We have a choice. We live in a culture where we are all critics. It is an easy trap to fall into to judge people. We don’t like to use the word “judge” but that is what it is all about. Jesus is clear that we shouldn’t live that way.
The choice to make is love. We must love and not judge.
“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”~~ Mother Teresa
It is easier to deal with someone who clearly hates you than someone who just doesn’t care. We have an enemy who hates us and yet we go through most days ignoring that. We have a Father who loves like there is no tomorrow. Humans seem to have the unique capacity for apathy.
May I love like my Father.
“The opposite of love is not hate, its indifference.” ~~C.S. Lewis
We are called to love by our Master Jesus. That is an every moment kind of calling. It is a lot of little things. Of course, in God’s world, that adds up to a lot.
In this life we cannot always do great things. But we can do small things with great love. -Mother Teresa
Our heavenly Father loves me. He is love and love is patient. He isn’t frustrated with me. He won’t let go. He is going to see me through. So knowing this, I can wait for hope to appear. It will. He loves me.
He cares and doesn’t put any roadblocks in my way. He isn’t involved with making my life hard. I just need to wait on Him. I shouldn’t run away but I should face reality with Him. Nothing is too hard for Him. He makes the Lion and the Lamb to lie down together. How good is that? He has stockpiles of love. No end to His love.
When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face. The “worst” is never the worst.
Why? Because the Master won’t ever walk out and fail to return. If he works severely, he also works tenderly. His stockpiles of loyal love are immense. He takes no pleasure in making life hard, in throwing roadblocks in the way.
— Lamentations 3
Jesus challenges us to love everyone, all the time.
Jesus challenges us to love God, with a passion that can’t be replicated.
“Because we love something else more than this world, we love even this world more than those who know no other.” ~~C. S. Lewis
“Love must be as much a light, as it is a flame.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
Here some old plan thoughts that carry over into the new plan that Jesus has revealed to us. Mostly things we should avoid doing but one affirmative act that is one of the two great laws that Jesus said to do. In His way, loving our neighbor is the BIG thing. If we do, we won’t pervert justice, show favoritism, gossip or seek revenge. God is love.
Don’t pervert justice.
Don’t show favoritism to either the poor or the great.
Judge on the basis of what is right.
Don’t spread gossip and rumors.
Don’t just stand by when your neighbor’s life is in danger.
I am God.
Don’t secretly hate your neighbor. If you have something against him, get it out into the open; otherwise you are an accomplice in his guilt.
Don’t seek revenge or carry a grudge against any of your people.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
I am God.
–Leviticus 19:15-18 The Message Bible
This is an amazing truth. God wants us to love everyone we know or come in contact with.
How will they come to know God? Through our love of them.
“To love another person is to help them love God.” ~~Soren Kierkegaard
So sad but true.
May God guide is in His path of love.
“We have guided missiles and misguided men.” ~~Martin Luther King, Jr.
We think we know it all. We are very confident about what the future holds for us. Can we really out imagine God?
No, we can’t out imagine the creator of the universe. We can’t out imagine the inventor of love. We can’t out imagine the author of faithfulness.
God loves us and we can’t imagine what He has in store for us. So let’s just fasten our seat belts and enjoy the ride.
“That’s why we have this Scripture text: No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, Never so much as imagined anything quite like it— What God has arranged for those who love him.” ~~ Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 2:9 The Message)
He loved us so much, He gave His only Son as a sacrifice for us to get us back in right standing and in the new plan. Clearly this is how we are to love. We should not take our own interests in mind but care more others than our self. That is the way of God’s love.
May we love like Him!!!
“Love cares more for others than for self.” 1 Corinthians 13 (The Message Bible)
May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of you.
We were in big trouble. We didn’t feel God’s love. We didn’t know how to love. We missed God’s goal for our life. Over and over again, minute by minute.
Jesus rescued us from all of that. Having never missed God’s goal, he became the sacrifice we needed. We now know love and can love. We are focused on God’s plan.
“We know the meaning of those words because Jesus Christ rescued us from this evil world we’re in by offering himself as a sacrifice for our sins.” ~~Apostle Paul (Galatians 1:4 The Message)
- End Times Witnessing: for they are men who are a sign (kzlam36.wordpress.com)
- The Impossible Demands of Jesus in John 8 (queerconfessions.wordpress.com)
- Above Reproach (godcanhealit.wordpress.com)
Is the opposite of love hate? Anger? Cruelty?
Not hardly. It is not caring. It is ignoring. It is indifference.
“The opposite of love is not hate, its indifference.” ~~Elie Wiesel
Some times, ok, many times, I need to be reminded to fan the flame. So the reminder comes. It is now. The Spirit of God gives us power. This is the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. Why be timid? No reason at all.
I just need to fan the flame. The Spirit is in me. It is in us. No need to be timid at all.
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:6 TNIV Bible
First of all, God conceived us in love. That is the starting point and is amazing in and of itself. I could stop here.
But …. even as imperfect we are, we know how to be good to our children. God is perfect. Imagine what His love is like? Seriously. Let us contemplate on that.
So … His love is better. End of story.
This isn’t a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your child asks for bread, do you trick him with sawdust? If he asks for fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing. You’re at least decent to your own children. So don’t you think the God who conceived you in love will be even better? Matthew 7:7-11
Jesus understood what He was here to do. He reminded us of the new plan as He lived it out. It is about loving God with all we’ve got. Moses got it directly from God. Jesus got it too.
To love God with our whole heart is our mission. It is written on our heart and in the very fabric of our soul. It is all we want to talk about.
Attention, Israel! God, our God! God the one and only! Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got!
Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates. Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Love is not stingy.
Love is not miserly.
Love is not tightfisted.
Love is not grudging.
Love is bighearted.
Love is openhanded.
Love is generous.
Love is kind.
Love forgets the bad and remembers the good.
A life full of Love is definitely more fun!
There is my way and God’s way. What happens when we live God’s way? Imagine an orchard and the fruit that it produces. That is what God does for us. It is a gift because He loves us so much and is so very good. His gifts are like fruit just showing up one day. Bam!!!
So what are some of the gifts he gives us so freely? A real affection for others. Nothing fake at all. How about that amazing exuberance for living every day for Him? Remember the serenity that comes from knowing that He is so great? How about that compassion we sensed one day when normally we wouldn’t even care? And that conviction that we have never experienced before. A sense of being set apart for God and His purpose.
Now here is a gift worth receiving. Finding ourselves involved in loyal commitments we have never imagined before.
May we marshal our energy wisely taking full advantage of His gifts.
- What fruit am I bearing? (mww1954.wordpress.com)
I see athletes do it all the time. Strutting their stuff when they do something cool.
Subtly we are learning in our culture that taking credit is a good thing. Tooting our own horn is supposed to make sense. Not strutting can be seen as a weakness.
God is love. He doesn’t strut and neither should we.
Love doesn’t strut. 1 Corinthians 13 (The Message Bible)
The list goes on and on in our minds. We get offended with God. How come He blesses others and not me? The key is to see what He is doing and not what He isn’t. We will be happy if we don’t get offended with Him. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love is happy with what it has.
God is love. He shows us the way to love.
“Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.” 1 Corinthians 13 (The Message Bible )
- Have the Heart of God (jasonofgod.com)
- “For now we see through a glass, darkly” – death as a semi-colon; (derekmaul.wordpress.com)
- Today’s Message to Churches That Speak English: the Way of Love (kzlam36.wordpress.com)
“Love is not about concepts; love is about action. The only way to master love is to practice love.” – Don Miguel Ruiz
- Matthew 7:1 Do not judge, or you too will be judged.
- Matthew 7:2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
- Luke 6:37 Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
- Romans 14:4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
- Romans 14:10 You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.
- 1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.
- James 4:11 Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.
- James 4:12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?
God is passionately in love with us. His love is not just an average run of the mill kind of love. In His word he gives us analogy after analogy about how ecstatic and passionate His love is. It is the thrilling and exhilarating love of a bridegroom for His bride.
It goes way beyond anything we have ever experienced. He can’t remain quiet about it. He is shouting it out!!
For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her righteousness shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch . . . As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you. (Isa. 62:1, 5)
- Song of Solomon 5 (asorensen.wordpress.com)
- Understanding the Message of the Bride of Christ (raymondjclements.wordpress.com)
- Bible Verses and Scriptures Hymns – Lord how long, dear bridegroom – Howard Higashi (beyondbodyandmind.wordpress.com)
This says so much. And I think St. Augustine knew something about this. God wants us to love him like we love no one else. That is the main thing about the main thing. Do we long for Him?
May my whole existence long for You. Every minute of every day.
“The whole life of the good Christian,” said Augustine, “is a holy longing.”
I live in a culture where there is always something else to get. Today is a day to think about my give to get ratio.
Jesus is about giving. He came and continues to serve.
Jesus challenges us to give. He is all about love. My evaluation of the day should be based on how much did I give.
Our Father is magnificent. There are no boundaries to His greatness. I stand in awe of His great power. He has so much energy and the desire to give me a life filled with every good thing. His absolute perfection is almost incomprehensible.
May God’s love smother us all today!!
Love is something God is.
God is love.
Against all odds. Don’t give up hope. Some people change. Love finds a way.
— Kenny Chesney
Love just does it’s job. That is normal in God’s way of doing things. Love doesn’t get all enamored with itself. God does His “love thing” day in and day out. He is love. He doesn’t make a big deal of it at all. That is just the way He rolls.
May just do what I know to do. May I just love. Day in and day out. There is no glory in that. There should be no “pats on the back”. That is my job.
Love doesn’t have a swelled head. ~~Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 13)
The mission is to keep myself in a faith that is set apart for Him. That is the real deal. That is what the end game is for me. It is a building process. I am not there for sure. But I am making progress. He has a goal where I need to be. He has a strategy for how I will get there. He “whacks” away at it every second of every day. So, bring it on my Master.
There is a coming together of the physical, the soul (heart) and spiritual. So I start with a physical act. Let’s say I raise my hands being open and outstretched to Him. I begin to experience His love being poured out on me. Then the presence of His Spirit invades the scene. Watch out then!! This all leads to love. It leads to experiencing His gift of mercy. Not justice. Just mercy.
What is the real outcome? What is this all about? A life that is unending. A life that is real.
But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. Jude 1:20-21
- 10/11/2012 Scripture (hiking2christ.org)
- Gebets-Schatz: Prayer on the Festival of the Reformation (deprofundisclamaviadtedomine.wordpress.com)
- Morning Prayer ~ October 17, 2012 (ronpogue.typepad.com)
- Pentecost 20 – “Eternal Life” (Mark 10:17-22) (revtucher.com)
Imagine being so full of God that there is no longer any room for anything else. Imagine all of His love and having all of that within my heart. Imagine all of His power, His Spirit and what He can do bubbling out because I am so full of Him.
I can experience this if I am grounded in love. It is all about loving Him with everything I have. Every thought captured to love Him totally. My heart soaked in His love and my love for Him. That love will lead me to His power.
This is the kind of love that is hard for me grasp with what I know in the culture I live in now. But in God’s culture, it is the norm. It sets me apart and makes me His.
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of the Messiah, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:16-19
- Faith! The Action of His Power Within – Ephesians 3:13 – 21 | Bible Resources (spiceofyourlife.wordpress.com)
- Five Minute Friday: Grasp (joycannis.wordpress.com)
- Being Rooted And Established In Love (pastorpaulvbsblog.blogspot.com)
- What Does Maturity In Jesus Look Like? (pastorpaulvbsblog.blogspot.com)
That is it. That is the plan. That is the agreement my Father has with me. That is the agreement I have with those I know. That is the real deal.
You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:13-15 NIV
We place a great deal of emphasis on individuality. It is “our right”!!
Not really. What is important is do what God wants. That is it. And what He wants is for us to love Him without reservation.
“But our individuality must be yielded to God so that our spiritual life may be brought forth into fellowship with Him.” ~~Oswald Chambers
- Temptation is Essential for a Well-Rounded Life – Oswald Chambers (randythomas.co)
- Self-Deliverance (wdednh.wordpress.com)
- Eastern Idaho and Oswald Chambers (hitchhikeamerica.wordpress.com)
- What will my obedience cost others? (monkeysinmybag.wordpress.com)