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“Marilla, isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”
– Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables is full of favourite quotes and I can rattle one off after another.  This one is a particular favourite, because every tomorrow is a brand new day, a beautiful gift from God.

Today is the eve of a whole new year of tomorrows.  It’s one of the things I love about New Year’s Eve.  Not that the year finishing was bad or full of mistakes like some of Anne’s days were, but there’s this sense of joy and excitement going into something fresh.  We have 365 brand new days.  What a beautiful gift!

Thank You Lord for every day of 2015 and all the treasures that are stored up within them.  May You guide our steps and we honour You with every moment, in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.  Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)

A few weeks ago I met someone who has been continually stunning me.

Every time I see her she is seeing the best and speaking life into a situation.  It doesn’t matter what’s going on she always seems to have something encouraging and just plain lovely to say.  You can’t help but walk away feeling anointed, inspired or something incredible like that.

Now, I don’t generally struggle when it comes to seeing a glass half full, but this is really rocking me.  I have been so challenged by this gorgeous woman.  What are the words I speak doing?

Am I building up or tearing down?  Or am I just sitting in the middle, not really doing anything with my words and wasting them?

There is so much power and so much opportunity in our words.  The bible is full of verses reminding us of that and even the secular world will tell us so.  Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.  Proverbs 18:21

We’ve all been at the receiving end of both kinds of words, so we know this verse is true.

Wouldn’t it be great, if we all (like my new friend) got this message?  Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. Proverbs 16:24   They are the ones I want to speak.  Let’s take a challenge together and speak life.

Lord, thank You for Your never-ending patience.  We pray that You would take control of our tongues and that we would speak life every time we open our mouths.  Help us when we don’t know what to say and convict us when we speak in a way we shouldn’t.

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There’s something beautiful about rain, something truly beautiful.

It’s raining right now.  Not too heavily, but enough to wet everything right through.

At the very first sound, when the rain begins hitting our skylights, my heart wants to start chatting with God.

Rain does wonders in the natural, but it also represents so much in the spiritual and that is what I am reminded of when the drops start falling.  It gives water to the parched and thirsty.  It destroys all evidence of the dirt once there and washes completely clean.  And it brings life, fresh new life filled with hope and joy.

So when the rain starts falling, I start giving thanks.  Why don’t you join me?

Thank You, Lord for rest just when I need it.  Thank You for the water that quenches my thirsty heart.  Thank You, Lord for fresh starts, for washing away everything that isn’t right and giving me a new beginning yet again.  Thank You that with every drop falling new life follows.  I truly love Your rain, may I walk in it with “arms high and heart abandoned” surrendering completely and knowing that You will bring out good.  I love You, Lord.

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As the rain and the snow
    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
    without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
    so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.  Isaiah 55:10-11

 

Wow!

We’ve spent a month together looking at God’s love and even now I know there is so much more to it than we’ve covered.  I guess that’s like anything as we grow in the understanding of God, there always seems to be more to Him.  We may come back to this topic sometime, but for now, please join me in my conversation with God about what we’ve learned of His love.

Lord, thank You that right from the beginning You had a plan.

Thank You that You so loved us that You sent Your very precious Son to redeem us.  Thank You every word in Your book tells this story, the love story of You restoring us to You and Your love.  I can’t imagine a world without love, but we don’t have to, because You loved us first so that we would also be able to love.

Lord, some of us have great examples of fathers who have loved us, but others do not and yet we are all loved so completely by You, our Father, with perfect, fatherly love.  There is not a day that goes by or that is to come when Your love won’t exist, thank You for the safety and comfort of Your everlasting and unchanging love.

How many billions of people have You created since the beginning of time, and yet You love each one of us individually and uniquely.  Thank You for caring about every part of my life, the big and the small.  The world has such a distorted way of portraying love and sometimes I get a little confused as to what love really is, but thank You that You provide me with guidance through Your Word.  You really are gracious writing down all this love for us, every day there is some more of Your written love for us to read.  And what amazing banner love it is, this powerful, passionate and protective love.  In fact, it’s the love of a bridegroom, adoring and sacrificial – thank You God.

I especially love that You never change, and this love that we’ve been talking about is for all generations, it was for the people before me and for all those to come.  What a gift?  A universal language that crosses all times and all cultures.  Your love pervades everything, God.

There is nothing that can shake it or take it away, but it remains strong for eternity.  Sometimes earthly love is so fickle, but not Yours God.  In fact, I really is the most important thing.  The most important of everything, Your love for us.  It’s infinite with no restrictions and knowing no bounds with nothing as great as Your love.

And it’s not boring either, but it’s creative.  All around us we see these beautiful hand-crafted, God-crafted, gifts You’ve made as You pour out Your love for us.  And it changes things, it changes us, Your love is truly transformational.  Not just an object or something we can’t know, but Your love is relational, speaking to us, reaching into every part of who we are and what we care about.  How do You do this so gently God, so tenderly?  No matter what turmoil is going on, You carefully hold the whole world in Your hands.  The earth may shake, but You and Your love are constant.  Thank You Lord for this never-ending steady love.  Thank You for calming us as You sing a lyrical love, a lullaby to soothe our hearts.

When we speak, every word or concern we bring before You is listened to in love, not a word or a thought goes unnoticed or unheard – what grace that is!  Thank You for the gift of people around me to love as You have loved me.  May I model You and truly embed myself in Your love.

I am still amazed at how intricately You love us.  Your love isn’t just a big general thing for all mankind, but it is also wrapped in little details surrounding us.  Love defines You, it identifies You.  Please help me to know You more as I continue to learn of Your love.

Sometimes life seems too much, too hard or too busy, but You’ve provided a gift of rest, a Sabbath all as part of Your love.  But God, I know this peace and this rest came at a price, a great price.  Thank You again and again for Your sacrificial love.  I don’t want to forget, but sometimes I do of how much You love me and I know there are still so many, many people who are yet to understand it at all, but You are so patient, Lord.  Thank You for this patience as You draw more and more people in to Your love.

I am so glad this love story isn’t a mystery, the one You’ve written down for us.  The whole legend of love is true, every word of it.  Thank You so much for giving us the Holy Spirit to help us understand anything we don’t.

Now, what love is this, that you gave your life for me?  You made a way for me to know You.  And I confess, You’re always enough for me.  You’re all I need

I love You, God.

 

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Everyone loves a legend.

There is something enthralling about fascinating historical stories filled with challenges, adventure, love and hope.  Parts of a legend may seem almost impossible to be true, but our hearts know they could be and we cry out to believe they are.

God wrote His story down in 66 books.  Those books combine to form a legendary library of absolute truth and every word draws us in to the greatest love story ever told.

bible art

The bible is a Legend of Love.  Sometimes, we may find parts of it difficult to understand.  But just as Jesus explained the scriptures to His disciples, we now have the Holy Spirit to do the same for us.

As this month on God’s Love draws to a close, let’s get stuck into the bible and continue our journey to understanding the love of God.

Lord, thank You for every word You’ve written.  Thank You that Your heart is for us to know the Your love and You’ve provided to Holy Spirit to help us.  Open our eyes to see, our minds to know and our hearts to embrace this great love.

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Have you ever wondered why God is taking so long coming back a second time?

He loves us, that’s why.  He loves us with a very patient love.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.  2 Peter 3:9

Personally, I think God would like to come back and set things straight as soon as possible, but He has a patient love for each and every one of us.  He doesn’t want anyone to perish, but all of us to repent and live eternally with Him.

We see His patient love in so many other ways too.  How many times have we had to learn the same lesson over and over?  And yet, like a very patient father, He teaches us again.  I am certainly grateful for this very patient love!

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When we love someone it always comes with a price.  The price differs depending on our circumstances and the circumstances of the one we love.  The greater the love and the more valuable the relationship, the more we seem willing to pay.

It’s true that the blessings of loving someone usually far outweigh the cost, but how much will you sacrifice for those you love?

 

romans love art

But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  ROMANS 5:8

Lord, may we never forget how much You loved us and how willing You were to give Your life just so that we could truly know You.

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God, through His grace, created us to rest.

He rested in creation, and likewise commanded the Israelites in Exodus 20 to work for six days and to rest on the seventh.  God instituted the Sabbath as a part of His love for us.

So how do we find this rest, how do we “do” a Sabbath?

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.  Psalm 62:1-2

We find our rest in drawing near to God.

I’m off to church this morning to fellowship with other believers and know His beautiful Sabbath love.  Join me, wherever you are, in taking this day as a Sabbath – it’s such a gift from the Lord.

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PS.  Need some extra verses on rest?

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God has so many names in the bible.  Some of them you may be familiar with in the Hebrew form, for example, El Shaddai, Adonai, Jehovah-Jireh.  Others you may know in English, like Ancient of Days, Bright Morning Star, I Am, Alpha & Omega.

All names are very significant throughout bible.  We’re often told that a name was given because it described or defined a place or person.  People even changed their names when their circumstances changed, like Naomi becoming Mara.  Sometimes God personally changed the name of His people, like Jacob to Israel, Saul to Paul etc.

It would make sense that the Lord shared so many of His names with us as each one helps to understand more of His character.  In fact, there are well over a hundred names for God written in His word and one of those names is Love.

1 john 4 love art

God is love.  I John 4:8

Lord, we give You thanks for who You are and that love defines You.  Please help us, as servants being made more like You, to live Your love in our everyday lives.

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