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Tag: love of Jesus

A Very Precious Gift

(THE KIMBERLY JOY SHOW: A Very Precious Gift)

WE GIVE OUR LIVES FOR A VERY PRECIOUS GIFT

To give is to FREELY hand something over to someone. In other words, we don’t give because we feel pressured to give. We give because we want to give. Moreover, God wants us to freely and willingly give our lives to Him. Romans 12:1 (King James Version) says:

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

WHY DOES GOD REQUIRE THAT WE GIVE HIM OUR LIVES?
According to Romans 5:12, when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, it opened the door for sin to run rampant. Therefore, every single human being is born into sin. In fact, David said in Psalms 51:5 (New Living Translation):

“For I was born a sinner—
yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.”

What is sin? Sin is rebellion against God. So, we’re all born with a nature to disobey God. Nevertheless, we don’t have to stay that way. We don’t have to remain in sin. We don’t have to die in our sins and suffer for eternity in hell. Instead, we can be forgiven and set free, IF we are willing to give our lives to God. I say “willing” because God doesn’t force us to live for Him.

God proves His love for us. He extends the invitation to receive His love. He even sends us warnings, if we need them. However, He never makes us do something we’re not willing to do. As a matter of fact, Adam and Eve fell because God didn’t create them to be robots. He didn’t use a remote to control their every move.

“Go here! Go there! Now sit down! Now stand up!” Instead, God gave them a free will, which meant they had a choice to obey Him or not. Even though God gave them love, riches, dominion over the earth, and eternal life, unfortunately, they willingly decided to listen to someone else and go against God’s expectations.

I recently heard someone describe God as a gentleman. That He is! A gentleman is polite, courteous, honorable, and respectful. Therefore, wouldn’t you want to give your life to such a GENTLE-man? Wouldn’t you want to give your life to the One who created you and gives you life every day? Yes, every day! You woke up this morning because of GOD! Acts 17:28 (KJV) says:

“…..In [God] we live, and move, and have our being.”

Wouldn’t you want to give your life to the One who loves you more than anyone ever could? God loves us all so very much, that He gave us a very precious gift–His Son Jesus. John 3:16 is one of the first Bible verses I believe many Christians learn. It was one of the first ones I learned! Why? That particular verse contains the message every believer should share and every person should know. GOD LOVES THE WORLD! He loves every human being! Because of His love for us, He gave His one and only Son Jesus as a living sacrifice to die in our place in order for us to gain the eternal life which was originally granted to the first man and woman. Now, isn’t that amazing?! Although their disobedience corrupted mankind, God had another plan!

HOW DID JESUS GIVE?
God’s plan for us wouldn’t have been fulfilled if Jesus hadn’t freely and willingly given His life.

In addition to giving His life when He was crucified on the cross, Jesus gave His life in many ways leading up to the cross. Philippians 2:6-7 (NLT) say:

“6 Though He was God,
He did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
7 Instead, He gave up His divine privileges;
He took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.”

Jesus did that for us! He gave up His nice, comfortable position in Heaven in order to live like a mere human being! Although He was conceived by the Holy Ghost and born of a virgin, He still grew and lived as a man here on earth. While He lived as a man, Jesus gave so much of Himself. The four gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are filled with examples of Jesus’ love.

Jesus gave His time to those who wanted to sit and listen to His teachings, like Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha (Luke 10). When she sat at Jesus’s feet, He didn’t ignore her or turn her away. Rather, He taught her.

Jesus gave food to over 5,000 people who were hungry (Matthew 14).

Jesus gave wine to guests at a wedding party (John 2).

Jesus gave love and attention to a group of children (Matthew 19).

Jesus gave compassion and forgiveness to people like the Samaritan woman who had had several husbands (John 4) and like the woman who was openly humiliated for committing adultery (John 8).

Jesus gave healing to many who were blind, deaf, crippled, paralyzed, and sick.

To some who were dead, Jesus gave them a second chance at life.

Jesus gave deliverance to those who were being tormented by evil spirits.

Most importantly, JESUS GAVE HIS LIFE! As the book of Isaiah states, like a lamb, Jesus sacrificed His life on the cross. Gospel artist Kirk Franklin and The Family used to sing:

“Now behold the Lamb
The precious Lamb of God
Born into sin that I may live again
The precious Lamb of God.”

Because Jesus gave His life on our behalf, we should be motivated to give our lives to Him. I’m not just referring to the moment we accept Him into our hearts. That’s only the beginning! But every day, we should give our lives. So I encourage you, starting right now, daily live your life as a gift to the Lord. He’s worthy of it!

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

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When You Look At Me, What Do YOU See?

WHEN YOU LOOK AT ME, WHAT DO YOU SEE?
The following excerpt is a spoken word I wrote and presented a couple of years ago at a women’s conference. As you read it, you may recognize the story.

“When you look at me, what do you see?
Do you see a scared little orphan girl who has just lost both Mommy and Daddy?

Tossed from this relative…..to this relative…..to this relative…..to this relative…..to this relative…..
She’s looking for that love that awaited her every morning with a smile on her face,
That love that held her tightly in his arms when she awoke from a bad dream,
That nurturing love that taught her how to knead dough in the kitchen,
That strong love that gave her a lesson on how to fish.

When you look at me, what do you see?
Do you see a young lady who is now in search of the love she lost so long ago when it was buried in the grave?
With a fragile heart, she’s now willing to do anything for anyone in hopes of feeling that someone cares.
Craving warmth and affection, she yields herself to the abuse and misuse of men.

Sad and lonely, she jumps from this marriage…..to this marriage…..to this marriage…..to this marriage…..to this marriage,
Finally settling for a man who doesn’t find her worthy of a ring.

When you look at me, what do you see?
Do you see a woman who is tired and ashamed?
Her mistakes replay in her mind over…..and over…..and over…..and over…..and over again,
Mistakes made all in the name of love.

On a warm afternoon, she approaches Jacob’s well where she finds a strange man sitting nearby.
She’s amazed when he parts His lips to speak, let alone ask her for a drink.
After all, she’s a Samaritan; he’s a Jew.
She’s nothing!
Or at least that’s what she’s believed ever since that nurturing, strong love she once knew was buried deep in the ground.

When you look at me, what do you see?
Do you see a woman who, in spite of life’s hardships, still has a gleam of hope?

A hope that is ignited when the man at the well offers her the love she’s been searching, for so long,
A love that won’t abuse her, misuse her and then throw her away,
A love that endures forever…..and ever…..and ever…..and ever…..and evermore,
A love that, once received, must be shared with everyone she meets,
A love that draws others to the well where they also receive salvation and healing.

So, again I ask the question…..when you look at me, what do YOU see?”

The spoken word “When You Look At Me, What Do You See?” was inspired by a well-known story in the Bible.

Recognize it?

It’s the story of the Samaritan woman Jesus met one day at a well in Samaria. This story can be found in John 4.

WHAT IS YOUR STORY?
Like the woman at the well, we each have a story. Granted, I don’t know her full story, because we’re only offered a glimpse into her life. However, God gave me an imagination, and I can imagine what life might’ve been like for her. I can picture what might’ve happened to cause her to make certain decisions. There’s a story behind her decisions.

Gospel singer Vashawn Mitchell wrote a song that says, “You don’t know my story, all the things that I’ve been through. You can’t feel my pain, what I had to go through to get here.” Like Mitchell states in the song, we each have endured hardships. Perhaps those hardships include abuse, molestation, poverty, prejudice, illness or death. As a result, we may be angry, confused, and even depressed.

What is the root cause of such pain?

SIN!

Sin is defined as “rebellion against God; wickedness, evil”. According to Genesis 3, sin first entered the world when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. This truth is reiterated in Romans 5:12 which says:

“Consider this: sin entered our world through one man Adam; and through sin, death followed in hot pursuit. Death spread rapidly to infect all people on the earth as they engaged in sin.”

Nevertheless, Romans 5:19 assures us that:

“Just as through one man’s disobedience every one of us were made sinners, so through the obedience of the one man [Jesus], many of us will be made right.”

WHAT DO YOU NEED FROM JESUS?
When Jesus met this woman at the well, I don’t believe it was by accident. As He and His disciples were traveling, they could’ve stopped anywhere at any time to rest. However, Jesus knew He needed to be at this particular well at this particular time on this particular day to meet this particular woman.

Why?

She NEEDED Him!

She was in need of salvation and healing—–not necessarily physical healing, but mental, emotional, and spiritual healing.

When Jesus initially spoke to the woman, she was surprised. Jews didn’t normally affiliate with Samaritans.

Why not?

At this time in history, the Jews viewed the Samaritan people as inferior. For one, the Samaritans had a history of worshipping idols. Plus, they were labeled half-breeds because they were the products of intermarriages with foreigners. The act of marrying and having children with foreigners was greatly frowned upon. So, given their history, it’s no wonder she questioned why Jesus was speaking to her.

During their encounter, Jesus inquired about the woman’s husband, which brought to light all of her baggage. This woman had been married FIVE times, and the man she was currently with wasn’t even her husband.

Did Jesus have to ask about her relationship status in order to save her and set her free?

Yes, He did! After all, that was a serious problem for her! She needed to be healed from whatever issues she was carrying that had prompted her to have multiple marriages. Being married several times was proof that a man was not going to give this Samaritan woman what she was TRULY looking for.

According to the Bible, having a husband is a good thing. However, as women, we can’t expect men to do for us what only JESUS can do. God didn’t equip any man to do so. It doesn’t matter how nice, intelligent, strong and even rich he may be. This was a truth the Samaritan woman came to realize that day. Jesus said to the woman, “Receive Me and I will set you free, and you will no longer need to look for love in all the wrong places.” Essentially, only JESUS can provide true fulfillment (love, peace, joy, healing, etc.). Man is flawed, but Jesus is not!

Moreover, in John 4:24 Jesus said to her:

“God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”

In order to worship God the Father sincerely, we must have a relationship with Him, which comes by accepting His Son Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Personally speaking, I can worship God from my spirit because I’m connected to Him. I can hear God’s voice, sense His presence, and know what steps I should take because I’m connected to Him. I have confidence and a more positive self-image because I’m connected to Him. No man can wreak havoc in my life because I’m connected to GOD.

Just like the Samaritan woman, no matter what you’ve done in your past and regardless of your background, where you come from, your family’s reputation or your own reputation, Jesus LOVES you, and He’s here for you! All you have to do is believe and surrender to Him. When you do, like the woman at the well, He will change you and make your life BRAND NEW!

Part I – “When You Look At Me, What Do You See?”

Part II – “When You Look At Me, What Do You See?”

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Easter: A Joyous Occasion

A JOYOUS OCCASION
Our family has always viewed Easter as a joyous occasion. Each year, for as long as I can remember, I would get a brand new dress, shoes and purse. My brother BJ would get a brand new suit, tie and shoes. My mom, who has always been a very classy and well-dressed woman, would get a brand new outfit, as well.

The church I grew up in was Mt. Olive Holy Temple in Lincoln Heights, a suburb of Cincinnati. Most of us members were related to each other. In fact, my great uncle was the pastor, the late Bishop Timothy Smith. We had such a good time praising God in that little church. Every Easter, we would put on a special program. Each child in the Sunshine Band would recite his or her Easter speech and the adult choir would sing and maybe perform a skit. Even my dad, who was not a regular church goer, would write a skit for my brother and me to perform. The BEST part, however, was when each child received an Easter basket. Those are some fond memories I will always cherish.

Although my brother and I enjoyed dressing up and getting our Easter baskets, our mother made sure we knew WHY we were celebrating Easter—–because of JESUS—–our Lord, our Savior, our Redeemer.

I Corinthians 15:3-4 say:

“3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures…”

THE DAY I ACCEPTED JESUS INTO MY HEART
I get emotional whenever I think about the day I accepted Jesus into my heart. I was young, only in the second grade.

I was going to Landmark Christian School (which is now closed) in Glendale, Ohio. Even though I had been in church from the time I was born and had even been baptized, I hadn’t accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

I remember the day I got saved, as if it were yesterday. Some older students from another school came to Landmark to perform a play for us. I don’t know if they were high school or college students. I just knew that they were much older.

The play they presented took place on an airplane. Some of the passengers were Christians and some were not. During the flight, those who were Christians witnessed to those who weren’t. Some believed and received Jesus, while the others rejected Him. I especially remember in the play a little girl and her mother. After they both heard about Jesus, the girl accepted Him into her heart, but the mother refused.

Later in the play, the airplane started having problems. I don’t remember if there were mechanical problems or if there was a storm. I just knew at the time that the situation didn’t look good. Everyone on the plane started panicking, and eventually, the plane crashed, killing everyone. At the end of the play, those same passengers were either sent to Heaven or Hell. The little girl in the play went to Heaven, and her mother went to Hell.

Once the play was over, there was an altar call for any of us who wanted to give our lives to Jesus. Immediately, kids began going up to the altar. Some were even crying. I didn’t move right away, not because I didn’t want to, but because, at that age, I had a tendency to be shy. However, I could feel Jesus pulling on my heart. So, I eventually made my way to the altar, knelt down and just cried. Then my second grade teacher Mrs. Pope knelt down beside me, put her arm around me and prayed with me.

It was such a beautiful moment that I will NEVER forget! I knew then that Mrs. Pope loved me because she was crying right along with me. Like Mrs. Pope, that’s the kind of heart we, as christians, should have. We should want to see everyone saved.

Some who may hear that story may accuse the school of trying to scare us into salvation. However, that wasn’t my experience. I don’t believe they were trying to scare us to death! Rather, they wanted us to understand why we need Jesus.

As James 4:14 tells us, tomorrow is not promised to anyone. Every day, people from all walks of life are dying. Fortunately, we, who know Jesus and are saved, don’t have to fear death. We are promised eternal life.

One of the first verses I learned as a child was John 3:16:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

THE LOVE OF JESUS
When I saw the play, I didn’t just learn that a person will either go to Heaven or Hell when he or she dies, but I learned about the love of Jesus. In fact, it was His love that pulled me to the altar. I felt His love as I knelt down to pray. I felt His love through Mrs. Pope as she prayed with me. I felt His love when I got home that afternoon and told Mom my good news. I have felt His love throughout my life, even during the difficult moments. Moreover, I feel His love now.

I enjoy reading the stories about Jesus in the Bible because of the LOVE He constantly demonstrated—–His love for God the Father and His love for people. When we read about Jesus, we see that everything He did was out of love. It reminds me of the woman who was caught in the very act of adultery in John 8:1-11.

Early one morning Jesus was in the Temple teaching when the scribes and Pharisees brought in a woman who had been caught committing adultery.

These religious leaders questioned if Jesus was going to follow the law of Moses by stoning her to death (Leviticus 20:10).
Needless to say, they weren’t concerned about keeping the law of Moses. They were attempting to trick Jesus into saying something they could use against Him.

So, how did Jesus respond? At first, He ignored them. Then He announced that anyone who had not sinned could throw the first stone. Instead of throwing stones, each of those religious leaders left one by one. When Jesus asked the woman if anyone had condemned her, she said no. Jesus then said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

THAT is who Jesus is! He’s LOVE. Yes, the woman had sinned. Nevertheless, Jesus gave her another chance. Jesus gave ME another chance. In fact, He has given me more chances than I can count. And He’s ready to give YOU a chance.

YOU CAN ACCEPT JESUS NOW
If you have not accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. Romans 10:9 says:

“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

All you have to do is pray this prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe that You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so that I could be FREE! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!!!!!

I now welcome you to the family of God!

(“The Kimberly Joy Show: Jesus Is Love”)

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