It’s All About Love – 2

(2 Thessalonians 3:5,NIV),“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.”

Really when I think about love, one of the first things that comes to my mind is “trust”. Love and trust are closely connected. But before I can get to trust, I think it makes sense to mention this…

Love Gives

God loved the world and gave His only begotten Son (John 3:16). He loved and then He gave. There is no way to truly show love without some type of giving being involved. When we love, we give. We give of ourselves and/or our resources. Usually when people begin to feel unloved , it’s because they are not being given something they feel they need or want.

One of the things we give to show love is trust.

Love Trust

Have you ever trusted someone and then they disappointed you or broke your heart? The ill treatment could have come from a family member, a friend, a coworker, or even a company. After all, some people spend years working for a company then they get let go. That’s definitely broken trust! Of course a company is run by people, so once again it’s people that have hurt us.

When our trust has been broken, it becomes a hindrance to our ability to love. When we trust people, especially people we love, and they break that trust, it hurts. Can you relate? Has someone you love ever broken your heart, or disappointed you?

Psalm 118:8 NLT,“It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in people.”

It’s good when we have people in our lives we can trust. However, we should always trust God first above anyone or anything. Why? Because people aren’t perfect, and things aren’t guaranteed. But God is. He doesn’t make mistakes. So why do we sometimes struggle to fully trust Him, and receive His love if we know He is mistake-free? Most likely because of the people we have encountered throughout our lives. Their imperfect performance has given us an imperfect view of God.

We can’t always trust people, so therefore we feel we can’t always trust God. We ask ourselves questions like, “What if I trust God and He doesn’t come through?” We wonder if He understands the urgency of our needs. We want to trust Him, but fear of the unknown gets in our way.

1 John 4:18(NIV),“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

God loves us perfectly we don’t have to fear Him.

Love gives and love trust. Fear can hinder trust, which then hinders our ability to give and receive love.

It’s all about love

It’s All About Love – 1

(2 Thessalonians 3:5,NIV),“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.”

About a week ago, I awaken around 3 o’clock in the morning. I was wide awake. I didn’t feel sleepy at all. So I decided I would just use the time to pray. I love early morning prayer because everything is quiet and still. I don’t always do it as consistently as I should, but when I do it, I love it.

During my conversation with the Lord, I could sense Him saying to me, “It’s all about love.” This statement has been resonating with me ever since. I can’t stop feeling as if God wants us as Christians, to never forget that the true foundation of our relationship with Him is…LOVE. Who we are and the things we do, rather for God or for people, it should all be about love.

(2 Timothy 3:1,KJV),“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.”

We are living in perilous times. God knows that in order to persevere, we need a strong foundation that is rooted in His love for us. Otherwise, we will succumb to the pressures we face daily.

We hear the word love a lot. We see many expressions of it everyday. Sometimes we may even think we have it (love) all figured out, and then we find out differently. I will take some time to explore love in general over the next several posts. Since it’s the foundation of our faith in Christ Jesus, looking at it more closely is beneficial. I don’t know exactly where this will go, but I’m just going to “trust” the author and finisher of our faith, Jesus Christ to guide the process (Hebrews 12:2).

It’s all about love

 

Because Love Rose

He died, but I’m so thankful that He also rose. Because the tomb is empty, we have victory. He defeated death, therefore we can have life. True life. Abundant life. We are free, because Love rose.

Matthew 28:6 (NIV), “He is not here; he is risen, just as he said…”

We serve a Risen Savior! He doesn’t just give us love, but He is Love.

May the joy, power, and love of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you always.

Have a Blessed Resurrection Sunday!

Jesus Lives!

In The Stillness He Is There

Even with the busyness of life we just have to take time to stop and be still before the Lord. When we take time out to quietly sit still in His presence, it reminds us that He is the One who can handle all of our worries. Just being still, gives us the opportunity to exhale and enter into the peace that the Holy Spirit desires to give to us.

Psalm 46:10(NIV), “…Be still, and know that I am God…”

When stress tries to consume us, we just need to be still. Our God is able to carry every burden we have. He will strengthen us and keep us safely in His care. There is no trial that is too great for Him. As we sit quietly before God, we experience the comfort of His presence. We can sense that His love is surrounding us, and living inside of us through the Holy Spirit. As we are still before the Lord, He will bring healing to our minds and hearts.

Don’t be afraid to be still. It is in taking time to be still, that we come to know and understand that He is God.

Fruit of the Spirit: LOVE

Galatians 5:22-23(NLT),”But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. There is no law against these things!

LOVE. I am convinced that love is something that we will never stop learning to do. Learning to walk in love is a life long adventure. Jesus set an example for us to live by. His words and actions are a constant expression of love. He died for us because of love (Romans 5:8). I’m so glad he loves me. Nothing else in my life or this world can compare to His love. His love is pure. No strings attached.

God is love…

1 John 4:16(NIV),”And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”

A few instructions from the Bible about LOVE:

1. Love God with all your heart, soul, strength and mind. (Luke 10:27)

God should be first place in our lives. We should love Him more than anyone or anything. We must make a decision to surrender our lives to Him. Once we make this decision, we will learn to surrender in stages. As long as we’re making progress, we’re on the right path.

2. Love your neighbor as yourself. (James 2:8)

Loving others as we love ourselves, basically means we are treating people the way we want to be treated. We should not think more highly of ourselves than God wants us to (Romans 12:3). Taking time to stop and think before we speak or act, will help us to be more successful at showing love to others.

3. Love your enemies. (Matthew 5:44)

This one can really be a challenge! But we must remember that even before we came to Christ, He loved us. We were living against Him and His will for our lives, but He still loved us. Showing love to those who are the hardest to love, is a sure way to share Christ with them.

4. Love keeps no record of wrongs. (1 Corinthians 13:5)

When we forgive others, we can no longer hold their faults against them. We have to let them go free. We can’t say we forgive someone and then keep bringing up everything wrong they did. Depending on the situation, we don’t necessarily have to stay in a relationship with someone. It’s okay to go your separate ways if need be. But we must forgive if we want to be forgiven by God (Matthew 6:15).

Of course there is so much more the Bible has to say about love. As children of God, love is a big part of who we are. As we draw closer to Christ , we will continue to grow in love.

***Feel free to share your thoughts about LOVE in the comments.

Next Reading: Fruit of the Spirit: JOY

We love because He first loved us, 1 John 4:19

God’s Love Speaks Through Every Language

Psalm 67:5(NLT),”May the nations praise you, O God. Yes, may all the nations praise you.”

God’s love can speak to us through any language and yesterday was one of those times. During the worship service at church, there was a song that the worship team started singing in Spanish. Being that we live in South Florida, it’s not unusual for them to start singing a verse of a song in Spanish. But usually when they do, they will then sing the same verse in English. So as they were singing in Spanish, I was waiting for the moment when they would switch back over to English. As the soloist continued in Spanish, I glanced to my right and then my left. I was curious to see how many other people looked as if they didn’t understand, like me.

As I examined the parts of the congregation that I could see, I saw some singing along word for word as they worshipped. I also saw others like myself just standing there listening. My daughter speaks Spanish pretty well, and I remember thinking I wish she was there to help me. Once it was clear to me that, “that moment” when they switch to English may never come, I decided to look at the screen that had the words on display. That wasn’t much help. I did understand a word here and there, but my Spanish skills are minimal. I could tell by the tune that it was a familiar song, so I thought I would just try and sing along in English. That didn’t work. What I was hearing from the stage in Spanish, seemed to take precedence over the English I was trying to hear in my own head.

Finally, I decided to just hum along and watch the soloist. As I watched her, her worship seemed pure and heartfelt. I could sense God’s love, not through her words, since I could not understand, but through her body language and her expressions. I could imagine that giving God praise in her native tongue was what felt most comfortable for her.

The hands and hearts that were raised to the Lord were evidence of His presence. As we all stood across the sanctuary, language did not matter. We were all there united by one thing, the love of God. When the Spirit of God is present, He is always ready and willing to do the work He came to do. He did do that work, because at the end of the service, He caused twelve souls to repent and give their lives to Jesus Christ.

I felt the joy of the Lord and saw His goodness as I watched those twelve people walk into the newness of life. They were now new creations in Christ Jesus. I wondered if that song the worship team sung completely in Spanish, could have been the reason at least one of those twelve souls came to Christ. I may never know, but this I do know, God’s love never fails.

Psalm 136:6(CEV),”Praise the God of all gods. God’s love never fails.”

I’m so thankful the love of God can speak to us through any language, even when we don’t understand the words.

Dios te amo=God loves you

The Last Will Be First

Matthew 19:30 reads, “But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.”

Years ago I was traveling with my mom and daughter along the Pennsylvania Turnpike. We were on our way to our family reunion which was being held in Philadelphia. At some point, we came to a stretch of road on the turnpike that was lined with dead trees. The strange thing about it, was that although the trees on the front row were all dead, immediately behind them, as far as the eye could see, were beautiful, vibrant, healthy green trees. However, these lifeless trees on the front row, stood very tall and erect almost as if they possessed an inner confidence. Because of the green background behind them created by the other trees, they appeared to stand out even more. Odd as it may seem, even though these trees were dead, they were still very much alive. They had a mysterious beauty radiating from them that drew attention to their presence.

As I continued to observe this peculiar scene, God brought to my mind these words, “The first will be last and the last will be first.” I have no idea what natural events may have occurred that caused those trees to end up like they were. But to me they represent many people who may not measure up to the world’s idea of beauty. But because they follow God’s ways He has elevated them to a certain level. Like those trees, you may never know what someone has endured to get to where they are, but because they did endure, God has shown them favor. Never underestimate what God is doing in someone’s life just because things appear a certain way on the outside. As Christians, we should have an inner beauty that radiates from our hearts and changes the world around us. People should be able to sense a distinct difference and want to know more about us and our lifestyles. Ultimately who we are should lead people to want to know more about the God we serve.

Those of us who call Jesus Savior, need to take a stand and be all that God has called us to be for the sake of the cross and the glory of the One who died there.  2 Corinthians 6:17 says, “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord, then I will receive you.”

If those trees could speak, I know the stories about life on the “Penna” Turnpike would be unforgettable. The good news is that you and I can speak. We can speak life to those around us. Not only with our words, but through our actions. We must let the life we live speak for us. Ask God to show you how you can “come out from among them and be separate.” When you are serving God, even if you think you are last, in God’s eyes you are first. We need to make sure that wherever we are standing, is the place God really wants us to be. When we are where we should be, we can then be effective and make a true difference.

Father,

Please let the beauty we have in you through your Holy Spirit shine brightly so that those around us may be inspired and changed. Help us not to get caught up in things that do not matter but instead to focus on what matters most to you.

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

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