Friday, February 14, 2014

Love...All The Time

It's Valentine's Day! Woot woot! Well...maybe just one "woot." Many people don't like Valentine's Day, for various...and some obvious...reasons. But while it is a man-made holiday (of sorts), there is one Person who loves us all the time, every time, no matter what! Jesus.

Heart Night

Ruthie, Pastor Melissa, Sara, and Melody
Just a few of our special, godly, Inspire women
I spent the evening the night before Valentine's Day with some very funny, loving, delivered, and godly women at our church's annual "Heart Night" for women. Our women's ministry/group is appropriately called INSPIRE. Because we inspire one another in so many ways. I have never been part of a group of so many women who truly have the love of the Lord in their hearts like these women do! And the ones who come in who are broken, hurt, skeptical, and just looking for someone, ANYONE, who will be their friend, their sister, and love on them, will find all of that and more in these beautiful, inspiring, women of faith.

Krista, me, Sara, and sisters
This particular Heart Night, we all learned some very personal things about the women who are part of the INSPIRE team, who plan and host our women's events and Bible studies. They each have been delivered by God from something that could have destroyed their lives. Each one has a story. Each one has been delivered. And each woman in attendance could identify with one or more of their stories.
Me & my best childhood friend, JaDean
Reunited after 30-something years!

The fact of the matter is, we ALL have a story. We all have a past. And God wants to deliver each one of us from the pit that the enemy is trying to hold us in. I know. I've been there, too. And God delivered me, He rescued me, out of the pit of depression, anxiety, despair, intimidation, and no self-worth. He rescued me and sent me on this wonderful journey to tell others what He's done for me, so that they can be rescued, too! You have not gone too far, loves. You have not "done too many bad things." God still loves you and wants to rescue you, too!

So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothingcan get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. ~Romans 8:31-39, The Message

You don't have to stay in your pit, sister! You can get out, too! Just reach up and grasp the hand that is reaching down to help you out. It might be a struggle. It might be a reach farther up than you thought. But the fact is, that hand is there and waiting for you to just reach.

I never thought I would get out of my pit, either. I thought that there was no use. If God wanted to heal me, then why didn't He? Well, for starters I hadn't reached up. I never asked Him. And frankly, I just didn't know HOW! But on a warm, clear night in May 2012, someone SHOWED me how. Someone reached down in the pit I was in and said, "Look at me," then began explaining how to get out. Someone else grabbed my hands and said, "Tell God you want healed. Tell Him you receive it!" I did...and the rest is history!

I had to have help getting out of my pit. I know you do, too. This Valentine's Day, why not reach up and ask God, "Help me out of this pit! I want healed. I receive it! In Jesus' name!" Ask Him. Receive Him. Then watch what happens. He never turns anyone away who sincerely seeks Him. I promise. He promises!

And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. ~Jeremiah 29:13

Happy Heart Day, Loves! Know that I love you. I do! I love all of you who are reading this right now. And God loves you more than I do!

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” ~John 13:34-35 NLT


Karla Akins said...

Awesome. We had a Valentine party tonight at the church and it was such fun basking in such love!

Shelley Wilburn said...

I'm so glad, Karla! I hope things are going well there. ;)

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