Out with the Old

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This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”
–Ephesians 4:17-24

Living in the world today is a little like navigating a minefield. You can never be entirely sure whether your very next step will land upon a hidden mine, and even when it does, it’s up in the air as to whether the thing will go off or not. The fact is that the world is full of stressful events, circumstances and people, and different combinations of these triggers can cause entirely different stressed reactions in us. One week, it might be an event that causes problems for you—then, the following week, the event itself could no longer be a problem. But now it’s someone else’s reaction to the event that causes issues. And the following week they’ve calmed down, and you’re okay too, but the event has sudden, unexpected consequences, and those circumstances are about to create their own special form of havoc in your life…right about…now.

When you suffer from stress reactions, received wisdom is to apply yourself to the problem itself. People will tell you to look at the trigger, ask you what’s occurred and how it can be fixed so that your stress will just magically go away, as if the problem is your environment. Continue reading

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You Are Outrageously Loved by God

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Love in the biblical sense is a longing and an intention towards another person. So God’s agape creates a longing and an intention in us towards Himself. His love draws us to Him. When you get touched by the love of God, you have to love Him. It’s like you have no choice. It’s just the way that passion rises up in you for Jesus, you have to bestow upon Him love. Why? Because you have received love. So He loves the initiation of love. He loves to initiate it. He is the creator. He is always making the first move.

Do you know what the beautiful thing is about the love of God? The love of God is not put off by failure because God is not ashamed to call us brethren. He is not embarrassed by us. Truth to tell, I believe that the Lord adores us. His love absorbs failure and keeps on loving regardless. God loves my failures because he loves me. He loves who I am. Continue reading

Be Constantly Refreshed by the Goodness of God

You are not ordinary. In the eyes of the Father you will never be anything but extraordinary. And you need to learn to live life here on Earth the way you are known in Heaven. Allow yourself to be seen the way the Father sees you. Learn to live your life bathed in kindness, and allow that to make you constantly refreshed.

When you see yourself the way the Father sees you, you will always be fit for battle because the enemy has nothing on you. When you learn to abide in the love and favor and majesty of God, every circumstance becomes an opportunity to become closer to the Father, to be lavished again in His unceasing kindness.

In The Kind Intentions of God, Graham unwraps many of the treasures of God’s kindness in a way that is relaxing and refreshing. Listen to a clip from The Kind Intentions of God:

The Kind Intentions of God and the rest of the Soaking CD Collection are on special offer through the end of February, and each soaking CD is just $5! Soaking CDs make great gifts and are a perfect way to get back into devotional time with the Father.
Shop for The Kind Intentions of God.

The Thing About Love

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“Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday.”
– Psalm 37:1-6

Love is many things. There’s the love of a child for a parent and a parent for a child. There’s the love of friendship and companionship, the deep bonds of affection between two likeminded individuals. Perhaps most famously (and occasionally tritely), there’s the romantic love between people, made notorious through prose, poem, song and story.

There are more, but these are the definitions of love that the world singles out as most important, most worthy of respect and the validation of society. And those of us in the know, know in our turn that the different iterations of love placed on pedestals in the world’s popular culture are the reflections, the merest mirrors of that greatest of all definitions: the love of God for us all. As it often does, the world sets up its own variations to avoid having to dwell upon the real thing, the thing it’s missing.

More than anything, though, love is a verb, a doing word. I love, you love, he-she-it loves. We love, they love, the whole world loves, and God so loved the world that He gave His only son. Love is something you demonstrate, or it’s not worthy of the name. And to be properly worthy, love isn’t something that you demonstrate once, or even twice. It’s a permanent state, this pale reflection: a shadow of the awesome, staggering and unconditional love that we experience from the Father of us all. Continue reading