is also a Love Letter. So open your love letter to Jeremiah 31:3.

The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee.

Jeremiah 31:3

In 1984 when I was nine months pregnant with my second daughter and we were living in a tiny little trailer outside Kileen, TX, near Ft. Hood, two deputies arrived to arrest me for a bounced check I had written to a grocery store. The check had been redeemed and I had the receipt so the deputies did not take me with them but the incident made me realize that I couldn’t go on as I had been going.

My mom had come to Texas to visit me and I begged her to tell me how to have the faith that she had. Mama never doubted God’s existence or that He would take care of her and I wanted that unfeigned faith, the faith of my Mama. Mama prayed for me as I stood crying beneath a tree beside the tiny trailer.

It has always been my belief that my daughter, Holly, was annointed with that same faith, my Mama’s faith, right there– before she was even born, at the moment my Mama prayed. Holly has always believed that God exists and that He cares for her.

This is my love story. God loved me and He willing chased me down. I turned around (repented of my sins) and began to chase Him.

Quite a few years later, I was still chasing God and someone gave me a well-known book to read that had helped them. When I opened the book to the first chapter, I read, “It’s not about you.” I closed the book and put it on the shelf.

In 1 John 4, my Love Letter says, “We love him, because he first loved us.” It is about me and it is about you. God loved us so much that He is willing to chase us down.

How did God show us that He loved us? John 3:16-17 says,

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

God is not willing that anyone should perish but not everyone accepts God’s love and God gave each one of us the freedom to choose life or death. He will not go against my will.

So how can I receive the life and love that God is willing to give me? Romans 10:10 tells me,

For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.

So what is God’s love like? First Corinthians 13, verses 4-8 tells us how God defines love:

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, What if I can’t hold onto that love that God is giving me? Romans 8: 35, 38-39 says,

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The Song of Solomon, a love letter within a love letter, says in chapter eight, verse 7, “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it.”

As I began to believe that God loves me, I wanted to show God that I accepted His love. So, What does God want from me? John 15: 9-12 says,

9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

Now when I read these verses I was concerned and you might be too. Uh-Oh, So here’s the catch. IF I can obey His commandments He will love me. Or IF I can obey His commandments He will abide with me and give me joy.

The devil, that thief and murderer, shouts immediately, You’ll never be able to do it! HaHa, you God-chaser, you FAILURE. You will NEVER be able to keep the commandments. Thou SHALT, Thou SHALT NOT! Haha. You will FAIL.

But then the very next verse tells me what Jesus commands me to do:

12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

In Matthew 22, Jesus was asked by an expert on the Law (the law of Moses) what was THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT:
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

So the commandment of Jesus is to LOVE.

Now as I began to ponder this commandment, I was still a little concerned.

Could I love as God loved? As I have stated above, God has defined love in my Love Letter. Here is that definition again, paraphrased in light of Jesus’ commandment:

I am patient,
I am kind.

I do not envy,
I do not boast,

I am not proud.
I am not rude,
I am not self-seeking,
I am not easily angered.

I keep no record of wrongs.

I do not delight in evil but I rejoice with the truth.

I always protect,
always trust,
always hope,
always persevere.

The best part is the very last four words:

I will never fail.

Bless the LORD, oh my soul, and ALL that is within me bless HIS HOLY NAME!

God loves you and I love you. If you want to know more about God’s love, you can email me:
Write to Julie

Providential says:

Providential derives from Latin providentia , from providens , provident- , present participle of providere , literally, “to see ahead,” from pro- , “forward” + videre , “to see.”

Providence is defined by the same website as:

( often initial capital letter ) the foreseeing care and guidance of god or nature over the creatures of the earth.
2. ( initial capital letter ) God, esp. when conceived as omnisciently directing the universe and the affairs of humankind with wise benevolence.
3. a manifestation of divine care or direction.
4. provident or prudent management of resources; prudence.
5. foresight; provident care.

Verses to study and meditate:

Matthew 6:24-34 24“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

The Cure for Anxiety

25“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26“Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27“And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28“And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30“But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32“For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

34“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Love Never Fails. (a very long post studying this Word)

Love. God is Love. Love never fails.

We are memorizing the Bible description of love:

Love is patient, Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast. It is not proud.

That’s this week’s segment to memorize. The children repeat it after me several times, then are called upon to repeat it to me.

The Blue Letter Bible

reports that the English word “love” occurs 311 times in 281 verses in the King James Version of the Bible.
In it first occurrance at Genesis 27:4 and its third occurance at Genesis 29:32 it is used as a verb.

This word love is ‘ahab. Gesenius’s Lexicon, used by the Blue Letter Bible to translate the word, defines this word love:

(1)To desire, to Breathe after anything.
(2)To love a friend.
(3)To delight in anything, in doing anything.

Genesis 27:4
And make me savoury meat, such as I <b>love</b> and bring [it] to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee before I die.

Genesis 29:32
And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me.

It is here used as a verb.The outline of its Biblical usage:

1) to love

a) (Qal)

1) human love for another, includes family, and sexual

2) human appetite for objects such as food, drink, sleep, wisdom

3) human love for or to God

4) act of being a friend

a) lover (participle)

b) friend (participle)

5) God’s love toward man

a) to individual men

b) to people Israel

c) to righteousness

b) (Niphal)

1) lovely (participle)

2) loveable (participle)

c) (Piel)

1) friends

2) lovers (fig. of adulterers)

2) to like
The outline of its Biblical usage:
1) love

a) human love for human object

1) of man toward man

2) of man toward himself

3) between man and woman

4) sexual desire

2) God’s love to His people

This word love is ‘ahabah.
The LexiConc reports that there are nineteen entries that match “love”.

Let’s skip forward to the New Testament translations from Greek.
There are ten reported uses:

love, beloved
love, charity, dear, charitably, feast of charity
brotherly love, brotherly kindness, love of the brethren
love as brethren
love their husbands
kindness, love toward man
love of money
love, kiss
love to have the preeminence
love (one’s) children.

Since the verse I quote is 1 Corinthians 13:8, let’s look at the translation/meaning of the word in this verse.

The King James Version of the Bible says:

Charity never faileth…

Charity, agape, denotes affection, good-will, love, benevolence. This is also the version of the word used in 1 John 4:8, “God is Love.”

Vine’s expository dictionary of new testament words has this to note:

In the two statements in 1Jo 4:8, 16, “God is love,” both are used to enjoin the exercise of “love” on the part of believers. While the former introduces a declaration of the mode in which God’s love has been manifested (1Jo 4:9, 10), the second introduces a statement of the identification of believers with God in character, and the issue at the Judgment Seat hereafter (1Jo 4:17), an identification represented ideally in the sentence “as He is, so are we in this world.”

Never is used in the Authorized Version of the King James as never, neither at any time and nothing at any time. An adverb defined by Strong’s as denying

absolutely and objectively- not ever.

Fails – Vines has this note about the word translated as fails:

Fall, Fallen, Falling, Fell:

“to fall out of” (ek, “out,” and No. 1), “is used in the NT, literally, of flowers that wither in the course of nature, Jam 1:11; 1Pe 1:24; of a ship not under control, Act 27:17, 26, 29, 32; of shackles loosed from a prisoner’s wrist, Act 12:7; figuratively, of the Word of God (the expression of His purpose), which cannot “fall” away from the end to which it is set, Rom 9:6; of the believer who is warned lest he “fall” away from the course in which he has been confirmed by the Word of God, 2Pe 3:17.”

* [* From Notes on Galatians, by Hogg and Vine, p. 242.] So of those who seek to be justified by law, Gal 5:4, “ye are fallen away from grace.”

July 4, 2004 Devotion: Love, not fear, draws us to God & we CAN know His will

It is the goodness of God that leadeth to repentance:
Romans 2:4
Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

Not fear of punishment, because
1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has torment, and he that fears has not been made perfect in love.

1 John 4:16
And we have known and have believed the love which God has to us. God is love, and he that abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

We can know the will of the Lord.
Ephesians 5:9
Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

Chronological Bible Study Reading Plan

This is the Bible Reading Plan that goes with the Chronological Bible study I will be posting. The Bible Study is based on a Bible study done at Faith Bible Institute  taught by John Yates at Rowland Road Baptist Church which is based on a Bible study in the Wilmington Guide to the Bible.

Creation Stage
Genesis 1-11
(Think: creation, the fall, the flood, the tower of Babel)

Patriarchal Stage
Genesis 12-50, Job
(Think: forefathers or four fathers)

Exodus Stage
Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy
(Think: exit us from Egypt)

Conquest Stage
(Think: conquering)

Judges Stage
Judges, Ruth, 1 Samuel 1-7
(Think: cycles of sin, oppression, repentance, redemption)
(Image: judge on a motorcycle)

United Kingdom Stage
1 Samuel 8-31, 2 Samuel, 1 Kings 1-11, 1 Chronicles, 2 Chronicles 1-9, Psalms, Song of Solomon, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes
(Think: 1st king was tall; his name was Saul, David, and Solomon)
(Image, tall king, shepherd boy king, wise rich king)

Divided Kingdom Stage
1 Kings 12-22, 2 Kings 1-25, 2 Chronicles 10-36, Jonah, Amos, Hosea, Joel, Obadiah, Nahum, Isaiah, Micah, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Jeremiah, Lamentations

Captivity Stage
Ezekiel, Daniel

Return Stage
Ezra, Esther, Nehemiah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

Gospel Stage
Matthew, Mark, Luke, John
(Think: good news!)

Early Church Stage

Epistle Stage
Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation
(Think: letters)

Name your wages.

Genesis 30:28 God says to me: “Then he said, “Name me your wages, and I will give it.”

Wait a minute, you may think. Laban said that to Jacob. But I know that God says it to me because He also says in First Corinthians 9:8-10: “Do I say these things as a mere man? Or does not the law say the same also? For it is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” Is it oxen God is concerned about? Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope.”

You may think I have taken an obscure verse and made it to mean what I want it to mean. But many times throughout the New Testament, Jesus and Paul quote “obscure” verses and apply it to their own lives and the lives of those they taught.

God says in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Furthermore I have a testimony that I declared the wages I wanted to receive when I applied for an internship and the letter I received two months later confirming the internship, also confirmed the exact dollar amount that I had declared.

Dream big, Believe God and Speak the Word out loud.

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

FAITH: (definitions from WordNet Search 3.0)

(a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny)
(complete confidence in a person or plan etc)
(an institution to express belief in a divine power)
(loyalty or allegiance to a cause or a person)

SUBSTANCE: (definitions from WordNet Search 3.0)

(the real physical matter of which a person or thing consists)
(the choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience)
(the idea that is intended)
(material of a particular kind or constitution)
(considerable capital (wealth or income))
(a particular kind or species of matter with uniform properties)

HOPE: (definitions from WordNet Search 3.0)

(a specific instance of feeling hopeful)
(the general feeling that some desire will be fulfilled)
(grounds for feeling hopeful about the future)
(someone (or something) on which expectations are centered)
(one of the three Christian virtues)
(expect and wish)
(be optimistic; be full of hope; have hopes)
(intend with some possibility of fulfilment)

22And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.
23For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
24Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.