Tag Archives: Love of God

People can be hard to love!

36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” 37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
~ Matthew 22:36-40 (NLT)

Love them anyway

When I saw the quote above a few days ago several thoughts rushed through my mind:

Thought #1: YES! They can be!

Thought #2: Um… yes, I can be!

Thought #3: God, how do you not give up loving on us when we can be so unreasonable, illogical and self-centered?

Thought #4: God, grant me the grace to love like you love. I can’t do it on my own.

May we extend His love to those we encounter today!

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, God, Grace, influence with the world, Jesus, Love of God, Loving God, Loving others, Religion and Spirituality

Lost in Him

get_lost-featured1The progression toward oneness with God leaves you absent of yourself. Lost in Him.

As you move more fully into what God sees and what He desires, you’ll no longer be concerned with what you lack or how you’ve failed. As you walk with Him day by day, you will come to see yourself through His truths.

Afraid that you can’t get past your past?

Getting lost in intimacy with God will assure your heart that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Fearful that you can’t overcome a sinful habit?

Intimacy with God will bring you to believe that your “old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin” (Romans 6:6–7).

Think the circumstances of your life are hopeless?

Intimacy with God will bring you to know that “the Lord will fulfill his purpose for; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever” (Psalm 138:8).

~ Excerpted from Get Lost by Dannah Gresh

Praying that we all get lost in Him today!

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, intimacy with the Lord, Love of God, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality, Spiritual formation, Spiritual growth

The apple of His eye

Get LostPsalm 17:8 finds the psalmist pleading, “Keep me as the apple of your eye.” The apple of the eye is the tiny reflection of yourself that you can see in another person’s pupil. To see it, you have to be close. Intimate. To see yourself as God does, you have to get lost in His intimacy.
~ Excerpted from Get Lost by Dannah Gresh

Do you see yourself as God sees you?

Are you pursuing intimacy with the Lord?

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Children of God, Christianity, God, intimacy with the Lord, Love of God, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality

Countless Wonders by Chris Tomlin

Declaring the glory of God!

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~ From the CD Burning Lights by Chris Tomlin

If the video doesn’t play go here.

Note: The maker of the video got one word wrong – “of” instead of “all” – but this is by far the best video of the song I’ve seen so far. Hope it touched your heart as much as it did mine!

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, Divine presence, Glory of God, God, Inspiration, Jesus, Love of God, Music Video, Praise, Religion and Spirituality, Worship

Feeling small can have big benefits!

Big TreeThe truth is, feeling small may not be so bad after all, if in recognizing our smallness, we come to realize the wonder of God—a God who is beyond our ability to fully describe or imagine, yet Someone we are privileged to know, love, and embrace. Looking up from our fragile little lives, we are faced with the supremacy of a God who is fully capable of not only running the entire cosmos today—a task that doesn’t tax Him in the slightest—but of sustaining the affairs of our lives as well. 

~ Excerpted from I Am Not But I Know I Am by Louie Giglio

Maybe the reason that feeling small is sometimes difficult is because we are comparing ourselves to others. In reality, from God’s point of view we are all small and yet so valuable that He sent His only Son to die for us.

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, God, Love of God, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality

Are we willing to be loved?

Lazarus AwakeningWhen my husband proposed to me so many years ago, I didn’t say, “Wait a minute, John.  Do you have any idea what you’re getting into?”  I didn’t pull out a list of reasons why he couldn’t possibly love me or a rap sheet detailing my inadequacies to prove why he shouldn’t—although there were and are many.

No way! I just threw my arms open wide and accepted his love.  I would have been a fool to turn down an offer like that.

I wonder what would happen in our lives if we stopped resisting God’s love and started receiving it.  What if we stopped trying to do the math, stopped striving to earn His favor? What if we just accepted the altogether-too-good-to-be-true news that the yardstick has been broken and the Cross has opened a door to intimacy with our Maker?

For if we are ever to be His beloved, we must be willing to be loved.
~ Excerpted from Lazarus Awakening by Joanna Weaver

It is one thing to understand the love of God and quite another to experience it first-hand in the very center of your being. And being embraced by the love of God is no small matter. In Ephesians 3 Paul offers an amazing, bold prayer. I especially appreciate how it is rendered by Eugene Peterson in The Message.

My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. ~ Ephesians 3:14-19

I don’t know what kinds of pressures or obstacles you’re facing but whether they are internal or external I believe God’s love is bigger. And when we invite the Christ to take up residence in the very core of our being then His love fills us in a way that nothing and no one else can.

May Paul’s prayer be a reality for all of us today!

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, Divine presence, God, intimacy with the Lord, Jesus, Love of God, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality

A valentine from God

I loved you at your darkest

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

~ Romans 5:8

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Enough Already God

A piece of art, in any form, is crafted and put on display to reflect the artist’s creativity and skill; to reflect a virtue or beauty envisioned by the artist. According to the Apostle Paul, we are God’s piece of art.

poiema-logo

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. ~ Ephesians 2:10

The word for “workmanship” in the Greek is poiema and can be translated: achievement, work of art, masterpiece. The more passionate an artist is about a particular piece of art the more they will labor to reshape it and mold it giving it their utmost attention.

C.S. Lewis put it this way…

We are, not metaphorically but in very truth, a Divine work of art, something that God is making, and therefore something with which He will not be satisfied until it has a certain character. Here again we come up against what I have called the “intolerable compliment.” Over a sketch made idly to amuse a child, an artist may not take much trouble: he may be content to let it go even though it is not exactly as he meant it to be. But over the great picture of his life — the work which he loves, though in a different fashion, as intensely as a man loves a woman or a mother a child — he will take endless trouble — and would doubtless, thereby give endless trouble to the picture if it were sentient [alive and conscious of its feelings]. One can imagine a sentient picture, after being rubbed and scraped and re-commenced for the tenth time, wishing that it were only a thumb-nail sketch whose making was over in a minute. In the same way, it is natural for us to wish that God had designed for us a less glorious and less arduous destiny; but then we are wishing not for more love but for less.
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 C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

Most of the time I really do want to be shaped and molded according to God’s intended design. I know that sin has marred and twisted not only my true identity in Christ but also my capacity to reflect the glory of God. But when that process gets uncomfortable or downright painful my heart cries, “Enough already God!”

But God’s love for us will not allow Him to stop working to reshape us into the person He made us to be. And to balk at His work in us is to want less of His love.

Grant us grace God that we might give ourselves wholeheartedly to the work of the Holy Spirit as He transforms us into your poiema!

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

 

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Filed under Christianity, CS Lewis, Discipleship, Glory of God, God, Holy Spirit, Love of God, Morphing, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality, Spiritual formation, Spiritual growth, Surrender

Serenaded by God

songWhen Susan and I were dating in college I would occasionally serenade her in the middle of walking across campus.

Are there stars out tonight?
I can’t tell if it’s cloudy or bright.
‘Cause I only have eyes for you.

I suppose she might have enjoyed it more if I’d sung it softly rather than belting it out at the top of my lungs. (sheepish grin)

But she felt differently when I sang a song at our wedding. It was one I’d written especially for her. As you might imagine, it made her feel very special.

When our kids were young we’d make up little melodies and use their names to sing about how much we loved them. The smile on their face and sparkle in their eyes was priceless.

Ever had someone sing a song just for you?

“The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save, He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” ~ Zephaniah 3:17

Your Creator, Your Maker, the One who formed you to enjoy you and gave His only Son to redeem you celebrates you with a song!

The very idea makes my head spin.

How does it make you feel?

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, God, intimacy with the Lord, Jesus, Love of God, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality

You’re Here – Francesca Battistelli

One of the most beautiful and meaningful Christmas songs I’ve ever heard. Hope it blesses you!

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, Christmas, Christmas Music, Divine presence, God, Jesus, Love of God, Religion and Spirituality