I don’t know what LOVE is….

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“He tells me he loves me….I don’t know. I am so confused.  When he hurts me and belittles me, I just go to bed and cry myself to sleep.  He tells me he loves me but…..I’m not sure he knows what love is, at least the kind I want.”

As a relationship counselor I hear a lot of people’s stories. Most heart breaking are stories of husbands and wives whose marriages are crumbling and toxic.  Both or one of them, come into my office, bleeding and infected and can’t think straight.

The question I hear most is “what is true love?”

This is a complex question. I wish there was simple and easy way to define love to people in a way that they understand.  Sadly, the individuals I meet with have been deceived as to what love is or they have been lied to about love or they grew up seeing a distorted picture of love.

The bible gives us a beautiful example of what love is from the first page to the last page, and in between are notes on the intricacies of what love looks like and how to receive pure love.

First, I need to say that the source of pure, perfect love is God. He is love and exudes flawless love all the time.  If we deeply want to know what love is, I believe, we must find those answers wrapped up in the essence of who God is and who He is not.

The love that is displayed within the pages of scripture depict a special kind of love called agape love, which is covenant. Covenant is the basis or foundation of who God is and the love He possesses.

Covenant love is sacrificial, set apart, pure and endless. It never stops, it is never rude, toxic or conditional.  It never pretends, it never deceives and is always authentic and tangible.  This love gives, gives some more and will never demand its own way.  This love thrives in freedom and choice and brings healing to those it comes in contact with.  This love whispers, nurtures and never goes to sleep.  It is fully alive and will watch over you to protect and keep you safe.

When we discover and know what real, true love is, we are not able to be fooled or blinded by a counterfeit. The love that the world offers is mostly sensual, conditional and contractual.  Meaning, as long as you keep up your end of the deal and fulfill my expectations, then I will keep my end of the deal.  This is dangerous because as soon as one party doesn’t live up to the expectations or assumptions of their partner, then we believe we have a right to terminate the relationship.

In a marriage relationship, most couples have no greater desire than a lifetime of love and commitment to their spouse. Marriage is one of God’s greatest gifts to humanity.  It is the mystery of living as one flesh with another human being. (Ephesians 5:31-32)

Although love is at the heart of marriage, it is not enough. The marriage relationship needs other ingredients to grow and thrive.  These ingredients are freedom and responsibility.  When two people are free to disagree, they are free to love.  When we are not free, we live in fear and love is damaged.  Boundaries in marriage is fundamentally about love.  It is about growing it, developing it and repairing it.  To walk in love with another person is an act of your will – we choose to love.  Mistakenly, people believe that love is an emotion and therefore, can change and fluctuate from day to day.  Our culture most commonly thinks about love in the context of romance.  But true, agape love is much more than that.

Agape love can only be shared with someone to the extent which we have received it for ourselves. In order to receive agape love, we need to posture ourselves before God and receive directly from Him – a download of His beautiful, selfless love.  Then, we can go and give it away to others!

 

“I love each of you with the same love that the Father loves me.  You must continually let my love nourish your hearts.”  John 15:9 TPT

 

Lisa is a certified Christian counselor with the NCCA and Director of Power of His Love Ministries. She has been married to her amazing husband Bill since 1989.  They live in the greater Houston area and have 3 grown daughters and one son-in-love!

http://www.powerofhislove.com

 

TRIUMPHANT!!

 

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Whose face is before you today?

I believe in our carnality, mankind wants to idolize humanity.  Man loves to exalt and then equally to tear down. Just take a glance around our culture and society…we love and popularize and then in the next breath, we violently pull down and devour the very ones we so passionately adored.

The need to worship is built into our DNA – woven into the fabric of our flesh and blood. It runs deep and profound, for our dependence was formed and shaped to be placed into our Creator, who is God (Elohim).
When our need to worship is misdirected and falsely placed in another through our own distorted image, we come skewed. When we place any human on a “pedestal” and engage in unrealistic expectations, we fall short of what was originally intended for us.
Any mere human can and will fail us in some way, oftentimes daily. Sadly, as a people, we idolize so many and have expectations that are doomed to disappoint us. We become disillusioned as a result and our hope slowly begins to fade. When hope dissipates, what is left is often bitterness and then a creeping sorrow that soon will engulfs us.
But when we put our hope in the person of Jesus Christ, who was fully God AND fully human, our plumb line is straight and measured properly.  It cannot be moved or distorted because it is grounded in eternity and love. As John the Baptist proclaimed, …don’t look at me. Jesus is the One! Set your hearts on Him.  (John Chapter 1)
I plead with you today…. set your affections, dreams, hope, expectations and allegiance on the One who will never disappoint or fail. He is our constant in this shaky and brutal world. He has existed from the beginning and He will remain for eternity. His love for you is matchless and incomparable! He is constantly wooing you and drawing you to Himself, but most of us miss it. He is always with us, never to forsake or abandon us – never to hurt us or leave us.
As we cling passionately to His name, His essence and character, we are granted the right and authority to become His children – sons and daughters of the Most High God! As those who are called by His name, we become a colony of heaven here on this earth to shine His light and love to those around us.
Exalt Him today! We will never be disappointed when He is the One – the only! Worshipping and adoring the person of Jesus Christ is worth it my friends. I challenge you to get quiet today, turn your face upward and listen for His gentle movement in your life. He wants to engage with you today and partner with you as you travel through this earthly existence.
“Everything we could ever need for life and godliness has already been deposited in us by his divine power. For all of this was lavished upon us through the rich experience of knowing him who has called us by name and invited us to come to him through a glorious manifestation of his goodness. As a result of this, he has given you magnificent promises that are beyond all price, so that through the power of these tremendous promises you can experience partnership with the divine nature by which you have escaped- the corrupt desires that are of this world.” 2 Peter 1:3-4 Passion translation

The joy and peace you are seeking, the significance and belonging you crave, can only be found in one person – Jesus.  Take my word on this….I have tried others and it left me feeling empty, alone and powerless.  Desperation is a beautiful gift, step into it, and reach out to the only One who can hold you safely.  Then and only then can you begin to slowly exhale and find your true worth!

In the busyness of our lives and the hustle and bustle of our daily grind, we have a caring, loving Father who is looking for us and calling us by name. Can you hear Him? Shut out all other noises and learn His song – for He is signing over you today! Zephaniah 3:17 & Psalm 32:7.

Lisa is a certified Pastoral Counselor and temperament counselor with Power of His Love Ministries.  You can reach her at:  lisa@powerofhislove.com

http://www.powerofhislove.com

 

Choosing LOVE!

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Love is the foundation for God’s relationship with us. Over and over in the scriptures, He tells us how much He loves us. One of my favorites that I like to meditate on is, Long ago the LORD said, ‘I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.’” (Jeremiah 31:3 NLT)

God is constantly wooing us to Him because He desires to have relationship with us. In the book of Hosea, God speaks through the prophet and declares over His people, “I led them with cords of a man, with bonds of love, and I became to them as one who lifts the yoke from their jaws; I bent down and fed them.” (Hosea 11:4 NAS)

Jesus, who always portrayed the Father’s heart declared to His disciples, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you…” (John 15:16 NIV). Jesus chose us in the most challenging of situations.

Even in the midst of your darkest sin, He chose you! I love that Jesus and the Father did not wait for me to get my stuff together and become perfect before they chose to have a relationship with me.

When God made the choice to have a relationship with me and you, it did not depend upon our choices, but entirely upon HIS choice.

Because this has been modeled for us, we can exercise our free will and choose to love others, and serve others, no matter the circumstance.

It is all a matter of CHOICE!

Every day we can make a choice to love. Love is most definitely a skill that we practice every day. It is NOT an emotion. We wake up and choose to love our spouse. We choose to overlook faults and weaknesses and forgive. We choose to honor others even when we don’t feel like it.

The only perfect love available is God’s. There is no perfect marriage or flawless relationship. No one said love is easy. It is full of challenges, but even when it is hard, we can choose to love!

All things are possible!

 

2017 – REBUILD

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The Year of REBUILDING – 2017

Over the month of December, I have seen in the spirit realm hammers over people’s heads. I have seen saws, wrenches and other tools over individuals that God has provided for them to rebuild their life.  I believe in these visualizations that God is profoundly speaking to all of us.  This is a season of His mercy over us.  Cry out for God’s mercy and allow His grace and love to settle your hearts and establish you.  Submit yourself to the One who created you and allow Him to rebuild, reconstruct, re-erect, and reestablish you.  This is the time, the heavenly re-set has begun!

There is one prayer that our heavenly Father always answer. And that is the prayer of His mercy.  Mercy is not receiving what you and I deserve.  Mercy is God’s love displayed to us in the midst of us being selfish, stubborn, imperfect, prideful and down-right mean.  Psalm 103 is a good portion of scripture to meditate on that exhibits God’s character of mercy.    I am so thankful we have a compassionate and gracious God.

The main reason God is NOT into condemnation is because His goal towards us is transformation. As followers of Christ, we are called to be transformed.  It is crucial that we understand that this transformation happens best in a healthy environment of mercy.  The apostle Paul wrote, “Do not be conformed any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Rom. 12:2)

In the preceding verse, Paul urges his readers to offer their bodies as living sacrifices as they comprehend God’s great mercy. We see that transformation truly only flourishes “in view of God’s mercy.”

This is my commentary: as we ponder, and think on God’s great mercy, we offer ourselves up to Him, because we know that He is the only one who can transform us.  We can’t “white knuckle” it, and we can’t “try harder.” For years, I believed it was my duty to beat myself up for all the bad and wrong I had done.  These self-flagellations never produced real or lasting change within me.  It was only when I threw myself on His throne of grace, that I was able to find His mercy.  My transformation began as I exchanged all of my shame and fear for His mercy.  Ultimately, all of our desired change occurs in the hands of our heavenly Father who is slow to anger and who abounds in great love.  Robert Gelinas states it this way, “God’s mercy is for sinners, and God’s mercy is also for those who are in pain.”

“Son of David, have mercy on me……”

Over and over as you read the New Testament, you see people calling out to Jesus to impart His mercy towards them. In not one place, can you see that He denied this request.  I invite you to go through the gospels and read of the humble state of men and women who knew to appeal to God’s mercy.  Every time this request is cried to our savior, it was from people who needed to be delivered from great pain and suffering, NOT because of a sin they had committed.  One could say that mercy is God’s grace in action.

The mercy God offers us brings true forgiveness and lasting transformation. It is a change that actually converts our very identity.   Think on this…we are invited to be a part of God’s family as adopted children.  When we are able to embrace this level of identity change, transformation explodes in our life!

One of my favorite verses is found in Psalm 121:5, “The LORD is my keeper; The LORD is my shade on my right hand.” God’s mercy becomes a shade, or a covering over our life.  This allows us to flourish under His love because it is a place of protection and safety.  Here in this place, His garden, we can grow up into all that He has called us to.  We can become that tree of righteousness that was planted and He gets ALL the glory. (Psalm 1:3)

In the New Year that is before us, my prayer and hope is that we would all be nurtured and developed into our true identity, according to God’s deep mercy. May we all get into the habit of praying, “O God, have mercy on me!”

As we enter into 2017 may it be a year for all of us to fully enter into the words spoken in Isaiah 58, “those from among you shall build the old wasted places, you shall raise up the foundations of many generations.” Today, do not delay, pick up your spiritual hammers and tools and place yourself before the One who can shape and form you into something marvelous.

Love, Lisa (#bebrave)

“God remembered us in our lowly state, His mercy endures forever.

He rescued us from all our enemies, His mercy endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of heaven, His mercy endures forever.” Psalm 136:23-24,26 NKJV

 

How Desperate Are You?

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One of my favorite stories of healing in the bible is the woman who couldn’t stop bleeding. It is found in Mark 5:25, Matthew 9:20-22 and again in Luke 8:43.

This obscure woman was desperate….desperate for an encounter that would change her life! The account of her story tells us that “no one could heal her.”  However, because she was an audacious woman and resolute within herself, she thought, “if only I may touch the man’s garment, I will be made well, and so she did and immediately the blood dried up and she was healed of her affliction.”

What is so significant about the hem of Jesus’ garment? At first reading, it seems an odd practice.  However, once we understand the significance of the hem of one’s garment, these passages will have much more meaning.  The word translated, hem, in Hebrew, is tzitziyot.  It means fringes or tassels.  In the Old Testament God called the sons of Israel to put fringes or tassels (tzitziyot) on the bottom of their garments (Numbers 14:37-41)

The woman on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, who came to Jesus for healing, knew this command. She knew that the tassels or fringes represented the law of God, the authority of God, and tied up in all of that are the promises of God.  In this account, the tzitziyot, or fringe tassels, were her point of contact, in order for her miracle to manifest.  Those fringed tassels represented the word of God which is always the place where we can find healing for all the needs in our life.

The fringes also represent the authority of Jesus, that He taught with authority and when He spoke, people were healed. We see in another account in the gospels, that people clung to Jesus and touched His garment. “And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent out into all that surrounding region, brought to Him all who were sick, and begged Jesus that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched His garment, were made perfectly well.”  Matthew 14:35-36

The nameless woman in the gospels had heard of Jesus. Perhaps she had heard of his power to heal and deliver and remembered the promises of old.  I imagine that she remembered these promises…released her faith… reached out…touched…and her miracle appeared!  This woman received her healing when her faith touched the power of God, the hem of Jesus’ garment, and she was made whole.

I want to be desperate and have faith as this dear woman….that I would know the promises of God so intimately that even the smallest point of contact, can help me release my faith toward God for HUGE miracles in my life and in the life of others.

I do not believe this woman had a “hunch” or that she even “hoped” that perhaps Jesus would heal her. No!  She had much more than that, she had a promise!  Promises from her God about His goodness and kindness to heal His children.

Moreover, there was another element to these fringes that most people don’t know. Another promise, found in the words of the prophet Malachi, “But for you who fear My name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in His wings”.  The word wing in Hebrew is kanaf, which is a word that specifically means the “fringe-like” feathers or edges of a bird’s wing.  Most places in the OT where kanaf is used it is referring to God.  Therefore, the place of refuge is under the kanaf of the LORD, under His word and His authority (Psalm 91:1 – “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty”)

Read the story of Ruth and Boaz. As Ruth went to Boaz and lay at his feet on the threshing room floor, she implored him, “Take your maidservant under your wing, for you are a close relative.”  (NKJ – Ruth 3:9)

The word in Hebrew for wing is kanaf. In essence, Ruth was asking Boaz to heal her of her affliction of widowhood and abandonment – to take her as his wife.  This was a custom that was known in that culture.  Ruth was stating her belief that she knew the power of a kinsmen redeemer, to deliver her of poverty, disorder and ailment.  Boaz does indeed take Ruth as his wife and their child, Obed, is in the lineage of Christ.

In the New Covenant, through Jesus’ blood, we are taken as Christ’s bride, and His healing virtue is available to cover us, heal us and empower us for abundant life.

Take refuge under His wings my friends. Cover yourself with the hem of His garment….release your faith today to believe that Jesus can and will touch you in whatever area you have need of.

Indeed, the good news is that Jesus died and rose again to pay our debt, but the ultimate good news is finding out the true nature of who God really is. Jesus said, “If you see Me, then you have seen the Father.”  The nature of the Father is made manifest in Jesus’ ministry on this earth…..Jesus came to put a face on the Father for us.

The woman with the “issue of blood” saw the face of Yahweh, the Most High God, in Jesus, the Son of God. And she reached out and believed!

Shalom,

Lisa Roitsch

http://www.lisaroitsch.com

 

 

 

Synchronization

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For a few weeks now, I keep hearing the word synchronization. Everywhere I go, I hear it, see it or someone is talking about it.  I realized God was speaking to me so I slowed down and asked Him what He wanted me to learn.   Get ready, because when you ask this, He WILL answer!

I began with looking up the dictionary definition. Synchronization – to cause to agree in time of occurrence; assign to the same time or period, such as a historical event; to cause sound and action to match precisely.

God’s spirit began to speak to me about the Kingdom of Heaven actually being synchronized WITH earth – specifically with people. I believe God wants His sound and His actions to match precisely with what is occurring here on earth.

I began to look up all the references where Christ spoke about the Kingdom of heaven or the Kingdom of God. After seeing over 21 references, I stopped counting.  Jesus seems to speak more about the Kingdom of Heaven than any other topic.   This central message regarding the Kingdom formed the basis of His ministry here on earth.  As He stood on the mount, He preached, “Seek FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all other things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).  Jesus was clearly admonishing His followers to get their priorities in proper balance.

One of my most favorite occurrences is when Christ instructed His followers to go and tell the good news to everyone and emphatically proclaim that the “Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.’ Can you visualize this?  As the men and women who followed Jesus began to disperse themselves into the regions of the land, they would tell others “Look and see! God’s Kingdom has arrived!”  With this proclamation, there was an invitation to join in and synchronize their life with the Kingdom of Heaven, which had arrived in their midst.

And so, I began to ponder….. What does it look like when the Kingdom of Heaven is here? What will I see when the kingdom of heaven manifests on this earth?  In the book of Luke, Jesus told His followers that ‘the Kingdom of God was within them’ – in their being.  In the book of Romans, it is written, “The Kingdom of God is not merely food and drink but, righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

Could it simply mean that as we yield our earthen vessels up to God, He synchronizes His Kingdom within us to such a degree that we are able to release it wherever we go? As believers and followers of Christ, we carry the Kingdom within us – His righteousness, His love, peace and joy.  Are we releasing this to others as we go about our day to day life?

God wants us to be so filled with His love and understanding, that there is an overflow out of our being that will spill onto others. Draw near to your heavenly Father my friends.  Receive all that He is, and get to know Him and His ways.  As you do this, your vessel will become so full of God’s peace and love, that it has no choice but, to overflow onto the people surrounding you.

I believe there is coming a day when the children of God will fully understand this concept and move in dimensions where we will begin to see the Kingdom being released to heal the sick, deliver the oppressed and fill others with so much joy they cannot stand. I see the history of the early church moving in these proportions and I hunger to see it happening more today.

Yes, in pockets around the world, we hear of these incidents. However, I want to see it in my community, I want to see it in my local church.  I want to experience all the fullness of what Christ suffered and died for -a purchased people who know their God and love His kingdom!

I will conclude with this teaching from Jesus. He spoke in Luke 6:46 and said, “Why do you call me Lord, Lord and not do the things which I say? I believe Jesus is calling out to His believers today to get in tune not only with His name but, also with His teachings. His teachings always pointed to the Father and His Kingdom. His cry then and now, is THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND.

Will you synchronize yourself with this heavenly kingdom and release its power towards others? If your answer is YES! start with reading the gospels. Read the entirety of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John multiple times and receive Christ’s words deep into your soul and spirit. I promise you will be changed and you will see changes in others around you!

Nurture God’s presence in your life. As you do this, you will begin to see His power move in and through you. But always remember, love must be the foundation for everything we do. Love is the greatest manifestation of God’s power. It was because of love that Jesus walked in complete obedience. It was because of love that the power of sin and darkness were defeated. Love is the greatest virtue of all!

Jesus only did what He saw His Father doing. Therefore, to move fully in the kingdom of heaven’s realm, we must be people who know real love and recognize God’s voice. When we have eyes to see what God is doing, we can synchronize with Him and become powerful weapons for the Kingdom of God.

Jesus’ message on the kingdom of heaven is a message of hope—for the entire world and for you and your family. It is a reality that God is building His precepts into a people who will carry His love, grace and power to a dying world. All He is looking for are willing vessels.

 “God, the Father, has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.”  

Colossians 1:13

 ***Above photo details:  I took this picture of one of my dear friends praying for the homeless in our city.  The picture reflects Christ’s love being extended to those who are hurting in our community.  It only takes a minute to pray with someone and cause them to feel special and valued.  Behold, the Kingdom of Heaven is HERE!

 

In a FOG!

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F.O.G. – Favor of God

In the last lines of Psalms 23, David makes a profound declaration over his life – “….Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me ALL the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”  Wow – pretty powerful!

Over the last few months I have actually been looking for the favor of God to be on my life.  I expect it- and I even go one step further and hunt for His goodness and mercy.  When we hunt for something we push aside those things that hinder us from finding what we are seeking.  Shove away everything that is blocking you from grabbing ahold of God’s favor.  Our heavenly Father has given us ALL things that pertain to life and godliness, in Christ Jesus (2 Peter 1:3)

I believe as children of God we should live expectantly.   I strive to open up every new day with a earnest awareness that God is going to move into my room and empower me.  I want to change my home, community, city and world for the better.  I want to leave a legacy behind of good.  I desire to be a history maker!

I realize that the cares of this life can wear you down.  It can seem as if the sun will never shine again on that specific situation you are believing for a miracle.  Maybe you are struggling with an illness or disease that the doctors don’t give much hope.  Perhaps you are believing for a marriage to be restored to its former beauty or even believing for a prodigal child to come home.  I want to encourage you to stay strong.  Unexpected sunshine is about to appear!  THE “God of the Suddenly’s” can shine at any moment.

Even as I write this I am pressing into God deeper so that I can see favor and mercy in my physical body.  Over the last 5 weeks I have been in chronic pain and have seen doctors and many physical therapists.  I am expecting God to move everyday to heal and restore me completely.  But while I am waiting, I am declaring the favor of God over my life.  Like David, I am believing and I am confident that God’s goodness is following me and I will not be left in this condition.  I choose to be in a F.O.G. every day.

It is not always easy to push past the pain, but we must.  Pain CAN become your friend – tell pain to work positive benefits in your life.  All it takes is a different perspective.  Lift your eyes up higher – to the face of God.  From up above, your situation will look a whole lot different.  Allow God’s goodness and mercy to become a song over your life and be sure and turn around and see it following you.

I bless you dear reader, to be a tenacious person.  One who keeps a firm hold of something- cling to the promises of God!  Do not grow easily dispelled but, rather be unshakeable, unmovable, unyielding,  and unwavering in decreeing and believing in the favor of God over your life!

Pray and confess this prayer over yourself:

This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.  God has NOT created me for nothing.  He has given me specific assignments and services to offer those around me.  I shall do the work of the LORD.  I will trust Him.  The anointing of God is upon my life and gives me favor in the eyes of God and man every day.  I shall walk daily in victory and liberty of the spirit.   Amen!

http://www.lisaroitsch.com

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