It’s All About Love – 4

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

Love Connects

Connecting with people is more of a challenge today. Although we have email, texting, and social media right at our fingertips, real interaction with people has faded away. In order to have meaningful healthy relationships, we must be intentional about spending quality time with people.

Hebrews 10:25 NLT, “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”

As Christians, we definitely must put forth extra effort to be aware of those around us who need encouragement. We should also be willing to go beyond our inner circle of familiar people, so we can reach out and touch someone who is unfamiliar. Even if that someone looks different, speaks different, or acts different from us.

Love Forgives

Although difficult at times, we must forgive people who hurt us. Not forgiving will keep us in bondage. A person with an unforgiving heart is not walking in love. We must decide to forgive, and then trust God to help us to walk in that forgiveness.

Mark 11:25 NIV, “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”

Ephesians 4:32 NIV, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

It’s all about love

It’s All About Love – 3

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

Yesterday I mentioned that love gives and love trust. I also mentioned how people can hurt us, which breaks our trust in them and/or God. It’s one thing when people disappoint us, but what about when we feel God has failed us?

Here are a few reasons we may feel God failed us:

  • He didn’t work in a situation the way we thought He should.
  • We lost someone or something and we feel He could have prevented it.
  • We feel in general He is just not being fair.

Since God is the Source of true and lasting love, how do we move forward when we struggle to receive His love? It’s worth asking ourselves this question, because receiving His love is what empowers us to love Him and other people.

Ways to move forward in our relationship with God:

Prayer & Repentance are key factors in healing from a broken relationship with God. Communication is important in all relationships, it’s the same with God. Expressing our frustrations, hurts, and worries to Him will help us. 1 Chronicles 16:11 KJV, “Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.

Seek Counsel from a fellow Christian, your pastor, or a therapist. When we share our experiences with one another it brings healing. Knowing we are not alone in our fight for faith brings strength to keep going. Be careful not to seek counsel from ungodly people. Psalm 1:1(NLT),“Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.

Meditating on Scripture will renew our mind so that we will have the mind of Christ. Scripture is not just words on paper. It is living and active. Hebrews 4:12 NIV, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

God has a divine will. His will is good. It’s hard sometimes because we can’t see what He sees. He never promised us that life would be easy. He instead chooses to grow our faith. Remember He is patient and kind. Find joy and peace in His faithfulness. He knows what we need and when we need it.

He loves you.

It’s all about love

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

 

Fruit of the Spirit:Gentleness

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!

GENTLENESS. Gentleness also called meekness can be described as power under control. It’s like Jesus, He has all power in His hands, yet He knows how to control it and use it appropriately.

Being gentle or meek, has nothing to do with being weak or letting others walk over you. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. To me, a person who can exhibit meekness, especially when they are in a position of authority, is really to be admired. This is a person who knows how to use their authority and power for good, just like Christ. They don’t try and abuse their authority or belittle others in an attempt to prove themselves. Meekness also knows when it’s time to stop talking and just walk away.

We also must be gentle/meek in our relationship with Christ, so we will be willing to follow His will for our lives. God let’s us choose how we want to live, and being gentle/meek causes us to not want to rebel against Him. Instead we will want to submit to Him and follow His path for our lives.

There’s a lot riding on us having a meek, humble attitude. This is one of those things that the enemy will quickly use to try and destroy our witness if we aren’t careful. I know it’s rough. I’m learning too. But we can do it, because as always, the Holy Spirit will empower us to be who we should be for His glory.

Be of a gentle spirit…

1.Philippians 4:5, (NIV),” Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”

2.Ephesians 4:2,(NIV), “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love,”

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!! It all goes back to love. Loving God and loving others. We also have to ask God to take away any insecurities or fears that keep us from being gentle/meek. The fear of being taken advantage of is real. The truth is, there are many people who will try and take advantage of others.

However, being gentle/meek will cause us to bow down to the power of God, and allow Him to show us exactly how to respond to difficult people or tough situations. Gentleness/meekness does not mean we don’t take action. It just means we know how to take the right action.

***Please share your thoughts about GENTLENESS in the comments.

Fruit of the Spirit: FAITHFULNESS

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!

FAITHFULNESS. God is always faithful. He never lets us down. I love this verses in Lamentations 3:23-24(NIV)…

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

We can depend on the Lord to always be there for us. He has promised to never leave us and to never forsake us (Hebrews 13:6). He is faithful to be who He promised to be. He is faithful to do what He promised to do.

The most important relationship we have is our relationship with Jesus. So we should be faithful in our love and loyalty toward Him. When we are faithful to Him, it will cause the other areas of our lives to fall into place. Our relationship with Him even sets the standard for the other relationships in our lives.

Although faithfulness is planted in us, we must still pursue it. We must actively seek to increase our faithfulness to our God. The more we come to know Him, the more we will want to faithfully love and serve Him.

A few ways we can increase our faithfulness to God:

We can spend time getting to know Him through His Word.

We can pursue activities that will strengthen our relationship with Him.

We can fellowship with likeminded people.

We can pray and ask God to strengthen our faith as we seek Him.

Walk in Faithfulness to our Lord…

1.Psalm 31:23(NIV), “Love the LORD, all his faithful people! The LORD preserves those who are true to him, but the proud he pays back in full.”

2.Psalm 37:28(NIV), “For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed; the offspring of the wicked will perish.”

God promises to preserve us when we are faithful to Him. That brings such peace to know He is covering us, especially with all the turmoil that is going on nowadays. He will not abandon us, but will instead lead us on level ground (Psalm 27:11).

I will be the first to admit, remaining faithful to God is not an easy road. Some days are easier than others. The Holy Spirit gives us warnings, called convictions, that He designed to keep us on the right road. But we must follow those convictions. I’ve been guilty many times of ignoring the convictions and doing what I wanted. I know from experience that in the end, that causes heartbreak. But thankfully, He was still faithful to keep on loving me, being patient with me, and helping me to do better. Even when we fail, He is still faithful!

We just need to take one day at a time and trust God that we are progressing more and more with each passing day. We must live by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). When we seek Him wholeheartedly, He will be faithful to help us learn and grow.

***Please share your thoughts about FAITHFULNESS in the comments.

Great is His faithfulness

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

%d bloggers like this: