Tag Archives: love

Who’s There for Me?

Who’s there for me? I found myself asking that question for about two (2) decades of my life. Refusing to throw myself a pity party, time after time, I would pick up my “cross” and bear what seemed like a burden of doing good. If a nephew was graduating, an aunt was hosting a cookout or a friend was celebrating an accomplishment, no matter the distance, I made it my priority to be there to support my family/friends and to fellowship. If there was a scheduling conflict, I would still try to represent my love in deed…perhaps a bouquet of flowers or some other gift of love.

Growing up, I seemed to have known way too many people who felt no need to reciprocate my love and kindness….to do unto others as they would like done unto themselves. I have had many true friends who spoke plainly to me in telling me to let go of the toxic people in my life. I refused. I didn’t think that was the Christian thing to do. So, I continued to allocate myself, my time, my money and my love on people who didn’t appreciate its priceless value.

There were people in my life that would get upset at how I prioritize family and friends. On numerous occasions I have been pulled aside by concerned friends for an “Intervention Session” in which they would implore me to, once again, let go of specific toxic people in my life. But, again, I refuse to heed the advice.

I can recall receiving warnings as early as 19. My college roommate and I decided we would spend spring break at my home. She was excited because she lived in another state. By the time we returned to our dorm a week later, my college roommate sat me down to discuss some concerns she had about some of my friends AND family. “Oh my, the audacity of this girl,” is all I can think as she spoke. The things she said hurt me and I was upset with her for saying them. But, two decades later, I was receiving the same message about the same people from different people.

It took me a long time to come to the realization that it was okay to stop loving so hard. Honestly, I allowed myself to be completely broken by the toxic people in my life before I got the message. As a result of this journey I learned 4 things: 1) it’s okay to stop or reduce interaction with toxic family and friends; 2) learn how to love from a distance; 3) don’t ever let your light dim; and 4) don’t grow weary in doing right.

It’s okay to stop or reduce interaction with toxic friends and family

How would I define “toxic people”? Well, the toxic people in my life had one or more of the following characteristics:

  • They make you feel uncomfortable being yourself;
  • They tend to take (joy, love, time, happiness, peace, money, sacrifice) but don’t give;
  • They bring out the worst in you as opposed to the best;
  • They are constantly negative; and,
  • They love in words but not in deeds.

I am a naturally joyful person but around some of the toxic people in my life that was being “phony.” Huh? I didn’t understand the logic. So grimacing is “keeping it real.” They couldn’t see how I could genuinely care about a stranger enough to say “hello” or smile. They were a constant stumbling block…encouraging me to be divisive, angry, hurtful and selfish to name just a few. It is difficult having a conversation with them because of their snarky nature. On occasion, I would get a Facebook “like” or a text message but nothing of substance that says….”I see you and I love you.”

I now know it is okay to stop or reduce interaction with such people. God’s word says:

“I am a friend to all who fear you, to all who follow your precepts (Psalm 119:63)”

“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24)”

“The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray (Proverbs 12:26).”
“Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character’ (I Corinthians 15:33).”

“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm (Proverbs 13:20).”

“Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared (Proverbs 22:24-25).”

Learn How to Love From a Distance

Phone calls, greeting cards and/or “just because I love you” packages are becoming a new norm for me. I have given it all to God and now wait for His direction on what I should do. Until such time as He finds it okay for me to mix and mingle with the toxic people in my life, I will keep my distance. What’s most important to me is that I am able to let them know I still love them in the things I do for them. I just have to limit my deeds to those that do not involve interaction.

Don’t Ever Let Your Light Dim

I think this is what caused me to eventually change how I interacted with the toxic people in my life. I began to become angry…ensnared. I would leave their presence and immediately feel regret for my actions and deeds. If I can’t be me when in the presence of others (family or friends), then I shouldn’t be around them. I have learned to surround myself around people who encourage me to shine my light brightly….and I LOVE IT!! I asked God to bring people in my life that encourage and strengthen me in my walk with Him and He is continuously answering my prayers. Every year I meet someone(s) new that loves God just as much as I do and are not uncomfortable with me saying and acting so.

Don’t Grow Weary in Doing What is Right

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up (Galatians 6:9).” Yep, it’s in the Bible…and “all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).”

I pray that the lessons I have learned throughout the years may bless others going through the same. There is absolutely nothing wrong with loving and doing good. God commands us to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:38) and to pray for those who mistreat us (Luke 6:28). We also need to be mindful of those we keep regular company.

My Hope: 4 Reasons to Rejoice

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have (I Peter 3:15).

By the time I reached the age of 6, I had a considerable amount of reasons to feel despair. With every passing year the more heartache, disappointments and defeats began to mount. At certain points in my life, it became really difficult to remain optimistic about my outlook. However, today I can say with certainty that my Savior never let me go. He was always there….that “flickering light” of love, hope and joy within me…that notion that there is a reason to rejoice.

I Peter 3:15 says I should be prepared to give an answer to those who ask me my reasons for hope. I have countless reasons but if I had to summarize them all in one song it would be Tye Tribbett’s, He Turned It. The lyrics to the bridge of the song is

The devil thought he (had me). Thought that my life was (over). He thought by now I’d (give up). He thought I had no (more). But that’s when someone (Greater). Stepped in my (situation). My morning has now begun…”

The lyrics to the bridge of this song alone succinctly express my reason for hope. Quite simply, I am hopeful because: 1) Jesus died and rose to save me, 2) I am the Child of the Most High God, 3) I am Heir to God’s promises, and 4) there will be no more sorrow or tears.

Jesus Died and Rose to Save Me

Saved from Death: There is a lot in God’s word that has helped me to understand the magnitude of my Heavenly Father’s love for me. He sent His only begotten Son as a sacrifice so that I may have eternal life (John 3:16). I no longer have to fear death. I now know that because I believe that Jesus is the only begotten son of my Heavenly Father and that He came into this world to save me and have risen and now sit on the right hand of my Heavenly Father, I shall have eternal life. So what shall I fear? I know if I continue to believe what the world tells me and all of the “noise” around me, I have lots to fear but that is not truth. I have to continue to meditate on the truth of eternal life so that I stay firm in my joy when everything around me indicates I should be in despair.

When I take a moment to truly grasp the magnitude of the love God has for me I become overwhelmed with emotion. I imagine sending one of my daughters into the lion’s den to save…let’s say, an enemy. Would I do it? While I know when all is said and done my daughter will be okay….just the thought of her being tortured, even for a moment, is unbearable. But, God love me so much that He did just that. Jesus was sent as an atoning sacrifice for me….for you. What a love! I don’t think I will ever fully understand and appreciate the magnitude of such love in my present state.

Saved from a Worldly life: There is a peace…a completeness…a purposeful feeling when walking in the will of my Heavenly Father. I have a testimony of doing things my way…living a worldly life with all the emptiness it provides. But, it pales in comparison to living for my Heavenly Father, through Jesus.

Scripture teaches me in Chapter 2 of Titus that “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good (v. 11-14).”

I recall a time in my life that I was often criticized by people I considered to be friends. I would often hear words like “holier than thou,” and “bible thumping.” Initially, it really hurt that my friends didn’t understand. I was confused because my friends attended church and, on most occasions, were kind. In my youth I would, on occasion, listen to provocative music and attend parties that made me uncomfortable just to show people I am not perfect.   With age, I no longer wanted to prove anything to anyone but God. With my life, I want to show that I am grateful for His love, mercy and grace. Every day, I learn what giving my life over to the Holy Spirit means….what it looks like. I am no longer invited to as many parties as before and people tend to study me intensely looking for imperfection so that they can declare “that I’m not a real Christian!”

Child of the Most High God

God’s word tells me that as a believer, I am now a child of God (Galatians 3:26; John 1:12). I get excited thinking about what that means. As a mother, I know how it feels to love and care for a child. I know that all that I can provide for my children, I will and do…by the grace of God. So much more so must be the care God has for His children. God’s word confirms that “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! (Matt. 7:11).” God also tells me that His plans for me are prosperous (Jeremiah 29:11) and that “all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).”

Even more exciting about being a child of the Most High God is to know I have an inheritance. “This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time (I Peter 1: 4-5).”

Heir to God’s Promises

The reason for my hope is that I know I am heir to God’s promises. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise (Galatians 3:29). God promises me long life on earth (Ephesians 6:3), peace (John 14:27; Proverbs 1:33), power and strength (Isaiah 40:29-31), and to supply all my needs (Philippians 4:19). These are a few of many of God’s promises.

No More Sorrows or Tears

God reveals in the 21st chapter of Revelation that upon Jesus return there will be no death, sorrow and mourning.

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away (Revelation 21:1-4)”

There will also be singing and everlasting joy:

And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it. No lion will be there, nor any ravenous beast; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, and those the Lord has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away (Isaiah 35: 8-10).

These are my reasons….my 4 reasons to love, rejoice and live in the fullness of the day the Lord has made! 4 reasons for trusting God.  4 reasons to forever abound in love, hope, peace and joy!

Victory: The Plan for Me and You

Like many who live in the DC-Maryland-Virginia (DMV) area, I awake before the break of day to prepare for work. Typically, my television is tuned to the local news channel hoping that the weather forecast will be mild and sunny. But by the time I get into my car to head to work I’ve not only received the weather forecast, I’ve also received numerous messages of despair and dysfunction through the News. It’s discouraging and sometimes makes me afraid for the future. Where is the peace…the love…the unity?

So to overcome this fear and despair before it can convict my spirit, I like to take in large doses of encouragement. When I get into my car I immediately tune to my favorite radio station for praise and worship, Praise 104.1. Without fail, the song by Donnie McClurkin, We are Victorious, not only gets me inspired but it helps me put the day in perspective. After hearing it this morning, I put pen to paper to remind me and you that we are Victors. No matter what surrounds us, we will be victorious.

In my life, there have been three things that have impeded my victory: quitting, fear and not believing. When I searched the bible to find out what God’s word says about these things, I was empowered, strengthened and encouraged to discover that I am NOT a victim….loser….or defeated. Victory is God’s plan for me and you.

Quitting

What is the saying? When the going gets tough the tough gets going. Well, I’ve always interpreted that saying to mean that when things get hard it is okay to abandon ship. God’s word declares the opposite of how I interpreted that saying. Whether it be an illness/sickness or a closed door to a relationship or job (rejection), God’s word says that we are “more than conquerors”, “God will deliver us out of all our afflictions”, and if we will just wait patiently and not quit, “He will renew our strength.” We were not designed to lose this battle.  Victory is God’s plan for you and me.

The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all (Psalm 34:19 NIV)

…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint (Isaiah 40:31)

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:12-13 NIV)

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world (I John 4:4)

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. (I Corinthian 10:13)

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?… No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us (Romans 8:35,37 NIV)

Fear

If you watch the television long enough, it is easy to reach a level of despair and fear for the future. But I tell myself that the “mess” this world has gotten itself into…we have gotten ourselves into…is nothing for my God. He can move mountains. He has parted seas, made the blind see and the lame walk. So, no worries! We are victorious! And, His Word confirms it.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4: 6-7).

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7 NIV).

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba,Father.”  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. (Romans 8: 14-17)

If God is for us who could be against us (Romans 8:28)

I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, `Go, throw yourself into the sea,` and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him (Mark 11:23 NIV).

Not Believing in God and His Word

I believe part of my problem stemmed from me not truly believing that God wanted the best for me. Better yet, that I deserved the best from God. But I have learned that I am redeemed through the sacrifice of my Savior Jesus Christ and therefore I am heir to the many promises of God. I am of no help to anyone when I go around defeated. Taking a moment to allow the truth of who I really am in Christ is critical to me believing that I am worthy of God’s goodness…worthy of being an heir. This truth is taking awhile to cement to my being. I have to constantly remind myself that I am redeemed and that if God is for me who can be against me. And, most importantly God has plans to prosper me. I am victorious….we are victorious!

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Romans 8:1)

Eyes have not seen, nor ears heard neither have entered the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him (I Corinthians 2:9)

We live by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV).

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. So let`s do it- full of belief, confident that we`re presentable inside and out. Let`s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word (Hebrews 10: 22-23).

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And, if children, then heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. (Romans 8:16-17)

But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently (Romans8: 24-25)

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).

Knowing God’s truth has strengthened my resolve…my desire to live in the fullness of what God has for me. I declare that I accept the depth of God’s love for me and thus I will live for Him. I am victorious…we are victorious!

This Thing Called Love

For a long time, I’ve had this love thing all mixed up. It is not until recently that I was brought to the realization that I’m wired all wrong and my way of thinking about love is flawed. And, from that flawed way of thinking I have left a trail of missed opportunities to love. I’m not sure where I veered off course but I’m guessing it was at a very young age. As I think back on my life, I begin to see where my understanding of love didn’t align with God’s definition and I thank the Holy Spirit for imparting this wisdom upon me.

Like many, my humble beginning consisted of two parents who loved me and anxiously waited for my arrival. Once I entered this world, my parents gave of themselves to nurture me. They served (bathe, clothed, fed, and sang) me. So, I guess I had to be a happy baby. To this day, I can remember moments of my life when my dad was alive…at age 3 and 4. Our memory is a fascinating thing. I can’t remember what I did last year on the 4th of July but somehow I can still remember moments when I was 3 and 4 years of age.

Things rapidly changed when my dad died which was about 5 weeks before my 5th birthday. Things weren’t the same. People weren’t the same. We moved from our home to an apartment and everyone was so sad.

Within six (6) months of my dad’s death, something devastating happened to me of which I am not quite ready to discuss openly but I believe it was the precursor to my distorted understanding of love. The first year after my dad’s death was a bit much for this five year old. The things I endured…the things that happened to me…happened in silence. My mom’s heart was heavy from the death of my dad and, at 5, I knew she couldn’t take much more so very little was said.

So as you can imagine, entering elementary school was a little rocky….at a time when social and emotional development begins. From elementary school through college, everything around me indicated that love was about me. Love was about how I wanted someone to make me feel and if they failed at doing so then they didn’t love me. Relationships were about perfection. If you lacked perfection in your relationship with me then I had no choice but to conclude that you didn’t truly love me. This thing called love was all about me!

Well, I had it all wrong. God has taught me through scripture that love is not about me…it is about how I serve others.

This is what God Says About This Thing Called Love:

Serving One Another

  • Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves (Galatians 6:2 NIV).
  • You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love (Galatians 5:13 NIV).
  • Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”(Mark 10: 42-45 NIV)
  • Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. (I Peter 4: 10 NIV)

Esteeming Others Above Yourself

  • Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves (Romans 12:10 NIV).
  • Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification (Romans 14:19 NIV).

 Forgiveness

  • Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the nameof the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3: 13-17 NIV)
  • Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you (Ephesians 4:32 NIV).

Humility

  • Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed (I Peter 3: 8-14 NIV).
  • Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2: 3-11 NIV).

Coming to the truth has brought me such joy in my relationship with my children, husband, family, friends and colleagues. Instead of me asking “What have you done for me lately?”, I ask what have I done for them lately? I often look for ways I can edify (uplift) others instead of the other way around. I trust God will supply all my needs that includes the love and joy I need to thrive here on earth.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.  This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit.  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.  If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us (I John 4:7-16 NIV).

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails (I Corinthians 13: 4-8).

Recommended Reading:

A Love Worth Giving: Living in the Overflow of God’s Love by Max Lucado

Love is…..6 Lessons on What Love Look Like by Jenna Lucado Bishop

Bold as Love: What Can Happen When We See People the Way God Does by Bob Roberts Jr.

Promises Bank

At a very young age I was told that the bible is filled with God’s promises and He keeps every one of them. I have always wanted to create a list of all of those promises so that I could meditate on them and remember.  So, I have created this promise bank for all to “withdraw.”

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will [God’s] word be which goes forth from [His] mouth; It will not return to [Him] empty, without accomplishing what [He] desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which [God] sent it (Isaiah 55:10-11).

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.  Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires (2 Peter 1: 3-4).  If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise (Galatians 3: 29).

Please leave a comment below if you know of other promises in the bible that are not listed here.  I will continually update.

Promises from Scripture

1.     Love

  • But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).
  • Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?   As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8: 35-39).
  • Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me (John 14: 21-24).
  • Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you (Isaiah 54:10).
  • Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him”.  The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. (Lamentations 3: 22-26).
  • Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.  This is how we know that we live in Him and He in us: He has given us of his Spirit.  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.   If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.  And so we know and rely on the love God has for us (I John 4: 11-16).
  • Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, he is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousandth generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments (Deuteronomy 7:9).
  • As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.  The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.  But from everlasting to everlasting  the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children— with those who keep his covenant  and remember to obey his precepts (Psalm 103: 13-18).

2.   Hope

  • For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29: 11).
  • For the Lord loves the just and will not forsake His faithful ones (Psalm 37:28).
  • Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls (Matthew 11:29).

3.   Peace

  • Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid (John 14:27).
  • For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm (Proverbs 1: 32-33).
  • Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.   And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4: 6-7).

4.   Joy

  • “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.  If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept 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 (John 15: 9-11).”
  • May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13)
  • You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand (Psalm 16:11).

 5.    Eternal Life

  • Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them (John 3: 36).
  • Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life (John 5: 24).
  • For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3: 16).
  • If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9).
  • My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.  I and the Father are one (John 10: 27-30).”
  •  At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.   But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,   he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone (Titus 3: 3-8).

6.   Forgiveness

  • In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us (Ephesians 1: 5-8).
  • If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (I John 1: 8-9).

 7.    Strength & Power

  • I can do all this through him who gives me strength (Philippians 4: 13).
  • God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble (Psalm 46: 1).
  • For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7).
  • He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint (Isaiah 40: 29-31).
  • So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).
  • I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3: 16-19).
  • Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go (Joshua 1: 9).”

8.   Desires of our Heart

  • Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)
  • Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened (Matthew 7: 7-8)
  • Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.  Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them (Matthew 18: 18-20).
  • What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?  Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.  Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us (Romans 8: 31-34).
  • This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him (I John 5: 14-15).

9.   Healing

  • Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.  Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”  He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you (Matthew 17: 18-21).”
  • Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.  This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones (Proverbs 3: 7-8)
  • Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,  who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s (Psalms 103-2-5).
  • Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up.  If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.  Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5: 14-16).

10.  Protection/Deliverance

  • The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them (Psalm 34:7)
  • The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles (Psalm 34:17).
  • “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.  He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.  With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation (Psalm 91: 14-16).”
  • The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. (Psalm 121:7-8)
  • Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you (Isaiah 54:10).
  • God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging (Psalm 46:1-3).

 11.Wisdom

  •  If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you (James 1:5)
  • Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.  She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.  Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.  Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.  She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed (Proverbs 3: 13-18).
  • With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity.  My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver.  I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice, bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me and making their treasuries full (Proverbs 8: 18-21).
  • 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—indeed, 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 knowledge of God.  For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding (Proverbs 2: 1-6).