Where is the Passion of My True Love Found?

I want to remind you to stir into flame the strength and boldness that is in you 7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:6 TLB &1:7 KJV)

It had been just 30 years since Paul had first met the risen Jesus Christ. Thirty years since Paul had so dramatically converted from persecutor of the church to follower of Jesus Christ. Of all the apostles, he had been the most educated. From early childhood, he studied the Jewish parchments–a Pharisee, a Roman citizen, and a devoted Hebrew from the tribe of Benjamin. He followed the law to the letter and would have been considered a spiritual leader, champion for the cause against the early Christians. That is until that day, when he came face to face with Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus.

Over the 30 years since he was first called to preach the gospel of Christ, he had been beaten, stoned, and imprisoned. Now, once again; he was imprisoned. This time sentenced to die. He was thrown into a dungeon cell of the Mamertine prison. There was an 18 inch square hole in the roof through which was his only contact with the outside world. Cold, damp and most likely infested with rodents; Paul would spend the last months of His life in this prison cell. It was from there that he wrote this last letter to Timothy and urged Timothy not to let the passionate flame for spreading the gospel of Christ die, not to allow fear to dampen his courage and not to let go.

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Come Quench This Thirst

Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. Isaiah 54:4-6

 

For me this week has been amazing as I have watched the steady hand of God answer so many prayers.  Most of all, I am overwhelmed by a steadfast joy that sustains my heart with peace; yet, thrusts me out to reach a hand of love, hope, and strength to others in their pain.  It is not a desire to run from the sorrows of this broken world; rather, it is the strength to walk into the fire and sit down with a hurting soul to say—God is enough! God is the treasure your heart is longing for!  Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life!  There is no sin outside the reaches of Grace, if only you believe and accept the atoning work of Christ on the Cross on your behalf.

This week my heart is touched as a dear friend battles cancer, another sister in Christ battles heartbreak-a widow struggling to find her way, a young mother tries to know how to guide her children with fears of not knowing how, men who are struggling to regain their life after years in prison, a dear, sweet Christian aunt dealing with recent widow hood, and a nation torn apart by despair.  All of this touches my heart; yet, under-girding me remains the steadfast truth of God’s love, God’s Grace and God’s Sovereignty. The echoing sounds as I heard my son give God praise for each blessing and miracle in the midst of what others might have considered despairing times.

As I looked through the archives of my poems, I found this.  I realized that this poem was a prayer of mine; which, God answered.  So let me share it with all of you who are hurting today.  Let me come up beside you and sit for a while to remind you—God loves you, God desires for you to find your joy in Him.  He is your strength when you are weary, your hope when skies are grey, your faith when yours is failing, and your light through each dark day, He is the love to your lonely heart when it is breaking in despair, He is all in all your everything when you look to Him in prayer.

 

Come Quench This Thirst

I’ve been searching for love all of my life

Someone to hold when life brings me strife

A Friend, A Companion, someone who cares

About all my dreams, my life song he shares

With Broken Heart—I cried out to You

You Came and You Loved –my heart was made new

CHORUS

You are the rivers, You are the wine

Come quench this thirst with Your love divine

Hold me so tight that I can’t let go

Filled with Your Spirit-my heart aglow

Give me Your Joy far beyond measure

Until I know truth:  You Are my treasure

 

I’ve been searching for dreams, success – a name

A message, a truth, something to proclaim

Surely the world should know I’ve been here

Hold my head high—the crowd would then cheer

Broken by failures, I cried out your name

You came and You loved – I’ve not been the same

 

CHORUS

You are the rivers, You are the wine

Come quench this thirst with Your love divine

Hold me so tight that I can’t let go

Filled with Your Spirit-my heart aglow

Give me Your Joy far beyond measure

Until I know truth You are my treasure

 

I’ve been searching for joy in so many things

Houses and cars or big fancy rings

Chasing a dream where ever it leads

Thinking these things will fulfill my needs

Drowning in debt, I turned then to You

You came and You loved—Your Glory in view

 

CHORUS

You are the rivers, You are the wine

Come quench this thirst with Your love divine

Hold me so tight that I can’t let go

Filled with Your Spirit-my heart aglow

Give me Your Joy far beyond measure

Until I know truth You are my treasure

 

I’ve been searching for You by labor of mine

If I try hard enough, surely I’ll shine

I would work so hard and make You so proud

I would stand high above the rest of the crowd

Chained in my sin, I turned then to You

You came and You loved-humbled by Grace I’m new

 

CHORUS

You are the rivers, You are the wine

Come quench this thirst with Your love divine

Hold me so tight that I can’t let go

Filled with Your Spirit-my heart aglow

Give me Your Joy far beyond measure

Until I know truth: You are my treasure

When God takes everything else & we are left with Him, we find He is all we need Click To Tweet

My Joy can never be complete until I am willing to humbly bare another’s sorrow Click To Tweet

Photo used by permission: https://unsplash.com/@geetanjalkhanna

©Effie Darlene Barba, 2016

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post.  I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

What Does Perfect Love Really Look Like?

Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. I John 4:17

Perfect love, Wow! Isn’t that what we all desire? No fear of failure, no fear of rejection, no fear of losing hope, no fear of pain nor sorrow. Fear torments the soul, never allowing rest–what if he or she leaves me? What if they get angry? What if my heart is irreparably broken? What if… and the list goes on. Perfect love casts away all the doubt and fear!! Most of us would cry out “sign me up” I want that! So, it all hinges on that word “Herein is our love made perfect.”

“Herein” is a declaration used within binding legal contracts. Within these words are bound the truth of our love being perfected. So we must go to the verses just before this statement and only there find our way to this perfect love that removes all fear.

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How Can Fearing God Really Free Me from Fear?

Hear this now, O foolish people,
Without understanding,
Who have eyes and see not,
And who have ears and hear not:
Do you not fear Me?’ says the Lord.
‘Will you not tremble at My presence. Jeremiah 5:22 (NKJV)

Some would try to say that because God is love and God so loved the world; that our response to that love doesn’t really matter. Many profess that there are multiple roads to heaven; yet, that too is not what God’s own words would say. Others would say if we try hard and do "good" then God will reward us with heaven; yet, what is really good? The older I grow, the more I see of God’s righteousness; the more I recognize those hidden areas of darkness, selfishness, or covetousness that lurk in the recesses of my own heart. How often have I failed even the first commandment which is to love the Lord God with all my heart, my mind, and my soul! Each time I have railed against God’s will because I wanted something or cried bitterly because He did not give me some foolish desire of my heart were proof I did not love Him as I should. This verse from Jeremiah would shout into my heart–"O foolish heart, without understanding, whose eyes do not see, whose ears do not hear; do you not fear Me? Says the Lord, Will you not tremble at My Presence?"

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What Have You to Fear, Oh Heart of Mine?

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. Isaiah 41: 10,13

 

Fear can be that sudden sense of panic with its heightened awareness allowing us to flee danger or it can come as a deep seated dread-a weariness of soul and spirit. In this world there are many things which attack our hearts with fear. It may be a fear that we will make the wrong decision concerning a job, the fear of failure, the fear of loneliness, fear of financial distress, fearfulness for a child, illness, or fear of the unknown. We know that there are unexpected storms. We know that we live within a world where evil happens-from pipe bombs to terror. As Christians we are certainly not exempt for such evil. Indeed, we may even be the target. We lock our doors, build walls around our hearts, and prepare to stand firm against whatever force comes. Yet, there is one fear; I daresay is the one that can destroy us faster than any other. That one we cannot build walls against, no barriers can keep it out; because, it is buried within our own heart and mind. Continue reading What Have You to Fear, Oh Heart of Mine?