Greater Love

Say the word, “love” and what image forms in your mind? Young couples walking arm in arm on a secluded beach?  A mother holding her newborn baby? An older couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary?

 Jesus modeled true love when He walked on this earth. He called the little children to Himself, sat them on His lap, and cuddled them. He stopped a funeral procession, raised the dead boy and presented him back to his mother. He raised Peter’s mother from the sickbed. He cried as He gave Lazarus back alive to his two sisters.  His last act from the cross was providing a home with John  for His widowed mother.

Jesus was love personified, but He was not afraid to condemn the Pharisees for their hypocritical lifestyle, while bragging on the little widow who gave her last few pennies to God. He could be sarcastic, like when Judas betrayed him with a kiss. He rebuked Peter and the disciples frequently for their lack of faith.  He drove the money-changers from the temple with a whip He made Himself, when He saw that His Father’s house of prayer had become a shopping mall, where people were ripped off and short-changed.

Jesus was not a lily-livered coward, who turned the other cheek and let the Romans and Jews kill Him, as He has frequently been portrayed in films. He was a real man who stood strong in the face of His enemies and deliberately let them take Him to the cross. Jesus gave Himself to die—they did not kill Him.

That was His destiny, His goal, the reason  He came to earth—to die.

John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Love sent Jesus to the cross.

Framing Your World

Have you ever watched concrete being poured? They build a wooden frame around the area they are going to pour into, building it up to the depth they want and the shape they intend for it to become. Then they pour the cement and smooth off the top, working the bubbles out, and let it set up.

The frame forms the boundary of the concrete, causing it to take shape. We are living life today exactly as we have framed it with our words.

In Heb 11:3, the Bible says, “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God.”  This is how God made the world, framing it with his Word.

Don’t blame your parents or society or religion. Of course, bad things happen, even to good people, but the outcome of your life depends on what you say. Your eternal salvation depends on believing in your heart that Jesus is the Son of God and confessing with your mouth that He is your Lord. Romans 10:9.

If you have wayward children or a spouse that isn’t serving God, for instance, here is a good scripture to frame with. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Josh 24:15. Another good verse is Acts 16:31 which says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, you and your household.”

If your body is sick and you need healing, frame your healing with these words: Matt 8:17 “He Himself took our infirmities, and bore our sicknesses.” Here is another good one. I Pet 2:24 “By whose stripes you were healed.”

Maybe you don’t like what your world has become. Maybe you are ready for a change. How can you change it? Reframe it. Start building your frame. Speak the Word of God.

I am today what I have made myself to become by the words of my mouth. We can frame our world just like God does, with our words.


When I was a telephone operator, we had a work technique called over-lapping.

The operator answered a call, took the information required, and placed a long-distance call. Then as that phone call was ringing, the operator clicked off that call, and answered another call. When the called party on the first call answered, a red light turned green, and if no further action was required, the operator started the timing on the call for the purpose of charging the calling party.

While the operator was starting the timing on the first call, she would also be taking the details and placing that second call. A good operator could have 3 or 4 calls going at one time.

I still do that. While I am downloading a computer program, I might have another computer running an anti-spyware program, and a third doing Windows Update. I go from one to another to check the progress, at the same time writing a weekly devotional, or going through photos.

This is over-lapping or multi-tasking. My brain is wired this way, but not everyone can do this. I have worked with some people who had a one-track mind. If they start trouble-shooting and were interrupted, they had to start over at the beginning again, but my mind is able to pick up where I left off and continue as though I weren’t interrupted.

My ability to over-lap or multitask is a strength, but also a weakness. In its very worst state, multitasking causes a person to be flighty, going from one task to another and never accomplishing anything concrete.

Paul said in II Corinthians 12:9 that the Lord told him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Then Paul said, “Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

By presenting our weaknesses to the Lord, we can join our weakness with the Lord’s strength and receive His grace.

Then we will see that the very thing we struggle most to overcome will become our greatest strength.

The Rhino in my Heart

When I worked for the phone company, I went to school at least once a year, usually in Dallas. Then in 1995 I joined a traveling crew, going all over the state. I left on Monday morning and returned on Thursday night.

Last night I dreamed of finding a bulging suitcase from one of my trips. It was full of neatly pressed blue jeans and work blouses. Mixed in were snack cakes that were spoiled and moldy, melted chocolate, and gooey unrecognizable mildewed stuff all over everything.

Then a friendly rhinoceros that seemed to be a pet rushed down the hall, and I made my way behind him to let him go out to potty, but it was obvious from the condition of the living room that he wasn’t very well potty-trained.

All of us have forgotten baggage and wild dangerous pets living in our hearts. Keeping things inside allows them to spoil, mold, mildew, melt, and get all over our hearts. Holding onto junk from the past ruins the good stuff in our lives today. These things are like wild animals that defile us, ruin our relationships, and stink up everything around us.

Peter told us in I Peter 5:7-8 Amplified, “Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all,] on Him (Jesus), for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully…be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring, seeking someone to seize upon and devour.”

Even Christians hold onto old grudges, dislikes, anger, hatred, or prejudices that defile our hearts, leaving us prey to the enemy of our souls, the devil.

Satan loves to sneak around looking for those who have hidden baggage that he can take advantage of. He wants to destroy our lives, our homes, our families, our churches, and all our relationships.

We need to examine our hearts and ask the Lord to reveal to us those things in our hearts so we give them to Him, because He lovingly cares for and watches over us.

No Bother for the Master

Jesus was on His way to Jairus’ house to heal Jairus’ daughter, but He was stopped along the way by the woman who touched the hem of His garment and was healed. As Jesus was talking to that woman, Jairus’ servant arrived with sad news. “Don’t bother the master anymore. Your daughter is dead.” Luke 8:49.

Jesus, hearing what the servant said, immediately turned to Jairus and said, “Fear not; only believe.” Then Jesus raised his daughter from the dead.

“Don’t bother the master anymore.” Has someone told you that lately? Some people in this world believe in a God that created the universe and set it in motion, but is not actively involved in the lives of people today. They believe He just sits up there in the clouds somewhere watching what’s going on. They believe that ‘what will be will be’ (que sera sera) and there is no use to pray over each and every circumstance of life; life is up to you, not God.

However Jesus was involved in the day-to-day lives of people all around him. He wanted to be “bothered.” He cared for the hurting and sick, the weak and crippled. He hurt when fathers came to Him for healing for their little daughters. He cried when He stood at the tomb of Lazarus, loving his dear friend who was taken from him. These were all works of the evil one: sickness, disease, death.

Jesus was sent for this very purpose. I John 3:3 says “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” Not only did He care, but He did something about it.

Jesus cares. Bring all your troubles, your sickness, your pains, your problems to Jesus, because He cares for you lovingly. Fear not; only believe.

I Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

It still isn’t any bother for the Master.

Laying Up Treasure

One of the banks in our town advertises that it is “the oldest national bank in the state of Oklahoma still operating under its original charter,” a safe place to keep your money in troubled times.

Most of us have lost 1/3 or more of our savings and retirement funds in the last two years. Stocks are down; unemployment is up. Costs have risen.

I haven’t been doing very well at saving money or cutting expenses. I have continued spending for groceries and household items just as I always have. However when I find myself running low on cash toward the end of the month, I just quit spending, make do with what I have on hand, and trust the Lord to supply what I need.

Jesus said, in Matthew 6:19-21 NKJV, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven……for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

I have been laying up treasure in heaven for many years. Heaven is a real place, and that is where my heart is, since the Lord revealed heaven to me several years ago.

Now I store up treasures by giving to the local church and certain charities. I give of my free time to volunteer with good service organizations. I give hugs all around and spread the love of Jesus everywhere I go.

We won’t need our treasures when we get to heaven. I believe the purpose of laying up our treasures in the Bank of Heaven is so that we will have it available when we need it here on this earth.

I use my Bank in Vinita for day-to-day expenses, but my Bank in Heaven is where I keep my savings, so that in times of trouble, I can write a check signed by Jesus to meet my needs.