Power in Hope

It has been a struggle to decide about what to write about today. In my personal time I have been reading through Psalms in the Message Translation. I wrote about the inward reflection that David took earlier this week (Psalms 42). Last night in youth, one of my leaders led a discussion on Psalms. I had to admit to them, that David is probably someone I would struggle to look up to in leadership, or even to be around. I enjoy him when He is leading them into battle, when he is leading them into worship and when he is talking about all the great things of God. Then he gets to this lamenting, not just complaining and whining, but deep down in the dumps kind of talk.

Psalms 13:1-2 (MSG) Long enough, God— you’ve ignored me long enough. I’ve looked at the back of your head long enough. Long enough I’ve carried this ton of trouble, lived with a stomach full of pain.
Long enough my arrogant enemies have looked down their noses at me.

Then I remember, God said that this was a man after His own heart. In this I am reminded that I have to have some of these kinds of people in my life. There are going to be leaders in my life that I have to honor even if I do not like their personality. Then it made me think, how do I come off on others? Most of the time I am quiet because I feel like I can come off harsh. I was told in one work place (a Christian nonprofit) that I did not speak in love and that they did not receive me as a person that lived 1 Corinthians 13. This hurt me deeply because I try to live Philippians 4:8 (AMP), “Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].” I try to live this towards God’s creation. I sometimes have to realign my thinking to this, but that is truly my goal. I asked them about this verse and they quickly informed me that they could not apply that to me. Ouch! So I rub people the wrong way sometimes too. Paul did, Peter did, even Hannah did with Eli the prophet. My heart is for other’s to feel that love of Christ to come through me, this truly is what I want to be rooted in.

There are going to be leaders in my life that I have to honor even if I do not like their personality.

I do understand that this is probably not who David was to everyone. Only those closest to him saw this side of him. What we are reading are his words pouring out to God. Why does God want us to see this? It’s okay that we are not okay sometimes. We need to cry out in our deep grief and anger. He knows our heart anyways!

I told the group last night that David reminded me of He-Man from the cartoon series in the 1980s. In his writings, David, does seem like he has two very distinct personalities. Prince Adam had all the feelings, he cooked, he goofed off and seemed not all that together. He wore a pink vest and purple leggings! Then when he got the “power” he transformed into this warrior.

The power I think is when David remembers his position, that God is for him and not against him. The “power” for David is always underlying there because even in the lament of Psalms 13 we see verse 15-16 (MSG), “I’ve thrown myself headlong into your arms—I’m celebrating your rescue. I’m singing at the top of my lungs, I’m so full of answered prayers.” David was never without hope. There is power in hope. It was the root of who David really was. May we never let go of hope.

Hope is one of the ingredients Paul talks about at the end of 1 Corinthians 13, verse 13 (TPT), “Until then, there are three things that remain: faith, hope, and love—yet love surpasses them all. So above all else, let love be the beautiful prize for which you run.” I did not forget about love. It is the most important, I know. I am running for that beautiful prize (I may not be athletic, but I am competitive).

If you need prayer please message me at amanda@desiringformore.org.

Do we know our impact?

Yesterday was the Christmas service at our church. My husband’s message was topical, titled “From: God, To: You.” His main point was that God gave us the gifts of love and forgiveness when He sent His Son. In do so, those are two things we should freely give, but it is a choice.

He started it off with Luke 2:7 (NKJV) And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger. The King of the World was here. He was not born in a castle. He was born in a manger and wrapped with cloth that Mary had brought along with her. My husband reminded us to not despise the small beginnings. He reminded us that God celebrates when we begin, it is a step towards His promise.

The King of the World was here.

We ended the service with the song “Mary Did You Know.” We sung it by candlelit.

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 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
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 heaven's perfect Lamb?
That sleeping child you're
Holding is the great, I Am
Mary, did you know? (Mary, did you know?)
Mary, did you know? (Mary, did you know?)
Mary, did you know? Oh

As we began to sing this song I gave this verse from Luke 2:19 (AMP), But Mary treasured all these things, giving careful thought to them and pondering them in her heart. Does that answer our question that Mary would know the great impact her son would make on this world? That because of Him I can come boldly before the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16). That two thousand years later He is still changing lives. I felt the impact of that moment.

2 Corithians 3:2-3 (NKJV) You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men, clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.

The Passion Translation states, For your very lives are our “letters of recommendation,” permanently engraved on our hearts, recognized and ready by everybody. As a result of our ministry, you are living letters written by Christ, not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God – not carved onto stone tablets but on the tablets of tender hearts.

We have a choice in taking this two ways. We can say that is too much pressure, I am not perfect, how dare God expect me to live a perfect life. We could also see it as a challenge to be better. That I took the command that Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28:19),” literally. Wherever I go I have the potential to make a disciple because I am a living epistle. When we allow Christ to do the work in us, the living epistle is written on our hearts. Do you know the impact you make when you allow people to see that transformation? My prayer is that I draw deeper in my relationship with God and encourage others to do the same.

Merry Christmas!

What if I do not FEEL chosen?

We shape our identity on how chosen we feel at any given time. What can hinder a person from feeling chosen? For me it has been rejection. I remember a relationship with my father up until the age of five. My mother took my sisters and I to see her parents when I was around that age, we did not return home. I did not realize how bad things were for my mom until I reached adulthood. As I look back, and see the signs of abuse, I know she did the right thing. That does not mean there were not seeds of rejection put inside of me. It is a hard thing for your father not to try to keep a relationship after divorce. That is just what he did. He did not try to see us at Christmas. I honestly cannot remember anything but a phone call on my birthday. That was the extent of our relationship growing up. As a result, rejection was my identity. It was hard for me to feel chosen.

1 Peter 2:9 (NKJV) But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Ephesians 1:3-6 (NKJV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. 

There is something in each one of us that longs to be loved and wanted.  The Bible refers to us as the Bride of Christ. That was the first step for me into my relationship with Christ. He showed me a love that would not fail. A relationship that desires my presence just as much as I desire His.

There is something in each one of us that longs to be loved and wanted.

Psalm 68:6a (NKJV) God sets the solitary in families

Ephesians 2:19 (NKJV) Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.

Maybe your family background is not necessarily godly, healthy, or hopeful.  You might feel doomed to repeat certain patterns or addictions, mental instability, or any kind of brokenness.  You might feel like you can never break free.  No matter how hard you try the world may say that you are going to end up in predetermined way  Or maybe just hearing the word “family” stings your heart. There are a lot of self help books out there to help, but nothing can make you whole except Jesus.

1 Peter 1:18 (NKJV) For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (AMP) Therefore if anyone is in Christ (that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior), he is a new creature (reborn and renewed in the Holy Spirit); the old things (the previous moral and spiritual condition) have passed away. Behold, new things have come (because spiritual awakenings bring a new life).

Matthew 7:11 (NKJV) If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

Psalm 40:1-5 (NKJV) I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth– Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the Lord. Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust, And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works Which You have done; And Your thoughts toward us Cannot be recounted to You in order; If I would declare and speak of them, They are more than can be numbered.

As God’s treasured possession, we wait patiently and know God hears us.  As I look back over my life I see how treasured I am to my Father. I may have been rejected by someone who was suppose to love me, but I am full of with an over abundance of love from my Father. I often look for what I call “daddy moments.”

Psalm 62:1-6 (NKJV) Truly my soul silently waits for God; From Him comes my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved. How long will you attack a man? You shall be slain, all of you, Like a leaning wall and a tottering fence. They only consult to cast him down from his high position; They delight in lies; They bless with their mouth, But they curse inwardly. Selah. My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved.

What in your life tempts you to feel less than God’s treasured possession? I still have to fight the feelings of rejection. The enemy knows that this is a tactic he can use against me. I have to remind myself that I am lovable, that I do have something to offer, that just because I am awkward does not mean that others do not see the value in me.

One of my favorite verses to share with a precious daughter that has also had the hardships of rejection in their lives is Psalm 45:11 (NIV) “Let the king be enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.” He is enthralled with us. He cannot keep His eyes off of us. This relationship is why I choose to honor Him. What we honor we see value in. I am chosen and so are you!

Do you feel loved?

Ephesians 2:4 (AMP) But God, being (so very) rich in mercy, because of His great and wonderful love with which He loved us.

As I was sitting talking with one of my precious daughters in the Lord, we were talking about the struggles of trusting God the Father. We are both from childhood divorced homes and know the struggles of having our fathers let us down. We talked about marriage and I was reminded of what Christ said about husbands and the church. In reading this, look at it in the perspective of a woman reading it, and how she longs to be loved.

Ephesians 5:25-30 (AMP) Husbands. love your wives (seek the highest good for her and surround her with a caring, unselfish love), just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify the church, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word (of God), so that (in turn) He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy (set apart for God) and blameless. Even so husbands should and are morally obligated to love their own wives (being in a sense) their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own body, but (instead) he nourishes and protects and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members (parts) of His body.

In the beginning God created all things and he put man in dominion. God saw what He created and saw that it was good. However in Genesis 2:18 we see that it was “not good” that man be alone, some translations say not “beneficial”. He then creates the animals and brings them to the man to name. They were created to be a helper to man, but it still was not a suitable companion for Adam.

Genesis 2:21-23 (AMP) So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam; and while he slept, He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at the place. And the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man He made (fashioned, formed) into a woman, and He brought her and presented her to the man. Then Adam said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

Eve was not mistreated, she was not abused by a father or her husband. Yet the enemy went to her for the first attack against mankind. Adam was right next to her.

Eve was not mistreated, she was not abused by a father or her husband.

When I was fifteen I prayed for God to send me my husband. I felt I was all alone. I felt like I had no one who could love me for me. I told God that if He sent me my husband I would serve Him the rest of my life. A month later I met my husband on a blind date. When I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, do you know what God spoke to my heart? He told me that everything I was making John out to be in my life is who He wanted to be in my life. That John could still hurt and wound my heart, but He never would. That is when I surrendered my life to Him.

The hurt and wounds we have from fathers (or some even their husbands) can cloud the ability to see the love that God truly has and desires for us, causing us to have trust issues. This is why Ephesians 5 is there. As I read the Word I see how much love God has for His daughters. We are so very important. We were created to be strong and to endure so much, but we were created with love. We are important. We have value. We are loved!

Yesterday during service, I had a moment, I was looking out during worship and saw how empty it looked in there. Just a few services before it was full and we were wondering what we could do to make room and still be safe because of COVID. I was taken back to when our church took a big hit because of the financial climate ten years ago, attendance and with that giving dropped tremendously. I was thinking, here we go again God, please help me keep my trust on you (considering we are in a building program).

Do you know how much God loves us? In that moment God spoke a Word to my husband just for me. He let me know that what happened ten years ago will not happen again. I have been confessing this whole time, God I know you can do even if… I have been praying for God to show out in a big way, in a way that it would be no way we could take credit for it. I will keep speaking His Word, I will keep preaching His Word, and I will keep going where He tells me to.

On top of that He gave me a little “I love you, daughter” by my pizza delivery guy making a mistake and I got the salad dressing that I had actually wanted but forgot to order. When I remembered I forgot to change the salad dressing it was too late because he was already on his way. He delivered our order without the salad (I like salad with my pizza). He had to go back for it, but I got to ask him for the correct salad dressing. Look at that! He even said when he returned, it just so worked out so that you could get the salad dressing you wanted. Those are what I call daddy moments.

God sees us and wants to do so much in our lives. Keep pressing in. Trust Him in His Word. Give Him all things that have you worried or concerned. He will calm the storm inside of you. Even if, He can still do in a big way! I am trusting Him more and more, it takes surrendering more and more. God I am going to keep doing what you called me to do, and watch what you do with it!

John 15:9 (AMP) I have loved you just as the Father has loved Me; remain in My love (and do not doubt My love for you).

Heart Check Moments Ahead

A couple of weeks ago we were doing a “Highlight Night” with our youth group. This is a night when we invite our youth to bring their Bibles and we all share scriptures that we have highlighted. Then if that scripture was something we want to highlight, we get a highlighter and highlight it ourselves. We ask them what spoke to them about that particular scripture.

One such passage was James 4:11 (NKJV) Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.

Such a strange scripture for a teenager to have highlighted, right? Our teens are looking at us. I used this opportunity to teach a little. I explained to the teens that the Book of James was a letter written by James to a group of Jewish converts to Christianity. That we can be just like this group if we do not keep our hearts aligned with Philippians 4:8 (AMP) Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.

I did point out that, yes, we are known by the fruit that we bear. That although we are not of the world, we should not look like the world. I did remind them that the Jesus spoke to us about when we see a fellow Christian sin (Matthew 18:15). All of this is in love. One thing is we have free will.

Can we believe that God still changes hearts? Look at what Paul says in 1 Timothy 1:12-16 (AMP): I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has granted me (the needed) strength and made me able for this, because He considered me faithful and trustworthy, putting me into service (for this ministry), even though I was formerly a blasphemer (of the Lord) and a persecutor (of His church) and a shameful and outrageous and violent aggressor (toward believers). Yet I was shown mercy because I acted out of ignorance and unbelief. The grace of our Lord (His amazing, unmerited favor and blessing) flowed out in superabundance (for me, together) with faith and love which are (realized) in Christ Jesus. This is a faithworthy and trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance and approval, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost (of sinners), Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example or pattern for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.

Can we believe that God still changes hearts?

Why did the verse our youth member strike a chord with me? Maybe they have had an experience like I did. Many years ago I was in an argument with a leader in our church. I forget what it was about, but their response was because I did not agree, and they were above me in leadership, that I was going to hell. Heart check moment! I told them I guess both of us were, since neither of us had worked out this love thing yet.

Let’s look at James 4:11 but in the Passion Translation: Dear friends, as part of God’s family, never speak against another family member, for when you slander a brother or sister you violate God’s law of love. And your duty is not to make yourself a judge of the law of love by saying that it doesn’t apply to you, but your duty is to obey it!

Brothers and sisters in Christ do not have to agree to show love. We violate love when we judge. Remember that tomorrow on election day and every day. I am not anxious about who wins. I have been anxious about how the “church” is going to treat one another. I have seen so many posts from both sides, by supposed followers of Christ, and it breaks my heart. You will be known by the fruit that you bear. Remember that. I care more about the unbeliever watching that my own rights!

Prayer for tomorrow: Father, let us see each other the way you see us. You said that everything is permissible for us, but not everything is for our benefit. It is through your drawing that we are lead to what is for our benefit. Let us be mindful of you tomorrow. Let us be mindful of the sacrifice your Son made. That we have a High Priest is able to sympathize and understand our weakness and our temptations, yet knowing what it is like to be human, did not sin. It is with great confidence that we approach your throne of grace. We have confidence and do not fear of what is to come. You can do the impossible within us! We praise and thank you in Jesus Name, Amen!

Manifestations…am I crazy!

The past few month the desire in me has been to see the manifestations of God on earth again. You know the stuff you read about in the Bible. If Acts 1:8 says, “But I promise you this – the Holy Spirit will come upon you and you will be filled with power.” What power was Jesus talking about? Power like Elisha who called down lightning? Complete healing from touching the hem of a garment? How about the power of the shadow of Peter?

What is limiting us from seeing the blind, deaf and lame healed? From us walking in the wholeness that God desires for us?

The mindset of the flesh. We will not stop overthinking this salvation and born again thing. We are so caught up in Galatians 5:19-21 (TPT), The cravings of the self-life are obvious: Sexual immorality, lustful thoughts, pornography, chasing after things instead of God, manipulating others, hatred of those who get in your way, senseless arguments, resentment when others are favored, temper tantrums, angry quarrels, only thinking of yourself, being in love with your own opinions, being envious of the blessings of others, murder, uncontrolled addictions, wild parties, and all similar behavior. Haven’t I already warned you that those who use their “freedom” for these things will not inherit the kingdom of God!

We put ourselves under condemnation especially when you see your brothers and sisters in Christ walking in verses 22-23: But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions: joy that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness in action, a life full of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit. Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.

Law? Condemnation is part of the law.

When we try to measure up to the person next to us, that is putting ourselves under the law. When you think that just because you attend church, that is what showing fruit is, that is under the law.

From looking at these verses from this perspective I can see only one fruit of the spirit.

Love…the rest are attributes.

Just look at 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 (TPT) for the similarities: Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; loves does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

I have felt condemnation about not living up to what people standards of what this love looks like to them. I have even had this verse and the previous verses quoted at me for not meeting their standard of love (which by the way as Christians make us look petty and does not win the other back). So how can we do this love walk?

John 15:4-10 (TPT) Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

If we are free from the law then what are the commandments?

Matthews 22:37-39 (TPT) Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

Galatians 6:1-5 My beloved friends, if you see a believer who is overtaken with a fault, may the one who overflows with the Spirit seek to restore him. Win him over with gentle words, which will open his heart to you and will keep you from exalting yourself over him. Love empowers us to fulfill the law of the Anointed One as we carry each other’s troubles. If you think you are too important to stoop down and help another, you are living in deception. Let everyone be devoted to fulfill the work God has given them to do with excellence, and their joy will be in doing what’s right and being themselves, and not in being affirmed by others. Every believer is ultimately responsible for his or her own conscience.

Know this about myself, this is something I am having to continually walk in.

When I read 1 Kings about Solomon and his refusal to listen to the warnings of God, I had to repent for watching a movie with my youngest that I knew we should not have watched.

When I post about teenagers, it is because I have teenagers. I have to correct and change how I do things. I do not always get this parenting thing right, but I am progressing.

Why are we not seeing the power of God move? We still have to get closer to the vine. How do we get closer to the vine? I need to get in my Word more…I need to be led by the Holy Spirit more. I need to compare myself with others less.

We cannot be afraid of judgment of those in the church when we need help to overcome what they have already overcome. I cannot hide from conviction and led it become condemnation (putting ourselves under the law). We deny we are wrong and then do not allow the Word to work fully in our lives. I have to die to myself, so that I can live free in Him! There is so much more freedom if we truly open ourselves up to what the Word wants to do in our lives.

There is so much more freedom if we truly open ourselves up to what the Word wants to do in our lives.

I believe that healing is still for today. I believe that miracles can still happen.

There is a song that I have had on repeat in my head. It is there when I fall asleep, it is there when I wake in the morning, it has been within me as I write this. It is called “This is a Move.” Click on the title if you want to give it a listen, but here are some of the lyrics:

Bodies are still being raised
Giants are still being slain
God we believe, cause yes we can see that
Wonders are still what You do.

We are here for You, come and do what You do
We are here for You, come and do what You do
We set our hearts on You, come and do what You do
Cause we need a move

Miracles happen when You move
Healing is coming in this room

Abide in Him…that is the secret. I have to continually abide in Jesus with the expectation that manifestations are a natural part of who He is. I have to allow the release of the Holy Spirit within me. There is a great move that God still wants to do on this earth. He loves to demonstrate who He is. Can you see it now (2 Kings 6:17)?

Peace, Love and Jesus

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives our fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

As I read the first four books of the New Testament I saw a theme on what Jesus taught the disciples. He taught them about love and having faith. Peach and love go hand in hand. You cannot have faith and not love, and you cannot have peace without faith.

Lisa Bevere in Without Rival states: Fear is costly. It will steal your thoughts, your dreams, your relationships, your finances, your faith and your hope. Love is constant, it is supremely generous. It seeks to restore your relationships, your dreams and your hopes.

Let’s look at 1 Corinthians 13, you know the verse we quote at each other when we talk about the love walk. Let us do a little something different. Let us replace love with fear.

Fear is impatient and unkind while it envies and boasts; it is arrogant and rude. Fear insists on it’s own way; it is irritable and resentful; rejoices in wrong doing, rather than in truth. Fear bears nothing, believes nothing, hopes nothing, endures nothing. Fear will end.

When I inserted fear here, I saw some attributes of my self that I did not like. So I started saying this over myself daily:

Amanda is patient (suffers long). Amanda is kind. Amanda does not envy. Amanda does not boast (or parade herself). Amanda is not proud (puffed up). Amanda does not dishonor others (behave rudely). Amanda is not self seeking. Amanda is not easily angered (provoked). Amanda keeps no records of wrongs (thinks evil). Amanda does not delight in evil (rejoice in iniquity). Amanda rejoices in truth. Amanda always protects (bears all things). Amanda always trusts (believes all things). Amanda always hopes. Amanda always perseveres (endures). Amanda never fails.

I did a study not to long ago with my youth. My study Bible expounded on this verse a little more for my group:

Love "suffers long" means that God's love has patience with imperfect people.
"Love does not envy" means that real love wants other people to get ahead.
"Love does not parade itself" means that Bible love doesn't put on a big show in order to impress others.
Love "is not puffed up" or "proud" refers to the fact that people who walk in God's love do not have big heads.
Love "does not seek it's own" means that it is not self-centered and selfish but instead looks out fo the needs of others.
Love "is not provoked"; it is not irritable under pressure. Still working on this one!!
Love "thinks no evil" means it doesn't keep a record of wrongs done to it and is constantly forgiving.
Love "does not rejoice in iniquity" and does not rejoice in the mistakes and failures of others. The "God don't like ugly" statement makes my skin crawl.
Love "rejoices in the truth" means that it believes in what is open and hones.
Love "bears all things" is the kind of love that defends and hold other people up.
Love "believes" the best about other people.
Love "hopes all things" means that it never gives up on people.
Love "endures all things" is love that perseveres and is loyal to the end.

When I read this, it made me think of Philippians 4:8, Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of a good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.

Have you had a hard time choosing to meditate on these types of things? You know it is a choice. When we choose not to meditate this way about our situation or about people then we choose fear, the opposite of peace. Which means we choose not to love.

Do you know how I know I am not walking in His perfect love? When I do not have His peace. The peace that you can have by taking a nap in a raging storm (Mark 4:37-38).

Do you know how I know I am not walking in His perfect love?

When I do not have His peace.

Philippians 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, with surpasses all understanding will guard our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Your requests are made known to God, not Facebook, Instagram, Snap Chat, Tik Tok, etc.

Then we do verse 8 (think only on the pure, lovely, virtuous), and verse 9 is our promise: The thing which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

I have to make a choice in my mind and heart to love. I can walk in peace during the storms. The storm is where my destiny will be revealed, and I want to walk in my destiny! How many, like myself, see an area of the love walk that we can work on? It is okay that we still have work to do. It means that we have a destiny. He created us for good things and He is preparing us just for that (Ephesians 2:10). This mess that I got into will be used one day to lead others to Jesus. Remember love endures all things and is loyal to the end.

1 Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain, faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.