Steve to Earth - Encouraging you the way I like to be encouraged.



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Posts Tagged ‘love’

May you celebrate your marriage every day

Originally written for the first wedding anniversary of one of my friends, I’m sharing this blessing on Steve to Earth today in honor of my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary, which they celebrated on Friday, September 1, and our family celebrated all weekend.

Mother and Dad, I am so proud of you, and I love you very much! I consider it a privilege to bless this wonderful milestone in the lives of the two people who are responsible for me being here … the two people who loved me enough to introduce me to Jesus … the two people who continue to love me deeply and unconditionally even on the days when I don’t look very much like Him.

May your celebration be attended and blessed by the Groom … the Savior … the Supreme Example of Love. May your relationship be honored by the bride … the church … the spiritual body of Christ.

May your hearts be filled with hope for the future. May your souls overflow with renewed faith and abundant forgiveness. May your spirits be refreshed with joyful and happy song.

May all your fatigue … all your frustrations … and all your failures give way to the blessings of the Comforter … your Friend … the Holy Spirit, and may each fruit that He produces grow firm and tender and sweet in your fertile hearts.

May you find peace in His indwelling presence. May He be a Pleasant Inhabitant … a Tenant bearing generous gifts … a Perfect Communicator of our Father’s precious will … a Flawless Glorifier of our Lord Jesus Christ … a Gentle Companion who fills every corner of your souls … and leaves no vacancy for any other spirit.

With great joy, may our Father bless each beautiful day you spend together … until His Spirit and yours are joined for eternity … in the highest and holiest of marriages.

May you celebrate your marriage a little every day, and may your daily celebrations inspire and give hope to a weary world.

This is my prayer for you … because of His great love for us.


You invented perfect forgiveness

Teacher and Great Forgiver –

I thank You … I praise You … I stand in awe of You.

You forgive perfectly. You thought of it. You created it. You invented perfect forgiveness. Only You can teach it correctly.

Instruct me, Wonderful Counselor, how to forgive and how to repent. Show me through Your Word … Your perfect Word. I want to forgive freely and generously.

Keep me from bitterness and grudges. Remind me that vengeance … all vengeance … belongs to You and You alone. Help me to hate … truly hate … all forms of sin … in my own life … and in the lives of others, but at the same time, please help me to love … deeply love … those who sin.

Grant me wisdom to see souls as You see them, and grace to treat them as You treat me … blessing those who are hostile to You, and having great compassion on those whose hearts are tender … moldable … and receptive to You and Your forgiving heart.

May the forgiveness that flows from me be all for … and only for … the glory of Your holy name.

I offer these requests through my Master and King, Jesus. Amen.


I prayed for you today

I prayed for you today. I didn’t just think kind thoughts about you or flippantly release empty words into the air.

I spoke with the Living God … the very God that I struggle with in relationship daily … the Father Who nurtures my spirit … even when I resist and run away … the Creator of mornings … and mighty men … and memories … the Composer of the joyful songs of the earth … and the harmonies of the angels … the Author of the greatest story ever told … Who adds to its pages daily … the Brave and Gentle Hero Who would rather die for us than leave us alone in our sin.

I spoke to Him.

I asked that He give you strength and grace to be Jesus to the world … a beacon of hope to those who cannot find their way. I asked that He calm you and fill you with His Holy Spirit. I asked that He give you confidence … and humility. I asked that He teach you from His vast supply of wisdom so that you may speak His truth.

I asked Him to love you the way He has loved me … a love unearned … undeserved … a love that covers a multitude of sins … a love that only a Living God can give.

I believe He listened.

May you feel His Spirit nurturing your spirit … and when you enter the world today … may you find Him there waiting for you … anticipating your arrival … already answering a faith-filled, fervent prayer … prayed especially for you.


May your love for Him multiply

As Christ increases in you, may your love for Him and those He has created multiply greatly. May that love overflow as a blessing to everyone you meet, and may it return to you swiftly and in abundance.

May many faithful, trustworthy friends walk the red carpet to your heart’s door, and may you find in them the rich gifts of compassionate spirits … encouraging conversation … and fervent prayers. May you see in them true reflections of the ever-creating, ever-increasing Christ.


You love me

Father of love –

I get it. I finally get it. Just like an earthly father loves his children, You love me … only much more than any human father could ever love.

I’m not just another person to You. I am special in Your eyes. I am a joy to Your heart. You love me deeply because I came from You.

Even in my mistakes and my failures and my sin … You love me!

I am amazed at Your continual … unconditional … steadfast love. Your love continues forever. Nothing can separate me from Your love. There is no distance too far for You to come after me when I am lost.

You love me. You hear my cry. You run to me. You draw near to me when I draw near to You. I am drawing near to You, Lord.

Kum ba yah! Come by here!

Many times I have withdrawn and resisted You. You have never done that to me. Thank You!

Please make me new. Make me like You. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.


May Christ’s mission and your mission be the same

May you recognize your unique mission in this life. May it be clearly visible … fully understood … easy to grasp. May you pursue that mission with all your talents … all your energy … and all your resources.

May wisdom be your friend … a constant companion. May time be your servant … and you its master.

May your well be replenished … your battery recharged. May your cup overflow.

May you give to others as Jesus gives to you. May you extend grace and compassion to those He brings your way with the same generous portions that you receive from Him. May you love as He loves.

May all of your decisions join together in perfect harmony to create a Christ-honoring life that ends in a confident … successful … triumphant … “It is finished!”

May Christ’s mission and your mission be the same. May He accomplish His mission in you and through you as you share His soul-saving story with the world.


May Jesus be the end of your winter

May spring bloom vibrantly in your heart. May hope light your world with her warmest, clearest light. May the seeds of temptation, frustration and weariness find the soil of your heart too rich … too healthy … too full of life to support their greedy roots and toxic fruits.

May Jesus be the end of your winter … your first daffodil of spring … your daily resurrection. May He roll away every stone that would hide you in darkness … and entomb you in fear. May His pure, unselfish love dawn in your heart … dispelling the shadows from your soul and filling you with unquenchable life. May His love become your love. May His life become your life.

May your conduct and your conversation … in every encounter … and every exchange … today … and every day … resurrect hope in those our Father brings your way … a hope that surpasses the beauty of even the most resplendent spring garden.



Imagine the moment your mission here is complete … the instant that your journey through eternity begins … your hope becomes reality … your faith becomes sight. Imagine no high wall and no pearly gates.

Imagine no holy mountain and no holy city. Imagine no throne and no river of living water. Imagine no tree of life and no crystal sea. Imagine no angels … no cherubim … no elders. Imagine no heroes of the faith. Imagine no open books and no streets of gold.

Imagine no robe and no crown. Imagine that Heaven is just you and Jesus … and He looks just like the person you dislike most in this life. Imagine you and Him forever. Imagine not wanting it any other way.

May you love Jesus just that much.


What If?

On extremely rare occasions I have spoken to a Sunday morning audience. On July 25, 2004, in my lesson “Maybe He Loves You,” a series of “What if?” statements seemed to resonate strongly with several of those in attendance. If you’ve ever felt like God merely tolerates you instead of loving you deeply, keep reading.

Excerpt from “Maybe He Loves You” »

I recently received a phone call from my cousin, Reneé. As we talked, I told her that despite my continual failures to master sin in my life, our Father just keeps nurturing … encouraging … and forgiving me. I said, “I don’t know why, but for some reason He just keeps putting up with me.” Her response was wise … gentle … and powerful. She simply said, “Or maybe He loves you.”

“Maybe He loves you.”

After our conversation, I cried. I realized that I was seeing our Father as a traveling companion who merely tolerates me. My mistake was especially crucial because I believe with my whole heart that we treat other people the way we feel treated by our God.

I’ve done a lot of thinking since that conversation, and there are some things I can’t help but wonder.

What if He doesn’t say, “Can he not do anything right? She has been nothing but trouble from day one!”

What if instead He says, “I am so proud of him. He always comes back to Me no matter how far he wanders away. Those trips out in the dark in the storms are long and hard, but I’d rather die trying to save him than leave him out there alone. I am so proud of her. No matter how bad her sin is, she never stops coming to Me for forgiveness and love.”

What if He doesn’t say, “How did this one get past Quality Control?!”?

What if instead He really says, “Wow! I remember the day I first thought of creating him … the day I first thought of creating her. That was a good day! That was a very good day!”?

What if He doesn’t say, “Well, if she doesn’t mess up today, I might write her name back in the Book of Life.”?

What if instead He says, “She sinned yesterday? Hmmmm … I had forgotten. I just remember her telling Me how important I am to her.”?

What if He doesn’t say, “When he gets baptized, then I’ll love him.”?

What if instead He says, “I’m giving him the very best of my love so that one day he will believe in Me and want to be with Me as much as I want to be with him. My kindness is perfectly designed to bring him to repentance.”?

What if going out after lost sheep where we live makes His day?

What if He anticipates sunrise in our neighborhoods?

What if He delights in cleaning us up … healing our wounds … wiping away our tears … the way a parent delights in comforting a dirty … injured … frightened child?

What if He doesn’t view our sin as an inconvenience, but rather as an opportunity for the world to see Him at His very best?

What if His power really is perfected when we are weak?

John tells a story in the first eleven verses of Chapter 8, and it’s not a story about a God who simply tolerates people who are victims of Satan’s lies. It’s a story about a God who loves the unlovable. We have been called to live like Him … to love those who have suffered through mere tolerance their whole lives … to extend grace to those who do not deserve grace.

I know that is difficult. Trying to live like Jesus is the hardest and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. I am currently re-learning who Christ is and what it means to live in relationship with Him. I am just now learning to accept Him exactly as He is … to accept myself exactly the way He made me … to accept His love that I feel so unworthy of … and to share that love with the people in my world. I’m learning to tolerate less and love more. What a great way to live!



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