Jesus is loving, NOT nice

Revelation 3:19 (NIV)

Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.

Does that sound NICE to you? What is nice? Lets take a look. The definition of nice according to Merriam Webster is: coy, giving pleasure or joy, good and enjoyable. Attractive or of good quality, kind, polite, and friendly, socially acceptable.

Nice people have an agenda, they want something in return. Nice people hide their motives, their pasts, and their differences.  Nice people tell little white lies as to not hurt our feelings. Nice people say what is socially acceptable not what God’s word says.

Jesus isn’t any of those things. Jesus is Love, He is loving. What does loving look like?

To be loving is: selflessness, giving, humility, forgiving, hold no record of wrongs, thinking of others higher than oneself, strong devotion, thorough, Jesus is loving. He always tells the truth because He is light. His motive is always pure. Jesus rebukes and he disciplines those he loves. He isn’t concerned with hurting our feelings, He is concerned with our future and our destiny, He wants the very best for us.

So what’s the difference between being nice and loving? A loving person tells the truth when they know it’s going to hurt you. A loving person is concerned more about your heart than their appearance. A loving person says I am going to go through this painful thing with you even if it hurts me. A loving person is willing to get dirty and messy going knee deep in the mess of our life and continues to look through the mess and still says I love you. A nice person acts like the mess isn’t there, all the while seeing it, but refuses to pick up the broom to help clean it up. The nice person is scared they will become dirty in the process of helping us clean up our mess. The nice person sees our dirty mess of a past and says, “Your present reminds me too much of my past and I don’t want to deal with my past so I can’t help you.” They go on to say, “But I will pray for you, feel free to call me when your all better.”

I remember a friend of mine shared she was on the mission field once and was helping a young girl maybe 3 or 4 years old and the little girl reached for her hand to hold it. She immediately pulled away because the girl was filthy dirty. She became convicted and reached her hand out to the little girl. The young girl grabbed her hand and didn’t let go for some time walking with her wherever she went. After the day was finished my friend was on her way home and looked at her hand and saw her hands were disgusting filthy and on her hand was a form of the young girls handprint as if painted on her hand. She wanted to wash her hands to remove this filth and dirt and get clean again, she was crying sharing with me how she calls herself a Christian but she was unwilling to get dirty she couldn’t wait to wash that little girls filth off her own hands and be clean again.

I still remember this story from years ago it had a huge impact on me it beckons me to ask these questions. As a Christian, am I willing to get someone else’s dirt on me? Am I willing to get dirty to help them? Or am I the Christian that wants to stay clean because all I care about is what others see and my own image? Am I refusing to help others for fear my own junk may be revealed? If I am selfless, loving, thinking of others higher than myself, then I am not concerned at what the cost is to me, because I am more concerned with my friend. God’s word teaches us to be loving because He first loved us.

1 John 4:19 (NIV)

We love because He first loved us.

God loved us while we were covered over our head in the sin of our lives and He loved us, so that we may love others. Are we LOVING? Or are we acting nice? I am guilty of being nice trying to protect myself from facing my past and keeping those people (the dirty ones) at a distance. Lord Jesus help us to be willing to grab a broom and start cleaning house. God give us the courage to allow the cleaning to take place in ourselves as well. Just maybe God is trying to heal us through someone else’s heartache, pain and grief if we’re willing to get dirty. Lord forgive us for not loving our neighbor as ourselves, forgive us for thinking we are better. God create in us a clean heart in Jesus name amen.

Psalm 51:10 (NLV)

Make a clean heart in me, O God. Give me a new spirit that will not be moved.



Hebrews 3:6 (NIV)

But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.

Then the Holy Spirit goes on to say in Hebrews 3:7-15 (NIV)

So, as the Holy Spirit  says:

“Today, if you hear his voice,

do not harden your hearts

as you did in the rebellion,

during the time of testing in the desert,

where your fathers tested and tried me

and for forty years saw what I did.

That is why I was angry with that generation,

and I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray,

and they have not known my ways.’

So I declared on oath in my anger,

‘They shall never enter my rest.’

See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. As has just been said:

“Today, if you hear his voice,

do not harden your hearts

as you did in the rebellion.


Let me just confess right now… I have doubt and disbelief. I have struggles and I have fear. Many times I lack courage and become full of anger. The crazy thing is that during these times when I struggle the most if I choose to have faith in God and His abilities, the result is, I have peace in spite of my circumstances. On the other hand, when I choose to doubt God and His abilities I find myself in a full bore pity party and I quickly spiral downward into a dark hole I can’t seem to crawl out of on my own. Can you relate?

I don’t start out doubting God, His goodness or even His abilities, so how does it happen? Well let me bring you to the book of Genesis 2:15-17 (NIV)

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”

So God is telling Adam and Eve the rules. Then along comes the serpent in Genesis 3:1-7 (NIV) it says:

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.”

“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Let’s go back and dissect what has happened so far. So first God tells Adam and Eve the rules then the serpent comes and tricks Eve. Then Eve sins by grabbing the forbidden fruit and eating it and then gives it to her husband and he eats it sinning as well. Then they are ashamed realizing their sin and cover themselves with leaves.

If we look back and really look deep into how this could’ve happened we begin to see a deeper picture. The DOUBT, was introduced when the serpent says in Genesis 3:1 says: “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?”

So then Eve immediately responds to the serpent trying to fight this battle on her own. She responds by saying: “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.”

Is that really what God said? Lets take another look at what He said. The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”

You see Eve answered the serpent by her own memory and her own understanding of what God said. God said they were free to eat from any TREE in the garden, God said they must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when they eat of it they will surely die.

Eve said we may eat FRUIT from the trees in the garden but we must not eat FRUIT from the tree in the middle of the garden and we must not touch it or we will die. Did you catch it yet? Eve added the word fruit and not to eat fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden and that they couldn’t touch it. Then what happened next? Genesis 3:6-7 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

Eve convinced herself right into sinning by the doubt, THE WHY. Eve tried to defeat the serpent on her own. By not asking God to reaffirm what He meant and what He had said Eve was left with her own thoughts, her own understanding and wisdom. Which led her and her husband into sin.

Many times I have found myself trying to defeat the enemy on my own. I start out reciting God’s truth but easily stumble, but it kind of sounded right. Then I convince myself what I said was good, pleasing to others, desirable. “Wow what good wisdom I think to myself. Then WHAM BOOM BANG……doubt, defeat, sin, anger, and worry surround me and my peace, joy, and love are nowhere to be found. Until……


I forget how easily I can come to the foot of the cross and repent asking Jesus for forgiveness of my sins and He forgives me and restores my relationship with Him once again. His love and mercies are new every morning and ohh how I need Him.

I share this with you to encourage you. Your not alone in your struggles, your sin , or defeat. The enemy uses the same tactics on you and me as he did years ago in the garden with Eve. But God has defeated him and the enemy is under our feet. Today walk in victory and faith knowing God has given us freedom from the lies and tricks of the enemy. Have faith knowing God is good all the time. We can come to Him and ask our questions, share our concerns and worries and He is faithful and just to answer.



Sinner and Saint

Romans 5:9-11 NIV

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.


Every Sinner has a past and every Saint has a future…

I just read this quote the other day and it really resonated deep within me. I am a sinner and I have a dark, ugly past, but I am also a Saint with a very bright, beautiful future. Today I refuse to let my past darken my illuminated future in Christ. How about you?

Today I challenge you, take a look at your past but only for a moment don’t dwell there. Look back only for healing and wisdom. Now fix your eyes ahead at what’s to come and the new adventures that await your glorious future.

God sent His son Jesus to die for you and me WHILE we were yet sinners..when we were at our worst God sent His son to die for us to cover all our sins. His blood is an atoning sacrifice for our sins. We are forgiven and loved by God. Accept His love and forgiveness today. Every second counts, take a deep breathe, reset and start again. Today is a gift, a new day, now rejoice and be glad in it.



Can you remember someone you met that was genuinely thankful? You know the person I am talking about, the person who has peace and joy and they just lost their job. The woman who has only enough food for her family but has a genuine smile on her face when she asks you how “SHE” can help you. The starving child who is filled with joy and thanksgiving for the one meal he receives for the entire day. The parent who receives the news their child doesn’t have a tumor. The woman that is told her cancer is in remission. The husband and wife who reconciled and now their marriage is restored. The new parents hear the Doctor say, “your baby is healthy.” A wife hears from the nurse her husband made it through open heart surgery and is resting in the recovery room. Your neighbor shares with you that someone paid their rent anonymously.

All these examples are of people that are truly  thankful. Thankfulness compels us to action. Out of our abundance we bless others with no strings attached. Thanksgiving opens a place in our hearts to see others above ourselves. It opens our eyes and gives us a fresh new perspective without changing our circumstances. Thankfulness has power that fuels love into action.

Thankfulness is free. It doesn’t waste time. It doesn’t need help. It doesn’t steal your energy or your resources. Thankfulness can’t be manipulated, twisted or coerced. Thankfulness is real, genuine, and pure. It comes from the Lord and it’s a gift we cannot create within ourselves. When thankfulness is witnessed by others it’s contagious and it spreads faster than any disease.

Today I want to talk about being thankful for things that seem bad, things that seem hurtful or painful. Are there things that have happened in your life that seemed impossible, but now you are thankful for? This year I would like us to change our way of thinking about thankfulness. It is easy for me  to see the negative in everyday circumstances. My natural desire is to gravitate to the pessimistic attitude but I want to change that. So I have a challenge for you and for me this year.

Everyday we have several opportunities to react positively or negatively to our circumstances. So starting today from this moment on until the end of the year my challenge to us is when we are faced with life situations that are: stressful, negative, unfair, hard, trying, or not planned, we would on purpose find at least one thing we can be thankful for about that circumstance. For example: yesterday my truck battery died and as many of you know we have had lots of problems with this vehicle we just purchased a few months ago. I immediately started to think about all the things that had went wrong with it but then I stopped myself and said out loud, “God I am thankful for this truck please give me patience.”

In order to change our thinking we have to take action and do it over and over again until it becomes our natural reaction. This thanksgiving instead of saying the normal things we are thankful for: family, health, food, house etc… think back about the difficult times this last year and find one example in each situation you are thankful for. Let me know if your willing to take this journey with me, I believe it will change our lives and those around us.


1 Thessalonians 5:18

give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Love Dare day 40


Congratulations you made it. Today is day forty of the Love dare, Love is a covenant, a lifelong sacred promise to pursue unconditional love for one another. It is meant to be Holy and to exemplify the eternal marriage between God, His Son and His church.

A marriage certificate is not the same thing as a marriage covenant. People get married everyday and don’t enter into a covenant between themselves and God. To them marriage isn’t even a contract, it’s a piece of paper and they treat it as such. They quickly wad it up and throw it away when it lost its pomp. Then as quickly as the marriage is discarded, its replaced with another newer substitute.

As a child of divorce, I remembered the pain and scars it left behind. The wounds cut so deep it took years of my life to recover from. I then repeated what I saw as a child, and my first marriage also ended in divorce. It was very difficult and I never thought I would heal. I was left broken, lost and emotionally beat down.

A marriage covenant is not based on receiving anything, it’s a pledge of oneself fully to another no matter what. A marriage covenant says I promise myself to you until death do us part.  It’s not based on whether the other person holds their end of the bargain, or even if they receive you. A covenant is given for the purpose of the giver to fulfill their promise.

Image result for marriage covenant

Ruth 1:16-17 (NIV)

 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”

Today I stand by God’s grace and mercy alone. He has healed and restored my life and brought me into a beautiful covenant with my amazing husband, Luis. My husband is the love of my life. He completes me and I refuse to imagine my life without him. God is the center of our marriage and He is the rock on which we both stand. We’re committed to each other for life, until death do us part.

Lord we pray for every person who has done this 40 day Love dare and those just reading this for the very first time. God restore the covenant marriage and rebuild the foundation of what holy marriage is supposed to look like. God revive our hearts to be committed to our spouses until death do us part. Show us how to love each other forever. Lord Jesus restore marriages one at a time, day by day all across this nation, God start today with our dear friends who are waiting and standing on the covenant promise of their marriages to be restored, and healed. Jesus soften the hearts of the rebellious and turn the hearts of the fathers back to their children. Guide them back to you, their first love so then they will be equipped to love others. Be glorified through our marriages in Jesus name amen.

Today reaffirm your covenant marriage with your spouse and display it proudly in your home.

Love Dare day 39

Today is love dare day thirty-nine, Love endures. Real love lasts, it stands the test of time. Real love: keeps going, it’s long-lasting, long-lived, continuing, long-term, persistent, permanent, surviving, constant, endless, eternal, everlasting, forever, in for the long haul, inexhaustible, lifelong, longstanding, stable, unceasing, undying, unrelenting, ineradicable, deeply rooted, never-ending, ingrained, nonstop, lasting, resistant, tough, strong, ageless, always, undying, unfading, immortal, indestructible, immovable, solid, loyal, imperishable, incorruptible, unforgettable, and forevermore. Is (our) love?

What does the Bible say about Love?

1 John 4:19-21 (NIV) says:

We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

Can we each say that our love for our spouses has lasted and withstood the testing? Or would we say our love has fallen short and given up? Let us examine our love for our spouses. Do we truly love our spouses or do we love the idea of loving our spouses?

We know what real love is, we defined it in the first paragraph. Now lets examine the idea of loving our spouses. This thought of loving our spouses often sounds great to ourselves, and may even look good to others. The main difference between real love and fake love is, there is no action when we only have the idea of loving our spouses. Our minds are filled to the brim of best intentions with absolutely no follow through. Fake love gives up, because it never was real love to begin with. It doesn’t have the power and resolve to pass the testing, it always falls short. It never endures.

Proverbs 17:17 (NIV)

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Real love is evidenced by our actions. Real love can’t wait to be released through our hands and feet. Real love never quits. When testing comes real love says let’s get closer, lets hold each other, and help one another. Authentic love drips sweetness and genuinely seeks opportunities to help the other.

Many of you are at a crossroads right now in your marriages. Don’t give up! I love what the book said, “When you have done everything within your power to obey God, your spouse may still forsake you and walk away just as Jesus’ followers did to Him. But if your marriage fails, if your spouse walks away, let it not be because you gave up or stopped loving them. Love never fails.”

Romans 12:9 (NIV)

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

It’s every persons desire to know that someone is fighting for us? There is a part of us all that desires to know, no matter what our spouse will be there for us. Don’t you long to know without a doubt some other person will accept you and love you on purpose, whether you deserve it or not? I do.

For todays dare really search your heart do you love your spouse or just the idea of it? Pray and ask God to fill your heart with a real authentic love for them, love that will stand the testing and a love that will last forever. Then write it to them.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

To My Dear Husband,

You are my best friend, my confidant, companion, pray partner, lover, encourager, helper, and spiritual leader. You are a gift given to me from our Heavenly Father and I cherish and honor you. I thank God for you. You are a man full of wisdom and discernment and your integrity shines into the darkest of places. You are my man and I am your lady from now until eternity. I pledge not only my love to you but my life, my hopes and dreams are nothing without you to share them with. I am more of a woman with you than I could ever be apart from you. You are my coffee and I am your tea, we go together like honey and a bee. You sharpen me without injury. You bandage my wounds and heal my hurts all the while protecting my heart. I am forever grateful for your love and completely undeserving of it. I pray God sends angels to guard the doors of our hearts to make sure our love doesn’t go elsewhere. You have my heart my lover and I hold yours in my hands. May God allow us to grow old together and teach others to do the same. Love never fails. I adore you my love.

I love you Luis. Love your Wife

Love dare day 38

Today is Love Dare day thirty-eight, Love fulfills dreams. When you were younger did anyone ever ask you the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” What was your answer? Do you remember being a child and dreaming about the future? Do you remember staring at the clouds in the sky and daydreaming about what shapes each cloud looked like? Do you remember being filled with hope at Christmas time and breathing in the air, filled with excitement ?

I remember when I was a child my second grade teacher asked me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?  I said, “I want to be a writer and an Attorney.” I still like to write and to argue, some things never change. When I was a child I dreamed about being married and being a mother. I am now married to the most amazing man ever, my best friend whom I dearly love. We have seven children together and we joke and tell people during the first part of our marriage we didn’t have cable and that’s why we have so many kids.

I remember as a child, laying in our backyard staring up into the clouds and I would search the clouds until I found one that resembled a shape of something I knew.  Then I would let my imagination run wild and soon all the clouds had turned into things I knew. I remember the tingly sensation I would get at Christmas time, I couldn’t contain my joy it spilled out of every part of me. I can feel the joy welling up inside me now just thinking about Christmas. Back then I was a such a dreamer, open to anything. I had my whole future ahead of me but I was led astray with my own thoughts and passions. All of our hearts and desires are inherently evil from the very beginning.


Psalm 58:3  ( ESV)

The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies.

Job 14:1-4 (ESV)

“Man who is born of a woman is few of days and full of trouble. He comes out like a flower and withers; he flees like a shadow and continues not. And do you open your eyes on such a one and bring me into judgment with you? Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? There is not one.

Jeremiah 17:9-10 (NIV)

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.”


Apart from Christ we will take the wrong path. We will choose sin and death there is only one way of salvation and hope and that is Jesus Christ. When we accept Jesus into our hearts he comes into us and replaces our evil desires with His hope and His passions. All of a sudden we are made new with a clean heart and a new set of likes and dislikes. We are dead to our old sinful life and made new alive in Christ.

Ezekiel 11:19-20 (NIV) says:

I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.


When we commit our hearts to the Lord we can trust He will guide us. He will search our motives and remove anything that is hindering us in fulfilling His will for our lives. Many of us know what we are called to do, but refuse to do it because of fear, discouragement, and doubt. God is good back then, now, and forever so when we choose to take on his passions, and desires we are sure to succeed. We are conquerors in Christ.

Psalm 37:4-6 (NIV) says:

Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your ways to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

Today decide to lay down all your hopes and dreams at the feet of Jesus. Give God control and ask Him to resurrect the hopes He wants fulfilled. Give Him permission to take away dreams and desires that aren’t from Him. Dare to dream big with your spouse and share your innermost desires. Choose to search out ways to encourage and support your spouses dreams, for God’s glory, in Jesus name amen.