fruitage of the spirit's journal

Expressions from the Heart

Love with Action

Love with Action by Julie McAllen

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. (1 John 3:18-20)

How we long to have our hearts at rest in God’s presence! According to this, we rest when we know we belong to the truth. And how do we know? By action taken first. For we are not to love just in words, but with actions and in truth. This is not talking about works for works sake as if we perform an action and then God will grant our requests. It has to do with faith. When we feel the nudge to trust and go forward in faith, we know we belong to the truth because we have listened to his voice. Has God put something on your heart? Some action you’ve neglected due to fear of failure? Never put out that fire. Trust the nudge. Do you know why we put out our own fire? Because our own hearts condemn us. We doubt our abilities, our circumstances, the reactions of others to us, etc. We allow our hearts to condemn us. When that happens, we’ve given lordship to the sin nature and fear reigns supreme. If we truly have faith and make Jesus Lord in our lives, we trust that we are not condemned because as the word of life proclaims, “God is greater than our hearts.”

So where are you? Who told you that you were naked? God speaks to your heart assuring you that you’ve been forgiven, empowered, given victory, and are no longer condemned, but another voice says otherwise. Faith is trusting God’s voice. He clothed you in his righteousness at the cross, who told you that you were naked? When we find ourselves in a state of condemning our own hearts, that nakedness immobilizes our actions to follow the nudge in something we’re called to do. God has plans for you and yet you do not trust him enough to follow through. You feel the unrest and begin praying, but in actuality you’ve already given into doubt not trusting God at all. How? By lack of action. In prayer you’re seeking rest for your troubled heart, but your love so far has only been expressed in words and not action driven by faith. That is why a troubled feeling hovers over you making you wonder if you even belong to the truth. So what is a troubled heart to do? The voice of our Lord begins,

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. (John 14:1)

Trust in God. These are not just words, they call us to the first necessary action. They call our own hearts to trust even when our feelings conflict with what it says. Our hearts are troubled. We hear the words that say “have faith” but dear children, let us not love with mere words but with action and in truth. The truth is, God loves and forgives you. The first action on your part is to trust this. No matter how low or inadequate you may feel, trust in faith that God is with you always. Trust that and begin your prayers establishing that confidence.

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Heb 4:16)

When our hearts are troubled, that is the time to trust in God. We begin by trusting that God is greater than our hearts. Therefore, do not let your heart be troubled, trust in God. Trust that your salvation and righteous standing before the throne is based on what Jesus already did for you at the cross so that you may enter confidently and receive mercy and find grace to help you in your time of need. As you are refreshed and built up in faith, trust his love and furthermore, trust his calling in your life. He has plans for you. When the nudge comes, do not put out the fire. Take it to action. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth and set our hearts at rest in his presence. Otherwise, your relationship with God becomes stale, for faith without works is dead. Again, dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

Keep yourself in God’s love,

Julie

 

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December 31, 2009 Posted by | According to Scripture, Expressions | , | Comments Off on Love with Action

The Word

The Word by Julie McAllen

 

Talk in everlasting words,
and dedicate them all to me.
And I will give you all my life,
I’m here if you should call to me.
You think that I don’t even mean a single word I say.
It’s only words, and words are all I have,
to take your heart away. –Words by The Bee Gees

Poets, priests and politicians have words to thank for their positions —DE DOO DOO DE DA DA DA by The Police

“What was said to the rose that made it open, was said to me, here in my chest.” —By Jalaluddin Rumi

 1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. –John 1:1, 2

Words create and words destroy. Words heal and words hurt. Words lay on us heavy burdens and likewise lighten our heavy loads. Sometimes, words are all we have. In the 1987 film “Throw Mama from the train,” Billy Crystal’s character, Larry, is stumped in finding the perfect word to begin his novel. “The night was….” repeatedly ends in frustration as draft after rough draft is thrown into the trash bin defeated by writer’s block. Days later when the mother of his student, Owen, casually offers “Sultry….the night was sultry…” he’s furious and fit to kill. He received the perfect word as an unexpected gift after so many months of self-effort. And he didn’t want it.

This Christmas season, I am contemplating the arrival of a perfect gift. “The word became flesh” (John 1:14) This word arrived before I ever became frustrated in seeking it. But it was there, waiting on the tip of the tongue of an unlikely person in an unexpected moment. Sometimes, like Larry, we receive this long sought-after perfect word at a time and from a source we least expect it. If you are familiar with the parable of the seed and the sower (Matt 13:1-23) you know the word is not always received with gladness nor does it produce good fruit. But, that does not mean it has no results. We all know from experience our own words produce results—good and bad. And so it is with God.

Whether we choose to receive it or reject it, what God has spoken touches us and the results return to Him.

 10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
(Is 55:10, 11)

The eternal God who spoke this universe into existence, humbly put on flesh and made his dwelling among us. He has given us His perfect word, what more can we ask for?

 1That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4We write this to make our joy complete. (1 John 1:1-4)

As a writer, I can relate to that last line. I write this to make my joy complete. And to quote from the above mentioned movie, “a writer writes.” There it is. I just spoke myself into existence haven’t I? I proclaimed myself a writer, and this article is the result of the word I’ve spoken to myself, “I am a writer.”

I’ve spoken positive, affirming words to myself over the years, “I am talented,” “I am a good dancer,” and “I am loved.” Unfortunately, I’ve spoken a negative world into existence as well, “I am stupid,” “I am not able to go on,” and “I am worthless.” My words matter, even when never penned or spoken for anyone else to know. I know what kind of words dwell in me. And that is why I need more of Jesus. I want only his word to dwell in me.

16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Col 3:16-17)

Every Christian has a story of how the word of life pursued and finally won them over, but our stories continue as we seek the word that it may dwell richly within us. For the word of God is alive and as anyone who regularly feeds on it will attest, it has the power to discern our thoughts and make them obedient to Christ (Heb 4:12; 2 Cor 10:5)

Have you ever considered that by the words you give yourself, you can disobey Christ? Be careful as you speak the words “I am….” What you choose to put after those two small words have the power to create a world. In the beginning, was the word and the word became flesh. Likewise, our thoughts become words and our words manifest themselves in our flesh. We look to Jesus as the image of the invisible God, but we forget that we too were made in God’s image. The fullness of God dwelt in Jesus. Can it also in us? (Col 1:15-20)

Yes, but first we must be in agreement with the procedure. We must die.

20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Gal 2:20)

I must live by faith in the Son of God who lives in me. Though I am always a Christian, I do not always allow the word of God to dwell in me completely.  If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll understand what I mean. We say things like, “I am a Christian” and also, “I am not going to forgive you for that!” Remember, “I am…” what follows after creates a world. Which word needs to be crucified? Which word has become flesh? Why so many passages in the Bible about forgiveness? Putting aside fears, bitterness, and even “unwholesome talk” (Eph 4:29) Because if any of that dwells in us, there is less room for the word of God to dwell in us. God wants it all. We, like Jesus, were made in the image of God. The fullness of God dwelt in Jesus and that is also God’s task in us through the Holy Spirit as we participate in the divine nature.

 3His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. (2 Pe 1:3, 4)

When you see the babe Jesus, see yourself also as a babe in Christ. Ask that the fullness of God may dwell in you. As you accept the gift of the word becoming flesh this Christmas, reflect upon your own flesh and the words that dwell within it. Receive the perfect word and make it manifest to a world in need. Give yourself and others the gift of God’s word and make your joy complete!

Merry Christmas.

Keep yourself in God’s love, Julie

December 14, 2009 Posted by | According to Scripture, Expressions | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

   

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