Love is…

Love is…

I recently asked God what areas of my life I specifically need to work on and instead of dumping all the “fine tunings” that my imperfect self needs, He led me to the 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NASB

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Me reading: “Love is patient—”

God: “Stop right there. I want you to break-down this passage and focus on one aspect of love each day. Today, look at your personality towards others. Is there an area that you are lacking patience? Maybe it is with someone who has a trying personality or maybe it is yourself—maybe you need to give yourself time to grow and continue to transform to whom I’ve called you to be.”

Patient: bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint
: not hasty or impetuous
: steadfast despite opposition, difficulty or adversity

This week, I’m going to read through 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and am going to break-down and meditate on each part of what love truly is and should be. Follow along on my Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/onthecliffoflife/

Side Note:

This last weekend, I read these verses with someone I know, and they stated, “In all my life, I have NEVER met a person who has succeeded at all of these testaments of love.”

My response: “Maybe it was meant for us to meditate on before we speak or respond, so that our words would be spoken through the filter of love. Maybe it is something for us to strive for—a goal.”

Their response: “I like the verse, ‘Cease striving and know that I am God.’ So, we shouldn’t be ‘striving.’” (Psalm 46:10 NASB)

My response: “I do believe that we are not to strive to a point of self-condemnation or guilt, but shouldn’t we try to be better than who we were yesterday?” (If God didn’t believe in change, then He wouldn’t have sent His Son to die for us, in the hope that we all would one day come to know Him and be transformed in the forgiveness that He so willingly gives)

Their response: “That is true and a different version of the Bible—the Amplified—translates Psalm 46:10 to ‘Be still and know that I am God.’

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I find it interesting that “strive” has two definitions…

  1. Strive: to devote serious effort or energy; endeavor
  2. Strive: to struggle in opposition; contend

So, the “striving” in Psalm 46:10 is most likely to struggle in opposition. “Cease struggling and know that I am God” or “Cease contending and know that I am God.”

The amplified version says to “be still” and I just had to break-down that word as well.

  • Still: calm, tranquil

“Be calm and know that I am God.”

It is amazing to dive more into the definitions of what we once imagined the true meaning of a word or verse. Where I was considering that we should strive to be better, as in, “devoting serious effort or endeavoring,” the person I was conversing with considered that Psalm 46:10 meant the same thing—which endeavoring and contending are opposite in meaning. #HearIGoAgain

  • Endeavor
    • to work with set purpose
    • to attempt (something, such as the fulfillment of an obligation) by exertion of effort
  • Contend
    • to strive in debate: argue
    • struggle

 

Sources: Word definitions from Merriam Webster Online Dictionary, Bible verses from NASB & AMP

Walk with Me Again

Walk with Me Again

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Walk with Me Again
By: Nicole Renee Kent

God asked me to take a walk with Him
And as I took a step forward–He led my gaze within

He removed the blinders and opened my eyes to see
Of who I am–compared to who I was meant to be

Stripping the walls I’ve built around my heart
From past wounds–where I pushed others from me–far apart

God revealed errors of my past without condemnation
To help me better understand the meaning of salvation

As I looked at my heart, bare before my God, my friend
I asked Him what areas He desired to be–to touch and mend

He responded, “I want it all and every bit
And for you to use My Word–My heavenly first aid kit

For all has been given to you to walk in this world of woes
To see beyond the false pretention and to truly know

Grasp my hand, dear one, and continue to walk with Me
For I will always be with you and help you to see”

Life is Not a Straight Line

Life is Not a Straight Line

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Me: *Draws a straight, perfect line*

Me to God: “There we go. This is my life plan, a straight path.”

God: “You do realize that most paths wind around different objects and obstacles, like mountains, trees and other landmarks…”

Me: “But how can I see the end goal—how can I follow the path where I cannot see where I’m going—like a straight path would allow? Also, if there are many turns and bumps in the road, how can I keep-up my speed…and what happens if there is a fork in the road⁈”

God: “Just begin at the path and take a step forward. Do not presume or worry about what may be around the next curve, for I am with you. I am with you the moment you take a step—till the end—where we will meet face to face…then into eternity. There will be bumps in the road, warnings of loose rocks, forks along the path—but that’s what life is. Life will have its difficulties—but you have Me. I can guide your steps, help you over those ‘bumps in the road,’ shield you from the falling rocks and help you determine which way to go when multiple paths come before you.”

Me: “Sometimes, I wish you’d just fly my family and me on a private jet to heaven and forget this curvaceous—annoying path.”

God: “You do realize that planes and jets have a path set for them too…and there are storms and turbulence in the sky, just as below.”

Me: “…but You would be the captain and tell the skies to be still…”

God: “Yes, either I would calm the skies or help you to fly through them and guide your landing. It is not the path but your perception of it. If you look at the trial in your path, you can either be overcome by it or be an overcomer.”

Me: “Okay, is there a ‘fast-pass’ for this said trial?”

God: “Maybe the trial is a part of the refining…”

Me: “I feel pretty refined already—if I were a rock that was being sanded down—I would be a speck. Although, I admit that I do know of others who have had more tribulationsworse ones at that—and some seem to even be smiling through it.”

God: “It’s their perception of their circumstances. Some see their trials as just a small detour on the journey of a greater destination.”

Me: “How do I acquire perception like theirs?”

God: “You focus on Me. You see, you have been focusing on the undulating path and what could go wrong, instead of turning your eyes on Me. You didn’t give Me a chance to bless you through it for I give you My peace. Think of the times when trials have come your way…what were you focusing on when you were most stressed?”

Me: “I focused on the issue and how it could be handled or should’ve been handled. At that time, I couldn’t hear Your voice.”

God: “You didn’t seek Me first in your trial.”

Me: “I tried, but had to move on in life.”

God: “And you continued to try handling it on your own…”

Me: “A burden I never want to bear again…”

God: “A burden you were never meant to have. So you see, the trials you’ve tried dealing with—were on your own. Don’t be afraid based on your past experiences—it is time to live.”

Open Bible & Heart Poem

Open Bible & Heart Poem

Poem by: Nicole Kent (@onthecliffoflife )


Do not fear
For God is near

Do not be shook
By man’s deprivational look

Pick up the truth, the Word
The hope, the healing, where burdens are deferred

The desires of your heart He will provide
Under his love you will abide

Don’t be afraid my neighbors, my friends
For we know the truth and the forgiving end

Open up your Bible and your heart
Knowing it’s not to late to start

Tithe Lesson

Tithe Lesson

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Me: “Who do you want the rest of my tithe money to go to?”

God: “Wait, I will tell you at the right moment.”

Me: “ If I don’t give the money now, I might forget.”

God: “Wait.”

A few days later…

God: “I want you to keep that tithe money for yourself.”

Me thinks to self: *is this a deceiving spirit? Or is God wanting me to keep a part of my tithe money? This HAST to be a deceiving spirit.*

 Me: “Are you sure? There are poor people and others who will need it more than me.”

God: “Yes, I am sure.”

Later on…

Me to self: *I cannot spend what God has given me, on myself. He has trusted me with it. I will help someone with what He has given me.*

God: “That is why I wanted you to keep it. I knew that with what I trusted you in little, you would give unto others of what I have given you. Now, this was a lesson. Have I not given you the greatest gift of all? Is my Son not greater than any amount of money? Do not forget to give as you have been given; share as has been shared unto you. Tell of the Greatest Gift. It is worth more than all the money in the world combined.”

Spiritual Battle

Spiritual Battle

The enemy threw spears and shot arrows at me
But his weapons fell against my armor, as useless as an unfitting key

His aim turned desperate in pushing every piece of my protective shield
Trying to find a weakness, but it was unrelenting and would not yield

Laughing at his meager attempts I wielded my sword to scare off my enemy
Knowing the power of God would be revealed for all to see

But as my arm lifted in a deafening blow
He saw a weakness begin to quiver and show

The enemy lifted his eyes in a mocking way
Causing my blade to stutter and sway

He began to mimic the painful words from long ago
That I would never amount to anything, that I should just cower and go

He made me feel like I lost the battle before it had even begun
The lies and fear of a failure whose song has not yet been sung

The enemy began to beat me with his dagger-like speech
I dropped to my knees and felt God’s hand out of reach

I begged God to show me a way to break free
But He said that the power and truth was already given to me

With the realization becoming stronger than before
I stood on the Rock, my salvation, the One who knocked on my heart’s door

I saw the truth that in God I find my identity
Not in the failures or the stinging lies of my enemy

I lifted my sword with a new strength that I had ever known
The enemy cowered and fled when he saw the true power shown

Yes, there will be more battles to be won
Resisting the enemy and fighting, but the war is already finished and done

Speaking Against the Wind

Speaking Against the Wind

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The girl whispered against the wind, but her words were thrust back to her face with the powerful gust. Why do I continue to speak against something so strong? My breath returns to me as if I never spoke. Why do I even try?

 

Then a voice cut through the walls surrounding her heart saying, “You speak against the wind for you wish it to blow a different way. You wish there to be a change…but why do you do it on your own strength? Why not first speak to the One who created those winds, why not speak to the One who created your breath…why not speak to Me?”

 

The girl shed a tear, but it too was blown away with the powerful wind. I can do this, I got this, God has given me the power.

 

The voice continued, “I have given you power to trample the serpent under your feet, to give command to the storm, and to heal the broken…but have you left your first love? Have you forgotten to listen to Me? I will guide you, so your aim will be true as an arrow to its target. It was never on your shoulders to make everything right, but it was for you to listen to Me, and I will make everything right.”

 

The girl’s shoulders slumped as she began to fight the burden that held power over her for so long. Then, deciding to give it to Him, she let go and fell to her knees. With head bowed, she waited and listened. Peace filled her heart and beat against the walls causing them to crumble. The girl was reminded of the love her Father had for her. Have I been lacking in sharing this love to others? This realization was a shock…but awakened something in her that desperately needed to be shaken from its deep sleep…

 

After some time, the voice spoke to her. “Now, get up my child and speak to the wind with the realization that has come into your heart. You see, dear one, you were trying to speak against the wind with your heart so guarded (you had such a hardness of heart). You wished for it to be changed, but the bitterness inside you was a stumbling block to your belief.”

 

The girl got up, and spoke to the wind. She smiled as her breath didn’t return to her but penetrated the powerful gust and went further than she ever would’ve imagined. You see, she had been speaking to the wind with the wrong mindset; the wrong heart…and in her own strength. She had forgotten the greatest part…Love.

∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴∴

End thought: Love is great. Love is greater when it is first discovered that God has an infinite love for us. Love is greatly shared when we remember to “love because He first loved us” and to pray for those who need that love.

 

End thought to the end thought: When we speak to the “winds” in our life, with the realization that we are loved by God and find our identity in Him, we can conquer more than our puny minds can comprehend. Our words will be carried through the storm and penetrate to the depths of need by the power of God.

 

End verse to the end thought of the end thought:

“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 NASB