Tag Archives: christianity

A Levitical-kind-of-love

As Kingfishers Catch FireDay 3  •  1 of 2
This is Day3 of a three part series for a devotional that I read. It was deep it was amazing. I do not remember where I got this whether it was online or via email I copied and pasted it because i wanted to re read it. Above is the details of the author so that they may get full credit for this.

I posted the other two parts of this devotional yesterday and the previous day. I will though add a prayer at the end of the devotional and word from this amazing series. Enjoy.
Devotional

Love, Love, Love

If we’re honest, most of us consider Leviticus dry reading, the kind of reading to do if you’re having trouble falling asleep or you’re doing some kind of forced penance. But not so fast. There’s something going on in those pages, something stirring.
“No single word in Leviticus has been quoted more often or in so many different contexts than this imperative verb in Leviticus 19:18: love. The word is threaded all through the rest of the Hebrew Scriptures and embedded on nearly every page of the New Testament. Love as a verb is personal, relational, comprehensive. Love is the primary verb in our Scriptures as a whole and in our language still.”
The uber-popular phrase these days is “Love wins.” But the question must be posed, “What kind of love?” And that question must be asked because there is the love we have for our trucks and cars, the love we have for musicians and their ballads, the love for sports teams, movies, pets, tacos, and the list goes on, doesn’t it? So if love does indeed win, and let’s believe it does, then again, what kind?
A Levitical-kind-of-love, that’s what kind. The kind that is straightforward without pages and pages of qualifications and loopholes. The kind that is direct and to-the-point and unconcerned with what’s uber-popular or not these days. The kind that loves a neighbor like we love ourselves, period, end of discussion, whether we feel like it or not. That’s the kind of love that not only wins, but conquers all, forever and ever, amen.

And to think we thought Leviticus was boring.

Just do it. Love your neighbor as yourself.
After day 3 I found where I got this devotional from: Thanks for reading through Eugene’s YouVersion Reading Plan! 

Leviticus 19:18 KJV

KJV Listener’s Bible

    

                

18Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.

Father God thank you for loving us. I ask you for guidance in embracing the “A Levitical-kind-of-love”. To be able to fully love everyone and embrace that ability. I pray for you to open my heart to love with all my might, so that love wins, so that love may conquer. Amen.

Guilt

1 John 1:5-9New American Standard Bible (NASB)This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

What is guilt?

Guilt is the stain of sins on your conscience.

Do you have guilt?

Are you living off of a fear of past mistakes?

Trust in the lord and Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit can not only tell us when we did a wrong, but can guide us to a path towards redemption and a better walk.

Confess your sins to God, for he has forgiven you.

Psalm 32:5New American Standard Bible (NASB)

I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I did not hide;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”;
And You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah
Our biggest problem is that we are our own critics. We critique everything we do. We know we are flawed and look into each flaw. Profess you sins to God, he has forgiven you. He is the judges of all judges.
If your guilt is for a wrong doing, ask for forgiveness and forgive oneself. Forgive the offended, ask them for forgiveness. Ask God for forgiveness though he has already granted you forgiveness. Do not let guilt weigh you down and steal your blessing.
Father God, I pray for anyone reading this. Father God I know we are flawed, we are imperfect and impure. We are sinners. I ask for forgiveness for any wrong doings I may have committed. Release me from any guilt. Release anyone reading this from any guilt that is blocking your blessings to manifests in our lives. Thank you for forgiving us. Thank you for sacrifice. Thank you for liberating us. Amen.

Selective Listening and your Relationship.

“So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say?” (NLT) ( Luke 6:46 )
Do you know many of us have selective hearing.

Many among  us are unable to determine when God is speaking.

Many among us are confused.

Many among us listen, yet are selective.

Many among us call upon the Lord in times of need, but not in the good times.

Many call upon the Lord, but does not follow through with his directions.

Yet call upon him for help, expecting him to always answer, always find a solution without us ever doing our part.

Yer when prayers are not answered you question why? Why aren’t you helping me? Why me?  Well answer his question, ‘Why are you calling me….when you don’t do what I say…’

Ever had moments when you feel God is asking you to do something?

That is called conviction.

There are times he is picking up the phone, sending you a text, shooting you an email or knocking on that door so that you can do something that will not only glorify him, but help you in your situation, to give you a blessing, or for you to be a blessing on someone else.

Instead what do we do when he calls?

We run.

Ignore.

Hide.

Miss that call.

Not open that door.

We run away.

What does running away do for you?

You probably just compromised yourself in that situation your trying to get out.

That help you needed is now gone.

That blessing you were going to receive   gone.

That blessing you could’ve been for someone else….. also gone.

We want the benefits of having a relationship with God, yet not obey when he extends a hand or calls. We want to have our cake and eat it too.

There are many whom  want the storms to pass, without doing our share.

We have to do some work. His works.

We have to pray.

We have to listen.

We have to do.

We can not conform to the times and be selective listeners when God calls.

When he reaches out, answer his call.

Answer his text.

Open that email.

Open that door.

Let him in.

Get to work.

It will all be worthwhile once you see the fruits of labor come to pass.

We need to maintain and build a relationship with God just like any other relationship in your life.

It’s not a give and take relationship it’s a give, help, listen, pray, do, praise, listen, glorify, pray, give, take, help, pray, read, listen, praise, do, glorify, do, act, listen, kneel, follow, lead, bless and be blessed kind of relationship. (I know I was repetitive in my word) my point is, sometimes you got start from the beginning, continue, repeat some things before you get what the Lord deems you need to get out of a situation.

Father God I thank you for always being there, you are my Emanuel for you are always with me. I ask you dear Lord to help me continue to keep the channels of communication open with you, so that I may always answer your call and do your will. I ask for guidance to always be able to know when it is you calling me. I ask for the ability to have the knowledge and understanding for any task you present before me so your will can be done. I pray that I can do my part, to maintain this relationship with you. To be close with you. To do your will. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Job, Faith, Blessings

I really like the story of Job in the Bible.

In my personal life I reference it a lot.

Why did those troubles come before Job? (spoiler alert if you have not read the book of the bible).

Satan was traveling the land, he asked God Permission to trouble Job, he wanted to prove to God that Job would turn his back on his creator.

Job lost it all, his children, his properties, his livestock.  He was ill.  He was taunted by the enemy.

God allowed it though. He allowed Job to be taunted and tested.  What he mandated was that his life be spared in this trial of faith.

It was a trial of faith.

His faith was tested.

Though he questioned God,  Why me? Why this?  God quickly put him in his place upon their confrontation.  He questioned job (and rightfully so) “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding” (Job 38:4).

God continued, “Who laid its cornerstone when the morning stars sang together and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy?” (Job 38:6–7). “Who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb” (Job 38:8). “Is it by your wisdom that the hawk soars, and spreads its wings toward the south? Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up and makes its nest on high?” (Job 39:26–27).

At the end of this interaction, their relationship deepened.  The end result was Job was abundantly blessed, double with what he had before all was taken away.

What is my point with this?

We all go through struggles, trials and tribulations.

We have moments where we ask God why? Why me? What’s the justification for this?

It is not our place to ask why nor the justification.  We are to build from it.

When I was pregnant with my younger son many things happened to complicate this Joyful moment in my life.

My developing son (fetus) was not fully developing his heart.  I underwent various specialists, various scenarios were presented before me, some catastrophic which took a toll on me emotionally.  I would never want to see not even an enemy endure the pain, heartbreak, emotional distress I went through.

The entire time I did question God, Why? Why me? Why my son? What is the justification for this?  My son, the one you allowed me to have, my rainbow  baby, my second miracle. (I was once told I could not hold a full pregnancy to term, here I am with two, God is Good).

I let that fester, and prayed more, confided in God more, I still questioned more. Then I reread Job.  I cried, I apologized to God, I submit myself to him.  I named My son after Him.  Emanuel (God is with us). God surely is with us.

When it was time to deliver, I went through a scare. My son was  born purple, no breath, no pulse, (i had no idea what was going on until after). CPR was given, chest compression was started, he was intubated and i was again in a pool of tears when all was explained that he was in the NICU.

He was born at 5:03pm with no pulse, not breathing, purple.  He finally took his first breath and time of birth re-announced at 5:05pm.  My miracle baby. His name was perfect.  God is with us, Always! Every time we sat my son is name, we are proclaiming God is with us.

Despite my trial, my blessing came twofold.  Mother of two miracle babies.

Despite my stubbornness and questioning, once I submit myself to him and apologize, my blessings came.

Thank you Father, for the opportunity you gave me to become a mother, not once, but twice.  Science said it would not be possible, Science said it would be painful.  You told Science I am the Alpha and Omega, beginning and the End, without me you are nothing. I pray for those experiencing problems within their lives, I pray for those facing problematic pregnancies, I pray for those lost within their trials and tribulations.  May they stop asking you why and instead proclaim your name and renew their faith.  Our Trials are lessons that make us stronger, they are also our testimonies to share, to renew the faith of others.  Amen.

 

Mary, Did you know?

MARY did you know?
So I’m listening to the Pentatonix version of Mary did you know (insert fan girl coos here) and I’m thinking wait… let me open up my bible.
The Bible says

Matthew 1:18-25New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Conception and Birth of Jesus

18 Now the birth of Jesus [a]Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been [b]betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. 19 And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned [c]to send her away secretly.20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for [d]the Child who has been [e]conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for [f]He will save His people from their sins.”22 Now all this [g]took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name [h]Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”24 And Joseph [i]awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, 25 [j]but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus.

Luke 1:26-38New International Version (NIV)

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabrielto Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David,33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[a] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.
So now that we got the biblical accounts… let’s delve to the lyrics.
Here are the lyrics….
Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?

Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?

This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you
Mary, did you know that your baby boy would give sight to a blind man?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy would calm the storm with his hand?

Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?

When you kiss your little baby you kiss the face of god
Chorus

Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know?

Mary, did you know? Did you know?

Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know?

Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know?

Mary, did you know? Mary, did you know?
The blind will see, the deaf will hear

The dead will live again

The lame will leap, the dumb will speak

The praises of the lamb
Mary, did you know that your baby boy is lord of all creation?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?

Did you know that your baby boy is heavens perfect lamb?

That sleeping child you’re holding is the great I am
Chorus
All she knew at that point of conception was that she was going to birth the son of God. Conception by the Divine. She was favored by God and blessed. What an honor to be his chosen vessel to fulfill his prophesy.
Now back to the song with womanly, motherly, Christian and carnal feedback. (Don’t get me wrong I heart PTX- I love God more…)
This song got me thinking. What would I have done. Would I have been able to endure…. then I thought….
MARY, how much did you know?

Did you know the impact at that given moment?
When he was older and the disciples reported news of his miracles… did you believe? Did you know? Did you doubt?

Would I have doubted?

Would I have believed?

I do think she did believe, accounts of her role have always been supportive to her son and his role.

Did Jesus tell his mother “Ma, guess what our father had me walking on water”.
I would’ve responded like “Our fathers gonna give me a heart attack, he’s lucky he’s our creator because had Joseph sent you to walk on water, i would’ve knocked him out… putting my son out there in harms way.”

Or

It would’ve been “Jesus sweetheart, did someone lace your brownies?”
Let’s be honest….
Skeptism is second nature. (Carnal reaction)
Did she doubt some of the accounts?
Did she for that one second when she was told any of the accounts of what he had done, the miracles, the healing, raising of the dead?
When she would see her son preaching in the temples, seeing him speak in the square…. was she happy, proud of her son, was she scared for her son?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?

Did she have a moment of motherly carnal instinct “please take me not my son?”

How many of us would’ve said that?
::insert raised hand here::

I probably would’ve pleaded…

I probably wouldn’t have.
Would you or I have been as strong as her to endure his suffering?

I’m sure she was suffering with him.

But again

MARY how much did you know?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?

This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you.

He will not only save all mankind but the child i birthed… save me? Dear lord how? (Did you ponder that?…. or did you know)?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy would give sight to a blind man?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy would calm the storm with his hand?

I could imagine my look someone retelling me this…. “ok fellas how many Jugs of water did he turn in to wine? And how many did y’all consume?…. like I know he’s the son of God… but could he? Did he? God? ”

That would’ve been a natural reaction no?

Did MARY have a bond with God where he foretold her some of Jesus accounts so she wouldn’t be shocked? Did she have that much faith?

Where is your faith?

How would you fare in her shoes?
I love this part of the lyrics:

When you kiss your little baby you kiss the face of God.

I’m sure she knew …. knew that when she kissed her baby….this is the son of God…. here is the son of our living God… in my arms, in the flesh. Does he look like me? Or our father?
MARY did I you know:

The blind will see, the deaf will hear

The dead will live again

The lame will leap, the dumb will speak
Holding him in that manger, cradling him in your arms, nourishing him…. did you know all the wonders he was going to do?

I know you knew he was special. I don’t doubt it.

As a mom holding my sons, I know they are special gifts from God. Though your son, wasn’t naturally conceived as mine were. There is no doubt to how special he is.

 

Mary, did you know that your baby boy is lord of all creation?
Did it dawn on you that he was the king, the messiah that had been prophesied in the ancient scrolls (book of Isaiah and Zechariah ).

 

That sleeping child you’re holding is the great I am.

When did it set in? Your son… the great I am. Did you know? Did it take for that to settle? The son you hold, you birthed, sent by God, is the I am.

I love this song… and even in thinking of each piece of that song … I wonder how would I have reacted? Would my faith in God have been strong enough to endure the witnessing of the fulfillment of the prophesy without fighting back? Without fully displaying my grief….. at the role chosen for our son. Did MARY have nights where she probably sat in a corner kneeling, praying to God… pleading for her son?
Did she have that open Chanel of communication with God? I am most certain MARY was chosen because she was spiritually strong enough to endure what was to come.

Would I have been strong enough?

You got to admire that about Mary.

Would you have been able to?
I am most certain God prepared her along the way. Some way, some how. Prepared her for what was to come. Prepared her to set the example to have faith despite what her son was physically going through.

It must’ve hurt.

It hurts me thinking about the emotions I probably would’ve been juggling in her shoes.

It hurts me re reading the accounts that unfolded during the crucifixion…. watching the brutal reenactments of what he went through .

It hurts me knowing what my savior underwent for me… for you…. reading this…. for our salvation.
Mary may have known, Mary may have not known. It’s a pity we don’t have her gospel…. it would’ve been nice to read her point of view.
Regardless of whether she knew or not…. one thing is sure. She is a lot stronger than me. Maybe stronger than all of us….but maybe just maybe…. I can be just a little stronger…. if faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains…imagine what faith the side of a grape can do…. faith the size of a lemon….. faith the size of an elephant. Faith the size of the Rockerfeller Christmas tree.
Father today we will be gathering with our families. Today we begin to celebrate the birth of Christ. Though we know that today/ tomorrow is not his actual birthday, but have observed it to honor the birth of the Messiah, the birth of our savior, the birth of the Son of God. To give you all the Glory. To thank you for all your blessings. To thank you for our salvation. Father many of us would’ve probably not been able to handle the role Mary had, to be the vessel whom you used to birth Christ. Many of us wouldn’t have had her strength nor faith in you to stand back and witness her son be laughed at, disrespected, spit on, beat, persecuted and crucified. Many of us would have begged and proclaimed for you to instead place us is in his place. Mary understood. Mary knew, Mary loved you, Mary had faith in you. Mary had strength…. which you provided. Father I ask for the strength you have MARY, for faith like hers to trust in you wholeheartedly. I thank you. I love you. Amen