Love That is Pure

 

Prodigal:  This grass has grown!

Me:  It looks like it’s about knee high to a giraffe.

Prodigal:  I reckon it does.

Me:  Have fun mowing!

 

This is form the book Bold Love by Dr. Dan B. Allender & Dr. Tremper Longman III

 

Love often succombs to a cold death on the sharp rocks of disappointment.  Love cannot last long or live out its eternal purpose in human relationships without a foundation of forgiveness–the forgiveness from God for our failure to love with a pure, other-centered heart, and forgiveness when the recipient of our love spurns our gift or uses our soul in an unloving fashion.  Unless the fabric of our involvement with others is woven with the threads of forgiveness, love will suffer the corruption of denial, hardness, cynicism, and eventually hatred.

Given the reality of sin, love and forgiveness are inextricably bound together.  God is continually, literally, second-by-second covering our sin under His Son’s blood and forgiving us our sins.  God cannot love us unless He forgives us and cannot forgive us without a commitment to love us.  Love and forgiveness are equally bound together in all human relationships.  I cannot hope to ever love someone unless I am committed to forgive him.  I cannot hope to ever forgive him–that is, truly forgive him–unless I know the rich, incomprehensible joy of being forgiven.

 

Please forgive me.  Then please love me again.

 

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee:  my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.

Psalm 63:1

 

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

 

Whatever God Promises, Believe

Prodigal:  I knew we would see a manatee today!

Me:  You just have to believe!

This is from the book Abraham by Chuck Swindoll

Someone put it this way:  “Never doubt in the dark what God gave you in the light.”  During the great days of your life, when God speaks through His Word, remember His promises.  Rest in them, apply them, and expect their fulfillment.  His promises are given for you to believe, not merely to quote.  So?  Believe them!  Quit quibbling over them.  Stop overanalyzing them.  Believe them, which means you accept them, and then act upon them.

Lord I need your help right now.   I am having a lot of doubts and fear is creeping in.  I just talked with a person.  You know how you talk to some people and you feel much worse after talking to them.  My fears have now increased.  Then you gave me these words.  You knew what I needed.  You would think the fear would leave immediately.  Today for some reason I want to hold on to them more.  Help me to let go.  Help me to BELIEVE.

Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number:  he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.

Isaiah 40:26

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

Women Lovin’ Jesus

Prodigal: I feel like a heel.

Me: It is the heart that counts, and not always about outcome.

Here is a video devotion on Proverbs

Click here to watch the video

Proverbs 4:25

Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

Focusing on What Will Last

Prodigal:  I wonder how long this took to make?

Me:  I don’t know.

Prodigal:  Man can do a lot but God can do more.

Me:  Amen!

This is from the book God Will Make A Way:  Stories of Hope

What happened to Alexander the Great’s “Seven Wonders of the Ancient World”?  A few pieces of the tomb of Mausolus, built in 350 B.C., can be found in the British Museum in London.  The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus was destroyed in A.D. 262 by the Goths.  The Hanging Gardens of Babylon have long since disappeared.  The ruins of Babylon have been excavated in the twentieth century, but the splendor associated with the city is no more.

The magnificent statue of Zeus that once stood above the city of Olympus was dragged off and burned during the Byzantine era.  King Ptolemy’s famous lighthouse near Alexandria, Egypt, crumpled during a fourteenth-century earth quake.  The Colossus of Rhodes met the same fate in 224 B.C. when it toppled into the sea.  Only the pyramids of Egypt have survived the ravages of time.

What man makes does not last forever.  Last year’s automobile styles are soon out-of-date, as are last year’s fashions.  Best-sellers and movie hits come and go year after year.  Products break, things become obsolete, companies merge, taste change.

When we look at the work we do, we could easily become discouraged, thinking that what we produce with our hands and minds will not last and is therefore of little benefit.  That is far from the case when we are in God’s will.  While the things we produce, write, create, or manufacture are perishable, the work we do for the Lord always produces eternal results.

None of us are capable of seeing the full benefit of what we do.  We cannot see the changes taking place in our own souls or the far-reaching impact our actions have on others.  But we can resolve to live and work as a continual opportunity to glorify Him in this earth.

We have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.

Ephesians 1:7

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

In Our Sin

Prodigal:  It seems darker in here.

Me:  Sin can make things seem darker.

Prodigal:  Maybe I need to deal with sin.

Me:  Probably the best idea.

This is from the book Bold Love by Dr. Dan B. Allender and Dr. Tremper Longman III

In my sin, I felt contaminated and dangerous.  I was isolated from my family, myself, and certainly from God.  If love was ever to prevail, complete forgiveness was required.  The flawed lover must be restored to the path of love after love has perished on the shoals of self-centeredness.  At the deepest level, the taste of forgiveness must come from the One most offended in order for life and love to be restored.  In every case of sin, it is God who is most hurt and offended by our refusal to love.  It is His forgiveness that is central to any movement to love after love has been trampled under the muck of hatred.

The first step of humbling one self can be so difficult, but it is the only way to relief.

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Mark 16:15

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

Like A Frog

Me:  I like your friend!

Prodigal:  Great guy!

Me:  I think he will like this next story.

This is from Ask Me to Dance by Bruce Larson

You ever feel like a frog?  Frogs feel slow, low, ugly, puffy, drooped, pooped.  I know.  One told me.  The frog feeling come when you want to be bright but feel dumb, when you want to share but are selfish, when you want to be thankful but feel resentment, when you want to be great but are small, when you care but are indifferent.  Yes, at one time or another each of us has found himself on a lily pad, floating down the great river of life.  Frightened and disgusted, we’re too froggish to budge.

Once upon a time there was a frog, only he wasn’t really a frog, he was a prince who looked and felt like a frog.  The wicked witch had cast a spell on him and only the kiss of a beautiful maiden could save him.  But since when do cute chicks kiss frogs?  So there he sat, an unkissed prince in frog form.  One day a beautiful maiden gathered him up and gave him a big smack! Zap!! There he was, a frog turned handsome prince and they lived happily after.  So what’s the task of the Christian?  Kissing frogs, of course!

John 4:15

The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

Mighty Work

Prodigal:  This is a mighty work of art.

Me:  Yes, and I like to look at it.

Prodigal:  God has created might works also.

Me:  Truly the Lord is worthy to be praised!

This is from the book Soul Winner by C.H. Spurgeon

You See that we have before us a mighty work, for which we are, in ourselves, totally incapable.  No Christian living can save a soul; neither can all of us together–all the saints on earth and in heaven–work regeneration in one single person.  The whole business on our part is the height of absurdity unless we regard ourselves as used by the Holy Spirit and filled with His power.

The Holy Spirit can do much if we just surrender.  What is possible with men is impossible with God.

John 3:8

The wind blows wherever it pleases.  You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.  So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodiglalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

Women Lovin’ Jesus

Me: Did you use all the fireworks?

Prodigal: I was quite a bang!

Me: Well I hope this video is a bang too.

This is a video devotion on Proverbs

click here to watch the video

Proverbs 4:23

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org

Where Does My Help Come From

Prodigal: I sure don’t know what is over that hill.

Me: I ain’t sure either, but we can wait together.

When was the last time you needed help?  Who helped you?  Did you get help?  Are you still waiting for help? 

There was a leader once.  One who asked these questions and then answered them.  They are found in Psalm 121 and were written by David. 

I lift up my eyes to the mountains— 
    where does my help come from? 
2 My help comes from the Lord, 
    the Maker of heaven and earth. 

I have lifted my eyes to the sky, mountains, beach, bank account, email, text message, voice mail, and finally to the face of a loved one.  Asking where will my help come from?  Those answers took longer to figure out, then it is to read these two versus in Psalm 121. 

I have learned that my help comes from the Lord, but when it comes to my life, I often need to be reminded. 

We need help. We only have two choices I believe at times.  God says look to me, or look to………..fill in the blank.   

I have done both.  I keep thinking at times I have to have help that makes sense, that is logical that I can prepare for.  God’s help sometimes cannot be prepared for, is not logical, and does not make sense.  If we continue to focus on help looking our way, we then take over and miss God’s way.  We take control, we turn to emails, phones, money, people, position.  We start pushing God along. God takes his hands off and states ok, not my plan, so go for it. 

It is only after we fail, we remember God. 

Does God have to cower to any problem?  Is there any financial problem too big for God?  Is there any health problem too big for God?  Are there any people in your life that God cannot handle?   

  Some Jews were once upset with the Romans, and thought Jesus would solve the problem by dealing with the Romans.  He would take over government.  Made sense, right?  That was a plan that could be developed right?  It had logic. 

Well Jesus, gave himself up to people who had no power over him.  He loved them, he allowed himself to suffer, and be made fun of.  He then died.   

Wait a second what kind of plan was that?  That makes no sense, that is not a good plan. 

No but that plan involved God.  Our help we focus on is about this day, or this year only.  God has eternity in mind, when He offers help. 

The Jews plan would maybe have helped a generation that lived 2000 years ago in their daily lives.  God’s plan is offered to all people in all generations. 

Right now, you want to trust God so that He can help you?  Remember this is not just about right now, this is about more.  He sees the years and decades ahead.  That is what His help is about.  Looking to the mountains and saying God help me, means I can’t see the whole plan.  I can’t make sense of this.   

That does not mean we have to remain confused and in fear. We can trust the Lord who came up with a plan for salvation that involved us.  We can trust the Lord who didn’t just care about people he saw, lived with, and ate with. He cares for all people of all nations and tongues.  He cares for all lives in all generations.  He cares for us. 

Right now, we are looking at that mountain waiting to see what God’s help will look like.  We don’t know the plan, but we know the heart of Jesus and that is what we hold on too. 

Romans 5:15

But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one mans’ trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.

Jennifer Van Allen

www.theprodigalpig.com

www.faithincounseling.org