💕 God is Love ❤️ + You Were Made in His Image!

💕God is Love❤️ + You Were Made in His Image!

By: Elizabeth L. Creecy

"The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, 'O God, forgive me,' or 'Help me.'”

Billy Graham

You are to love.

If God is love (1 John 4:8), and YOU are made in His image (Genesis 1:26), then you are love!💕 That would be the apparent equation, right? If we are made in God’s image and His image is love, then we are love. But, we are not love as God is. Therefore we are TO love. We are to allow God’s light to reflect through us. However, human beings’ souls are not precisely what God wanted for humankind (Genesis 2:17). Many things changed when Adam ate the fruit. For instance, we developed a conscience – understanding good and evil or right and wrong. Jeremiah 17:9 (AMP) says:

"The heart is deceitful above all things. And it is extremely sick; Who can understand it fully and know its secret motives?"

Jeremiah makes it clear why humans sin with the verse above. Due to pride (Proverbs 13:10), our hearts want to do what is best for us (individually), independently of anyone else. Humans can be quite awful (Mark 7:21-23). Isn’t this precisely the reason why parents must teach their young babes how to share?… Be kind…. Be thoughtful….and so on? 

We have to learn how to put our selfish desires down. As Jeremiah 17:9 reminds us, the human heart is quite wicked. Now, please do not get me wrong. I am not saying our spiritual default is hate or negativity. I believe it is quite the opposite. However, if this were true, negativity would produce life and not death. Neuroscience and the medical community are discovering extraordinary evidence that negativity (fear) destroys the body and soul and causes diseases!  

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love (1 John 4:8 NKJV).

If love is God, and the Devil is the direct opposite of God, then the Devil is fear. What does fear do? It torments! What did Jesus tell us in John 10:10? The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10; parenthesis added).  

This makes sense, especially when you take note of what is being said “between the lines” in Romans 10:17:

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17).

The opposite of this verse would be: 

So, then FEAR comes by hearing and hearing by the world. I say world because the Devil has dominion over the world, and its ways are not God’s way. 

And you [He made alive when you] were [spiritually] dead and separated from Him because of your transgressions and sins, in which you once walked. You were following the ways of this world [influenced by this present age], in accordance with the prince of the power of the air (Satan), the spirit who is now at work in the disobedient [the unbelieving, who fight against the purposes of God]. Among these [unbelievers] we all once lived in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by the sinful self], indulging the desires of human nature [without the Holy Spirit] and [the impulses] of the [sinful] mind. We were, by nature, children [under the sentence] of [God’s] wrath, just like the rest [of mankind] (Ephesians 2:1-3 AMP).

We would enjoy the sensations of fear, loathing, toxic thinking, worry, anxiety, and so on if we were wired for such things. Instead, love feels the best. Love is what makes us glow and feel fabulous inside. Every person is made from God’s image, so most individuals will have parts that exhibit His kindness and love. However, some people will choose to follow and worship the Devil (1 John 3:8). 

While it makes more sense to say – if God is love and we are made in His image, that would make us love too. You and I both know humans don’t respond with the unconditional (true) love God does (1 Corinthians 13:8). But we have to work to show God’s love. We are to want to crucify our flesh (our sinful desires) and be like Christ (Galatians 5:24; Ephesians 5:1,2).

It takes time to learn how-to walk-in God’s love, but don’t fret because the Father knew you would need help. That is why after His Son was crucified, He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in you. For when the Holy Spirit dwells in you, the love of God and the power of God does too. What does this power look like? Well, for starters, it is the fruit of the Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22,23 NKJV).

Not sure if the Holy Spirit is inside of you? When you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, God immediately seals you with His Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:22).

In closing, let me ask you! Where do you need to love others as the Godhead loves you? Where can you give people grace, mercy, and the benefit of the doubt? Where can you work in yourself to reflect God’s light?

Do you remember what Jesus said to His disciples as His hour drew closer?

34 A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another (John 13:34,35 NIV).

It’s just as Jesus said! People will know you are Jesus’ disciple if you love one another! Are you loving one another as Jesus demonstrated?

Prayer: Father God, thank you for giving your only Son to save me. It was your Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, and that same Spirit dwells in me. I know I need your power, strength, and love. Please fill me with the Holy Spirit. I welcome the Holy Spirit inside of me. I receive Him. Thank you, Father. Let Your will be done, and not mine in Jesus’ name, Amen

The Fruit of Love

The Fruit of Love

(Understanding God’s Love Series)

By: Elizabeth L. Creecy

Enkrateia [self-control] is that great quality which comes to a man when Christ is in his heart, that quality which makes him able to live and to walk in the world, and yet to keep his garments unspotted from the world.

William Barclay

Last week, we talked about what love is. Now, I want to talk to you about what happens to you when you love the way God wants us to love.

Godly love brings light, life, and longevity. Why? Well, love is God (1 John 4:8), and therefore real love has God as the motive! When you become a born-again believer and make God’s love your “why,” something magical begins to unfold inside you. The best part of it all is that the transformation results from you being in a relationship with God. How does this happen? Through the teaching, guidance, and comforter of the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:27; John 14:26).

The Holy Spirit begins to bless and transform your life with something extraordinary. It is this Spirit who begins to produce the fruit of God’s love inside of you, and when God’s perfect fruit shows up in your life, your life gets better! What is this fruit, you ask?

It’s the Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). Personally, I appreciate how the Amplified version translates this scripture:

But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Have you ever stopped and focused on the word fruit in Paul’s writing of the fruit of the Spirit? He could have used other words like “works of the Spirit” or “the Spirit’s gifts,” but he chose the fruit of the Spirit. It makes sense, too, primarily when you focus on the word “fruit.” Paul was conveying the meaning of a full harvest of virtues by using the word “fruit.” Additionally, the fruit of the Spirit is singular, meaning each believer is to have ALL nine.

Fruit is a byproduct of planting and nurturing a seed. Remember, God’s fruit is perfect, flawless, and satisfying.

The Spirit produces the fruit, but it’s your job to get in touch with the Holy Spirit. It takes time for fruit to grow, so please be patient with yourself and do not ignore this opportunity to produce a great harvest inside of you. It will take your effort, focus, and attention. Christian character is the result of Christ living in you (Galatians 2:20), but you are given free will, so please use that will to nurture that Spirit to grow deeper in Christ.

The fruit of the Holy Spirit is the result of God’s presence inside of you! It’s a result of His company, plus your participation in the relationship. Your willingness to have this relationship with God is how the Holy Spirit reshapes your character to be more like Christ. This produces some fantastic fruit inside of you!

That is a powerful statement! You must choose and give God permission to come and dwell inside of you (John 14:23). Still, you must also nurture, protect, and participate in your relationship with Him so His presence will stay and grow. Perhaps that is why Proverbs says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (4:23).

As disciples of Christ, we want the fruit of the Spirit to always flow from our hearts.

Take a second and envision your body as a Bed and Breakfast for guests to stay in—a very nice, sophisticated, mature, but homey inn. If you do not acknowledge your guests’ presence and tend to his/her needs, they will leave, and most people won’t give you a second chance after the fact. If everyone leaves, you are out of a job!

Thankfully, God is extremely merciful and forgiving, so He is the best kind of guest, but He is a gentleman. He will not stay where He is not welcome because of His love for you, not for His love for Himself. You must take time to tend and care for your guests. Now God is the best kind of guest you could ever have. Why? Because He gives more than He receives. You could say He is the ideal guest.

He asks this of you: To love Him with all your heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37), to love others as He (Jesus) has loved you (John 13:34), and to spend time with Him (James 4:8). When you do this and seek first His Kingdom in all things (Matthew 6:33), He will help you renew your mind (Romans 12:2) and remold your character, which will transform you into time with your permission and effort, a better you that is more like Christ.

I promise you will like this version of you so much better. When you begin to see the fruit grow, you will be even more encouraged by this new freedom. You will start to walk out of bondage – into freedom.


Here you have an invitation from a guest who wants to stay with you and help you do ALL of the heavy lifting.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30).

What is the benefit of having the fruit of the Spirit?

First, let me describe what it is like when we do not have the fruit or Spirit or are not eating it:

  • Sexual immorality, Impurity (Galatians 5:19)
  • Lust (Colossians 3:5)
  • Hatred, Jealousy, Discord, Anger, Selfish Ambition, Dissension, Idolatry, Witchcraft (Galatians 5:20)
  • Arrogance (2 Corinthians 12:20)
  • Envy, Drunkenness, Wild Living (Galatians 5:21)
  • Murder, Lying (Revelations 22:12-16)
  • Cheating (1 Corinthians 6:8)
  • Adultery, Greed, Stealing (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

I don’t know about you, but when I lived outside of God’s fruit and experienced the above, my life was miserable. I wanted to believe it was not, and I thought if I just did more and depended more on myself, I’d be happier, but that was a lie. What I was yearning for only God could give me. His freedom and ways restore me and give me life (Job 10:12).

You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my Spirit (Job 10:12)

Doesn’t the above list honor the words Jesus spoke in John 10:10?

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

I am so grateful that God sent His Son to teach us how to live. When you abide in Him, you start to reap the benefits. When you live God’s way, and for God, the following becomes your normal:

  • Love
  • Joy
  • Peace
  • Patience (Longsuffering)
  • Kindness (Gentleness)
  • Goodness
  • Faithfulness (Faith)
  • Gentleness (Meekness)
  • Self-control (Self-discipline, sound mind, temperance)

Living for God is what will satisfy your hunger and, by default, give you more joy, love, and everything you may have tried to find by walking the world’s way of life. This transformation that Paul talks about in Galatians just happens by nurturing your relationship with Christ.

One day you will all of a sudden not be irritated by something that once annoyed you. You will start to be made perfect by accepting God’s perfect love. Things will fall off of you, which in turn will help you like yourself more. As you like yourself and see yourself as God sees you, it is easier to love others.

Next week, I will break down the fruit of the Spirit. Until then, ask the Holy Spirit which fruit are you struggling with? Once the Spirit reveals which area you are weak in, ask the Spirit to help you grow. Ask the Spirit what you need to start doing to grow this harvest inside of you. 

Prayer: Father God, thank You for thinking ahead and providing Your children with this amazing fruit. I see I don’t always operate in this fruit, but I want to. Please help me to grow and feed this fruit and not the fruit of the devil. Holy Spirit help me to see when I am failing to operate in the spirit. Thank You, Father, for everything You are doing in my life. I only want to live Your way, help me to do as You would have me do in all things. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

What is Love?

What is Love?

(Understanding God’s Love Series)

By: Elizabeth L. Creecy

The role for all of us is perfectly simple. Do not waste time bothering whether you "love" your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more. If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less.

— C.S. Lewis

What is Love?

Have you ever asked yourself what love is? It might sound like an obvious answer, but true love may be different than you might expect. 

Is your definition of love one that is worldly or godly? The world defines “love” differently than God does. One is conditional, and the other is unconditional. God’s love is unconditional and perfect (1 John 4:18). Therefore, God wants you to love unconditionally, and as He loves.

When you ask yourself, ‘What is love?’ You have to look to the Father.

We have come to know [by personal observation and experience], and have believed [with deep, consistent faith] the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides continually in him (1 John 4:16 AMP)

John tells you that God is love. If God equals love, then love equals God. Does that make sense? 1 John 4:8 says, whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Love is a byproduct of having a deep relationship with God. I believe it is impossible to have a deep and committed relationship with the Father and not know how to love because the Holy Spirit changes you to be more like Christ. When you become more like Christ, you become more capable of love.

We all are capable of love because we were made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27), but to showcase and shine unconditional love intentionally results from knowing (participating in a relationship with) God.

For you to love unconditionally and righteously, you must know God. To know God means you have a relationship with Him. It means you believe and know you belong with Him. It means you have faith in His character.

Since God is love, everything God thinks, speaks, and does are examples of how He shows His love for you. Perhaps that is why James reminds us that everything good comes from above (James 1:17).

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 breaks down what love is:

 

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever ( NLT).

1 Corinthians 13:7 states a mighty truth. God never gives up, loses faith, but He is always hopeful and positive, and He holds on to you in every circumstance. Since God does that for you, you are to do that for others. Please understand God has boundaries, and I am not encouraging you to be walked over, disrespected, or abused. You can love people from afar too in those extreme situations. But, overall, we are to behave as 1 Corinthians so clearly states.

Love is strong. Love can absorb and withstand all loveless behavior. How many times have you operated with fear or a loveless behavior? Yet God still poured out His love for you!

Everyone stumbles. Everyone is struggling with something because problems are a part of this fallen world. Jesus tells you to first get the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s (or sister’s) eye (Matthew 7:5). The reason being is you will have more compassion, kindness, understanding, and grace for your sibling in Christ, who is stumbling. It’s easy to act prideful when one sees another stumble. Still, the only fruit that comes out with pride is self-righteousness – something God detests. At the end of the day, sin is sin. Jesus reminds us that we are not better or more deserving of love than another.

Love is not tit for tat, but self-sacrificing (John 15:13). Love always thinks the best case scenario of someone. Love holds on to the faith or belief that a person’s word is truth and that one will do what he or she says. Love is honest and truthful. Love trusts. Love holds on to optimism and positivity.

Christ commands us to love one another as He has loved us (John 15:12), then showing love is a choice. If we do not respond in love, we are sinning. Perhaps this shows you the tremendous importance of renewing your mind (Romans 12:2) to always love (Mark 12:30-31).

Always loving might be easier than you think. Neuroscience informs us that we are wired for love, and love is a human’s default mode. Ironically, fear is a learned behavior. Such findings making sense when you think about it. If God is love and you are made in God’s image (His love), then love is your foundation. You are hardwired to love, which is why operating from love feels so good! 🥰 If humans were created to hate and participate with fear, it would feel better than it does. Being mean, cruel, inconsiderate, rude, judgmental, and other forms of fear do not feel good at all. In fact, it increases cortisol in the body, and too much cortisol equates to toxic stress and is damaging.

If fear or hate felt good, it would benefit your body, but it does the opposite. It destroys you. When you operate out of love, you allow yourself to start to unlearn negative and toxic mindsets, and doesn’t God’s light expose the darkness (Ephesians 5:13)?

Oxytocin, also known as the love hormone, melts away negative and toxic thoughts. This hormone can help rewire your brain, creating new nontoxic connections—thoughts impact brain chemistry, which influences the body’s 75-100 trillion cells at quantum speed. 

In short, allowing the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit to work inside of you can help you erase fear. When we respond in love, endorphins and serotonin are also released, making you feel unstoppable and filled with light. 

When we feel great like this, you know what happens? You start to be more authentic -more in alignment with how God designed you to be- your brain begins to detox, while motivation and wisdom increase.

You are to have the same mindset as Christ (Philippians 2:5). But attitudes reflect the core of how you are choosing to spend your time thinking and feeling. Your attitude gives insight into your spiritual maturity.

In answering the question, what is love?
Love is God. God is love. Love is your default mode. Love is your spirit shining through. Love is renewing your mind and character to be more like Christ. Love is shown by actively listening, helping, encouraging, giving, comforting, creating, sacrificing, and meeting others’ needs. Love allows the light inside of you to shine outwardly to help people feel like they belong and are enough. How God shows you love is how you are to show others love.

And above all things have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins." (1 Peter 5:8 NKJV)

In closing, I cannot talk about God’s love without talking about belonging. Love helps someone feel they belong, and every human craves belonging and connection.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).

The verses above remind the reader of the power relationships has in one’s life. God created us to be in relationship with Him and others because love is meant to be shared. It is easy to be short with people you don’t like or be exclusive when you are around new people. However, God wants you to show grace, mercy, compassion, and kindness to all. It doesn’t matter if they deserve it because, quite frankly, you don’t always deserve it either. The next time you are at a social gathering and see someone alone, reach out and talk with them. Connect with them. Help everyone you come in contact with, understand they belong in the body of Christ.

I promise you if you could do a better job at loving as God loves, many of your life’s problems would go away. Love is the answer to everything because God is the answer to everything. So when you don’t know what to do – Love💕.

What can you start doing to show more of God’s love to yourself and others?  

Prayer: Father God, wow, thank You for loving me unconditionally. I want to love as You love. Help me to love the way You love. Show me what is blocking me from loving people the way You ask Your children to love. Daddy, I want to give You all of me and live only for You, but I know I fall short. I know without You I am nothing. I surrender everything to You. Thank You for loving me. Thank You for helping me see everyone as You see them. In Jesus’ name, Amen!