How do you define love? If God is love, then what would be different in your life if you fully believe that God is who He says He is? In this episode, we are going to look at how our view of God plays out in our lives and what it looks like to live loved?
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Ep 50 God is Love ~ Valerie McMahon
Transcript is automated
God, fear, life, talking, valerie, love, confession, grace, view, reclaim, earthly father, repentance, stepping, angered, perfectionism, word, week, reclaimed, hear,
Valerie McMahon, Denisha Workizer
Denisha Workizer 00:01
Welcome to Living the Reclaim life Podcast. I'm Tanisha We're glad you're here for conversations that revive hope inspire healing and encourage you to live a vibrant life with Christ. So grab a cup of coffee as we chat with today's guest. Alright guys, well Welcome to Season Two of living the Reclaim life. And this is the second episode of season two and we've brought back a Valerie McMahon. And you know what I realized last week was that I just said Yeah, and it's Valerie didn't actually me if you've been following reclaime story for any time I'm Valerie has been with us for over a year now. She serves as our content and ministry coordinator. And you guys I'm so excited to have her on the podcast more and just allow you to get to know her a little more. She is a I'm gonna brag about you. Okay. Okay. We are super good friends, as you can hear. It's so fun to do ministry in life and just serve Jesus together. It's so fun. She is a published author. Last year she published her first children's book that you can find on Amazon. Yeah. And it is Connor learns to honor
Valerie McMahon 01:10
Yes, I'm perfect for Valentine's Day because it talks about how God is love, which I think we're gonna talk about that today. That is
Denisha Workizer 01:18
perfect. So yeah, published author, Bible teachers speaker, she does women's conferences. And she's also a professional Christian life coach. So that is amazing. She just does an amazing job working with our ladies here at reclaim stories offers her coaching and mentoring to them. And she's just such a gift. So I had to brag about you. Because I realized last time I was like, and it's Valerie Tanisha today.
Valerie McMahon 01:44
Thank you. Thank you only by the grace of God, which is what we talked about last week Ray only by the grace of God that I'm here.
Denisha Workizer 01:50
Exactly. I'm so thankful. Well, we met because our kids have gone to school together for years. But over COVID When things were totally crazy, I had textbooks and I listed them on Facebook marketplace. Valerie happened to need the textbook. So she contacted me and said Hey, Lena, what was COVID everybody we were all you know, in that was like in the depth of it. And so we met in a gas station, parking lot covert. all messed up. And I was hobbling because I had just about to have knee surgery. You had just had I surgery? Yeah. Three months before? Yeah, yeah. So we were like, we were a mess. Beautiful mess. Yeah. And we exchanged textbooks and then realize that our lives and that God had both of us in ministry on like the same trajectory. Yeah. And then man, next thing, you know, we're working together and doing life together. It's awesome. So I have a funny confession. What if you miss last week's receiving grace episode, I want to encourage you to go back and listen to that Valerie talked about when we say give yourself grace, how we actually can't give ourselves grace. Yeah. But we can receive grace from God. Yes. And so this week, I was sitting with one of our gals, and we were talking about forgiveness. And she'd mentioned she said, you know, forgiveness is so hard. But I'm trying to be really kind to myself as old feelings that she had forgiven sort of resurface. Sure. So she says, You know, I'm trying to be really kind to myself. And I said, it's so good. You're giving yourself grace. And then Valerie, might head salaries in your head. And I just stopped myself. And I said, Wait, I'm so sorry. I said, Actually, you're not giving yourself grace. You're receiving the grace that God has given you. And I said, Valerie rocked me when we talked about this. And I said, so you are receiving God's grace in not beating yourself up because you had feelings of unforgiveness after you've done the forgiveness part. And that is a constant thing that we have to choose to do to forgive. So I had my own little mama. Oh, no, I said the thing that we were talking about that we actually can't give ourselves grace, but we can receive it. Yes. So that was kind of a cool moment.
Valerie McMahon 03:55
Yes. Well, and as we're gonna dive in a little bit, it focuses on the grace giver, yes. You know, which I so we didn't produce the grace. You know, Grace came through Jesus Christ. And so we focus on receiving grace will give adoration and honor to the grace giver to God. Yeah. And that's what we're going to talk about a little bit today as who God is, and how that makes a difference, right, and how we view love.
Denisha Workizer 04:20
And last week, we talked just a little bit about distorted love, and how when our view of God is distorted, it can change not only how we view him through our eyes and in our lives, but can also have a ripple effect that affects our horizontal relationships. You're also as we dive in today, and we talk about who is God? Mm hmm. We're gonna refer a lot to Scripture today and who is God and how does our view of him currently affect our lives? You know, I know we read a lot about how we perceive our earthly father, you know, if we were afraid of him, yeah, sometimes we put those emotions on to God and we think well, God is scary to, however our relationship played out with our earthly father that that can a lot of times be reflected upon how we believe God is towards us, and how he views us and we view him. So let's dive into some truth about who God really is.
Valerie McMahon 05:15
Well, yeah, and as we were thinking about today's podcast currently, as you mentioned, I'm an author, but I also coordinate a devotional ministry, and we are focusing on First John, this month about what true love is, and that were known by our love. And so it just kind of came to me the, and I'm sure many people know this scripture. But in first John 416, it says, God is love. Like that is who God is. So as we were talking about, just as you just mentioned, so if we are having trouble with understanding what love is, then really, we're having trouble understanding who God is. Let me say that again. If we're having trouble understanding what love is, then we're really having trouble understanding who God is, because it's clear, God is love. And you were talking about that to Tanisha. So, like, what does the Bible say? Love is
Denisha Workizer 06:14
all right. Well, you know, after doing tons of weddings, right, we the first thing we think of is First Corinthians 13. Four, and it says that love is patient. Love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. And I think if we look at that, and we think of God, then we're saying God is patient, when he's that parent that watches their toddler, take a step and stumble and fall, and he doesn't holler at us. He picks us right back up, and we get to try again, that God is patient, that God is kind that God does not envy, God does not boast, and God is not proud. And that is just such a beautiful picture of who he is as his character. Right. And it does not dishonor others, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs.
Valerie McMahon 07:08
Yeah, our sins are forgiven as far as the east is from the west. And you were mentioning about earthly father, if you had an earthly father, that was just not what he was supposed to be our maybe there was fear of punishment, fear of abuse. And as we continue in first, John Tanisha, it says, In First John 418, there is no fear in love. So as we just said, we replaced that there is no fear in God. There are scriptures that talk about fearing God, and really, that if we had our Greek and Hebrew concordance is out with us all the time, we realize that, you know, we only have kind of one view of fear. We often like fear means afraid. But fear is also that reverence of God, we are supposed to revere God and realize, like God is God, and we are not. But what this is saying is that there is no fear in love. but perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. You know, and I was thinking about last week when we're talking about this whole perfectionism, struggle or achievement, but it's like, there is fear, there is underlying fear. And perfectionism isn't there, right? Because I mean, that's the root of it. It's like, if I am not just so somebody is gonna reject me if I don't have this just right. There's fear of man, there's fear of failing. There's so much fear wrapped up in that perfectionism. And I love how the Scripture says, but perfect love, which we know that's God tribes out that fear that we, I love the Scripture and Hebrews, it says that we can approach the throne of grace with confidence. Like that, right there. That's like we do not have to fear God, we do not have to fear love, because that's where the grace come in. We can approach God with confidence, because he's not there to punish us. He corrects us, He disciplines us. But love is not about punishment. Love is about gently correcting and getting us back on the right course. So I love this scripture about God is love than what is love. Like you just said, God is good. He's faithful. He's not easily angered. Because his love is not about punishment. His love draws us punishment wants to make us run, right? None of us want to be punished. Punishment drives away. Love draws in,
Denisha Workizer 09:27
so that's good. You know, a lot of times if something happens that we do that we know Okay, that wasn't what I should have done. Yeah, right. We all have those moments. In those moments. I think it's tempting to turn from God. And to think oh, I've done something I'm going to turn away from God Yeah. And just like your parents, right? You stay out too late. You went to a party maybe they thought you're at a football game but you were really at a party so the next day you don't look him in the eye. Yeah, for breakfast. Yeah, you you know make your breakfast and slip away to your room and you think all because you've had this feeling you know, and I think With God, it's so beautiful that we can turn to Him. We can turn to the Father and say, Okay, Lord, yesterday this happened. I said some sharp words. I yelled at my kids, I whatever I do, here's what I did. And he welcomes us. Yeah, his character is that that he is patient and kind and is not easily angered that he's there to love us back onto the path that he has
Valerie McMahon 10:22
for us. Yeah, I know, later this month, we'll probably be talking more about relationships with each other. But I really do think like that, unfortunately, puts that bent, you know, that distorted view of God because like you said, as a loving parent, we don't want to yell, we want to discipline our kids in love. But unfortunately, we've experienced a lot of rejection, we've experienced a lot of anger from our horizontal relationships. So I think that's why it's so easy to reflect back on God. And I'm in a Bible study about the spiritual disciplines. I think I mentioned that last week. And last night, the teacher was talking about the passage in Matthew, just like what father would give his son a stone instead of breads, like, how much more does the heavenly Father love you? And I think that's when we come back to how do we view God, if we really understand and really we understand from scripture, that's how we learn who God is, of who he is, as our Heavenly Father, like, he is going to fill that lack. Like, he's abundantly like, even if a father who has hurt you, who has been evil in your life, like the whole illustration, will still give their child some food, not trick them, you know, with a stone, God is not a God that tricks us. You know, he doesn't trick us into obedience. He doesn't trick us into volume, He invites us. And so it was just such a neat picture illustration that like whatever lack you've experienced on this earth, God, as your heavenly Father fills that to an abundance. And Denise, I wanted to share a few months ago, in my coaching training, I took the spiritual formation class, and it was so so good. I mean, everybody kept telling me, yeah, you're going to take this class to help others, but you're going to be wrecked. And I was like, okay, because some of you know, we have to be wrecked sometimes ourselves in order to help others walk through it. But since we're talking about today about God being love God personifying, you know, God is love. What is love, love is God, the professor, I had, he talked about this beautiful illustration called the Christian waltz. And I thought How appropriate, we're talking about love you think of dancing, you know, and I wanted to share about it because it was really life giving for me. And I think it's just a perfect illustration. So imagine, I don't know, if you're a visual person, if you're listening to this podcast, get out a piece of paper, but you make like a triangle. And at the top is the word repent, kind of over to the left is the word belief, and to the right is obey. And what our professor asked us is, like, he said, Where are you stepping out of the dance? So like, if you're struggling with love, if you're struggling with fear, if you're struggling with coming to God to confess, like, we're stepping out of the waltz with God in some way. So when you look at the word believe, you can ask yourself, What are you not believing about God? Like? What like, are you believing? Like, who is God? Like, we've talked about what truth about God? Are you not believing? So maybe you're stepping out of the dance there? And then we kind of go up the triangle to repent? You know, we talked about fear and repentance. Think of that as confession to what do you need to confess? Maybe what fear? Do you need to confess? What struggle do you need to confess, but may not be like something you did to harm somebody else or to hurt somebody else? But confession is a discipline of the soul that we had to be like, Okay, God, where am I not aligned with your will? So maybe that's where you're stepping out of the dance. When you think of how you view God and how you view love is what fear of love, maybe what fear of God do I have? Do I view God as a God who's going to punish me? Or do I view God as a welcoming, loving father? And then the other part of the corner of the triangle is obedience. Where am I not obeying God? It could be a whole myriad of things. But where do I need to obey God in Scripture talks a lot about obedience. When we obey when we follow like you talked about, stay within those boundaries of protection, the law of love, you know, the things that God has told us to do, then we remain in that love. John 15 talks about that, as you obey me, you remain in that love. That doesn't mean that when you don't obey God, you're not love. But the idea is that protection, that protection of God's love. So anyway, I wanted to share that it's just such a beautiful visual of like, anytime you're struggling with how you're viewing God, how are you viewing love, ask yourself, Where am I stepping out of the dance?
Denisha Workizer 14:49
So one of my conversations that I've had with women is that those two words REPENT and OBEY sound very scary, and I love the way that you kind of pulled those apart when it comes to repentance, I've also heard it explained the difference between the Holy Spirit convicting us of something that we're doing in our lives something that's existing that's outside of God's plan for us. Yeah. And conviction versus condemnation. And if it's the Holy Spirit, let's say we lie, okay. No, the Holy Spirit says, Oh, you're so much better than that. Right? Like that. Boys say, Oh, you're so much better than that. Come on. Here's what I have for you. Yeah, the Holy Spirit calls us up. Yeah. And when the enemy's condemning us for that, he doesn't say, Come on, let's come up. Let's come closer to the Father's heart. Let's hear the Father's heart on this situation. He says, You lied, you're a liar. You should have known better, you should have known better. And that's condemnation. Because what does that do that spirals us down? It doesn't spiral us closer to God. And so I think that when we feel that conviction, we know the Holy Spirit's kind of leading us that something's off here. And hearing how we process that also views how we view God right also determines if we hear a calling up, like you're better than this. Come on, I have more for you than this. Or if we hear a slamming a self critical voice, a you are this, when those words start to become friends. That's not God. God wants to pull us closer to him. So we hear repent, you know, sometimes that can be a scary word, but it's us sitting down with our parents over breakfast and saying, okay, so I have to tell you last night, instead of being at that football game, where you thought I was safe with my school and everything, I went to this party. Yeah. And here's what happened. And then our parents can lovingly correct us and show us what the plans that they had. And I think that's a lot. Like, that's how I view when I sit down with God. It's like, okay, so I think this was your plan. But I kind of did this. And so where do I need to grow and challenge myself in that? So I just wanted to speak to that a little bit. Because in church, even sometimes we may not hear the word repent a lot. Yeah. But I just love to phrase that, like you said, it's a wall. It's a dance with our parents home, and I avoid them over breakfast, because I went to that party, I have teenagers. And then there is a distance that comes in that relationship. And that's not what God wants. He wants us to do that to come and sit at his feet. That's true. Repentance is a beautiful thing it means to turn from, but it means you can go towards God and turn from
Valerie McMahon 17:17
that. I'm reminded, I tell people all the time, this is one of my favorite verses is a James 516. It says, Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other. So you may be healed. If we realize that confession is only going to bring good things. Condemnation keeps us in the dark. It keeps us in the secret, right? But confession leads us to like confession will lead us to healing. Like that's a promise. And that's what I know. We strive with reclaim story is building that safe community. It's like, we can come broken, we can come come with your mask on but we're gonna help you remove that and realize that it's again that fear that fear of like, if they only knew, would they still love me? And I think sometimes it's like, we know in our minds, like God knows everything, right? But there's the lie of the enemy. There's still this fear. It's like, Well, God loved me less. But ya know, God is love. And as we keep saying He invites us everything about God as He welcomes he invites he drawls it's not the other way around.
Denisha Workizer 18:24
So I want to read that passage in First Corinthians again, verse four, it says, Love is patient, love is kind it does not envy it does not boast. It is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered friends, that's God is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs through the cross our sins or as far as the east is to the west. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects it always trusts always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. And I feel like if we take that word, love, knowing God is love and put God in there. God never fails. His ways never fail. Things put in place so that we can go back to the Father that we know how he's going to respond. We know what's going to happen because His Word tells us that Yeah. Oh,
Valerie McMahon 19:21
that's so good. That is really good, my friend. That is like, just that we know how he's gonna respond. That's so good. And like I said, if you're struggling, like we've just been talking about, you know, we've shared more scripture, this podcast, but where do we go for the words of life? Where do we go for the truth that will set us free? It's in it's in his word. Yeah. And it's alive and active. He's always with us. So that's so good.
Denisha Workizer 19:46
I think you asked a really good question two, when you were talking about the walls, like where did we stepped out? And so I would love to challenge you guys as you're listening to what are you not believing about God right now? What are the places in your life where there's something that you believed about God that maybe isn't true?
Valerie McMahon 20:06
Yeah. And what would be different? If, yeah, you believe that? What do I need to surrender? You know, that's even a part of repentance is what am I holding on to that I need to surrender? Is it shame is that guilt? Is it fear? I think of that a lot. I use that word a lot when it comes to repentance is what do I need to surrender? Because that's what really we're doing. We're saying, Okay, I've been holding on to this, and I need to give this up and move back toward God.
Denisha Workizer 20:36
That would be an interesting next step prayer would be God, what do you have to say about things in my life right now? What do you have to say about my marriage? God, what do you have to say about my kids? Lord, help me to see them through your eyes? Those eyes of love? Yeah, those eyes of relationship. You mentioned, what would people think if they only knew right? And I wonder, instead of us striving for praise and approval and acceptance from people, if by shifting that view, knowing that God is love, if we can feel totally accepted in God's love, and justified by his grace, receive that grace, like we talked about last time? What would that change in our life? So friends, what would be different if you're in your life, if you fully believed that God is who He says He is? point that's a great way to end today's episode. There's a lot to think about there. We
Valerie McMahon 21:27
given them a lot to journal and reflect on
Denisha Workizer 21:29
giving me lots of journal and think about it, love it. Well, guys, this week, we're going to be putting a little bit more on our social too. So Valerie will write out that give you a little picture of that Christian waltz and some of the things to help us to know what are some ways we can know if we're stepping out of that dam. So we'll put that on Facebook and Instagram this week. And so if you haven't been following us on there and reclaim story, check it out. We post pretty much daily with some encouragement, some things to just help you and your walk and to live the reclaimed life. So follow us on Facebook and Instagram. You can also go to our website. And there's some great blogs this month also about these topics. We know that Jesus reclaimed our story at the cross. But we also know that it can be a struggle to actually live out the reclaimed life and to live fully in what Jesus has done for us. So I love what you said, how do we live loved and so friends, we leave you with that today and we'll see you same time, same place next week.