Tag Archive | reward

Step 6 – Enjoy the Rewards – Reward #7

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Reward #7 – Delight in the Peace

By the time I reached my mid-thirties, I had created a busy life for myself. I had everything I wanted: a husband, a home, a job, a girl, a boy, friends, a dog, God, a church, a ministry, and much more. Why did I feel so empty? I controlled my life—or did my life control me? My life resulted in exactly what I had made of it, not what God had planned. My life was good, but it was not God’s best for me. My life felt full, but I remained hollow. My whole life had left me with a hole in my heart. Our definition of a full life is different than God’s. The life I had created quickly spun out of control and into depression. I was in pieces and had no peace within.

God met me at the bottom of my pit of depression. He stretched out His hand to me. I took hold, and He pulled me up. He set me down on His firm foundation and began the rebuilding process in me. As I learned to trust God more every day, I turned over new areas of my life to Him. When I turned over complete control to God, He rearranged major things in my crazy, busy life to give me the peace He wanted me to enjoy.

After many months of meeting with God on a daily basis to listen to His voice—absorb His healing, find freedom in forgiving, enjoy His encouragement, follow His instruction, consider His conviction, and savor His wisdom—I could now delight in His peace. God had rebuilt my demolished soul through the work of His Holy Spirit inside me. He gave me a newfound confidence in Christ and in myself as a child of God. He gave me a renewed relationship with the Father. He gave me a stronger, more vibrant faith and a passion for serving my Savior. He gave me more spiritual knowledge and a better understanding of the Holy Spirit and His role of transforming me into a new creation.

Let me be clear. Life did not get a lot easier, but it did become more peaceful as I gave over control to God. That statement seems contradictory. Losing control should not produce peace in one’s spirit, but the things of God are not as they seem. He does not operate as the world does. When I gave up control and surrendered to the will and plans of God, He lifted a burden from me.

As I consulted with Him in all areas of my life, big and small, I turned from being a people-pleaser into being a God-pleaser. I didn’t care as much about what people thought anymore; I concerned myself with what God thought. I did not have to please everyone; I had to please the One. I tried not to spread myself thin going in too many different directions. I focused my attention in one direction—up.

It took many months for God to rearrange my life in order to give me the kind of peace He wanted me to experience by trusting fully in Him. I had obligations I needed to fulfill and positions I had to find replacements for. I had to change the way I operated in my home among my family. As God freed up my time by releasing me from a few responsibilities, I became more available for Him to use in His work.

Doing God’s work generated a much greater reward than anything I might take on myself. With obedience come peace and joy. As I faithfully met with God every morning, our relationship deepened immensely. He did a great deal of intense work with me on discovering, processing, and healing my emotional wounds. I shed many tears along the path to healing. The rough and rocky emotional journey had to be traveled to get to a better place—a place of freedom, peace, and rest.

One of the first observations my Christian mentor made about me all those years ago was that I did not have much peace in my life. It was a very smart—and true—observation. I experienced a full life, yet I did not know what peace-full felt like. Some people do not experience a full life according to worldly standards but have a life full of peace and contentment because they rely on intimate communication with God through the Holy Spirit, rather than depending on things and circumstances. The full life Jesus Christ came to give us equals a life full of His peace when we are in tune with the voice and Spirit of God, not based on material possessions, human relationships, or excellent conditions.

Jesus stood at my door and knocked. I answered and let Him in. I spent time with Him and listened to His voice. I pursued Him, drew near to Him, and remained in Him. The outcome has been a deeper, more intimate relationship with my Savior. The lasting effect is a life full of His peace. I now know the peace of God, even in the midst of life’s challenges.

Get close to God by being in touch with God’s Holy Spirit inside you. Tap into the power of the Prince of Peace, who lives in your heart. Listen to God’s voice and experience a life full of His perfect peace. Psalm 85:8 says, “I will listen to what God the Lord will say; He promises peace to His people, His saints—but let them not return to folly.”  Listening to God’s voice enables us to delight in His peace. The peace of God is more precious than diamonds, silver, or gold. Enjoying all the rewards of listening to God makes me want to share this excellent practice with the world.

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Book One in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book One in Hearing God’s Voice Series

Step 6 – Enjoy the Rewards – Reward #6

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Reward #6 – Savor the Wisdom

Appreciate and enjoy God’s wisdom. Cherish it more than everything. As believers in Christ Jesus, we have access to all the treasures of His wisdom and knowledge. The Spirit of God, who lives within us, knows the things of God and makes them known to us. His wisdom is more precious than rubies. Nothing compares to it. According to the two verses that follow, God’s wisdom is a priceless treasure:

My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Colossians 2:2-3)

I have not departed from the commands of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread. (Job 23:12)

How do we gain complete understanding of God’s wisdom? How does the Holy Spirit make the things of God known to us? Let’s take a look at what Jesus said,

I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is Mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is Mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is Mine and make it known to you. (John 16:12-15, emphasis mine)

Through Jesus Christ, we have access to all that belongs to God. His gift of the Holy Spirit dwelling in our hearts is the most priceless treasure! Without the Spirit of God living within us, we might not be able to hear His voice or have instant, direct access to His wisdom as He relays it to us.

Jesus did not say the Spirit would speak only to a select few. Jesus said He “will guide you” and “will speak” and “will tell you” and “make it known to you” (emphasis mine). As children of God who have accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior, we all have access to His wisdom through the Spirit of God within us. If you believe in Jesus Christ, the Spirit will speak the wisdom of God to you. Are you listening?

“A voice came from the cloud, saying, ‘This is My Son, whom I have chosen; listen to Him’” (Luke 9:35). God the Father told us to listen to His Son. Jesus is in God and God is in Jesus, so however we stack it up, we just need to listen to God’s voice and savor the wisdom. Savor means “to enjoy, to delight in, to value, and to appreciate.”[2]

Are you enjoying the wisdom God has for you? Do you delight in Him and value the knowledge He gives you? Do you appreciate the access to all that belongs to God the Father through His Son, Jesus Christ, and His gift of the Holy Spirit dwelling in you?

If you better understood the value of hearing God’s voice and receiving wisdom from Him, would you make the time to listen more often? Proverbs 2:1-6 says,

My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding, and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

Through the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, we have access to God’s wisdom directly from the mouth of God Himself. Isn’t that the best news you’ve ever heard? Have you tried turning your ear to the voice of God to receive His wisdom? Have you applied your heart to understanding through the voice of His Spirit within you? Do you desire to have God’s wisdom so much you are willing to “look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure” (Proverbs 2:4)? Will you put forth the effort to garner the wisdom of God by listening to His voice before everything else?

Proverbs 2:6 says, “From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Why don’t we seek God by listening to His voice more often? Why don’t we go to God first to gain His wisdom for everything we say and do? He waits for us to seek Him at all times, in all circumstances. He longs to impart His wisdom for our everyday challenges. His Spirit will guide us in His wisdom, if only we ask. Many times, the Spirit of God guides you even when you don’t ask.

Are you listening to the still, small voice of God within you? Will you search for God’s wisdom as you would search for hidden treasure? Will you make it a priority to meet with God daily to listen to His insight? When you do, you will savor the wisdom of God and enjoy the fruit of His peace.

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Book One in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book One in Hearing God’s Voice Series

 

Step 6 – Enjoy the Rewards – Reward #2

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Reward #2 – Find Freedom in Forgiveness

In my mid-thirties, I learned from my sister that my mother tried to terminate her pregnancy with me. This new information devastated me. I needed to talk to my mom to find out why she went to this extreme. However, I couldn’t discuss it with her because she had died of cancer after my twenty-first birthday. I was left with the burden of sorting it out on my own. I didn’t want this news to set me back emotionally when Jesus had brought me so far in the healing journey. Fortunately, I could trade Him the heavy weight of my burden for a lighter load. The emotional healing He had already given afforded me the necessary foundation for processing this upsetting information more quickly and easily, to the degree that is feasible in Christ alone. I couldn’t dwell on this new discovery. I needed to get rid of it as soon as possible.

After experiencing God’s restoration of my broken heart, it was time for me to extend forgiveness to the one who hurt me—my mother. My mom was a wonderful woman, so I know deep down she would not have tried to get rid of me in the womb if Satan had not tricked her into feeling helpless and hopeless. I imagine the news she had become pregnant at forty while using birth control shocked and disappointed her. She found herself in a situation she did not want to be in and despaired. She herself may have been depressed. The enemy deceived my mom with lies; she believed ideas that did not hold true. She did not consider that God had planned her pregnancy. She didn’t know her part in the bigger picture.

I feel blessed God chose her to be my mom. I know eventually she did love me very much. I do not tell my story to dishonor her in any way. I tell it because it’s God’s story of His healing and transformation in my life. His plan and purpose for creating me was to use me to bring glory to Him by sharing His message of redeeming grace and His passion for spiritual intimacy with His children. If God had not allowed me to experience the depths of this story, I would never have needed Him or made the time to listen to His voice. In hindsight, I am now thankful God permitted me to endure these trials to help me grow up spiritually. I’m forever changed by God. He deserves all the glory, honor, and praise.

Still, I felt a need to address my mom about her actions when she carried me in her womb. I needed release from the emotions surrounding my knowledge of her attempts to miscarry or terminate the pregnancy. Since I couldn’t speak with her in person, I decided to write a letter to express my heart to her. It allowed me to release my feelings and empowered me to let go of my anger, blame, and disappointment. I could forgive her even though she had already passed away. Once more I was set free from things I tightly held. Forgiving is not necessarily a feeling; sometimes it’s a choice.

An unforgiving heart is a roadblock to God’s construction work in you. With the strength and power of the Holy Spirit inside you, find it in your heart to forgive the ones who have hurt you. If you are holding on to some emotion—anger, guilt, shame, or an unforgiving spirit—regarding someone who is alive or deceased, I recommend you write a letter to him or her. You don’t need to mail the letter. It’s a step in the right direction for your own therapeutic healing. Then let it go and let God do a redeeming work in your life. No longer do I carry the burden of an unforgiving spirit. I have been released from my yoke of bondage. You, too, will find freedom in forgiving. Forgive others as God in Christ has also forgiven you. Freedom feels fantastic! When the roadblock comes down, your ears will be open to encouraging words directly from the mouth of God.

Click here to order this book now.

Book One in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book One in Hearing God’s Voice Series

 

Step 6 – Enjoy the Rewards – Reward #1

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Step 6 – Enjoy the Rewards

Hearing God’s voice for the first time resembles discovering a buried treasure. God’s amazing treasure chest holds at least seven priceless jewels.

7 Rewards of Hearing God’s Voice

Healing

Forgiveness

Encouragement

Instruction

Conviction

Wisdom

Peace

CLICK HERE for your FREE infographic of 7 Rewards of Hearing God’s Voice

Reward #1 – Absorb the Healing

My first depression plagued me most severely. The word shattered best describes the way depression feels to me. I felt shattered into a thousand pieces on the inside, held together only by my skin. I appeared completely normal from the outside, but I felt weak, fragile, and broken on the inside. Looking back, I now know God allowed me to hit rock bottom so I had nowhere else to turn but to Him. He permitted me to hit rock bottom, but He didn’t leave me there alone.

Through Christian counseling, God showed me what kept me from the life He intended for me. I had to confront my past. I had to be delivered from the bondage of my belief in Satan’s lies before I could effectively relate to God and worship Him with all my heart. I did the work of digging into my childhood to figure out what caused me to be stuck in this life.

We all have emotional wounds. Some of them are given to us by people we love and people who love us. My most major emotional wound came from believing lies in the words my mom used about me. I’m sure she didn’t intend to wound me, but Satan used the things she said to deceive me into believing his lies. As a young girl, I remember my mom telling other people of me, “She was an accident.” I heard my mom say I was an accident many, many times. Those words stabbed deep into my little girl heart. Those words gave me my identity:

I am an accident. I am not wanted. I am not loved.

Notice how Satan used the words, “You are an accident,” and twisted them to accuse me of his lies: “You are not wanted; you are not loved.” In John 8:44, Jesus exposed the devil’s ways: “When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” The enemy wanted me to believe lies that would keep me in bondage so I could not become all God wanted me to be, and I fell for it like a boulder plummeting down a mountainside.

Knowing I was unwanted caused me to become a people-pleaser. My entire life was driven by my desire to be needed and loved. My constant striving to satisfy and delight everyone required me to give large chunks of myself away. The more I gave, the more empty, unloved, and unappreciated I felt. My zest for life slowly drained out of me, leaving me unfulfilled and unhappy. I had a decent life, but if it equaled the life God had planned for me, I wasn’t sure I wanted to live. I had everything I needed and wanted, yet I lacked something. What I had was not enough to carry me through emotionally.

By believing the father of lies, I had let the deceit of Satan rule in my heart. God allowed me to experience depression so I would seek Him for help, answers, and healing. God wanted me to confront the emotional wounds from my past so He could wrap me in His blanket of light. God used my counseling as the venue where He performed the emotional healing I needed.

My counselor and I would spend time in inner healing prayer, bringing my wounds before Christ and asking Him to replace the lies I believed with the truth. Jesus showed me His presence in my childhood memories. He Himself told me of His great love for me and revealed the truth about me and the circumstances of my birth. He crushed the lies of the enemy. God planned me from the beginning; I was no accident. He wanted me and loved me.

This experience compelled me to trust Jesus even more. He is the way, the truth, and the life. The voice of Jesus in my memories transformed my life. When you are set straight by the God of the universe, it’s a permanent healing. It’s a healing you can’t get from counseling alone or from anything anyone else says to you. When God Himself meets you in your memories, shows you His presence in your life, speaks about how much He loves you, and couples it with strong, truthful feelings in your heart, it changes everything.

My beliefs about my own identity began to change. It no longer mattered that my mom didn’t want me, because the God of the universe planned me before He created the world. He wants me and loves me. I am His child, created in His image. I am a high priority to Him. My existence is important to Him. He wants to spend forever showing me how much He loves me. I know He feels the same about you.

God does speak to you in your thoughts. He can use your memories to bring you emotional healing and to show you His presence throughout your whole life. Come to Him, and quiet yourself enough to listen to what He has to say. He will enlighten you with His truth, replacing the darkness of the lies you believe.

In John 8:36, Jesus says, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” I live a new life of freedom—a better life—because Christ set me free from my emotional prison, the bondage of the lies I held onto. That’s what Jesus came here to do—to “set the captives free.” (See Isaiah 61:1-3.) He is the truth.

Jesus Christ already won the battle over Satan, sin, and death with His obedience even unto death on the cross. God raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in heaven to rule over everything here on earth and in all eternity. God saved us by His grace, raised us up with Christ, and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms. Satan has been given his place already. He now resides under the feet of Christ, below His authority and below the authority of Christ’s body, the church, which includes all believers.

I believe in Christ; therefore, I have Jesus’ power and authority over Satan, sin, and death. Through the Holy Spirit living in me, I have the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. If you believe in Jesus, so do you. Exercise authority and stand firm in the finished work of Christ, believing the truth. Resist the devil, and don’t be trapped by His snares of falsehood and temptation. Don’t give him more power than God has given Him. You are alive in Christ! Live in the grace and authority of Christ so you may carry out the work God prepared in advance for you to do. (See Ephesians 2:4-10.)

Through inner healing prayer and conversations with God, He spoke sincere, truthful words to me, healing the deepest wounds of my heart. He exposed my childhood belief in the deceit Satan had fabricated in my heart and mind. He gave me a new identity: “I am a child of God; He wants me and loves me.” Not only did my thinking change, but Jesus Christ Himself engraved it on my heart. He showed me the truth, and the truth set me free. God loves me more than I will ever comprehend, and He wanted me, even before He created the world. He feels the same about you.

God wants you and loves you very much. He desires to spend time with you daily in two-way conversation. Make time to listen to His voice and absorb His healing words.

When you have some time to yourself, seek God and ask Him to replace the lies you believe in your heart with His perfect truth. Ask for His protection from your enemy. Listen to His voice of truth in your thoughts. Confirm what you hear by finding God’s truth in His Word, the Bible. Spend time developing a deeper intimacy with Him. Ask Him what He wants to teach you. Absorb the healing He gives! Then find it in your heart to forgive the one(s) who hurt you.

Click here to order this book now.

Book One in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book One in Hearing God’s Voice Series

 

 

Let Your Praises Ring

Praise the Lord, O my soul

Everything in me sings your praise

All my heart, soul, mind, and strength

Will praise you all of my days

 

Praise the Lord, O ye heavens

Praise the Lord, ye earth below

He is worthy of all glory

He is awesome, this I know

 

Before I rise in the morning

Let His praises be on my lips

And when I fall into bed at night

Let the praise in my heart do flips

 

Every moment I will praise Him

For He is my EVERY thing

Let admiration flow from my mouth

As my tongue His praises sing

 

I lift my hands in holy praise

To the Almighty God above

I delight myself in the Lord of lords

And He fills my heart with love

 

The One Who bore my sin and shame

Deserves the best words I can shout

His praise flows from within my soul

And through my lips pours out

 

He is my guardian and my friend

My trusted confidant

He provides me all I’ll ever need

Much more than I shall want

 

I thank Him for His Spirit

He placed within my heart

Who seals me for the final day

When this earth I will depart

 

I hear His voice within me

He whispers in my ear

“I am with you always…

There is no need to fear”

 

If Jesus is your Savior

The Lord of what you do

Just make the time to listen

And you will hear Him too

 

Escape the crowds and noise of life

And to the Lord draw near

Pay attention to the thoughts you think

His still, small voice you’ll hear

 

He speaks to us through Scripture

When we find ourselves in need

He counsels us in God’s good ways

And convicts us of our misdeed

 

He is our hope and healing

Our anchor in the storm

When battles rage against us

He keeps us safe and warm

 

Do not forsake your time with God

He wants to be your friend

To speak with you throughout your day

From the day’s beginning to its end

 

Pay attention to His voice within

As you walk out your faith today

Be conscious of His words to you

I bet you’ll hear Him say:

 

“My child, I love you more than life

You are My special lamb

I want to be Your Shepherd

And show you Who I AM…

 

I’m your light in the darkness

I’m your stronghold in the war

I’m your comfort in your sorrow

I’m the angel at your door

 

I give you food and shelter

I protect you from your foe

I speak the truth within your heart

The things that you should know

 

I hear you when you call Me

I’m with you in all you do

And when you cannot find the strength

You can be sure I’ll carry you

 

Trust in Me, obey My words

And I will see you through

I do not ask you to perform

Without preparing you

 

And when My work you’ve carried out

My joy is your reward

Let your praises ring, let Me hear you sing

‘Halleluiah to the Lord!’”


 

Rewarded for Your Labor

I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor (1 Corinthians 3:6-8).

My child, your labor is not in vain. You may not see the results of it, but I do. At times, you plant the seed. Other times, you water it. And I make it grow. So you see, in performing My work, you are fulfilling your purpose, and you will be rewarded accordingly.

Do not be discouraged. Continue to work alongside Me for the salvation of My people. I will use you in ways you don’t even know about. Bring the light of salvation and the good news of the gospel to all the places I bring you. Plant, water, and move on. Leave the growth to Me. Your reward will come later. Your labor does not go unnoticed.

I am delighted in you. I value you as My creation. Good job, faithful one. My blessings are upon you. Now enjoy My presence and My peace.


 

The Joy of Obedience

The Joy of Obedience

by Sindy Nagel

 

I cannot hold my heart within

It leaps out from my chest

When I obeyed the thing You asked

With joy, my heart You blessed

 

This is no temporary smile

You’ve draw upon my face

But lasting joy is found in me

As I rest in Your embrace

 

Storms may come and winds may blow

My vessel may be tossed

You take my hand and lead me through

I never will be lost

 

My joy is not dependent on

The blessings or the strife

It comes from deep with my soul

‘Cuz I’ve given You my life

 

Your Spirit lives within me now

He guarantees my fate

Forever I will spend with You

When death knocks at my gate

 

You are my Lord, I’ll follow You

Until my dying day

And when my work on earth is done

In heaven with You, I’ll stay

 

Given the chance to do Your work

I choose obedience

And You reward beyond compare

Great Joy, my recompense


 

 

Devote Yourself in Prayer

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Colossians 4:2-6)

My child, you are the salt of the earth. Make the most of every opportunity to be My witness. Always treat unbelievers with dignity, kindness, and respect for they are My children too. Season your words with grace as you clearly proclaim My message. Devote yourself to prayer and I will open doors for you to enter with My gospel. Be watchful for the opportunities I provide you. Be thankful that I use you to carry out My plan. Work at it with all your heart. Your reward is an inheritance from Me. It is the Lord Christ you serve. I desire that you take My gospel into all the world. Your prayers will unlock new passageways every day. Devote yourself to Me in prayer.

No Greater Love

Jesus on crossIn John 15:9-14, Jesus says this, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.”

You are my child—not only my child, but also my friend. No one loves you more than I do. I love you so much that I laid down my life for you. Will you now lay down your life for me and do as I commanded you? Love each other as I have loved you. You cannot do this without my help.

At one time or another, love requires sacrifice. Whether it’s laying down your life, your selfish desires, your control, your obsessions, or your possessions, love requires sacrifice and submission. In loving each other, you will need to serve each other, submit to each other, and place each other’s needs ahead of your own. This is sacrificial love. I would not ask you to do anything I have not already done.

When you love each other as I have loved you, my joy will be in you and your joy will be complete. No greater reward is there for your obedience than a joyful heart. This is lasting joy, not temporary happiness. With joy, comes the peace of knowing that you live a life that is pleasing to me. Abide in me and I will abide in you. Love others and remain in my love. Remain in me and experience the love, peace, and joy of the full life I intended for you.

Phillips, Craig & Dean – What Kind of Love is This Lyrics

Artist: Phillips, Craig & Dean

What kind of love is this that climbs the hill That bears the cross, that takes the nails? What kind of love is this that takes my place That gives His life and clears my name? Oh, I want to know what kind of love is this?

What kind of love is this that gives His Son That bears the sin of everyone? What kind of love is this that cries alone That tastes of death to bring me home? Oh, I want to know what kind of love is this?

It’s wonderful, it’s glorious It’s full of grace and full of mercy Powerful, it’s marvelous That’s what this love is That’s what God’s love is

What kind of love is this that fills my soul That lifts me up and makes me whole? What kind of love is this that gives me hope That dries my tears and brings me joy? Oh, I want to know what kind of love this is?

Jesus, Jesus He’s full of grace and full of mercy Jesus, my Jesus This is what love is That’s what God’s love is

Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/phillips-craig-dean/what-kind-of-love-is-this-lyrics/#qO9UHewt5xStwYWj.99

 


 

 

 

Obedience is Love

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. (2 John 6)

Children of God, I ask you to walk in truth and love—the truth that I am the Father’s Son, Jesus Christ, and the love that the Father has bestowed upon us. True love is this: that we obey the commands of God. I have asked you to love one another, just as I have loved you. Love is obedience. Obedience is love. One does not exist without the other. When you are obedient to His commands, you demonstrate your love for the Father. When you love the Father, you demonstrate your love through your obedience. I love God, therefore, I demonstrated my love with my obedience, even unto death on the cross. Obey God, and walk in His true love. This love is a gift from God above. You cannot manifest this kind of love from any efforts of your own flesh. You must draw on the pure, unadulterated love of God, in order to love another in His grace. Do not be taken in by the kind of love the world offers, but cling to the love that has saved you from your sins. My blood was shed for your atonement. Claim your victory in my name. Live as I live. Love as I love. Demonstrate your love of God by loving one another. Love from the depths of the Spirit of God within you. When you do, your reward will be great.