God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. —Romans 5:8
Years ago I asked a young man who was engaged to be married, “How do you know that you love her?” It was a loaded question, intended to help him look at his heart’s motives for the upcoming marriage. After several thoughtful moments, he responded, “I know I love her because I want to spend the rest of my life making her happy.”
We discussed what that meant—and the price tag attached to the selflessness of constantly seeking the best for the other person, rather than putting ourselves first. Real love has a lot to do with sacrifice.
That idea is in line with the wisdom of the Bible. In the Scriptures there are several Greek words for love but the highest form is agape love—love that is defined and driven by self-sacrifice. Nowhere is this more true than in the love our heavenly Father has shown us in Christ. We are deeply valued by Him. Paul stated, “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).
If sacrifice is the true measure of love, there could be no more precious gift than Jesus: “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son” (John 3:16NLT).
How can it be
That Thou, my God,
Shouldst die for me?
The measure of love is what you are willing to give up for it
HE IS THE GOD OF YOUR VALLEYS TOO
1 Kings 20:23 – Then the servants of the king of Syria said to him, Their gods are gods of the hills. Therefore they were stronger than we; but if we fight against them in the plain, surely we will be stronger than they.
In 1 Kings 20, we find the Syrians being defeated by the Israelites. Then, some of the Syrian kings advisers gave the king what they thought was the reason for their defeat. They said that they had fought on the hills and lost because Israels God is the God of the hills. So if they were to fight the Israelites on the plains or in the valleys, they would win.
What stupid advice! They thought that the God of Israel only helped His people up in the hills and mountains, and not down in the valleys.
Now, mountains refer to our good times, and valleys, our bad times. Some people have this idea that God is the God of our good times, but He is not there when we are going through bad times. They think that He leaves us helpless in the valleys, especially when the troubles are of our own making.
My friend, I want you to know that our God is the God of the mountains, but He is also the God of the valleys!
God the Son laid aside His crown of glory, His royal majesty and came down for us, stepping into a human body as a baby. He came down to where we were for the sole purpose of dying on the cross for our sins, so that He could bring us up to what God the Father has for us at His right hand. Jesus came down to crown us with glory and honor, to clothe us with robes of righteousness and make us His bride, sharing everything that He has with us. That is the grace of God. He came down to our valley.
So whatever you are going through right now, know that God is right there in your valley with you. He is holding you in His arms and carrying you through the valley. Victory is already yours. Just as the Israelites were also victorious in the valley (1 Kings 20:2829), so will you be because the God of the valleys is right there with you!
THREE ALL-IMPORTANT QUESTIONS
‘So be careful how you live… Make the most of every opportunity…’ Ephesians 5:15-16 NLT
Following a plan is like using a GPS device (Global Positioning System). If it knows where you are, you tell it where you want to go, and it creates a personalised road map. The difference between a GPS and you is you have to create all your own turn–by–turn directions. Mark Twain said, ‘The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting the first one.’ To reach your destination you must ask yourself three questions:
(1) What’s my present position? It’s impossible to ignore the reality of where you are right now and still be successful. The former CEO of General Electric observed, ‘Strategic management is trying to understand where you will sit in tomorrow’s world, not where you hope to sit; it’s assessing where you want to be, and where you can be.’
(2) What’s my desired destination? Write down what your dream will look like when you’ve achieved it. Henry J. Kaiser, founder of Kaiser–Permanente health care system, said, ‘The evidence is overwhelming that you cannot begin to achieve your best unless you have some aim in life.’
(3)What are the in–between steps? Don’t expect them to be quick or easy. Creativity is messy. It’s far from an exact science. But unless you know where you want to go and identify the steps that will get you there, ten years from now you’ll still be where you are today. So the word for you today is: Make the most of every opportunity.’
OVERCOME WITH GOOD :
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. – Romans 12:21, NIV
The scripture says, “We overcome evil with good.” In other words, when somebody’s rude or inconsiderate, don’t sink down to their level. Don’t be rude and inconsiderate back to them. No, if you are going to rise higher, if you are going to overcome, you have to do just the opposite. You have to show kindness, grace and mercy. It isn’t always easy; in fact, it’s almost never easy. It takes a lot of humility to treat someone with respect who is disrespecting you. But do you know what happens when you walk in humility? God gives you His grace. He empowers you to walk in His goodness. Scripture plainly says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Today, walk humbly with God and overcome evil with good. Show mercy and sow mercy. Receive His grace, receive His power, and receive His strength to be everything He’s called you to be.
REJOICE IN THE LORD – ALWAYS
John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
The world experiences joy and happiness in direct proportion to their circumstances. Bad circumstances produce depression and sorrow, while good circumstances produce joy and peace. That’s bondage, and does not have to be the case for a Christian. Our joy is not dependent on things, but rather on the person of Jesus Christ. He is our peace and joy.
The way we take advantage of this joy and peace in the midst of tribulation, is to have our minds and hearts stayed on things above and not on things of this earth. The invisible things of God are eternal while the visible problems on earth are only temporary. All the problems of this life grow very dim when we compare them to the glory of God that is ours through Jesus.
We can rejoice in the Lord always (Phil. 4:4) because rejoicing is an action, not a reaction to our environment. Joy is a gift from God that was given to us at salvation. It was placed within our born-again spirit and it doesn’t fluctuate or diminish; it is constant. The Lord has put the joy inside us and we are to “work it out” by choosing to obey this command in scripture.
We are commanded to rejoice “IN THE LORD.” Many people are not experiencing true joy because their joy is in their circumstances. That is, they are waiting to rejoice when things in their lives are going good, and that doesn’t happen very often. We are suppose to “rejoice in the Lord always.”
That means we are suppose to rejoice in who the Lord is and what He has done for us. He never changes (Heb. 13:8) and His mercies and compassions are new every morning (Lam. 3:22-23).
THE SPIRIT OF SONSHIP
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.” – Romans 8:15, NIV
The Spirit of sonship which we have received from God is the Spirit by which we cry, “Abba, Father.” Have you ever cried to God like He is your Daddy? Yes, He is El Shaddai. He is Elohim. But in the new covenant He is Daddy! The Holy Spirit put the Aramaic word “Abba” there, which means “Daddy” or “Papa” in English, and didn’t have it translated because He wants us to know that God is not a distant,
impersonal being, but a close and intimate Daddy! That is the Spirit of sonship.
My friend, when you pray, learn to say, “Dear Daddy God…” Forget the formalities and traditions of man. Just call Him “Daddy”, and sense His closeness to you. You can bring all your cares, worries and anxieties to Him, knowing that the all-powerful King of the universe is your Daddy!
At the cross, Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46). For the first time, He addressed His Father as “God.” He experienced distance—in fact, a cutting-off—from the Father because He was carrying all our sins upon Himself. Why? So that you and I can experience closeness and intimacy with the Father, and cry out “Daddy!” from our hearts.
A child who cries “Daddy!” belongs in his daddy’s embrace. So when we cry out, “Daddy God!” we take our place as His beloved children, and find our strong and loving Daddy rushing in to embrace, protect and deliver us!
TRUE CHRISTIANS DON’T LASH OUT AT OTHERS
Romans 13:10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
1 John 4:8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
When a Christian lashes out at others to hurt them they are not walking in love. They are walking in hurt and bitterness and need healing and deliverance. God’s word tell us that the person who is lashing out has real serious problems and will not see the Lord but hell
Acts 8;20 But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!
21 You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God.
22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.
23 For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”
Romans 3:12 They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.”
13 ” Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit”; ” The poison of asps is under their lips”;
14 ” Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 ” Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways;
17 And the way of peace they have not known.”
18 ” There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
Hebrews 12:14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:
15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;
16 lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright.
17 For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.
NEED HEALING AND MIRACLES FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS