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What Great Love!

Jeremiah 31:3 says, “The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: ‘Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness I have drawn you.'” The Lord’s love is everlasting. In 1 John 4:7 we read, “God is love.” We cannot separate the two. Therefore, before creation was spoken into existence, love was present. Before it was know or seen, His love existed. Even before you or I existed, His love was present, and directed with regard concerning each of us. Matthew 18:20 says, “Whenever two or three are gathering in his name, he is in the midst of them.” He is in the midst of us, even now, friends. Hebrews 13:3 declares. “I will never leave you or forsake you” His love will forever remain; He has willed and continues to love you with His everlasting love. Selah, pause.

His heart yearns to be ministered to by our love. In all of His creation, we are the only creatures who can express our love back to Him.

Action: Take the time today and express your gratitude to God for the love He has lavished upon you!

John 3:16 ” For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten [unique] Son, so that whoever believes in [trust in, clings to, relies on] Him shall not perish [come to destruction, be lost] but have eternal [everlasting] life.”

This passage from John indicates the relationship of the Father’s love to the work of Christ and of both to the life of believers. John, Jesus’ beloved, is the same disciple who wrote the 4th Gospel, as well as the Epistles of 1 John. The first Epistle of John relates to fellowship and faith as John was writing, looking back, giving an account of his daily fellowship with Jesus. It’s an account with a distinctive quality worth meditating on as well as to gain an understanding of love. John’s writings provide one third of the references to love in the bible.

In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul describes love as a “more excellent way” than tongues or even preaching. Wow- love above preaching. We don’t even have to leave our homes to practice the highest regard of the gospel. Paul uses the greek word “agape” to describe love in this verse meaning charity, affection, and good will. This is a sacrificial expression that is voluntary in nature, yet it becomes supreme as we weigh the price of Christ’s divine sacrifice.

When we learn more of love we learn more of God. We cannot separate the two.

Deborah Somjak 4 Unfolded Hearts Ministry

Showing Love

Listen: set aside time daily without distractions and look eye to eye when speaking.

Communicate: (a) Don’t make another guess what you are thinking or feeling. (b) Verbally express your love (women like to hear it). (c) Shamelessly brag of her/his good qualities.

Learn to Forgive: forgiveness is at the heart of the gospel and the heart of every meaningful relationship. Past, present, and future.

Showing Respect

Honor Wishes and Take Advice: giving weight to wishes and advice shows importance and priority.

Emphasize Good Points: focus on qualities you most admire.

Don’t: Complain, interrupt, nag, argue, correct– shhhh

Learn to be: Thankful and Content.

Smile: it creates contagious happiness.

Christmas Joy

The Christmas season is fast underway! I hope you are able to take some time and recognize the rhythm of His grace and enjoy all He has given to you, to each one of us.

As I was preparing things in my home for the season, the Lord showed me the word “joy” three times. I felt He wanted to me to know more on this word and to share it here with you. To be perfectly honestly, I was a bit hesitant to pursue and speak on joy – I mean, I watch the news and hear the daily devastation and great personal loss that our communities are contending with locally and across the globe. We are in a unique time in history, in which joy is not commonly found. Yet, when I open the Word of God, specifically to the book of Luke, there is different news for me, for us. A declaration of joy! In fact, a declaration of great joy that has come. So, let us too come and see what the Lord has done together and hear what he might say regarding Joy.

Luke 2:10,11
Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy with will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

The Hebrew definition for joy: glee, exceeding gladness, mirth, pleasure, rejoice.
The Greek definition states: calm delight, gladness.

Joy is given by God. It is established in our hearts along with the confidence of hope. It is the fruit of the Holy Sprit, an evidence He is with us. It’s not just a simple smile or laugh based on our surroundings or on a successful outcome of our own performance. Joy is something that is deep within and doesn’t leave quickly. God wants us to have joy. We can learn more in His Word [see below] that its Christlikeness within.

Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Romans 14:17
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking [what one likes], but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Let me ask you, who do you know that exhibits these kingdom traits? Maybe for you, you’d list three different people, one for each trait: righteousness, peace, and joy. As I ponder this question myself, I desire to see an increase in genuine joy, gladness, and a calm delight. These will only be fulfilled as we yearn to seek the one who possesses and eagerly dispenses these heavenly traits in earthly vessels. Yearn, friends, for Jesus to fill you and your household, that the whole counsel of God might be fulfilled in the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

There’s a classic acronym for joy you may have heard.
Jesus, Others, Yourself. While this is a well noted phrase to follow.

 

I’d like to introduce a new acronym for a new discovery of the fruit of joy in this unique season.


J,
for Jesus, He remains first-rightfully so!

O, is for Our, He is ours personally & intimately. We belong to Him.

Y, is for Yearning; yearning is to desire strongly or persistently.
How we need Him! How we need to get back to Yearning for Our Jesus as only He can turn things around for the kingdom’s cause in this unique season expectant for good news and JOY.
Jesus Our Yearning.

Share the J.O.Y

Merry Christmas,
Deborah Somjak 4 Unfolded Hearts Ministry

May this song by Lauren Daigle minister to you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9B-81mZV5E

True Love

The love of the Lord

—Hosea 3:1

Believer, look back through all thine experience, and think of the way whereby the Lord thy God has led thee in the wilderness, and how He hath fed and clothed thee every day—how He hath borne with thine ill manners—how He hath put up with all thy murmurings, and all thy longings after the flesh‐pots of Egypt—how He has opened the rock to supply thee, and fed thee with manna that came down from heaven.

Think of how His grace has been sufficient for thee in all thy troubles—how His blood has been a pardon to thee in all thy sins—how His rod and His staff have comforted thee. When thou hast thus looked back upon the love of the Lord, then let faith survey His love in the future, for remember that Christ’s covenant and blood have something more in them than the past.

He who has loved thee and pardoned thee, shall never cease to love and pardon.

He is Alpha, and He shall be Omega also: He is first, and He shall be last. Therefore, bethink thee, when thou shalt pass through the valley of the shadow of death, thou needest fear no evil, for He is with thee. When thou shalt stand in the cold floods of Jordan, thou needest not fear, for death cannot separate thee from His love; and when thou shalt come into the mysteries of eternity thou needest not tremble, “For I am persuaded, that neither death; nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Now, soul, is not thy love refreshed? Does not this make thee love Jesus? Doth not a flight through illimitable plains of the ether of love inflame thy heart and compel thee to delight thyself in the Lord thy God?

Surely as we meditate on “the love of the Lord,” our hearts burn within us, and we long to love Him more.

by Charles Spurgeon

 This my friend is the truest  love ~ Debbie

Charles Spurgeon

Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Psalm 73:24

The Psalmist felt his need of divine guidance. He had just been discovering the foolishness of his own heart, and lest he should be constantly led astray by it, he resolved that God’s counsel should henceforth guide him. A sense of our own folly is a great step towards being wise, when it leads us to rely on the wisdom of the Lord. The blind man leans on his friend’s arm and reaches home in safety, and so would we give ourselves up implicitly to divine guidance, nothing doubting; assured that though we cannot see, it is always safe to trust the all‐seeing God. “Thou shalt,” is a blessed expression of confidence. He was sure that the Lord would not decline the condescending task. There is a word for thee, O believer; rest thou in it.

Be assured that thy God will be thy counsellor and friend; He shall guide thee; He will direct all thy ways.

 In His written Word thou hast this assurance in part fulfilled, for holy Scripture is His counsel to thee. Happy are we to have God’s Word always to guide us! What were the mariner without his compass? And what were the Christian without the Bible? This is the unerring chart, the map in which every shoal is described, and all the channels from the quicksands of destruction to the haven of salvation mapped and marked by one who knows all the way. Blessed be Thou, O God, that we may trust Thee to guide us now, and guide us even to the end! After this guidance through life, the Psalmist anticipates a divine reception at last—”and afterward receive me to glory.” What a thought for thee, believer! God Himself will receive thee to glory—thee! Wandering, erring, straying, yet He will bring thee safe at last to glory!

This is thy portion; live on it this day, and if perplexities should surround thee, go in the strength of this text straight to the throne.

Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.

 Debbie 4 Unfoldedhearts