Dear Ones,
Happy weekend! Today is party day here and we have 11 birthdays to celebrate. Al and I will be going to Costco to get the cake this morning. Tomorrow we will also be celebrating Paul’s birthday a little early but when our schedules allow. Birthdays are special and every day is a gift given to us.
Devotions from Judy’s heart
  Would we say we are a conduit of God’s love and that we accept others in the same way God receives us? We may be fortunate to have such a friend who welcomes us even when we fall short, and still communicates acceptance to us.  But the majority of people who focus on their own pain and problems, have trouble doing that. The secret is that we must receive how God accepts us before we can really extend that to others.

  I read James Smith’s book, Embracing the Love of God, and he shows how we love others is a reflection of how we love ourselves. If we truly have come to know God’s acceptance of us, then we will be able to deal with others. We love others as we are loved!  As a child I remember memorizing John 13:35, “By this will everyone know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.” When we do not accept others, perhaps it is because there are parts of ourselves that we also don’t accept. God never gives up on us and we should not give up on ourselves or on others either, no matter what.

  We need to open our hearts to receive His love and then be a conduit that lets His love flow out of us to others. But we can’t give out what we have not received. Until we open our hearts to Him, we have nothing to give. Just exercising our will power will not be enough to love those that are hard to love. But as we open our heart to the Holy Spirit’s work, we will come to know God’s love for ourselves, and He will love others through us. We can then accept and love them in their own uniqueness and not who we want them to be.
  God’s love never ever runs out and the measure we receive is the measure we can give it away.
Challenge for today: Open your heart to see areas where you have not accepted yourself and ask God to bring healing and wholeness so you can be a conduit of His love and grace.
Blessings on your weekend and prayers and love, Judy