It’s that time of year. The time of hearts, candy, and red roses, the month of love. Some of us hate it, dread it, wish we could skip to March. Let’s face it, February can be painful unless our focus is on something or someone better which is the plan for this post.
The plan for this year is all about fruit. Not apples or oranges. We started this year studying the Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control. And I think (unless something changes, which it might ’cause I’m more of a roll with the Spirit girl than calendar chick) that those manifestations of the Spirit will be our focus each month. Thus, love it is for this post, and it so perfectly happens to be the month of love. I love when God does that. XXXOOO
When You Don’t Feel Loved
This reading plan is especially for those who struggle with God’s love for them. You see, life changes when we are convinced of another person’s love for us. When we feel loved, we experience acceptance and trust. If you don’t have that, I want it so badly for you.
Close your eyes for a minute, breathe in deep, blow the air out slowly and be very still. Now read this passage. Paul prayed it a long time ago for some other people, but it’s my prayer for you today:
My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.Ephesians 3: 14-19 MSG
Living Fully Loved By God
Live full lives! Isn’t that our heart’s desire? We’re born with holes in our hearts that only the living God can fill. No great job, spouse, child, or fame can fill us up. We leak. The hole is too big. But when we live our lives convinced that there is a God, and He truly is love itself, we live abundantly.
How do we do this? How do we live fully convinced of God’s love when the world seems to be falling apart? How do we live convinced of His love when loved ones suffer, or our own bodies are ravaged by disease? If God is on the throne why does pain still operate on this planet? Because we live in the middle of the now and the not yet. We live in a time when the Kingdom of God is here, but so is death and disease. BUT God is with us. He walks with us through the struggle. Sometimes He heals, but He is always at work in the midst of the pain. He wants you to know. You are His beloved.
A Word that Says it All
Hidden underneath our English translations lies a Hebrew word for love that paints a beautiful description of God’s love. The ancient word is Racham. It’s found in verses like Isaiah 54:8:
“I left you, but only for a moment.
Now, with enormous compassion, I’m bringing you back.
In an outburst of anger I turned my back on you—
but only for a moment.
It’s with lasting love
that I’m tenderly caring for you.Isaiah 54:8 MSG
“Love” has been translated from racham. Here’s the Strong’s definition of the root of this word:
רַחַם racham, rakh’-am; from H7355; compassion (in the plural); by extension, the womb (as cherishing the fetus); by implication, a maiden:—bowels, compassion, damsel, tender love, (great, tender) mercy, pity, womb.
The Womb of God
There is no place more loving, protecting, and nourishing. That place is in the womb of a mother, and the word racham, translated as love is that place. The love of God is a place of safety, protection and nourishment. But we must believe to receive. Surrendering to faith in God’s love for you is the first step. Trusting His goodness places you in the center of His love, His womb. I know that seems strange. I’m not writing about a literal womb, but the word racham, God’s love encompasses all that the place where you were knit together before you took your first breath.
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.Psalm 139: 13-16
Bible Reading Plan on God’s Love
I could write a book on God’s love, but that would be too long for a blog post. I’m not sure my words can convince anyone anyway, so that’s why I want encourage you to get into His Word. Spend 28 days reading, journaling, and studying God’s love. If these 28 days don’t change your heart, I’ll give you your money back. (Smile.) Seriously, if this doesn’t draw you closer, please leave a comment or send me an email.
You can download 28 scriptures of God’s love for you. Spend this month of love soaking in His promises of love for you and the scriptures that prove His love lived out through Jesus.
Changes Coming for the Bite of Bread Fellowship
A few weeks ago, as I prepared for a Wednesday night BoB gathering online, the Lord suddenly told me to get off Facebook and YouTube. (Yikes!) So, I am no longer on FB and sharing the BoB weekly virtual teachings there. I’m honestly trying to discern the YouTube thing and navigate what God is calling US to next. You are my peeps. You are my tribe, and I love studying the Bible with you more than eating chocolate pie.
I’ve been swamped under a pile of edits for my next Bible study, Radiant Influence: How an Ordinary Girl Changed Her World, A Bible study on Esther. The projected release date of Radiant Influence is August 3rd! On top of the new study, we are holding our Beauty for Ashes women’s retreat/event in a few weeks. If you’re in the area, we’d love to have you.
So . . . I said all that to say, I miss our mid-week virtual gatherings, so please be in prayer for my next steps. I believe God is calling me to be more intentional and present with my readers. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for now. I’ll let you know if the Lord moves me to another platform. Also, leave a comment if you’d be interested in a Zoom Bible study. I would love to see your faces!
Loved By God
Finally, dear sisters, I pray that this February, you will come to a deeper knowing of the Lord’s love for you. I pray you feel tangible invisible arms wrap around you as you tell Him that He is your source and the rest of your blessings are just icing on the cake. You are so cherished. Never doubt.
Much love from your sister in Christ