Sunday, February 8, 2015

February 8th

I am being asked to share experiences where Jesus poured His love out to me, but what that reveals is not really about me. This is how Jesus loves- it's about who He is. My experiences are like a windowpane through which Jesus' love is framed.

August 14, 2014

Jesus held my face in His hands and looked at me. I tried to hold His gaze, but there was so much love in His eyes that, after a while, I had to look down.

“Do You love me so much?” I asked Him, shyly.

You know I do.

I thought of the song I had learned as a child, "Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

Because although I knew the song as a child, the way I was taught about it, the Bible didn't tell me that Jesus loved me and even as I sang those words, they were empty. At the most, they were empty vessels that I was holding up in the hope that they were true.

I thought of all this, and remembered how I understood the Bible now, because of the way Jesus was opening it to me, the Holy Spirit breathing through it in love, like light breaking through as I learned, again and again, that Jesus did in fact love me- that the Father sent Him out of unfailing love, and Jesus obeyed because of unfailing love.

“Because You tell me so,” I said, smiling.

Because I died for you, Jesus reminded me, His voice richly resonant with love.

January 17, 2015

“I saw the Father today,” I whispered to Jesus, smiling. He was seated comfortably on the couch, His feet up, and I was resting close to Him. The room was full of light and peace.

Oh, did you? He replied, joining in with my loving game easily. And what was He doing?

“Lots of very beautiful things,” I answered, caught up in awe and then love. “I love You. I love You so much! You are the most beautiful,” I whispered.

I love you, He replied, pouring His love right back to me, which caused me to forget what I had been saying. After a moment, I pulled the threads of my thought back together.

“I saw the Father- He touched a leper,” I said slowly, even now amazed by this.

I remembered the scene vividly, from reading it in Mark, remembering as I did that everything Jesus was doing and saying was making Abba manifest- that to see Jesus was to see the Father-

"And a leper came to Him, begging Him on his knees and saying to Him, If You are willing, You are able to make me clean.

And being moved with pity and sympathy, Jesus reached out His hand and touched him, and said to him, I am willing; be made clean!"
-Mark 1:40-41

“The Father’s heart was moved to pity and sympathy, and He touched the leper, and healed him,” I said to Jesus, articulating my thought, and moving on to the next. “And the Father forgave a paralyzed man his sins. The Father forgives!”

Yes, Jesus affirmed, lovingly.

“The Father’s heart is to forgive,” I repeated, letting that sink in. “And to quiet the doubts and accusations of the on lookers, and to free the paralyzed man physically, He healed him." I remembered the scene as I thought about it-

"And when Jesus saw their faith [their confidence in God through Him], He said to the paralyzed man, Son, your sins are forgiven [you] and put away [that is, the penalty is remitted, the sense of guilt removed, and you are made upright and in right standing with God].

Now some of the scribes were sitting there, holding a dialogue with themselves as they questioned in their hearts, Why does this Man talk like this? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins [remove guilt, remit the penalty, and bestow righteousness instead] except God alone?

And at once Jesus, becoming fully aware in His spirit that they thus debated within themselves, said to them, Why do you argue (debate, reason) about all this in your hearts?

Which is easier: to say to the paralyzed man, Your sins are forgiven and put away, or to say, Rise, take up your sleeping pad or mat, and start walking about [and keep on walking]?

But that you may know positively and beyond a doubt that the Son of Man has right and authority and power on earth to forgive sins—He said to the paralyzed man, I say to you, arise, pick up and carry your sleeping pad or mat, and be going on home.

And he arose at once and picked up the sleeping pad or mat and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and recognized and praised and thanked God, saying, We have never seen anything like this before!"
-Mark 5:12, AMP

As I remembered this, Jesus reminded me of how forgiveness of sins was central to His mission- how it came up, again and again in the things He did and said, and again, I was amazed by what I was seeing, how I was coming to see Abba.

January 18, 2015

“Jesus?” I called in the night, feeling a sense of being caught up in things almost too large to be believed, like a little boat caught on a surge of water. After all, I am a regular person.

Yes, Jenny? He asked, His voice gentle, unmistakable.

But I forgot what I was going to say. All I could think about was that I knew His voice and He was present. I might very well be caught up in a surge of water, the power and the depth far beyond me, but I was not there alone.

Then I reached out for Jesus again, and I saw Him. I was standing before Him.

“Jesus,” I said, seriously, having something on my mind- as usual, and needing His clarity and reassurance to resettle me. I put my hand on His arm, as though to steady myself.

Yes, My little one? Jesus asked again, patiently.

I poured out my heart to Him in a rush of questions and worries, and Jesus' response was strong and calming- that I must remain in Him, to rest in Him and to trust Him. Nothing is happening in my own strength and He is my Good Shepherd and He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His own name's sake. I can trustfully follow Jesus.

As I was letting this reassurance settle deep down in my spirit, calming my anxieties, I became aware that I was standing right beside the pillar that I have seen a few times already. I turned toward it and put my hand on it without fear.

“And here is this pillar again and the pillar is simply me,” I said, feeling both abashed and amused that I had not figured this out right away- there was no great spiritual mystery to it. “I see it because I am seeing myself- how I am set firmly and safely on You, my Rock and my Foundation, and it’s here because I’m in Your presence.”

I became aware then that Abba was with us. I felt a kind of heightened awareness, a kind of expectant waiting. Abba was waiting a little aside. I knew that He was standing that way so that I could come to Him in my own time, because His is overflowing with tender compassion. I began to walk to Him, but I took the long way, walking around the pillar, one step at a time.

I remembered the lie that the Father was capable of hurting me. This lie and the fear attendant to it had washed over me many times in my life. Instead of expecting the loving and patient discipline and correction of a father who is investing his time and love in his children so that they grow up day by day, because of how I was taught, I expected pitiless cruelty and emotional distance.

However, in Abba's presence, this lie became obvious, emptied of power and of no substance. I discarded this lie as one would toss aside a dried or dead leaf and spoke out loud.

“Abba would never be cruel to me or hurt me, I am safe with Abba,” I said quietly. The love of my Daddy flowed all through me, reassuring me. I took another step around the pillar, my hands resting lightly on it as I peered around it.

I remembered the next lie- that the Father demands absolute perfect performance and rote, absolutely correct doctrine concerning Himself. I looked at this lie, saw that it was empty and of no power, and I discarded it.

“Abba is overflowing with patience and kindness as His children learn about Him,” I said, taking another step cautiously around the pillar and catching a glimpse of Him. Again, the assurance of His tender and everlasting love- that of a Father for His daughter- flowed into me as my heart opened further.

I remembered the next lie- that the Father is easily and quickly moved to violent, retributive anger. I considered this and tossed the lie aside, because in the presence of Abba, I knew it simply was not true- it had no power and no substance and was tossed aside and it fell down and was gone.

“Abba is not easily offended, but is long suffering, full of loving kindness and mercy,” I said, stepping out in clear sight. There was nothing further to consider. There was nothing but my Daddy and I went running to Him and was caught up in His arms, in the warm embrace of His love.

It was like I was only two years old. I buried my entire face in the curve of His neck and clung to Him. His love was flowing through me- I felt caught up in the loving, safe center of the entire creation- in the heart of life, at the source of all power and life and light- the safest space possible to be.

“Abba is safe,” I said, in limp relief.

Jenny, He said, His voice full of love and grief, and He bent His head and put His head against my hair. Then He carried me to the throne and sat down with me in His arms, and He spoke to me.

I am overflowing with loving kindness and slow to anger, Abba said. What might that look like?

I considered this carefully, understanding opening up. “It would look like… even if someone set out deliberately to do terrible things with the express purpose of making You angry, despite all those terrible things, making You angry would still take a long time and they would have to go on doing it, because You don’t get angry quickly.

“But if You had a daughter whose heart was wounded by abuse and hurtful teachings concerning You, then no matter how long it took her to untangle those teachings, or how long it took her heart to heal as she worked through all the emotions and expectations that came up in the process, or how slowly or cautiously she came to You, You would simply never, ever feel anger toward her at all. Anger simply would not be in Your heart toward her."

His arms tightened lovingly around me and He put His cheek against my hair and He said, Yes, Jenny- that is certainly true. I felt in the strong beating of His heart and the rushing intensity of feeling in His voice as it poured through me.

Strongly reassured on that point, I remembered again the things I had read in the Gospel of Mark.

“You touched a leper,” I said to Him, hesitantly.

Yes, Abba answered lovingly.

“But You can’t, because lepers are unclean and You are burningly holy and can’t endure to touch or be near or to look at the unclean things.”

Those laws point back to something greater than themselves, Abba said. Just as Israel, following them, would have pointed back to something greater than itself. They would have pointed back to Me.

“They can’t be like symbols, because they never pass away- not a jot and not a tittle,” I protested, uneasily.

They didn’t pass away, Abba said gently. They were fulfilled. They were fulfilled by Jesus.

January 19, 2015

Have been drunk on love for the past two days- was pulled through by this love back to Jesus and stood with Him in the front room of the inner house and it was flooded by light and warm as a summer day. I walked with Him to the open end of the room that looked out from the grape arbor into the vegetable garden.

But I got no further because love swept through me and I turned to Jesus and looked up into His face and was washed through again by worship and adoration and wonder and gratitude.

“You give me so much,” I said, in awe at seeing His face, at knowing Him.

Because I love you, Jesus replied, the love and His words cascading over me and through me.

Opening my heart to this love was like taking a long drink of water or a deep breath, and I thought of what to say to further agree with His love- to show Jesus that I knew He loved me- because to accept His love is the thing Jesus deeply desires us to do. I remembered what Jesus had said to me once.

“Yes, I know You do- because You died for me,” I said, like an offering of love- my open heart, full of love and acknowledgement of His sacrifice, like a brimming cup, so full it was spilling over at every edge.

I was pulled right into the heart of Jesus’ love, and His words were rushing into my open heart. He was saying with passionate abandon, And I would give My life for you again.

The thing that Jesus was saying was simply true- it was His heart. His heart is overflowing with passionate, self-giving love. One perfect sacrifice of His life was, is and ever will be required, but such is the love of Jesus that He would willingly pour His life out again for us. That is how and who He is.

I sank down onto my knees before Him, His love so great I could not stand and because of the weight of knowing that I was in the presence of God.

“You are God,” I said, the words drawn out of me from the weight of this knowledge, and I bent my head to the ground and kissed the scars on His feet.

I could not speak further, because this understanding was expanding through me- that Jesus is our God, our Creator.

Our God loves us that much- that’s God.

God- the One who created us, sustains us and holds everything in existence, already gave His life for us- embracing the cross for the joy set before Him, which was and is us.

When we say, Jesus is Lord, part of what we are saying is that this God of Love- this Creator, this Living God, who poured out His life to redeem us to Himself- is Lord over everything.

He is the One in authority. His Word is the final word.

That’s Who reigns.

That’s the Most High God.


"But God—so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us,

Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation).

And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

He did this that He might clearly demonstrate through the ages to come the immeasurable (limitless, surpassing) riches of His free grace (His unmerited favor) in [His] kindness and goodness of heart toward us in Christ Jesus."
-Ephesians 2:4-7, AMP


"I have made Your Name known to them and revealed Your character and Your very Self, and I will continue to make [You] known, that the love which You have bestowed upon Me may be in them [felt in their hearts] and that I [Myself] may be in them."
-John 17:26 AMP


And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”

Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him.

And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Luke 4:17-21