All posts by Franciska Merrick

Align with fire

And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  2 Corinthians 6:16

I believe the actions we take directly impact the workings and effects of the spiritual, and vice versa. I have witness many times how atmospheres shift when a specific person walk into a room, how conversations take new directions when one finds oneself in new territory, and how impactful our words are to accomplishing our goals. I believe we have the power to make or break most situations in our lives; I stand by the belief that we are not mere victims of sin and death, but that we have been given the power to effectively live as overcomers. For this reason I become frustrated when my seemingly simple hardships turn into these big, unyielding, disobedient mountains. I mean, these mountains need to read themselves some Scripture, they’ve got to move.  I am talking about those times you find yourself angered at simple things, being bored by prayer and worship, God seems a million miles away, old habits peek their heads out and you find yourself intimidated by life in general. You feel alone.  The road seems daunting and deserted. For me personally, these mountains are more often than not represented by the things I feel I have overcome, resurfacing without warning, for instance, impatience or doubt. Finding myself in a struggle once again with these thoughts, I am always also at the same time experiencing loneliness. When I find myself in a personal frame of mind that is unpleasant, more often than not the cause can be traced to a moment I came into an agreement with a particularly unchristlike idea- the idea that I have to go at it alone. This idea crept in that I need to accomplish victory in my own efforts. Loneliness walks alongside self pity, and with self-pity comes inactivity. I can then usually pinpoint a day, moment, where I thought and then believed I am ____________, ( failing, not enough, not going to succeed, unworthy, unloved, rejected, unapproved, overlooked, add whatever you want.) I want to draw you attention to the story of the Israelites as they travelled through the desert.  The presence of God manifested as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night as they walked. There are two significant elements here relevant to my point. First, they had obeyed Him and left Egypt(slavery) resulting in the manifest presence of God walking with them as a direct result of taking action and obedience, and secondly they aligned themselves with the presence of God by walking where and how He guided. Our decisions have an impact on whether we see and feel the presence of God or not. We can walk in our own strength, but we can only have freedom when we align ourselves with His leading. The result of His leading is always the fulfillment of promise. Your destination with God is always destiny.   When there is agreement, there is power. Nothing can legally happen if there isn’t agreement between two parties. Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed? It is easy to determine that I have been walking alone when I am not operating effectively or living powerfully. When I feel God is far, could it be that the pillar of fire inside me burns for another direction, moving opposed to where I am going, beckoning me towards great promise and destiny? Can it be that I am trying so hard to find a path, proving my strength and knowledge?  God has given us authority and power, but we do need to come into agreement with His will in order to be effective.  God will have no unity with idols, no alignment with ideas that promote self.  In Genesis 11 we see the people of the earth conspiring to build themselves a city and a tower. They wanted to build a fortress to protect themselves, out of fear of being scattered about the earth, standing alone. Fearing the desert journey will result in self effort, being afraid of the notoriety that comes from walking alone, will result in building an empire with a self-preservation mindset. Their entire mission was based on fear; this idea gave birth to a mission of gaining ground and establishing self. They said to each other, “let us make a name for ourselves.”  God recognized that they were one nation, undivided. They spoke one language. They had psyched each other up so much, there was such conformity to the norm of elevating self that God proclaimed anything they put their minds to would be possible for them. And He chose to confound their wisdom, He chose to confuse them, He chose disunity of a nation above the elevation of flesh. He alone should have the glory in earth. Confusion runs rampant when self is at the helm of a journey.

The presence of God walks in us, guiding as He wills. Our victory is found in the going.  Two walk together when there is agreement. When we say, “You are my God,” His presence becomes a fire burning with purpose and direction. His presence in us becomes the compass that directs our lives. Whenever we respond to this fire, our hearts consequently burn within us to do His will, and our souls become refreshed with hope. If you are feeling far from God, I want to ask you to think of the last time your heart burned with purpose? What was He saying then? Where was He leading? Bring to remembrance the agreement you made to follow Him. Realign your heart with His. Walk where you feel Him, go where you hear Him, journey where you see Him. His presence is fire, it lights the way.

Pray with me, “Thank you Father for your presence in my life. Thank you for walking with me.  I respond to your presence today, I align my will with Yours. I want to go where You are going, do what You are doing, say what You are saying. Use me according to your will. I choose to walk with you. ”

serving

Read with me, “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 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.” Philippians 2:1-4

God has been reminding me lately that every area He has called me to, He has not necessarily called me to lead. One of the biggest misgivings in ministry is the notion that when we are called, we automatically lead in that area. It is not necessarily true that you will be the head of the spear in your particular field, more often than not He calls us to serve. ‘Serve,’ a little word met with much apprehension, the needle that readily deflates the most eager, an effective prompt to humble and reposition us. How often do we claim it an honor to serve God, while confidently assuming our “yes” positions us in front, at the top, visible and strong?

I love how He gently comes and reposition my focus on the small things by calling me to serve Him in the secret first, there where no-one sees and hears. Here God would put on display the secret thoughts of my heart, the things I hold dear and cherish, the things I hide and keep secret, things I value and desire to keep. It is usually during these secret conversations that He reminds me that others come first. It is not just about me, my calling, my word. Here He recently recalled that serving involves empowering and assisting others, to come in alignment with His word over their lives. Serving involves covering people, promoting their ideas, preserving their platforms. Serving can mean that when I have the perfect opportunity to gossip with valid true info, I refrain. Serving is the opposite of promoting myself. Serving is not enduring a certain amount of time in ministry in order to carve out a platform for myself. Serving is inherently selfless. It is laying down our own wants, desires, and opinions for His. What is His opinion of the other person?

I want to draw your attention to the story of Obadiah ( you can read it in 1 Kings 18), who hid a hundred prophets from Jezebel. Jezebel, King Ahab’s wife was killing off the prophets of God, but Obadiah hid them, fed them, and kept them safe from her. In Kings 18 we read that Obadiah revered the Lord greatly, and therefore protected the people of God, risking his own career and life. It hit me hard that love and reverence for God made this man protect His people. It has stirred a prayer in my heart to be reminded to protect others, to cover them, to host them. The love of God will make us servants of men. Our own pride has no place in the Kingdom of God. What would you look like if you took thought to promote someone else today? What would the conversation sound like if you had to promote someone in front of others? Would it sound different than your usual dialogue? We honor God by honoring each other, we show our love for Him by loving one another. I want to ask you today, do you still know what the interest of your neighbor is? Are you invested in their promotion? Are you in a state of mind to facilitate their protection? Are we still hosting the presence of God in the secret thoughts of our hearts just like Obadiah protected His presence by covering God’s people in shelter and safety. We serve by sheltering others’ hearts. When the presence of God, who resides in others, becomes of value to us it becomes an enjoyable task to protect their reputations, their callings, their platforms.

The one thing that I am constantly reminded of in this season is this, “It is not only about me.” IT is imperative that we live the life God called us to, it is imperative we realize that we have value and get to absolutely walk in effective salvation, but keeping in mind that our mission should be to bring about unity in the body. Every decision, every act, every mission should be to serve the King in wonder, spurred on by Love.

Pray with me, “ Thank you God for calling me, thank you for calling others alongside me. It is an honor to serve in Your Kingdom. Remind me of your love, show me ways to host and shelter others. I want to dedicate attention to You, to what You are busy doing in others and for others. I lay my life down to serve You and your people.”

god is a bringer

Read with me, “Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am ready to perform My word.” Jeremiah 1:12

Sometimes I get stuck on a passage of Scripture for months. This time it is Jeremiah 1. Until I feel urged to move on, this is where I am leaning into what He is saying for now. I feel the heart of God beating for those suffering lack right now. I feel His urge to bring to remembrance the fact that HE is a good God. Jeremiah was afraid, he was afraid to speak because he was facing hardship and uncertainty. God keeps asking Jeremiah, “What do you see?” This is significant because what we behold and focus on becomes what we speak about. What do you see? What are you saying when you look at the situations in your life? Are you feeling inadequate, like Jeremiah. Jeremiah goes on to tell God that he cannot speak, and God responds with these simple words, “ Do not say ‘but’…” It is imperative in this time that we confess the truth of what He has instilled inside of us. This back and forth between God and Jeremiah makes this passage such a prophetically insightful and activating passage. There is a beautiful junction of man’s insufficiency with God’s provision. I love how God allays Jeremiah’s fear with the fact that He is ready to act. Ps 46 says He is a ready help in times of trouble. I don’t know about you, but 2020 and onward has proven troublesome in many ways. Never have we needed to hold on to the word and person of God more than now. I want to draw your attention to one of the characteristics of God, one of the spectacularly beautiful facets of His nature; He isn’t just a doer, but God is a giver – a bringer. All throughout Scripture there are many instances that testify of how He brought what was needed to man. Think about the very beginning. God made everything that man could possibly need to survive before He ever made man. There was not a moment in time where Adam and Eve didn’t have what they needed to live. They did not know lack in His perfect provision. This included food, love, sustenance, shelter, company and fellowship. God provided for them, before they needed, not because they asked, but because He is good. He even provided these elements for the animals before they were created. We know according to Matt 6 He takes care of the birds and feeds them. He knows what we need. He is aware and involved in the details of what sustains life. He cares. He brought food to Elijah, and a ram for sacrifice to Abraham on the mountain which resulted in a geographical landmark being named “The Lord will provide.” Amazing! He is the God that invented food delivery service, via Ravens, nonetheless. He is the God that made bread rain from the sky when the Israelite’s food from their season of bondage had run out. He was in the details, He provided new bread. He is the God that speaks to His children not through manipulating methods of withholding, but through abundance. Lack is not a tool in His arsenal He wields to ascertain our submission. No, He is the God who provides. In 1 Corinthians 10:13 we see He even provides a way of escape when we are facing temptation. He brings the outcome, He brings the breakthrough, He brings the provision, He brings life, He brings the answer. Matthew 27 paints such a beautiful picture of Jesus’ heart when it comes to money. Upon arriving in Capernaum, the tax collector asked Peter whether Jesus was going to pay his taxes or not. Jesus told Peter they will pay their taxes in order not to offend. He then instructs Peter to look in the mouth of the first fish he catches, there he would find money to pay the tax. Jesus provided a way of escape out of offence, out of insult, out of shame, by providing money in an extraordinary way.

If He said He will provide, He surely will. If you are on the mountain having to sacrifice part of your life, He will provide. If you are struggling to make ends meet, He said He will provide. He is watching over His word to perform it. What He said, He will do. When looking at your circumstances, take care to see well, take care to see what He sees. Just as He said to Jeremiah, so He says to us, He is watching over His word to perform it. Speak His word over your situation today. Claim victory, proclaim the goodness of God. Remind yourself of His faithfulness. We overcome by the word of our testimony, so speak life to the situation that are dire.

Pray with me, “Thank you Father for being generous, for reminding us that You are with us and willing to help us. I pray today for the Spirit to guard my words, help me speak only what You say. I trust Your heart, Your intentions, and Your perspective.”

freedom in the cross

Read with me, “ And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.” Colossians 2:13-14

As my friends and I were discussing what Easter means to us, the concept of having victory kept coming up. It seemed, collectively, we all shared a hope that we would have victory over circumstances. Here were a bunch of ladies of all ages, demographics, and walks of life testifying that they were so very reminded of His ability in us to be see victory over every onslaught of the enemy. An awareness of His ability to make all things new, to bring life and restoration. And let me tell you, some of these girls are fighting hard battles. What admirable faith! IT encouraged me to hope and become excited about the future. I could see Him rise, offering deliverance to those hoped. But suddenly I felt a sense of doubt in my celebration. My heart was fearing arrogance. How can I celebrate in the face of death? It was my sin that put Him there. I felt a tinge of shame as I thought of this wonderful deed Christ did for me evoking such a boldness is my heart. Should the fact that He suffered not make me sad? Should I not walk head upside down to show my humility. Maybe if I had showed some remorse I would be deserving? Should I not weep constantly in awe of such mercy? Oh, but I do feel sad and shameful, God, I thought. Immediately God reminded me it was for freedom that we were made free. He did not suffer to put us to shame. It was for Joy that he suffered.

The Cross was an extremely costly sacrifice. If we can understand that He bought us access to Himself we will jump for joy. When we choose to live in shame of any form, we cheapen the price He paid. Shame often represents in us trying to hard, judging too harshly, feeling inadequate, lack of boldness, constantly needing to have the answers, validating our own shortcomings, justifying living distant from His presence. We do not have to live in shame. We have been bought. We belong to Him. He paid the ultimate price so we do not have to. Freedom means we get to live, it means we get to live HOLY. It brings Him joy when we embrace the fullness of the cross and live in such a way that honors our belief. Honoring Him looks like boldness, action, love, hope, freedom, and obedience.We believe He died for us, because He loved us so. Live like you believe He paid it all. It can be a daunting and overwhelming idea to think that your debt has been paid by the very Son of God. But be encouraged today, He had a choice, and He chose you. The one who created you chose to keep you. Today, if you hear His call, respond. Choose Him, also. Accept the call, revel in His love, embrace His words, and lay down your reasoning that wants to give you all the reasons you cannot ever overcome. It was for you. It was for love. He endured for Joy! Take the courage to love on Him by accepting that He loved you then, and He loves you still. He knew you then, everything you would do, everything you would be, and He still chose to die for you. Today, lay aside yourself. Lay aside the pride that would have you living in sin and working for righteousness. Love on Him, be with Him, speak to Him. Partake of His nature by embracing the fact that He is Love, and that He chose you.

Pray with me, “Father, thank you for sending your Son to die for me. Thank you for loving me and choosing me, daily. Help me live in a way that honors the You. Forgive me for the times I have doubted you and denied you. Today, I vow to live according to You purposes and not my own.”

the power of god to overcome

Read with me, “2 Corinthians 13:4 For he was crucified in weakness, but lives by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but in dealing with you we will live with him by the power of God.

Before Jesus ascended, He told Philip that He would leave us a helper, the Holy Spirit. We know that when we receive the Holy Spirit, we also receive the power of God. When Jesus left earth and ascended to heaven He did not leave us destitute or powerless. In His goodness Jesus gave us of Himself, so that we will be able to live holy and sanctified, effective to every good work by His Spirit. The Holy Spirit imbued us with power that is able to reverse death and decay, power for victory over sickness, and power that trumps our human deficiencies. He helps us in all things, everyday. There is nothing that is too big or difficult for Him. This one part found in Colossians stands out to me clearly when I think of how in need I am of His help. Colossians 1:29 says “For this I labor [often to the point of exhaustion], striving with His power and energy, which so greatly works within me.” I am reminded that He has left us the holy spirit and given us His power which comes into effect when we find ourselves weary and exhausted. It is then that the Holy Spirit works through us mightily. He comes alongside us and says, “I want to help you. I want to remind you that you have great Power available to you.” It is then that our fleshly striving have turned into “striving” in His might. His burden is light, and His yoke is easy. Doing the work of the Kingdom has a guaranteed energy support and power supply in the person of the Holy Spirit. When we partner with Him, things that were heavy and difficult become manageable, we become able, and He becomes glorified in our lives. We need power and energy to do the works He sent us to do, namely to overcome and rule with Christ, proclaim the good news of the gospel, and love those around us. When I partner with the Holy Spirit, remembering that He is with me, and tackle the mission with the knowing that He is with and for us, the power of God works mightily through me.

2 Thessalonians 1:11- 12 says “With this in view, we constantly pray for you, that our God will count you worthy of your calling [to faith] and with [His] power fulfill every desire for goodness, and complete [your] every work of faith, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you [by what you do], and you in Him, according to the [precious] grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

I think it is imperative to recognise that the power of God comes to fulfill our desire for goodness and not for destruction. The power that comes from God is to do the will of the Father, to accomplish His Kingdom mission on earth for every person. The ultimate reason for operating and desiring power should be to complete our faith, to testify of His sovereignty, to establish His reign in our lives, and to acknowledge that we are deficient without Him. We do not seek His power for our own gain, but to fulfil that which He called us to; good works and great faith.

Pray with me, “ Thank you Father for your awesome power that enable us to go and do. Thank you for equipping the saints to live victoriously and powerfully. I pray today for an awareness of the Helper, and the power that is available to me to conquer everything that comes against my purpose. Lead me in your truth that I may always know I am more than enough through Your great strength. Thank you for calling us to this great purpose of loving You and living for you.”

the power and authority of god – pt 3

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every other name. Philippians 2:9-11 “

The name of the lord is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and they are safe. Proverbs 18:10

While reading the Bible we Time and time again encounter the phrase “in the name of Jesus.” We see demons cast out in His name, sickness healed in His name, Salvation come through His name, baptism happens through His name, sanctification and justification comes through His name.

The name of Jesus is powerful and has been given to us as an effective tool to wage war and establish rule over the enemy. There is nothing we cannot attain when we pray in His name. There is no enemy that can stand and persist against the name of Jesus. There is power in His name to overcome, consistently. And this power is in us! We have been made His, and He is ours, so we pray from a place of belonging. We do not pray as those who have no hope. We do not ask as some who do not have a good Father. When we realise we are already in Him, the security that comes from the safety of belonging in Him gives us the boldness to pray wild prayers, because He does not deny His own. When we choose to operate in His name, we acknowledge and utilise the gift of Power He has freely given us. We come into alignment with the truth that He still has a valued interest in the things we do while on the earth, in us as a person. Because HE is who He is, we have an assurance that our prayers are effective and we pray in great expectation of breakthrough and results. All authority in heaven and earth has been given to Jesus. When we utilise the power of His name, we utilise an authority that reaches all areas of heaven and earth. The name of Jesus also has the highest ranking, having authority over every other name. All angels, powers, and authorities have been subjected to Him. He has given us access to His name, and to the authority that comes with it. He makes us powerful in Him. When we pray ‘in Jesus’ name,’ we call on the authority that He has. This makes us a threat to the enemy. When we pray in the name of Jesus we get to be confident, we are powerful and effective. His name affords us the upper hand, making us strong and safe. His name gives us the opportunity to live not as victims, but victoriously, overcoming in everyday things and everyday life.

Pray with me, “ Thank you Father for the authority you have given us access to through your Son, Jesus. Today, I acknowledge You as sovereign and powerful. My desire is to walk in Your power, to be effective for the Kingdom of God. Please show me Your power in my everyday life, so that I would know how to live victoriously.”

the power of god – pt2

Read with me, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’” Romans 1:16-17

“What does Romans 1:16-17 mean for us today? What stands out to me in these verses is that faith and power are two gifts that operate together. The power of God is not dependent on our faith, but faith is required for us to carry out the works and purposes of God. We have been required to put our faith in God’s power to accomplish His purposes. The power of God also accompanies the entire Christ nature, being manifested alongside and in conjunction with joy, peace, strength, doing good and healing the sick, godliness and life. These are the traits in which the Kingdom of God becomes manifest. When we are kingdom minded, we are Christ minded, and that means we are powerful and effective at accomplishing that which He sent us to do. Righteous living is Kingdom living, righteous living is demonstrating His kingdom and reign on the earth, in us. It is important to remember the power we carry. If we understand that He has given us His power freely, we can wield it effectively. If you have been saved and filled with the Holy Spirit, then you have been filled with power, also. God has given us a spirit of power, along with love and self control. A person living a life of love and self control is a powerful person, and a powerful person is the opposite of someone plagued by the victim mentality. We have received the power of God so that we can overcome, we are not left without options or destitute, we have been given power and authority over he works of the enemy. Luke 10:19 reminds us the the prayer of a righteous person has great power. When we come into agreement with what God says about us, we are in right standing with Him, that means our faith pleases Him, this is when our prayers become powerful.

Pray with me, “Lord, forgive me for areas where I have allowed a victim mindset to steal from me, where I have surrendered my power. Please help me live from a place of victory and power. Please remind me that Your power is perfect in my weakness, and that I have received all that I need to overcome. “

The power of god

Read with me, “and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”

1 Corinthians 2:4-5

What does 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 mean for us today? It is a reminder that the wisdom that comes from people can sometimes create a false sense of security. Our trust is not be grounded in the wisdom of men, but rather we should take encouragement to trust in the power of God. What do we read about the power of God, it’s availability, and purpose? The power of God is displayed through us, our lives and our ministries. 2nd Peter tell us that His power has given us everything we need to live a Godly life. We really have no excuse for a powerless life. What is a powerless life? A life where I consistently see myself as a victim. His power is mighty, it makes us powerful and able. His power created the entire universe, and the same power that raised Christ from the dead, is also the power that lives in us, enabling us to live wholly and righteously. He has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power. He gave us this power to overcome, to rule, to reign, to live. The power of God is what makes us live victoriously over our enemies, stripping off the victim mentality and empowering us to take action against the forces that would have us broken and barren and wanting. There is a significant increase in assurance when we stand on the word and power of God. Resting happens when we trust that His word is alive and full of power to accomplish that which was promised to us. Victory was promised, success, power over the enemy, wisdom and guidance so that we can live holy are all promises we can claim by His power. We cannot direct our lives according to the instructions of men who sound wise but have no demonstration of His Spirit or power in their lives. We cannot allow the wisdom of men that informs us of shortcomings and impossibilities to steer our lives. In many testimonies we will see the prevalence of resting and trusting in God’s word that precedes a breakthrough. God has an uncanny way of confounding the wise, His power shifting and shaping our lives with magnificent beauty. When our faith rests in the power of God we are assured victory. Faith is what moves Him, it is what pleases Him. The wisdom of men might say “go left,” while the Spirit leans “right.” It is when faced with difficulty that it becomes imperative to listen to the leading of the Spirit, as He leads He demonstrates God’s power in our lives, which stirs our faith even more.

Pray with me, “ Thank you God for your amazing and mighty power that is at work in me, to change, to do, to be. I acknowledge You as the Sovereign God, Mighty in deed. Let your power be demonstrated through my life by Your Spirit. Amen.”

love – part 4

Read with me, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves.”

Romans 12:9-10

What does Romans 12:9-10 mean for us today?Our love must be sincere. The dictionary defines sincere as free from pretense or deceit; proceeding from genuine feelings. Love that is sincere flows from true affection and honor, it is not made up. Love doesn’t lie or manipulate. True love is just that, true. It always seeks out the true value of the other person. It always believes the best, and hopes for the well being of another. It is deficient in nothing except deceit or pretense. It is honest, pure, unfeigned, and heartfelt.To the same extent that we are to truly love, we are also to hate evil. Love is the force that makes us stand up for someone else, defend them, and remind them of the truth God has said about them. The love we have for one another should spur us on in our pursuit to eradicate every vile and evil thing that comes against our loved ones. We can easily do this by clinging to that which is good, in us and in others. Love allows us to seek it out, embrace it, and champion the person as valuable and loved. It becomes easy to love others when we choose to intentionally seek out and cling to what is good about a person. Our devotion should be to love. When our devotion is to ourselves and our own wants, it is quite hard to truly love others. Our devotion should be to always seek the better in each other, and elevate each other to a higher standard. Sincere love allows us to not compete with each other, seeking our own gain and validation, but love asks ” how can I love YOU better?” in loving well, we manifest Christ, encouraging others to love and seek Him, also.

Read with me, “And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you…”

1 Thessalonians 3:12

There is a way of loving others that can only be accomplished by a work of God in your heart. He alone is able to increase our heart’s capacity to see the value in others and love them accordingly. To love them as Christ sees them, not as I see them. To love them according to what Christ has done and who He is, as opposed to what they have done. We need to come to a place where we regard people not according to perceived faults, but according to the amazing value the price Christ payed has placed on their lives. When we become Christ focused it becomes easier to see someone else’s value because we are not self-absorbed but love focused. We cannot live in the past of what others did to us, we need to allow God to increase the capacity of our hearts to abound in love towards them.

Pray with me, “God, thank you for loving us so perfectly, and calling us to be perfected in this love. Help me see the good in others, help me realize their value and worth, let me love like You do. Teach me what it means to love honourably. God, I want to live a life of love and honour.

Love Part 3

Read with me,Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

1 Peter 4:8

What does 1 Peter 4:8 mean for us today? Love covers a multitude of sins, ours and those of others. Sins, unfair treatments, ignorances, arrogances, dismissals, hurts, lies, and pride are just some of the everyday things people do that I can think of that easily causes offence in our hearts. Every single time we are faced with situations that include offence, we get the honour of choosing love! In honor we get to cover that person rather than hammer on the wrongs. There is no greater love than laying down your life for your friend. Covering someone’s sin looks something like this – saying no to vengeance, saying no to always having the last say, not needing to be right, forgiving, not reminding someone of their faults – while being right. Laying down your life for someone requires you to remove your own will and opinion from the equation. Essentially, this means saying NO to myself, and saying YES to love. The greatest commandment is to love, and if this is particularly difficult, it could be due to the fact that too much of ourselves are still in the way of loving the way Jesus demonstrated. There is a beauty that comes with loving someone deeply, it speaks of selflessness. It sets the other person free from guilt and condemnation. Love liberates them, and us. Love covers. While the blood of Jesus washes us clean of sin and we do not possess the power to rid someone of their sins, we do however possess the power of choice to cover them in love. What a dynamic way to live like Jesus, laying down our lives in order that someone else could be free. Let your life speak of the love of God, let your life demonstrate the practicality of dying to self. Let your life proclaim that He is Love.

Read with me, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:12-13

Would your relationships look any different once you realised true love means laying down you life for someone else, persistently seeking the well-being of another above your own? True love inspires compassion as opposed to anger, patience instead of irritation, Godly love covers, it doesn’t expose and humiliate. Laying down your life for someone you love could very well mean you keep quiet and let them speak, you allow them to have an opinion, you listen to understand. There is no I in love, it is not self-seeking, aka I am not thinking of me when dealing with you. Fighting? Let love win.

Pray with me, “ “God, thank you for providing us with a love that covers us and sets us free. Your love is amazing. Help me recognise it and embrace it. I pray that You empower me to live this love out loud. Let me love people to freedom. Help me forgive as I have been forgiven, and love as I am loved. “