The Only Thing

Some day

when my spirit soars to God’s side

 

the only thing

I really care to be known for on this earth

 

is that I made Jesus known

and lived my life for Him

 

for His glory

 

I care that people know

that I love Him

 

with my heart

mind

soul

and strength

 

and that they would be drawn

to His unbelievably fierce love and grace

 

knowing that I love them unconditionally

as He loves me

 

No matter the trials

no matter the pain

 

my life is about Him

and His renown

 

Nothing else

 

matters

 

– Susie Stewart

 

The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by Him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness.

I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience His resurrection power, be a partner in His suffering, and go all the way with Him to death itself. If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it.

– Philippians 3:7-11 (MSG)

 

We love because He first loved us.

– 1 John 4:19 (NIV)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

God Doesn’t Need You

God doesn’t need you,

you know

 

But He’s

desperate

for you

 

He longs deeply

with a Father’s heart

 

God is fulfilled in Himself,

gloriously satisfied

 

but He would go to great lengths

just for you

 

He was willing to give Himself,

to give His Son

 

He gave up Heaven position

in perfection

 

to enter our broken world,

to walk with imperfect

 

He was willing to spend years

in dust and dirt and filth

 

like us

 

And He didn’t have to

 

Love

compels

the heart of God

 

and pure love made Him so desperate for YOU

that He allowed His own torture

 

and murder

 

He didn’t need to!

and He didn’t need you!

 

But

He was

desperate

for you

 

So

when you reject that gift,

that Deity sacrifice

 

you couldn’t turn from a greater treasure

 

It’s absurd

 

– Susie Stewart

 

 

This is how much God loved the world: He gave His Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in Him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending His Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in Him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust Him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to Him.

– John 3:16-18 (MSG)

 

The Lord appeared to me in a faraway place and said, “I love you with an everlasting love. So I will continue to show you my kindness.”

– Jeremiah 31:3 (GW)

 

There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

– John 15:13 (NLT)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

The Real Love

Love

gets exhausted

when it is always expecting something in return

 

Love

gets amnesia

when it remembers only wrongs

 

Love

gets disappointed

when it always keeps score

 

Love

is meant

to give

 

with giving in mind

 

Love

freely

 

Love

unconditionally

 

Love

like Jesus

 

– Susie Stewart

 

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

– 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (MSG)

 

We have experienced and we have entrusted our lives to the love of God in us. God is love. Anyone who lives faithfully in love also lives faithfully in God, and God lives in Him.

– 1 John 4:16 (VOICE)

 

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.

– Romans 12:9-10 (NLT)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

Self-Preservation

Shrinking back

from people who disappoint

 

will only cause a tightening

of your soul

 

Loving and giving

without finding fault

 

will help keep

your heart open and free

 

Loving people unconditionally

reflects the Savior

 

Who didn’t shrink back

from us

 

in our undesirable state

 

Love and joy persevere

because of being accountable for ourselves

 

Walls of self-preservation

will only dim our Light

 

– Susie Stewart

 

* I am not speaking of abusive situations.  Self-protection in abusive situations is entirely warranted.

 

Love…does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

– 1 Corinthians 13:4,5 (NIV)

 

But God put His love on the line for us by offering His Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to Him.

– Romans 5:8 (MSG)

 

Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].

– 1 Corinthians 13:7 (MSG)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

 

Ponder Love

The very thought of God, to a man who truly loves Him, is ecstasy! If my eternity could be spent in a dungeon with my heart full of love to God, it could not be an unhappy experience to live so!

But, at the back of this, there comes a far greater thing. Brothers and Sisters, we know that God loves us. I never dare to try to speak about this great Truth of God—it is a thing to think over rather than to talk of. I like to get away quietly in a corner and just try to roll this sweet morsel under my tongue, to suck on it till I draw the very essence out of it—God loves me—or, as the hymn puts it—“I am so glad that Jesus loves me.”
For God to think of me is something. For Him to pity me, is more. For Him to help me practically, is still more. But for Him to love me—this is the greatest wonder of all! You know how you, being evil, love your own children, but your Heavenly Father loves you far more! You husbands know how you love your wives, yet there is One who loves His Church far more, for He gave Himself for her! God loves you, my Brother. God loves you, my Sister, if, indeed, you have been brought to believe in Jesus. And to know this great Truth of God is to have an “exceeding great reward,” because, if God loves us, everything must be right!

– Charles Spurgeon

 

So if you, who are sinful, know how to give your children good gifts, how much more so does your Father in heaven, who is perfect, know how to give great gifts to His children!

– Matthew 7:11 (VOICE)

 

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

– Romans 8:38,29 (NLT)

 

To be loved

now

and forever

by God

is everything

– Susie Stewart

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

Voices

If you are beginning this day

with the weight of how you’re not enough

with a forboding

with condemnation accusing

 

Know that this is not

the voice of your King

your Savior

your Lord

 

Your life is hidden in Christ

your sins are paid for

your day is new with His possibilities

 

and you are loved unconditionally

 

Know it

believe it

soak it in

 

And when you get to the end of this day

with the weight of how you weren’t enough

with regrets

with condemnation accusing

 

Choose instead

to hear the voice of God

who loves you

and does not condemn you

 

Choose to listen to the life-giving voice

of Truth

from beginning to end

and then start again

 

– Susie Stewart

 

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

– Romans 8:1 (NIV)

 

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness.

– Lamentations 3:22,23 (ESV)

 

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand.  Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.  For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.  And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all His glory.

– Colossians 3:1-4 (NLT)

 

Photo by Arik Stewart