Tag Archives: Inspirational blog for women

How To Trust God When Your World Is Falling Apart

How to trust God when your world is falling apart. Sandra Hersey Ministries “It is a poor faith which can only trust God when friends are true, the body full of health, and the business profitable; but that is true faith which holds by the Lord’s faithfulness when friends are gone, when the body is sick, when spirits are depressed, and the light of our Father’s countenance is hidden.” These words spoken by Charles Spurgeon are true, yet they sting. It is easy to ask God to do for us and bless us. We certainly do not like to think we have poor faith; at least I do not.

I know walking in times of trouble are hard and it is easy to fall into the “Why me God, and where are you God?!” moments. If it makes you feel any better our Lord and Savior Jesus, in his agony on the cross chose to quote Psalm 22, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” When in fact He could have quoted the 23rd Psalm, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.”

Yet my friend, our promise from God is not freedom from pain, but companionship from our Lord and Savior; “Lo, I am with you always to the close of the age!” When our world falls apart, the great good news is we are not alone; Jesus IS with us!

I once heard a sermon that was prompted by a great skyscraper about to rise up into the heavens. The preacher continued to say over and over in his sermon, “the higher you want to rise the deeper you have to dig your foundation.” So if you want a 50-story skyscraper that’s one thing; but if you want to soar 100 stories, then the foundation has to be deeper, much much deeper.

It’s the same with our faith – the higher we want our faith to be, the deeper we must dig our foundation of faith. But how? Through His Word and prayer! Two very simple things, yet we do not always do it.

According to the Bible, the power of prayer is the power of God who hears and answers our prayer. We must remember in the tough times:

~ God Almighty can do all things; there is nothing impossible for Him {Luke 1:37}.

~ God Almighty hears the prayers of His children. He commands us to pray, and He promises to listen when we do. “In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears” {Psalm 18:6}.

~ God Almighty answers prayer. “I call on you, O God, for you will answer me” {Psalm 17:6}. “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles” {Psalm 34:17}.

~ God Almighty invites His people to pray to Him. Prayer to God should be made persistently {Luke 18:1}, with thanksgiving {Philippians 4:6}, in faith {Mark 11:23}, within the will of God {Matthew 6:10}, for the glory of God {John 14:13-14}, and from a heart trusting in God {Proverbs 3:5-6}.

When your world is falling apart, after you stop weeping, dig deep; make those foundations deeper, stronger, and unshakable through prayer and His Word. Trust God and wait for Him to move; because He will! Getting knocked down is not the worst thing that can happen to you; refusing to trust God and not getting back up is!

{Know someone who is facing hard times? The Drying Pot; And The Refining Fires Necessary To Become A Vessel Used By God}

The Name of Jesus; Our Greatest Weapon

The Name of Jesus our Greatest Weapon - Sandra HerseyThe Name of Jesus is our greatest weapon against the enemy! There is no other name which can stand against darkness of any kind. There is nothing which can get a foothold in our lives that the Name of Jesus cannot stop. We must also remember God gets glory when we speak the Name of Jesus.

Ephesians 1:19-21 proves to us, And his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.” Therefore, the Name of Jesus is above ALL names!

Acts 3: 1-8 “Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.” Verse 16 says, “And His Name through faith in His Name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.”

You and I have been given, from Jesus the Power of Attorney to use Jesus’ name. However, I always believe we should seek out what the Word of God says concerning anything. Here is some of what Jesus said concerning His own Name:

“Where two or three are gathered together IN MY NAME, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew18:19-20); “These signs shall follow them that believe; IN MY NAME shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover” (Mark 16:15-20); “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And WHATSOEVER ye shall ask IN MY NAME, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing IN MY NAME, I will do it” (John 14:2-15); “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that WHATSOEVER ye shall ask of the Father IN MY NAME, he may give it you” (John 15:16); “WHATSOEVER ye shall ask the Father IN MY NAME, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing IN MY NAME: ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. . . .At that day ye shall ask IN MY NAME” (John 16: 23-26).

Notice Jesus said in John 15:16 that He has ordained us! You and I as believers of Christ have been ordained to go forth on His behalf and in His Name to take authority over the enemy and all his works. The word ordained means to invest officially (as by the laying on of hands) with ministerial or priestly authority. You have been given by Jesus priestly authority to declare His Name over your situation.

Satan knows the power of the Name of Jesus and he knows our authority to use The Name.  Satan knows he must flee when The Name of Jesus is spoken. Satan is betting on the fact that we are ignorant of our authority Jesus has given us. He will try to cause doubt to come to us about our authority. The Name of Jesus stands as the most powerful weapon in our arsenal. God’s intention for the born-again believer is for them to walk in the power of the almighty God just as Jesus did.

Jesus wants us to be a mighty army of believers who know who they are in Christ and know their authority in the Name of Jesus. We can reign in life over every circumstance, every problem, every sickness, over anything the enemy throws at us; just like Jesus did!

{Want more devotions? I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer; Declaring the Word of God and Taking Back What the Devil Stole from Me!}

Being Equipped for Your Life’s Valleys

How to handle tough decisionsWe all experience different seasons in our lives. Seasons of greatness and seasons which we would rather skip all together. Psalm 84:6 says, “Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.” The word “Baca”, according to some scholars, signifies a mulberry tree. A mulberry tree grows in dry, barren, and sandy places. Which makes me think of a valley. A valley can be dry, barren, and even sandy as opposed to a mountain top which is refreshing, fertile, and bountiful. It is in the valley season where we look around trying to figure out how we got there. A season of difficulty is the signal we are in a valley. So just how do you equip yourself for those valley seasons in your life? You spend time building up your faith in the high seasons. You spend time reading the Bible, because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Your faith is only built up by hearing the Word of God. Think of it as preparation before a dreaded decent to the valley. It will help you remember the God of the mountain is indeed the God of the valley as well!

Since most associate the valley seasons with storms it makes me think about raging storms. In Florida we have hurricane season and that means when the TV weather person tells us a storm is coming we know we must prepare by buying supplies that we can use when our power is out for weeks and even covering our windows so we can be safe from flying glass and debris. Preparation for your daily walk is no different really. Yet most people tend to turn to God only when a storm is already in full force with no preparation at all.  However, the key is to learn to equip and prepare yourself before everything is shaking and breaking. If you grow your faith during the good seasons of your life, you are preparing yourself and becoming fully equipped for the storm or the valley. Not only are you equipped to come through the valley, but you begin your climb back up the mountain.

It all starts in your prayer and Bible time. If you do not have time for this in your life you are indeed setting yourself up for failure when the decent down the mountain starts. You can become dependent on Him but you want to prepare yourself to know what He has already done for you and what He will do for you now. It has been said that success is where preparation meets opportunity. I say you prepare on the mountain and then give God the opportunity to meet you in your valley.

{Know someone who is facing hard times? The Drying Pot; And The Refining Fires Necessary To Become A Vessel Used By God}

Joy vs Happiness. What is the Difference?

Joy vs happiness. What is the difference?Joy vs Happiness. What is the difference?Remember the song “Don’t worry be happy!” Or when the bright yellow smiley faces were everywhere and bumper stickers proclaimed every possible source for happiness insisting to us “Happiness is being married,” “Happiness is being single,” or  “Happiness is being (fill in the blank)!”

Happiness my friend is fleeting. As the word implies – happiness is associated with happenstance, happenings, luck or good fortune. It boils down to our circumstances being favorable – then we feel we are happy; if circumstances don’t seem to stack in our favor then unhappiness moves in sending our emotions reeling. To experience happiness we think we must feel good emotionally. Some will even try to convince us that happiness is a journey. We all are aware it is impossible to be happy when we rely on our emotions. So how do we handle our emotions when we want peace but our circumstances are not favorable?

The Lord is both our source and the object of our joy. Knowing Him brings joy that transcends all of our temporal circumstances. Nehemiah 8:10 gives us assurance by boldly declaring “The joy of the Lord is our strength.” We can rely on His joy to strengthen us through whatever trial we are facing. So many of us are facing intense trials where we have to stand and fight off the enemy yet we feel we have no fight left in us sometimes. This my friend is the time to rely on God’s joy to give you the strength you need to endure.

Joy is directly related to God. Joy, in contrast to happiness, is the firm unshakable confidence that all is well no matter what our circumstances are telling us. Joy is every believers gift from God. It is the fruit which the Holy Spirit produces within us according to Galatians 5:22. It is a characteristic of God Himself.

We all face trials in our lives however these trials need not rob us of our joy. James 1:2 says we should be joyful when we encounter various trials because these trials produce spiritual endurance and maturity. They also prove our faith is genuine. According to Peter a proven faith is the source of great joy (1 Peter 1:6-8).

Let’s look at Habakkuk 3:17: “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crops fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls…” My goodness these are some intense problems here my friend! Now hold on look at what he says next…

“YET!!!!!!!!” (emphasis mine because you have to get this!!!!) Though it all seems to be falling apart he is not going to surrender, he is not going to let his emotions determine whether he is happy. He says, “Yet I will REJOICE IN THE LORD, I will be JOYFUL IN GOD MY SAVIOR” (v. 18). He is going to choose to REJOICE because, “The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights” (v. 19). Habakkuk was a man who decide he was NOT going to allow his circumstance to determine his state of mind. He was going to be strengthened by the Lord’s joy and he was in no way going to stay defeated. His circumstance could have allowed him to be unhappy and defeated, but he chose to allow the joy of the Lord to help him to rise up out of his circumstance and move on! The difference between the person who chooses to stay in defeat and unhappiness – and the person who is victorious, by relying on the Lord’s joy, is the one who will come out of their storm quicker.

I’m not saying you are not going to have problems or that hard times won’t come along and take the wind out of your sail. However we have the choice in how we are going to react. We live in a world corrupted by sin and filled with turmoil. But your hope is in a living God – not in this dying world. He is more than “able to keep you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy” (Jude 24). That is our assurance – eternal joy; a joy which comes from trusting the Lord in the MIDST of the storm. And while we wait on this earth until Jesus returns we must not neglect His Word, despise the trials we face, or even lose sight of our eternal reward. These are all key ingredients of our present joy. Happiness is fleeting however the joy of the Lord is eternal.

{Some of this content is from my book, Help! I’m Alone With My Mind; A Guide To Having Victory Over Your Thoughts!}

How do we endure and fight when we are feeling knocked down?

How to endure when you feel knocked down too many times. Author Sandra HerseyWe all have seasons in our lives; times when we are riding high on the blessings of God and then there are the times we are feeling as if Satan has won the first 11 rounds in the prize fight of the year! We must remember the more Satan views us as a threat the more he is going to come at us with all he’s got! And our Heavenly Father does not always step right in and take over for us, in order that we build up our faith muscles to win the so called “championship” fight in the future.

So how do we endure and fight to the end when we are feeling knocked down one to many times? James 1:2-12 jumps right in by saying, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all men generously and without reproach and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind, for let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. But let a brother of humble circumstances glory in his high position and let the rich man glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away, for the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed. So, too, the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away. Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

The last verse is the summation of the point here. “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial.” Trials produce blessings-now we can shout here! I my friend am entitled to a HUGH amount of blessings with all the trials I have been through! I am sure this is true for you as well. One of the prize fights of the year for me was the fight for my youngest son’s salvation. Let me share with you a little bit of the story from my book about trials and how we overcame in victory:

“Surrender according to Webster’s Dictionary means to give up, abandon, or relinquish. Surrender is something we all like to think we can do but I can tell you from experience it is very hard to actually surrender something you love more than anything to God and allow Him to do whatever He sees fit to do with it. I had to surrender my youngest son to God. He had been walking on the wrong side, far away from God as possible since middle school. Then high school presented more and more problems taking him farther and farther from God. My son had gotten involved in many different ways of the world on a fast train to hell so to speak! No matter what I did in the natural it did not seem to change him. I would pray over this child every day, I would anoint his pillow while he was at school, and I would lay my hands on his clothes hanging in the closet and declare him into the Kingdom of God. Then one day a very strong woman of God, who had been where I was walking, told me I had to surrender my son to God. I was angry with her. I wanted to surrender him and I had told God “here he is; I surrender him to you,” however I would go back whenever something went wrong and start the ritual of what I had done in the past, trying to bring him to God. I knew I was afraid to give him totally to God because I had just watched my best friend surrender her son to God and her son went to prison! I did not want my son to have to go to prison! I was not really willing to surrender him totally and allow whatever God wanted to use to get to him; even if it meant prison. However, I did give my son totally and completely to God. I told God I trusted Him to take care of my son; no matter what happened in the natural. I would like to tell you once I gave over my son to God’s more than capable hands that all went well and He turned his life to Jesus. But that did not happen- at least not at first. First everything seemed to spin out of control in the natural. Literally it felt as if all hell broke loose and I did not know what was happening in the natural, but I trusted God and confessed I trusted Him every second of every day. Just to give you hope my son did come to God; he did get his life together. Now I watch this former drug dealing, pill popping, rebelling teenager go to his room to study the Word of God. I hear praise music and I hear him crying out to the Lord. He is now in Bible College and an anointed man of God. God has His hand upon him now as much as He had His hand upon him when I surrendered him to my Heavenly Father to mold him and to change him. (He has now graduated Bible College and is an associate pastor, married to an amazing woman of God and the father of my amazing grandson. Now I watch as he touches and changes lives! Blessed IS the woman who persevered under trial!!)” {Exert from The Drying Pot; A The Refining Fires Necessary To Become A Vessel Used By God}

How do you turn trouble into blessing? That’s really the issue here. James was concerned with such matters. In verse 3 he says, with the testing of faith – with you and I being put through a test – it will reveal the strength or weakness of our faith. We all have tests or trials. The Word of God is filled with others who endured tests, they are in there for a reason- to show us how to endure, to show us others had to endure and we are not alone! And to show us victory is always on the other side for those who are in Christ Jesus! (2 Corinthians 2:14)

The purpose for trials or these fights is so that we may know the strength or weakness of our faith and that in enduring through the trial we may be blessed. God has a perfect plan for us through our trials – to grant to us gracious and eternal blessings.

So how I hear you asking? Well strap on your boxing gloves because here we go:

First, the fight is to develop a joyous attitude! We have all heard the saying our attitude determines our altitude. We go up by changing our attitude. You and I were never promised no trials on this journey of life. We were however promised blessings as we persevere!

Second, we need an understanding mind. We have determined the key word in verse 2 is joy, so the key word in verse 3 is knowing. In Greek the word is “ginosko” which means to know, understand, perceive, have knowledge of. Personal knowledge gives us the information we need to evaluate the trial we are in, in order for us to look forward to the joy. When we come to know “this is only temporary” and “this is not the end, this is only the process to the victory!” James said the testing of our faith produces endurance. If you are like me there are many times I do not feel I can endure. However, what I have realized is that I can BECAUSE of my past trials I HAVE developed the faith to endure a little further – and most of the time a little further is all I need to go to knock out the Devil!

The final way  to turn trouble into a blessing is by using fighting words- The Word of God! Would a contender for the heavyweight title fight without training and developing skills? Of course not, but yet as Christians we run right into the ring with the enemy when we really don’t know how to fight. The Word of God is to be applied to our reality of life -it’s not just there to read – it’s to be acted on! The Bible tells us “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

When the enemy has stepped into the ring, that is the time we pick up the Word of God and fight with it! It is a weapon given to us according to Ephesians 6!  Notice Jesus shows us exactly how to fight; when the Devil came to tempt Jesus in the wilderness Jesus said, “It is written.… It is written.…It is written.” Jesus shows us- when the enemy has shown up as the contender for the title – we must get out our boxing gloves – the Word of God – and hit the Devil right between the eyes with it! There is no other way for the Christian to fight! The Word wins EVERY time! Yet it is our responsibility to use it as our knock-out punch!

{Want more devotions? I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer; Declaring the Word of God and Taking Back What the Devil Stole from Me!}

How to Sing for Joy When You Have No Joy

How to Sing for Joy When You Have No JoyEach morning I start my time of prayer with Psalms and Proverbs before my devotional. For me Psalms is a way for me to express to God all I want to say.  I read the verses out loud as prayers to Him and add my own prayers along side. Then I move on to the Proverb of the day, if the date is the 2nd I read Proverbs 2 and turn it also into a prayer.

Today I kept coming to verse after verse which read “sing for joy.” Then I started to think about storms raging in my life and then I thought of you and what you might be facing right now. The Holy Spirit prompted me to remind both myself and you that we must sing for joy when facing obstacles which want to overtake us!

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. And these fruit are the very characteristics of God. He has given us joy however it is our responsibility to exercise this characteristic and make it grow. We must use this fruit of joy during the times when we are not feeling too much joy. How do we exercise this joy? Well one way is to sing for it! Look at Isaiah 12:

2 Behold, God, my salvation! I will trust and not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and song; yes, He has become my salvation.

3Therefore with joy will you draw water from the wells of salvation.

4And in that day you will say, Give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name and by means of His name [in solemn entreaty]; declare and make known His deeds among the peoples of the earth, proclaim that His name is exalted!

5Sing praises to the Lord, for He has done excellent things [gloriously]; let this be made known to all the earth.

6Cry aloud and shout joyfully, you women and inhabitants of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

We have reasons to sing for joy:

1. God is our salvation – verses 2-3

“With joy shall you draw water from the wells of salvation.”

For us Jesus is like the river which flows from the infinite divine nature – the one true God.  He is for us the only source, the inexhaustible source. The apostle Paul said it this way: “…They drank from the Rock which followed them, and that Rock was Christ.” (I Cor. 10:4)

The well was also the meeting-place in those hot lands where the shepherds came in from the fields and the maidens came from the tents and they met in the cool of the evening. I can envision laughter and talk was all around. Joy ringing out as they spoke of the day. So joyful is the heart of those whose soul is filled and feasted with God – our salvation.

II. God is our strength verses 4-5

We may recall God’s triumph for the Israelites over the Egyptians at the Red Sea; then Moses and Miriam led the Israelites into singing the praises of God and exalted His mighty strength (Exodus 15:2). The prophet Isaiah called upon Judah to do the same. Let’s move beyond Egypt and beyond the nation of Judah to our own deliverance in Christ.

We must focus on and be grateful for His mighty deeds and sing for joy. We must know that He is strong enough to handle all of our challenges in our lives – no matter what they are!  Notice also, that His mighty Name and deeds are to be proclaimed to all nations. We may not be called to a world-wide ministry to proclaim to other nations the goodness of God, but we should however never lose sight of the fact that God is the God of the whole world and He can and will move on our behalf! And we proclaim His mighty deeds and Name to our little corner of the world – our family and friends!

Unfortunately what happens is no matter how much scripture we can quote or how long we have been a child of God, we don’t really and truly believe deep down that God can help our difficult situation or even wants to help us! I’m not talking about our easy fixes – we believe He can fix those. I am talking about the really hard ones. The ones that are raging so strong we feel as if we are not going to be able to hold on much longer! Now let’s be honest here. We can sing for joy and walk in faith when it’s all good! But let the earth start shifting under our faith walk and bam! We start wondering what’s going on- and the longer this journey goes the less our faith and singing gets. We start buying into the lie of the enemy that we must have done something wrong which angered our Heavenly Father. God loves you and I so much He only wants what is good for us. Scripture after scripture tells of His goodness and His wonderful promises to us! But do we really, entirely, and wholeheartedly believe that when we are in the midst of raging storm?

Are we supposed to go through hard times as Christians? Of course we are! We were never promised a perfect walk. Walking by faith is having faith when it’s tough to see the victory; but you know it’s there! Singing for joy is not having the joy because of the natural circumstances but we sing praises to our Lord and Savior and exercise that joy while we are feeling defeated – hence; singing FOR the joy!

We must stop thinking our trouble is a sign that we are in sin or that God is unhappy with us! We must realize when we face times of trouble that we must dig our heels in deep – deep into the living Word of God and stand on it. We must lift up our voice and pretend we are the next American Idol and sing to the top of our lungs with songs of praise to our God who loves us no matter what! Sing my beloved friend – sing FOR the joy in the midst of your trial and feels His peace cover you!

{Know someone who is facing hard times? The Drying Pot; And The Refining Fires Necessary To Become A Vessel Used By God}

Love – It’s Not a Feeling It’s a Lifestyle

Love - It's Not a Feeling It's a Lifestyle. Keys to victorious faith. Inspirational BlogIs love a warm fuzzy feeling? Does it bring about singing birds and seeing everything through rose-colored glasses? What about us as Christians – when we don’t “feel” those warm fuzzy feelings does this mean we aren’t living as Jesus instructed us to? The Bible never tells us a “warm fuzzy feeling” is the definition for “love.” Hollywood has portrayed to us what the world sees as love and unfortunately we have bought it hook, line, and sinker! So, what is the Biblical definition for love?

Jesus was once asked in Matthew 22:36-40, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” According to Matthew the very essence of the Law is to love God and to love others.  Matthew also gives us the Biblical definition for love: “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)

Jesus told us “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). John, wrote, “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death” (1 John 3:14). And “by this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:2-3). Nowhere does our “feelings” play a role in whether we are to love or whether we should have a “feeling” before we show love.

When we use the word “love” we must understand there are different types of love. I love my husband one way, but I  love my Pastors in a different way. I love my friends in a different way still – however, my love for my church family is different all together. We get confused when we only have the one word to sum up all these different meanings; the word – love.

In the New Testament Greek four main words are used for the term “love.” Each of these words have different meanings.

The first word is “eros.” It’s the wow stuff. It is exciting and it makes us do some very silly things and this is what most people think love is. It means romantic and sexual love between lovers.

Apart from this romantic love there is also love between friends. In Greek this word is “philia.” We all know this type of love and know it is different from the romantic love we just talked about.

Then there is the love we feel for our families. We are brought up to love them – indeed the Bible tells us to honor our father and mother. The strange thing about this type of love, which in Greek is called “storge” – is that it is very difficult to end this type of love. Sadly friendships come to an end, but no matter how estranged one is from one’s family, they still are your family! We may not talk to them for years, we may be angry with them and get totally fed up with them, but they still are our family and we recognise that we have some duty to them. What is different about it, though, is that it stems from a sense of obligation and duty, whereas “philia” the love we have for our friends is what we choose to give and “eros” love often takes us by surprise!

As great as all these loves are, they don’t speak of the love that Jesus was talking about where he says “I give you a new commandment, love one another; just as I have loved you, you also must love one another.” This type of love is radically different from all the others. In Greek it’s called “agape” and it means a sacrificial, unconditional, and possibly unreciprocated love.

Agape love is about giving of ourselves and expecting and wanting nothing in return. (This is not the type of love we usually “feel” or even want to give, especially when we are hurt!) It means loving other people regardless of whether we like them or whether they love us back. The best example is Jesus who laid down his life, not only for his friends, family, or those who made him “feel” loved – but for everyone! Agape love is what made Jesus lay down His life for us all – even though some don’t want to accept His offer. It is this last form of love – agape love – which Jesus commands us to have for each other. A love that no matter what someone has done or not done, no matter how we feel or don’t feel, whether we want to or not – we are to love one another as Jesus has loved us!

I challenge you today to ask the Holy Spirit to show you where you need to show love to someone. Choose to walk in agape love for those around you and watch what God does for you!

{Want more devotions? I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer; Declaring The Word of God and Taking Back What the Devil Has Stolen From Me!}