Insurance or Assurance?

There are some crazy insurance polices out there!! The eleven weirdest policies are listed on this website Strange Insurance Policies I personally think Tom Jones’ chest hair should be number one, but that’s just my opinion:) When it comes to love, I can’t buy an insurance policy. The closest thing to a love insurance policy would be a prenuptial agreement if I’m concerned that my love may go south with my money, but that isn’t really insurance.

Because I don’t like to gamble, I have my fair share of policies on life, house, cars, health, etc… The insurance business thrives on my fear of losing what I have. Like Tom’s Jones and his chest hair, I am closely connected to my stuff and my body and do not want to part with any of it. Sadly, some folks see Jesus as an insurance policy and miss the joy, hope, and peace His love brings to a world filled with fear.

Jesus offers assurance, which is much better than insurance. Insurance will pay me if I lose whatever it is I’m worried about losing, but it cannot insure that I will keep it. God’s love is a different matter; it’s forever, and Christ offers a wonderful assurance policy if I am willing to trust Him and accept His love. Sounds simple enough, and it truly is simple enough for everyone to afford when they come to the place of believing He is who He says He is. The fact that it’s too good to be true keeps some from acquiring a policy that allows me to not only to spend eternity in heaven, but also walk in His kingdom right now.

Christ assures me that I can walk in God’s kingdom with the help of His Holy Spirit. He is Christ’s assurance agent, and He is much better than the very best insurance agent. The only problem with this wonderful policy is that I can refuse the offer. Sometimes I wonder why God lets me walk away, but then I remember that love isn’t something to be forced upon me. That goes against love’s very nature. God is love, so it goes against His nature to make us take Him up on His beautiful offer.

I’m so very thankful that I accepted His assurance policy back in 1964. It is a policy that gets better and better with time. His policy is good for eternity, and I just keep discovering new benefits. The most beautiful one is the blessed assurance that He is mine, and I am His. I’m learning that kingdom love doesn’t have to wait until I am in heaven. It begins as soon as I let Him show me how to love as He loves. I’ve had my love assurance policy with him for almost 50 years, but I’ve only just figured out that I can walk and love in His kingdom now. The healing that came this week was better than winning a big jackpot or a mega million dollar lottery. Check out the policy on the list when it comes to lotteries:) God’s assurance is better than the best insurance policy in this world, and I plan to hang on to my policy and help others accept His sweet offer of everlasting love:)

Wholeness and Holiness

The scriptures this morning are about being one, and the lessons this week have been about wholeness. Holiness and wholeness go hand in hand. 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 are beautiful verses that describe the oneness God desires.

“For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” NASB

The image of drinking from one Spirit struck me this morning. Sharing a drink with someone is very intimate, and I don’t usually drink from the same cup as others. The scripture clearly says that we were made to drink of one Spirit. God made us for the intimacy of oneness, and holiness is about experiencing the unity Paul describes.

Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and God are all one, and it is His desire for us to be one with Christ and so become one with Him through the Holy Spirit. The church is a poor example of oneness, and I know that breaks God’s heart. As we are apart, so is His heart. It is humbling to realize that I have the power to break the Creator’s heart, but I know I do. So do we all, and that should cause us to lay aside differences and come together.

I’ve said it before, but it bears saying again. Satan loves individuals, and God loves unity. I pray that we all will truly hear the words spoken to the church at Corinth and know that they apply more today than ever before. So much division exists in the body of Christ that He becomes an unrecognizable pile of pieces.

What a beautiful world this would be if all Christians came together as one! It would truly be His Kingdom come, and His will would be done in a way that would make us all wonder what took us so long to figure out that being whole is much better than being broken. Our brokenness is healed by the wholeness Christ affords. Thanks be to God:)

Asking Without Worry:)

Matthew 7:7-8 says:

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” NASB

I have the Children’s Story at church this morning, and when that happens, I know that God wants me to pay particular attention to the scripture at hand. I wasn’t expecting it this week, so I didn’t have as much time to ponder and pray about it. Pastor John helped yesterday as he offered a simple message with simple object.

The story for the children is the heart of the message and must be simple and have a concrete object to which they can relate. I love the story because it is an appetizer that gets my heart ready for the main course. The hymn of invitation is the dessert that rounds out the morning of worship. I am full to the brim when I leave the sanctuary and ready to share my fullness.

Asking is all that is required of me when it comes to receiving what God has in mind. If I approach Him as a spoiled child demanding what I want, He either ignores or lets me have it along with the consequences. If I sulk and wait for Him to give me what I want without asking, He waits patiently for me to voice my desires.

Matthew goes on to say that even terrible parents know how to give their children good gifts and want the best for them. If that is so, why do I worry and fret when I pray. I believe it is because I ask amiss. If Lillyann asked for a gun, knife, motorcycle, or pet python, she wouldn’t get them no matter how hard she cried. God knows what is best for me, and I’ve learned to simply ask for mercy and for the desires of His heart to be the desires of mine. That gets rid of those pesky worries in a powerful way.

Asking a parent for a healthy snack gets a much better response than a demand for chocolate. I am guilty of demanding chocolate and giving Him a grocery list of needs. No wonder there’s worry in my heart.

Intercession is the best prayer and puts me even closer to Jesus. He is the model for praying and lives a praying life. He is in constant intercession for me, and His Holy Spirit prays the prayers I cannot utter for me and others. Allowing Jesus to talk to God on my behalf and the Holy Spirit to pray for and through me, I find that my praying is becoming as natural as breathing. That changes the way I ask in a beautiful way and helps me live a praying life.

Breathing In:)

I’ve been out of my regular loop this week as I’ve been busy getting moving into the new house. There are still many boxes to unpack, but my bedroom furniture came yesterday, and Tyler worked late getting it all together! The girls and I have been sleeping on mattresses on the floor in my room this week as Tyler worked long hours and Gina helped care for her grandmother. Last night, mommy and daddy were here, so I was alone for the first time since Saturday. I missed the sweet pillow talk that lulled me to sleep each evening and brightened my spirit each morning. It’s been over a decade since I’ve shared a bed with anyone, and I loved the sweet snuggling.

This morning, I’m breathing in, relaxing in God’s Spirit, and enjoying His presence. The Holy Spirit is the breath of true life and love. That’s been the beautiful lesson this week. The Greek word for Spirit is the same word used for wind and breath. I have taken in deep breaths this week as both I and this beautiful home have come to new life.

Life and love without the Spirit is like being on life support. Life and love with the Holy Spirit is breathing in God. Christ’s precious love enables me to be one with Him, with God, and with the Holy Spirit so I can love as He loves and live the life He has planned. It isn’t about being independent; it is about stopping my struggle, relaxing in His love, and allowing His Spirit’s indwelling to be as natural as breathing.

There is no way to show someone how to breath. There are methods that improve lung and heart capacity, but breathing is an involuntary function closely tied to the heart. The same is true when it comes to the Holy Spirit. Love changes, and there is a new freedom. I no longer need a respirator! I can breath in God’s own Spirit thanks to Christ.

It has been a week of transition for me, and I finally understand the importance of breathing in His love. The best way to describe the lessons this week would be to say I feel as though I’ve come off the respirator and am breathing on my own. Breathing in God’s Spirit is a choice, and I’m the only one who can decide to pull the plug on trusting any other form of life support other than His love.

Sweet Susan’s passing yesterday was a big part of the lessons this week. As I watched her loved ones care tenderly for her at home as she wished, my heart saw love expressed in an amazing way. They allowed her to let go and breathe in God’s Spirit in the most powerful way possible. Breathing her last breath here surrounded by those she loved made the transition to her new and final home a beautiful one.

It’s been a week of amazing lessons in breathing, living, and loving; I thank God for loving me enough to send His only Son so I can breathe in His Spirit and live a life filled with His precious love. Breathing is about living, and living is about loving. Christ helps me live a life worth living forever where love is as natural as breathing:)

Loving Wholly!

Wholly means completely and to the exclusion of all else, and God’s message for me this morning was that He wants me to love Him with all my heart, soul, mind, spirit, and strength. In other words, He wants me to love Him wholly! I have the tendency to hold back when it comes to love. I’ve let the deep hurts of my past cause me not to trust love, even God’s. That sounds silly when I say it out loud, but God knows it is true and wants more for me.

God reminded me this morning that the Holy Spirit will help me love wholly if I will just let Him.I love the Holy Spirit and am amazed by the holy mystery that allows Him to bring comfort and love in ways I cannot understand. He is teaching me to be a loving presence and redefining love for me, and I have made progress. God showed me this morning that I have much more to learn when it comes to love.

Whole is better than half. We all know what happens with half:) I’m guilty of being half and part and some when it comes to love. Growing in regard to love means getting whole so I can love as God desires and have the relationships He has in mind for me. I’ve settled for less than whole with love because I’ve not been willing or able to love wholly myself. I’ve loved those who cannot love me because it was safe. I thought it would hurt much less to love that way, but I was wrong. God has given me the choice of moving on or wallowing in my pain. It’s up to me as it always is.

God is whole and gives all when it comes to love. Commitment isn’t about enabling or fixing, and it is not to be part time. I’ve been deeply hurt when it comes to connecting, and I’ve allowed that hurt to lead my heart. A whole spirit, soul, and heart is required for the love God desires. Some is not acceptable when it comes to love.

I can’t pick and choose with God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. They are whole and holy and want the same for me. Holy means spiritually pure, and the goal of this journey is to head in that direction. God gives a choice at each fork and intersection, and I have to decide which way to go. That decision is based on desire and readiness. The past two months have been a time of wrestling with God that has left me worn, weary, worried, and ready to let God lead my heart.

When God teaches me, it’s always about getting to the core of my heart. It involves getting to the place of spiritual exhaustion that causes a sigh of release and repentance. I have to turn in a new direction, and that involves change. I like to think of myself as progressive and forward thinking. That’s true unless it involves change:)

I finally cry Father! That’s more appropriate than uncle when wrestling with God. When I’ve had enough wrangling, He shows me what I need to see before I can move forward. It’s never easy to see, and that’s why I wrestle. I have kept love at arm’s length all my life, and God showed me that isn’t what He wants. He used Thanksgiving in powerful ways to help me see the importance of wholly loving and living.

Each time I come to a difficult leg of the journey, God provides sweet assistance in the form of family and friends who love me, and He always gives me a beautiful reward when I finally get it. I’m having lunch with one of my dearest friends today. I haven’t seen her in seven years, and I know the lunch isn’t a coincidence. Ali hears my heart across the distance, and we are sweet kindred spirits. She knows and loves me in a way I can’t describe. Actually, I can; she loves me wholly:) She has been an important part of my journey, and God placed her in my path at a two crucial intersections. It’s perfect that she would be here as I’m encounter another. God knows just what I need just when I need it, and I love that about Him!

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