February 2015

tahoe2Happy Valentine’s Day! I write often about things I share with the men in prison for their encouragement. As a result, I’m told often that I’m more free than a large percentage of folks in the free world. My sole purpose is for the world to know that God loves them.

Where is the Love?

Early in my life as a believer, the Lord revealed to me that I had been searching for love all my life in all the wrong places. In reality, I was rejecting real love and being deceived to believe that love was found in wine women and song – the externals.

I became convinced that I’d never find real love, so why bother? I realized a need for someone to love me unconditionally, but I often felt judged, and feared failure. Looking for acceptance, I fell prey to a manipulative love from people wanting to use me for their selfish ends, and became one of them. Can you identify?

“There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” 1

Permission to be Loved…

Like myself, you may need to give yourself permission to be loved after such failure by starting over again. There is a man in the Bible named Nicodemus, who came to Jesus at night. He had seen the miracles of Jesus and believed that God was with him. I believe that Nick saw the love of God in Jesus and was seeking to experience that love. Jesus told him,

“Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” 2

There is a Kingdom of love that only comes from God, Who is love. It is a Kingdom where His love reigns, because Jesus has dominion there as King, having conquered all fears. When Jesus takes up residence in your heart, His love reigns there. This is real love.

Nick had questions about being born again, so he asked, “What do you mean? How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” Jesus replied,

“Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[a] gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’” 3

Listen to the apostle Paul, who said,

“For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” 4

Say right now, “Lord, I give you permission to fill my heart with the love of the Holy Spirit. Thank You Jesus!”

The Gift of Love…

As I reflect on my live growing up, I always thought I had to earn the right to be loved or buy it like I did in college seeking acceptance. I didn’t realize that love is a gift. Again, there is a story in the Bible of a woman that Jesus met at a well. He asked her for a drink, but she was puzzled that a Jew would ask a Samaritan for a drink. Jesus replied,

“Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” 5

Like many of us today, she questioned in her heart whether He really had this gift of God – LOVE. (She had tried to fill the void of love in her heart with five husbands and wasn’t even married to the man she was living with). Jesus replied,

Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” 6

Later in this ministry, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowd,

“Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” 7

This can be your heart, flowing forth God’s love. I know you are thirsty and desire a drink. Jesus will quench your thirst once you taste of his love and grace. As you draw from His love, the desires of the flesh will lessen and even cease as you experience fulfillment from His river of life, love and liberty flowing out of you. Demons will flee; healing will spring forth from the well of love within your soul. Declare, “Spring up oh well within my soul.”

The Right to be Loved and Healed…

As a believer in Jesus Christ, did you know you have rights, because of the covenant between you and God? According to John’s Gospel, Jesus guarantees it,

“But to all who believed him and accepted him (Jesus), he gave the right to become children of God.” 8

You have a God-given right to be loved as His child. This word “right” in the Greek means “legal right,” because of God’s promises. Here is one:

“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” 9

Say, “I have the right to be loved by God.” Here’s another promise you have a right to claim:

“But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead.” 10

Now, it’s time to take back your rights by declaring:

“I’m taking back from the devil what is rightfully mine. The right to be loved! I confess with my mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in my heart that God raised Him from the dead. I receive your love today!”

A Prayer for You…

Father, thank You for revealing real love to me – not that I love You, but that You loved me and sent Your Son as a sacrifice to take away my sins. Thank You for living in me and for Your love being brought to full expression in me as I love others. Thank You for giving me Your Spirit as proof that I live in Christ and He in me. I confess that Jesus is your Son [LOVE], so I have you [LOVE] living in me, because I live in you. I know how much You love me now, because I have put my trust in Your love. You are love, and all who live in love, live in You, and You live in them. Thank you Father for loving me. Amen! 11

Scripture References (NLT):

1 Pro. 14:12
2 John 3:3
3 John 3:4-7
4 Rom. 5:5b
5 John 4:10 NKJV
6 John 4:13
7 John 7:37,38
8 John 1:12
9 Rom. 5:8
10 Eph. 2:4,5
11 1 John 4:10-16

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