by Majetta Morris
God’s love is such a beautiful treasure. His love is above all others. Except through the Holy Spirit, man cannot love as God loves. His love is pure and unconditional, without expectation or exception.
God loved me before I was even conceived. He knew and developed me for each endeavor planned for my life—who I would be. He placed me in the family He knew would raise me to be the adult I needed to be for His plan for my life. He planned for each item in my life that I consider success. He planned each heartache I would face to develop the spirit to be who I am. He has placed His imprint on my life. He always knows what my decision in any situation will be before I make it. Although I do not always see it, He developed me into His image. When I look at myself, I frequently see only what is wrong. But He always sees what is right.
Without God’s love, what would I be? As a teen one evening as I babysat my nephew, I was greatly tempted to have a cigarette. I had never smoked, but my aunt was a chain smoker. The odor of cigarettes permeated the house. I suddenly felt the need of a cigarette. I immediately asked my Savior to remove the desire and give me the strength to refuse the temptation. In His awesome love, He did. I never had the temptation again. Had He not moved in my behalf, I may have become a chain-smoker and died of pancreatic cancer as my aunt did.
God’s love sent me the godly husband He intended for me. Although I was a young teenager and he was an adult when we first met, God brought us together again a few years later. Thousands of miles separated us. Our dating happened by snail-mail over a period of a couple of years. God placed a love and a call to the mission field on both our lives, then fulfilled that call.
I can love others because He first loved me. I can love others whom I may think unlovable as He loves through me. I do not always see others as He does.
My heavenly Father loved me so much that He sent His one and only Son to die for all the things that I do and have done wrong. In fact, His Son loves me so much that He willingly gave His own life for my sins.
Love is a beautiful treasure from the heavenly Father. Love is a beautiful treasure from His son, Jesus. Love is a beautiful treasure of guidance and love from the Holy Spirit. No other love can compare.
Majetta, a licensed minister with the Assemblies of God, began her first Sunday School teaching assignment when she was twelve. With husband, Wayne, and daughters, Scarlett and Keena, she ministered throughout the southwest U.S. in Kids Krusades for ten years before going to Okinawa, Japan to minister in schools, churches, and the local community for a total of sixteen years. After retiring in Springfield, MO in 2007, she began professionally editing as a freelancer at the request of a friend. Majetta loves reading, writing, crafting, teaching, and editing. Contact Majetta at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance publishing your writing projects.
by Terry Magness
It was a “leftovers” dinner night. I’d had a busy day and it was getting late. Thank God for microwaves, right? A little grilled meat and some creamed corn constitute a sure win with my husband.
So, I grabbed a glass food storage cup from the fridge containing excess creamed corn from a meal a couple of days earlier. Peeling off the plastic lid, I noticed the contents came nearly to the brim, but hastily stuck it into the microwave anyway and nuked it. Predictably, the creamed corn bubbled up, and like hot lava, flowed over the sides, leaving the container bottom submerged in a hot, gooey puddle.
Like most of you, I have learned from experience that the sooner I tend to a sticky mess like this, the easier it is to clean up. Left unattended, it has a way of cementing itself to everything it touches.
When our minds are filled to near capacity with sticky memories, they lend themselves to hurtful, possibly angry thinking. Fueled by careless words, thoughtless or selfish deeds, and set ablaze by rehearsal-fanned emotions, they can bubble and boil within the cauldron of our soul. Pressure-poised for eruption, they can overflow from the eyes in hot rivers of tears as well as from the mouth in a fiery explosion of molten words capable of igniting all in its destructive path. Left unattended, that torrent of toxin has the power to cement itself in the hearts of those we love.
At this point, we are left with a choice to either get busy, do the hard thing, and attempt to clean up our mess and make amends; or we, feeling self-righteous, can ignore what we have done and allow it to make it’s permeating mark.
The best option, however, and the most Biblical, might be to remove those toxic thoughts from our mind. Our thoughts may seem like wild stampeding stallions, impossible to stop or corral. God, however, has told us to “take every thought captive.”¹ Really? Yes, really. The Lord has given us responsibility for what we think.
You might argue, “I can’t just stop thinking a thought, can I?” What if I were to tell you to stop thinking about purple socks? My guess is that purple socks now are what is on your mind. Our mind cannot operate in a vacuum. In order to change our thinking, we must replace a thought with a thought.
Here is an idea. Why not begin collecting scriptures from your daily Bible reading, and write them on notecards—good words, praiseworthy stuff, thoughts that lift your heart and cause you to rejoice. Find scriptures that tell you how God sees you, who you are in Christ, who Jesus is, what God has said He will do, and what He has promised.
Then when those toxic thoughts pop on the scene, bring out your scripture cards and wield your Sword of the Spirit! Speak, out loud, the mighty, full-of-power Words of the living God. By doing so, you will win the battle against the enemy’s attempts to imprison your mind. You will have replaced his toxic words with God’s life-giving Truth. That, my sisters, is “taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”¹ “For as (she) thinks in (her) heart, so is (she).”²
¹ 2 Corinthians 10:5 NASB
² Proverbs 23:7 NKJV
Now an ordained AG minister, Terry Magness was once a broken, wounded, angry, and abuse-hardened woman, until God’s redeeming love confronted, delivered, healed, and transformed her life. In 1995, Terry founded Grace Harbour Ministries, a not-for-profit, Biblically-based teaching, prayer, and discipleship ministry to women. Through Biblical counseling, coaching, and mentoring, she helps soul-wounded women come to know God in a personal way, conquer sin, overcome life challenges, and live Spirit-empowered lives. Throughout her global ministry she has witnessed God’s captive-freeing power at work. Terry has authored two books--Ever Increasing Grace and Azadiah Reynolds: God's Jamaica Man—and three booklets in her Pocket Scriptures series. She enjoys people, writing, photography, art, nature, and relaxing on the water while fishing with her quick-witted husband, Don, who keeps her laughing. Their amazing children and three priceless granddaughters remind them daily to be ever thankful for God’s wondrous blessings.
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