My Heart Belongs to You!
When I say I love you, just you, I am talking to each of you—you who have been with Me from the beginning, My children, young and old. I’m talking to those who feel far away and distant from My love. I am talking to you who feel that you’ve failed and there is no forgiveness to be found, or who feel like, “What’s the use? There is no hope!”
I love you, just you, just the way you are. My love is reaching out to you right now. My love, My forgiveness and My mercy are all right there, just for you, if you will just receive them. I love you! I need you! I long to hold you close to My heart of love. I long to feel you in My arms. I long to woo you and feel you and whisper in your ear.
If you feel weak and tired and battle-worn and weary, this message is for you. If you feel you are fainting in your mind, fainting in heart and soul, this message, My precious one, is for you. If you think your zeal has left you, and you feel like you are all washed up, I love you, and I need you now more than ever!
If you are standing on the threshold of new horizons, feeling overwhelmed at the challenges ahead, afraid of the future; if you feel you don’t have it in you to meet the need that lies before you, I want you to know I love you. I will see you through.
I love you just the way you are—as if you were the only one. I love you, each of you, young and old. I am not stacking up all your faults and failures, all your mistakes and blunders to hold against you. My eyes are blind to all of these. I have X-ray eyes that enable Me to only see the good and the possibilities that others do not see. I only see straight through to your heart of hearts. I only see your precious, priceless, tender heart—and I love you.
I see your every tear. I hear your every cry. I feel your every frustration, your every worry, your every burden, your every desire. I know everything about you—all your wants, all your lacks. I see your very heart and all that is in it, and I deeply love you.
I long to hold you close, here on My gentle breast. I long for the day when our two hearts will beat as one, for I love you, just you. My precious child who feels far away, I long for you to know that I am right there by your side. I have never left you, and I will never, ever forsake you.
I love you, just you, and here I patiently wait—for you! Won’t you please come running into My arms, where we can live and love and revel in this love forever, eternally, immortally, without end? I love you, I need you, and I want you! I’m yours. — Jesus
How to Handle Resentment
Is there someone in your life who’s unjustly hurting you, even wronging you, and there’s not any real cause for it? Does it seem that at times it’s impossible to overcome, because your personalities seem to clash and it just grates on you and irritates you? If so, what are you going to do about it?
Some time ago I was compelled to live with someone like that; they were working in our home at that time. It was someone who was so crude and so rude, with such a temper that they would flare up at the least little thing. It was a constant trial, and such a bitter trial! A number of times I just wanted to tell them what I thought about them!
But at last I began to draw close to the Lord in the matter, and to throw the whole burden upon Him. I reasoned that, if Christ lives in me, then He could overcome such a spirit and help me not to want to talk back.—I wouldn’t get so hurt over this situation! Well, at last I came utterly to the end of myself and threw myself on the Lord. I said, “Lord, it just isn’t in me to get a complete victory and to love this one as I should. The old nature rises up, but Your nature and Your love and Your Spirit can overcome.” I committed the whole thing into His hands so definitely, so utterly, and later there was the greatest change in that person!
Then one night I was thanking the Lord for changing them, because it was such a wonderful answer to prayer. It was really a miracle! I was thanking the Lord, and the Holy Spirit whispered to my heart—and I thought it was just a little bit of humor on the part of the Lord. He said, “Well, I not only changed them, but I changed you a little bit too!” That’s exactly what will happen in your life when you commit such things to Him.
So what are you going to do about these situations, according to God’s Word? Well, here are some Scriptures. God’s Word says, “Recompense to no man evil for evil” (Romans 12:17). And, speaking of Jesus, “When He was reviled, [He] reviled not again” (1 Peter 2:23).
“See that none render evil for evil unto any man” (1 Thessalonians 5:15), and “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). Those are precious admonitions from God’s Word!
Overcome evil with good? How?—By showing the person that you love them. Do them some special favor. Take the initiative and go out of your way to tell them something you like about them! Maybe this person’s heart is hungering for love, or maybe that woman is wanting someone to talk to her and love her. There’s surely some trait that you can admire.
— From “Meditation Moments,” a Gospel radio broadcast by Virginia Brandt Berg (mother of David Brandt Berg)
I suppose there are times when all of us come up against difficult people who are somewhat of a trial to us. When this happens, instead of allowing them to make us impatient and irritated, we might well remember the words of the great preacher, C.H. Spurgeon, who said, “They must have been sent into the world, not that I might save their souls, but that they might discipline mine!”
An Extract of Wisdom
Recently, when my dentist extracted one of my wisdom teeth, he told me this interesting fact: “When a tooth is removed soon after it becomes troublesome, the bone it’s lodged in lets go of the tooth easily. But when you allow time to pass, the bone becomes less forgiving. Good bone and bad tooth become intertwined.”
“Less forgiving … ” my dentist said. These words made me see that my soul is much like that bone. When someone does me a wrong, I feel resentment. It’s natural. But as resentment takes root, it takes over, and my soul loses the strength to forgive.
Nowadays, when I’m done a wrong, I’m quick to uproot it, before my good soul becomes too intertwined with bad feelings.
Holding on to hurt is like grabbing a rattle snake by the tail: You are going to be bitten. As the poison of bitterness works its way through the many facets of your personality, death will occur—death that is more far-reaching than your physical death, for it has the potential to destroy those around you as well.
— Charles Stanley
The Bible says, “Thou shalt not bear any grudge” (Leviticus 19:17-18).
When I forgive, I am not to carry any bullets forward on the journey. I am to empty out all my explosives, all my ammunition of anger and revenge. I am not to “bear any grudge.”
I cannot meet this demand. It is altogether beyond me. I might utter words of forgiveness, but I cannot reveal a clear, bright, blue sky without a touch of storm brewing anywhere.
But the Lord of grace can do it for me. He can change my weather. He can create a new climate. He can “renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10), and in that new atmosphere nothing shall live which seeks to poison and destroy. Grudges shall die and revenge shall give place to goodwill, the strong genial presence which makes its home in the new heart.
—J. H. Jowett
Let It Go
Carrying a grudge is a loser’s game. It is the ultimate frustration, because it leaves you with more pain than you had in the first place. Recall the pain of being wronged, the hurt of being stung, cheated, demeaned. Doesn’t the memory of it fuel the fire of fury again? Do you feel that hurt each time your memory lights on the people who did you wrong?
Your own memory becomes a videotape within your soul that plays unending reruns of your old rendezvous with pain. Is this fair to yourself—this wretched justice of not forgiving?
The only way to heal the pain that will not heal itself is to forgive the person who hurt you. Forgiving heals your memory as you change your memory’s vision. When you release the wrongdoer from the wrong, you cut a malignant tumor out of your inner life. You set a prisoner free—yourself.
—Lewis B. Smedes
How do you conquer your enemy? — By making him your friend.
When a Hindu woman became a follower of Christ, her husband and other relatives tried to make her life miserable. One day a missionary asked her, “When your husband is angry and persecutes you, what do you do?”
She replied, “I just cook the food better and sweep the floor a little cleaner. When he speaks unkindly, I answer him mildly, trying to show him in every way that when I became a Christian I also became a better wife.”
That husband resisted all the sermons of the missionary, but he could not withstand the practical preaching of his wife. The Holy Spirit used that woman’s gracious testimony and eventually the man received Jesus.
When we are wronged, we can either harbor resentment, or look for ways to show God’s love to our antagonist.
— Henry G. Bosch
When the concentration camp at Ravensbrûck was liberated by the Allies after World War II, a piece of torn wrapping paper was found, on which an unknown prisoner had scribbled these lines:
“Oh Lord, remember not only the men and women of good will, but also those of ill will. But do not remember all the suffering they have inflicted on us; remember the fruits we have brought forth, thanks to this suffering — our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, our courage, our generosity, the greatness of heart which has grown out of all this. And when they come to judgment, let all the fruits which we have borne be their forgiveness.”
Love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8), and will give you the grace and power to just let things pass, to forgive others as you know that you yourself need to be forgiven.
If you’ll just forget yourself and think more about others, and really try to help and pray for and love them, you’ll find that will solve almost all of your problems! If you get your mind off yourself and on others you’ll find that this is what will bring you true joy and happiness. That’s the formula for finding joy: Put Jesus first, then others, and then you!—J-O-Y!
First of all, get your mind on Jesus, and then He’ll help you get it on to your neighbor, and help you love him as yourself.
—David Brandt Berg.
Be not disturbed at not being understood; be disturbed rather at not being understanding. &&&— Ancient Chinese proverb
The faults of others are like headlights on an approaching automobile: They only seem more glaring than our own.
Forgiven sinners know love and show love.
Four Magic Words
A nurse ushered me into my grandma’s room. Lying in the hospital bed, she looked so small. Her eyes were closed. I sat down quietly.
I was on my way to seminary and full of self-doubt. I had just given up a full scholarship to medical school, and everyone thought I was making a mistake. I desperately wanted Grandma’s advice, but the nurse had warned me that she didn’t have much strength left. After half an hour, Grandma hadn’t stirred, so I just started talking. Suddenly she woke up, asking, “Danny, is that you?”
She told me how her faith had guided her all her life. After a few minutes, a great peace settled around us. I kissed Grandma and turned to leave, but then I heard her whisper some parting words. I leaned over to listen. “I believe in you,” she said.
Grandma died that night, but in more than 20 years of work as a Christian psychologist, I have passed on her words many times. Four simple words can make a lifetime of difference.
I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among the men [in my company] the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best in a man is by appreciation and encouragement.
There is nothing else that so kills the ambitions of a man as criticisms from his superiors. I never criticize anyone. I believe in giving a man incentive to work. So I am anxious to praise, but loathe to find fault. If I like anything, I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise.
–Charles Schwab (American Industrialist, 1862-1939)
The applause of a single human being is of great consequence.–Samuel Johnson (English writer, 1709-1784)
The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.–William James ( American philosopher, 1842-1920)
The Art of Praise
There is a very basic courtesy that should apply in all human relations–taking the time to thank people who help us. My friend Mike Somdal is a specialist at this. One reason he is so successful in business is that he has mastered the fine art of making people feel good by thanking them regularly. Often he will call customers simply to thank them again for the order they placed last week or for the recommendation they made to another customer, or for the lunch. Anything. And before the conversation is over, Mike has often secured another order. Of course, if he called simply with ulterior motives, his clients would recognize the manipulation and resist. But Mike has made gratitude a lifelong habit, and those of us who do business with him appreciate that quality. And we respond.
The art of praise–what is known as positive reinforcement in the current psychological jargon–is an essential art for an executive or teacher [or anyone dealing with people] to master. If there is a complaint employees most often express, it is this: “I never get any feedback from the boss–except when something goes wrong.” And the teenagers who sit in my office tell me again and again, “My dad gets all over my case when I mess up at school, but when I bring home a good grade he acts as if it’s nothing–that I’m finally doing what I should have been doing all along.” Stop and think. How long has it been since you took a full 60 seconds to talk to your son or daughter about some fine thing they’ve just done? Or your secretary, or the managers who work under you?
When someone comes along who genuinely thanks us, we will follow that person a very long way.–Alan Loy McGinnis
Giving by Praising
Each time we meet, from you I hear
Some word of praise, a bit of cheer.
You see some hidden, struggling trait;
Encourage it and make it great.
Tight-fisted little buds of good
Bloom large because you said they would.
A glad, mad music in me sings;
My soul sprouts tiny flaming wings.
My day takes on a brand-new zest.
Your gift of praising brings my best,
Revives my spirit, flings it high;
For God loves praise, and so do I.
The week before my father died, when I was a senior in college, he took me aside and showed me a box of clippings of newspaper and magazine articles he had written and hidden away. When I asked in surprise why he hadn’t shown me these before, he replied, “Your mother discouraged me from writing because I don’t have a college education, so I’ve done it in secret and she doesn’t know.”
Mother had not meant to be a discourager, but she had stated what seemed an obvious fact to her: If you’re not educated, you shouldn’t write.
My father had not let this attitude depress him, but he had “hidden his light under a bushel.” He told me he had written an article for the
Advance magazine but it had not been published. “I guess I reached for something a little too big this time,” he shared. How touched I was that he had told me about his interest in writing and the article he had submitted to the Advance magazine! Within days my father dropped dead in a Boston subway station, and on the day of the funeral the new issue of Advance arrived–with his article published in it. Had he not confided in me, I would never have opened that issue.
I have the framed article with my father’s picture hanging in my study, and each time I glance at it I wonder what that man might have become as a writer if only someone had believed in him.
We live in a discouraging world full of people who put us down. What bright lights we can be when we say the simple words, “I have confidence in you!”
Everybody Needs Encouragement!
Quotes from David Brandt Berg
Most people are not really conceited, but feel a certain amount of inferiority and tend to get a little discouraged with themselves, therefore encouragement is a very important thing! I do it all the time!–I praise everybody for everything they do that I see is good.
We all need the encouragement of others, and yet most of us fail all too often to express appreciation or comfort to those about us! As we must account for every idle word (see Matthew 12:36,37), so we must for every idle silence!
The showing of genuine gratitude and appreciation of [another’s] help immediately tends to make a proffered friend even more friendly, and inclined to befriend you again.
Try to remind yourself constantly of others’ good qualities, the good things, and try not to think about their shortcomings. All the way through the Bible, the Lord commended people for their good works. It has nothing to do with our salvation, which is a free gift, but it’s our service and good works for Him that He especially commends. Thank God that He really appreciates our sacrifice and the things we do for Him above and beyond the call of duty!
Always remember, everyone is hungry for praise and starving for honest appreciation!