No Greater Love

love

Copyrighted artwork by Grace Lee for school and personal use only

 

Today many are celebrating love, so I want to take this opportunity to thank you for visiting and taking time to read these posts and for all the love you have shown towards me. You have often been Jesus with skin on towards me. I appreciate you from the bottom of my heart.

Whether you comment, remain a silent reader, or email me privately, that’s ok. Whatever feels more safe and comfortable for you. I pray for anyone who visits. I take comfort in the truth that God always knows who you are, where you are, and what situation you’re in. He knows. He cares. He loves.

god-is-love

God is love.
There is NO GREATER LOVE!
Jesus showed boundless love in His life and in His death:

He broke the culture’s views about children not being of value by inviting and welcoming them into His arms. Even His own followers thought He had no time for children, but He showed children are valuable and deserving of our time, love, and care.

"But Jesus said,'Let the children come to Me.
  Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven
  belongs to those who are like these children.'"
  Matthew 19:14 NLT

He counts it an honor to side with the weak and helpless. He remembered an abandoned and forgotten man who had no one to help him into the waters of healing, and He healed him.

"There was a certain man there
 who had been ill for thirty-eight years.
 When Jesus noticed him lying there [helpless],
 knowing that he had been in that condition a long time,
 He said to him, 'Do you want to get well?'
 The invalid answered, 'Sir, I have no one
 to put me in the pool when the water is stirred up,
 and while I am coming [to get into it myself],
 someone else steps down ahead of me.'
 Jesus said to him, 'Get up; pick up your pallet and walk.'"
 John 5:5-8 AMP

He cares about those who are despised and ostracized by society. He spent time with and refreshed with living waters a woman who was despised by Jews because she was a Samaritan and ostracized by others because of how she lived.

"The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse
  to have anything to do with Samaritans.
  She said to Jesus, 'You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman.
  Why are You asking me for a drink?'
  Jesus replied, 'If you only knew the gift God has for you
  and who you are speaking to, you would ask Me,
  and I would give you living water.'"
  John 4:9-10 NLT

He weeps with those who hurt over the loss of a loved one.

"When Jesus saw her weeping,
  and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping,
  He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.
  'Where have you laid him?' He asked.
  'Come and see, Lord,' they replied.
  Jesus wept."
  John 11:33-35

He treats all people with love. He doesn’t distinguish between differences.

"There is neither Jew nor Gentile,
 neither slave nor free,
 nor is there male and female,
 for you are all one in Christ Jesus."
 Galatians 3:28 NIV

He even loves and longs to gather those who reject Him.

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills
  the prophets and stones God’s messengers!
  How often I have wanted to gather your children together
  as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings,
  but you wouldn’t let me."
  Luke 13:34 NLT

There are umpteen more examples for us in the Bible of how Jesus showed love in His life. But the greatest act of love He gifted us with is the giving up of His own life. He took upon Himself the heavy load of all our sins and suffered and died in our place. Incomprehensible!

"No one has greater love [nor stronger commitment]
 than to lay down his own life for his friends."
 John 15:13 AMP

"For God so [greatly] loved
 and dearly prized the world,
 that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son,
 so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior]
 shall not perish, but have eternal life."
 John 3:16 AMP

Be-Held-by-Holley-Gerth

“No Greater Love”
by Matt Maher

cutecolorsanibear14Signature

The Stigma of Mental Illness

notalone

Why is there often a stigma or shame attached to mental illness, whether caused by nature or lack of nurture? Even Christians sometimes add to a person’s pain, whether by silence and a lack of support or by critical remarks: “Where is your faith?” “Why don’t you just get over it and move on?” “Stop focusing on the bad stuff, and start counting your blessings.” Both silence and criticism can twist a knife in a hurting person’s heart.

Recently Rick and Kay Warren shared intimate details about their son on CNN in an interview with Piers Morgan. Their son, who struggled with personality disorder, committed suicide. They are now on a campaign against the stigma of mental illness.

In his first sermon after his son committed suicide Rick Warren said, “It’s amazing to me that any other organ in your body can break down and there’s no shame and stigma to it,” Warren told the congregation. “But if your brain breaks down, you’re supposed to keep it a secret…. If your brain doesn’t work right, why should you be ashamed of that?”

Why the shame? Why can’t we talk more openly about it without fear of criticism or lack of support if we admit we have depression or some other mental heartache? Our mental faculties were wondrously created just as well as our other organs, and they are equally important to God. And if we as Christians follow Jesus’ example, we will never shrink from or shame an emotionally or mentally ill person. God calls us to love, not to judge.

butterfly

9 Things Not to Say to Someone with Mental Illness

Time to Change: Let’s End Mental Health Discrimination – Tips for Talking

NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness

Mental Illness and the Church: New Research on Mental Health from Lifeway Research

Christians Can’t Ignore the Uncomfortable Reality of Mental Illness

Mental Illness Awareness Week: October 6-12, 2013