Canopy of His Love

1 John 3:1 -(NIV) 1 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

2 Corinthians 6:18 18 And,“I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”

Psalm 32:8 (AMP) 8 I [the Lord] will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.

Our understanding of love in the natural is romantic love. Only God, through Jesus, can help us get a grip on Godly love and His devotion to us. God’s love is unconditional. We are under Grace (New Testament), not under the Law (Old Testament). As an animal lover, I think one of the greatest forms of unconditional love comes through our pets. Personally speaking, that helps me to have a better understanding of how much God cares for us. Our fur-kids depend on us as their Care-giver for life! They are dependent on us for survival. That is one of many characteristics we need to take on for God… #Dependance! He is expecting you and me to depend on Him because He knows what is best for our lives. He tells us so in Jeremiah 29:11 and Matthew 4:4 (See below). He can see ahead of us and if we are obedient, He will reward us in the open. When your fur-kid does something well, do you not take pleasure in giving him or her a treat for their trust and obedience? (My 3 cats all know how to sit on command, one of them also shakes and they love their cookies lol)!

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Matthew 4:4 (NIV) 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

Jesus is God in the flesh. He came to be a living sacrifice to take on the sin of the World so that we could be made righteous, through Jesus, and be made clean before God. We all know what the Bible says in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” All of us need to know how much God loves us. Do you recall earlier in the week I made reference to Genesis 1:26 and Psalm 8:4, Hebrews 2:6-8 actually echoes Psalm 8:4.  God loves us so much, He made us in His image!  Verse 5 in Psalm 8 says that He has crowned us with glory and honor and made us a little lower than the Angels!

God is our adopted Father (See Psalm 22:9-10 and Psalm 27:10). He won’t abandon us unlike our earthly parents might do. It is very important that we learn about God’s characteristics. You might start by learning the Fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23. I encourage you to go back and read the entire Chapter. I had a recent revelation through something I heard in a Sermon I had recorded on Tivo (I apologize I can’t recall the source, but it may have been John Hagee) that we should not allow the image we have of our earthly father or mother to distort our views of our Heavenly Father. Pastor Jesse Duplantis recently Tweeted “There’s something you need to understand about God: His Word is His bond.  He won’t go against His Word to meet your need.”

Psalm 27:10 (NIV) 10 Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.

In a perfect World, we would hope that our parents shadow the character of Jesus (God in the flesh) so that we would have constant love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control demonstrated towards us from an early age. Some of us are blessed and do receive a good measure of those characteristics, but others are bound by Generational curses and Satanic attacks from an early age. We are conflicted with bullying, divorce, racism, financial woes, etc. It’s easy for me to talk about bullying. It has happened to me throughout  my life since I was in the 6th Grade. I have been a Doormat to people I wanted to be friends with, boyfriends, even within the family. We may be faced with disappointment, offense or abandonment by people. God is stable. He will not disappoint us. We are His adopted sons and daughters! Jesus always pointed people to the Father. Jesus always consulted in prayer with God before He acted. Because Jesus would take time to get alone with God in prayer, we must do the same. Conversation with God in prayer is a primary way of getting to know our Heavenly Father. It is a two-way conversation. We have to be careful about being so busy that we don’t hear from Him!

In our Spiritual lives, we have highs and lows parallel to life in the natural. Being in the Valley or out in the Wilderness is a time for growth, trust and trial(s) to test our faith and keeps us dependent on God. You may know it as the desert; an in-between season where you wonder where God is. We know He didn’t move, but when we don’t hear from Him, we may start to worry and get upset. Those are the times we have to press in and it may mean running for a long time! We have to chase after God through every season of our lives. If we don’t stay in His Word, if we don’t keep His Love letter (the Bible) to us in front of our eyes, on our tongue and in our ears through conversation and Worship music, how will we be able to continue on? Two recent favorite Tweets, from 02/25/12, made the desert place more clear for me.

@Purpose_Filled: When you are going through something and you wonder where God is, remember that the teacher is always quiet during a test.
@footstepsinsand: If things get too hot, turn up the prayer conditioning.
“@scrupulousgirl: Let today be the day you believe God for the power to receive & trust His faithfulness. The Wilderness is not a destination! #Breakthrough”

This was a tough post to write. It is hard to want to write about things that easily could fall under God’s Canopy of Love, but when you have no first-hand experience with things like Divorce, Bankruptcy, or no desire for a relationship with Jesus, the topic presents some unique challenges. I could easily write about being bullied, body and weight issues, alcoholism and loneliness. In fact, I have briefly discussed a few of them. What I want to express is that all of these things are “cured,” or covered and relieved by our Heavenly Father who wants to have relationship with us. He will sustain us if we chase after Him!

The World wants you to think of Christianity as “Religion.” I can easily say that getting to know God, though the Holy Spirit (since Jesus left Him as our Helper), has nothing to do with Religion. It is a relationship. God loves us more than we will ever be able to comprehend while we are in this life. It is my prayer that whether you are on a mountain top in your walk with Jesus or down in the Valley and out searching in the Wilderness, keep waiting on Him. My mom has always told me since I was a Teenager “He hasn’t brought you this far to abandon you now!” While you’re out there being tested, know that God has a perfect timing to bring you out of the pit you’re in. I encourage you not to enter into a pit of destruction while you wait on your reward. There are people, places and events that are being lined up on His time line that will become the Mountain top to get you out of the Valley.

Keep on trusting, obeying, living under His faithfulness, His guidance and embrace God’s love because Jesus came to bring us Grace so that we can serve a Heavenly Father without condemnation (Romans 8:1)! He is our joy, our hope and our strength through all seasons.

John 16:13 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
Romans 8:15 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”
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