Posted by: Kimberly | Tue Jul 30, 2019

The Greatest Love

What is the greatest love? It is Jesus’ death on the cross and his willingness to give up his life so that we might live more abundantly. He didn’t want us to go on in the same life we’d been living.

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. -Jesus John 13:34

Ephesians 5:25-33 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of his body. As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

If we follow his humble example… let’s think of how that scenario plays out. If we are to live like he lived and love like he loved, that’s a tall order! Think how he didn’t condemn sinners – (the woman at the well, the woman the people wanted to stone, and others) but he didn’t party with them or hang out, he was working, living set apart*, he was there to deliver, to minister, not to participate, much like a physician administers a cure, Jesus did the same.  He had the cure, the purest love, with no conditions, except that the person turn from sin. Even when they don’t, he still loves them and is there for them/us when they/we do. Yet he does condemn sin. Jesus doesn’t look down on the ‘scourge’ of the earth, as some might call the unfortunate or the lowliest people, he forgave their sins, and he healed them. He looked beyond their frailties and saw their potential. He looks beyond our faults and sees us as he created us, in his perfect image.

His image covers our faults, our sins, our shortcomings, our inabilities to do things the way others want, our inability to love deeply or to show love freely to others. He sees himself instead of us, because he sees us covered by his blood, not the way we look without his transformative power. That’s what his blood will do, it will wash away all our impurities. It’s good for us to remember that his blood washes our lives clean and makes us look as pure as he is. He loves all of us – the church. Have you thought of how unkempt the church is? Have you looked around and seen the mess many are in and how needy? They were during Jesus’ time also, just different people and different circumstances. So don’t think he has given us an impossible task, because with God all things are possible. He wouldn’t give us anything he couldn’t do. But in our human selves, apart from God, most of us fall short, and we must go back to his reminder, to love each other as he has loved us, with his greatest love. We must Allow the Holy Spirit to guide our thoughts, our words, and our actions towards others, then we may also show the greatest love. But it is only by submitting weekly, daily, and hourly to the Holy Spirt and let him be in in control of our thoughts and attitude to share the greatest life and love.

 

*set apart: He is the kind of high priest we need because he is holy and blameless, unstained by sin. He has been set apart from sinners and has been given the highest place of honor in heaven. – Hebrews 7:26

Posted by: Kimberly | Tue May 7, 2019

The Best Friend…

Sometimes life has unexpected turns. The ‘wrong’ person is elected to office. We feel abandoned by those we thought would be there for us. A person we counted on as a friend, betrays us. Does this story sound familiar? Does it sound like yours? It might be, but I’m thinking of someone in history. A person that everyone thought would be a political rescuer, but then he was taken away, because those in power thought he was a fake and his best friends betrayed and abandoned him.

I know some people who have felt upset their candidate didn’t win the last presidential election, but there are others that feel theirs did. Is either one wrong? No, they just have different perspectives. I’m not going to choose one or make this political either, so don’t hold your breath. God can use any man or woman to get the outcome he wants. What he needs are people praying for those in leadership.

1 Timothy 2:1-2 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.

I have been betrayed by friends, and it hurts to the core. I had one friend of over a decade, who insisted I said something I didn’t. She wouldn’t listen to anything contrary to what she perceived, even though our conversation was in writing. How do you convince someone who puts words in your mouth that you never said, but what they think? When they’re accusing you of words in their mind, without any credibility? You don’t, because they’re operating out of a stubborn mindset that has turned against you.

So how do you handle the hurt they’ve caused you? “Let it go and let God” is the best advice I can offer. You never know why they treated you the way they did or what they might be dealing with internally, or in their private lives. They may be struggling with sin or hurt you can’t imagine. So let God heal and/or judge them and move on.

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:44

Perhaps you’ve been or feel abandoned by your spouse, your parents, or a friend. I’m sorry for your hurt, but I know someone who can heal that hurt. It’s time to make friends with the best friend a person can have — Jesus. When I was single, several years ago, I moved to a new town. I had a very deep relationship with Jesus, he was and still is my best friend. I had a man ask me, who wanted to date me, “What are you looking for in a man?” I told him, “I’m not looking for a man, I have the only man I need in my life, his name is Jesus.” I wasn’t joking either. When we get to really know Jesus as a close personal friend, he becomes our everything. All the names you hear him described as, he is! He is our friend who sticks closer than a brother. He will never leave us, he told us that in his word and if you believe his word, then you should believe that he is always available. How is that for friendship?!

Hebrews 13:5 For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”

Deuteronomy 31:8 Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

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So, who in history has experienced all of these things and far greater heartache than we have? Jesus! The same Jesus who will never leave us, has been betrayed! He has been abandoned by his friends, he may have felt abandoned by his Father for a second, even though he knew his purpose. And though he was the King of Kings, (an unelected office) the religious leaders were too caught up in their own money scheming and greed to see him as the Messiah standing right before them! Would you recognize him today? I know we all think we would. The disciples were with him all the time and still had a problem recognizing him. We all think we are so dedicated in our hearts that we would never deny him like Peter did, or betray him like Judas for 30 pieces of Silver, or doubt him like Thomas, or not know him walking along the road to Emmaus, or mistake him for a gardener like Mary Magdalene did after he had risen? Would any of them be us? Or would we mistake him as a stranger?

What do we put before Jesus? Have we betrayed him by not believing in some part of his word? Parts that we aren’t quite comfortable with or don’t understand? Have we abandoned him by not spending time with him? Ouch! Got me there. Have we not made him the leader of our lives? Have we looked to religious leaders and political leaders as our saviors instead?

I pray that you make Jesus your leader and your best friend today. You won’t feel betrayed or abandoned or let down. Let him lead you as it says in Matthew:

Matthew 11:28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Posted by: Kimberly | Fri May 3, 2019

His Eye is on Me and You!

Have you ever wondered if God really sees what you’re doing? Have you ever wondered if he really cares for you personally? Or felt like perhaps you’re too insignificant in this world for God to really know what’s going on in your life each day. Perhaps you’re going through a painful period in your life or you’re dealing with an illness that leaves you exhausted and at times almost unwilling to go on or have a desire or will to fight? I’ve been in both of those places in the past. I’ve gone through tremendous heartache, when I was fighting battles on every side and thought that nobody cared. I’ve lost loved ones that I never thought I would get through the pain. I’ve faced health issues that made me not want to fight. But I know that God does care and he loves me and he loves you! I was reminded this morning of how much God cares for us as individuals and how much he cares for nature and beauty in this world, by a very simple event. It’s one of those things that almost takes your breath away when you think of the simplicity and the majesty of it at the same time.

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I had just fed my plants a liquid fertilizer, because it was a nice cool morning and a bit foggy. These are rare now in southern North Carolina, when our days are nearing 90 degrees and we are wishing for the slightest breeze to push the oppressive mugginess out of the air. Right after I hung up the hose, I headed for the house to make a cup of hot tea. As I walked up the steps, there was the sweetest little baby goldfinch sitting on my welcome mat! What a surprise! I tiptoed up to it, just knowing it would fly off, but it didn’t. It was hunkered down and breathing rapidly, but it never flinched. I thought, it must have just flown and gotten tired, but is it hurt? Did it hit my glass storm door? Should I pick it up or leave it alone? All these thoughts went flying through my mind as I watched it. Then I realized my maltipoo was on his twelve foot dog run only ten feet away. I quickly moved him further away, because he was oblivious to this precious creature sitting on my stoop. I stepped inside the house and grabbed my phone and started snapping photos, because I just knew it would fly away too soon to get my camera. But it sat there long enough for me to take several photos, walk around looking for its parents, then come back and shoot a video. Just after I shot the video, I opened the door to the house again to get my camera and immediately he flew off, over the roof of the house, as if he knew exactly where he was headed. Wow! All that time, he had just sat there, with me admiring him, taking photos, looking at how remarkable his feathers were and talking to him and him eyeing me back and he didn’t fly away! It was as if he knew he could trust me! He wasn’t hurt at all! Perhaps he was just tired and was headed back to his family. I will never know, but I know that my stoop was the perfect place for him to land, because he found refuge there and the welcome mat meant what it said. What if he had landed on my neighbor’s step across the street? He would have been eaten or mauled by one of her dozen cats! Perish the thought!! But isn’t that just how God is, when we listen, he gives us a place of refuge? He Is our refuge when we are tired, worn out, or don’t have the will to go on. He is our refreshment until our wings have the strength to go on. 

The song, “His Eye is on the Goldfinch” comes to mind, okay I know it’s Sparrow, but this was a Goldfinch. 🙂 

  1. Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come, Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heav’n and home, When Jesus is my portion? My constant Friend is He: His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

    • Refrain:
      I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
      For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
  2. “Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear, And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears; Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

  3. Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise, When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies, I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? – Matthew 6:26

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. Psalm 46:1

Where do you go in times of trouble, who do you seek in times of trouble, or what do you seek? I pray that you go to God or Jesus and that you search the word, the scriptures that have carried me through the roughest patches in my life are in Psalm 91. I hope that it will do the same for you and know that he is always there to show you where to find a safe refuge. He cares for you as much as the sparrow or goldfinch. With my Love, Katie aka Kimberly

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