Dear Ones,
Hope you had an enjoyable and restful weekend. It was nice to have it cooler before it heats up again. This morning I am going to do food prep and go to Aldi’s and my exercise class. 
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  How good are we at loving and obeying the Lord? Is it our desire to follow and let the Lord lead us or do we dart ahead and when we get ourselves in a mess, we ask for a way out? Big difference! If we submit ourselves to the Lord and walk in sync with Him, we experience a lightness in our spirit for we are not going against the grain and pulling away from Him but being yoked with Him. When we don’t obey, we are lacking in love for it says in John 14:23 (NLT) “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word: that is to say, he will observe my commandments, and in observing them, he will obey me.” In other words that without love we won’t obey, but with love obedience follows. We can examine our own lives as to how obedient we are, to get an indication of how much we love the Lord.
   We should have sorrow for our sin but after confessing and asking forgiveness we don’t need to be preoccupied but begin thanking the Lord for His forgiveness and mercy. As we rehearse His grace to us and praise him, He lifts our spirit and brings us deep joy. Then with hearts full of gratitude, we make room for more of Him. I don’t know if you are like me, but I sometimes focus on something I wish I hadn’t said or done in the past; but rather than ruminating on it, I need to just begin thanking Him that He has forgiven me. The devil loves to play that guilt game with us and try to get our focus on ourselves and sinful things from our past that are already forgiven.
  As we grow in His love, we will begin to love our neighbor as ourselves, which also increases our capacity to love God; but if we don’t love our neighbor, we do not love ourselves nor do we love God. How many of us want our hearts to expand with love? I have told Al that the best thing I would wish to be said of me on my tombstone would be, “She loved God and others well!” I have a way to go in loving my enemies and praying blessings on those who are hurtful and wishing them well. 
  May we delight in God’s love to such a degree that we forgive all and receive and love others as ourselves.
Challenge for today: Reach out to someone else in a special way today and share His love.
Blessings on your week and prayers and love, Judy