4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
1 John 4:4
Remember this verse as we go into the next year!
May God bless all of you, as we embrace Him and each other.
If there was ever a time when we are called to show an extraordinary display of love for God and each other, it is now. I’ve been questioning what we as Christians are doing to show love during these hectic times.
Reading the following scripture, I tried to put a filter in place to determine whether modern-day Christianity actually survives the test of Jesus’ definition of love. Let’s read this together and ask the Holy Spirit to help us answer that question.
The Great Commandment
Matthew 22 (English Standard Version)
34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together.
35 And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him.
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
8 This is the great and first commandment.
39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Along with these scriptures, we would be remiss not to read and understand God’s further definition of love.
1 John 4:20 (English Standard Version)
20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.
So, let’s ask ourselves:
- Do we treat everyone with this kind of love? Does it matter whether they have the same color of skin as ours, speak with the same language that we use?
2. Are we prejudiced in any way?
3. Do we encourage hate of any person?
4. Do we support bullying?
5. Do we reach out and pick up the peaceful person that was just beaten down–by fists or guns–or words? Or do we join in?
6. Do we judge a person by whether they are poor, or not?
7. Do we act out, in any way, with disdain, judgmental thoughts or actions, or do we try to understand a person who is different from us? who may have a different religious affiliation? a different way in describing their belief system? Or do we think that we are the only people who have all the answers?
8. Do we agree that requiring servitude by anyone is ok? is loving? is the way Jesus would treat people?
I think this is a somber time in all of our lives when we should quietly sit and reflect on these questions. If we fall short of the definition of love as Jesus describes it, we have an imperative to go to Him and ask forgiveness, turn away from that wrongful attitude, and humble ourselves as we seek God’s guidance in remedying our actions. That way He will be glorified rather than being ashamed of us.
Are we really Christians?
If we don’t display the love and light from our Lord, then we should stop using His name–in vain!
Your sister in Christ,
No part of our lives is hidden from God’s grace and power.
~ Our Daily Bread
Praying for blessings to all of you around the world. May we all come together to find what is best in each of us. Love surely is better than hate. Working together, standing together, loving together will make the difference. If you are upset about something, find your voice. Go on Twitter, Facebook, start a Website, care and share positive ideas and progressive thinking instead of crying in a corner. We can all light the place where we stand and that light will shine enough to change things.
Be blessed with much love, joy, and happiness!
Sharon & Erick
There comes a time when we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And its time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all
We can’t go on pretending day by day
That someone, somehow will soon make a change
We are all a part of Gods great big family
And the truth, you know,
Love is all we need
We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So lets start giving
The sinful nature is the stubborn, self-centered attitude that says, “My way or the highway.” The sinful nature is all about self: pleasing self, promoting self, preserving self. I have a sin nature! So do you. Under the right circumstances you will do the wrong thing. You’ll try not to, but you will. You have a sin nature. You were born with it. The heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart!
Christmas commemorates the day and the way God saved us from ourselves. The angel speaking to Mary in Matthew 1:21 says, “. . .you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
Each of us entered the world with a sin nature. God entered the world to take it away!
~ Max Lucado
|by Max Lucado|
If you were chasing God like you chase people and things,
you’d know true love and real wealth.
Many parents aren’t proud of their family trees. The harvest was taken, but no seed was sown. Childhood memories bring more hurt than inspiration. If such is the case, put down the family scrapbook and pick up your Bible. John 3:6 reminds us, “Human life comes from human parents, but spiritual life comes from the Spirit.” Your parents have given you genes, but God gives you grace.
Didn’t have a good father? Galatians 4:7 says God will be your father. Didn’t have a good role model? Ephesians 5:1 says, “You are God’s child whom He loves, so try to be like Him.”
You cannot control the way your forefathers responded to God. But you can control the way you respond to Him. The past does not have to be your prison. Choose well and someday—generations from now—your grandchildren and great-grandchildren will thank God for the seeds you sowed!
~ Max Lucado
You’re not selfish for deciding to cut someone off.
There comes a point when you got to stop
being unfair to yourself.
(Photo of the Pacific Ocean along the Hwy 1 California Coast)
~ ~ ~
I’ve been having a rough time lately learning the lesson of “Letting Go”.
From time to time, I feel I already “know” this lesson.
But then I turn around and realize, “Letting Go” is a daily thing.
The subject of the “Letting Go” project changes,
but the lesson is always the same.
I have to let go to the right person —
and that is My Lord.
The latest lesson was to go to the Serenity Prayer
and repeat it until I let go of whatever is controlling my life.
I hope these words help someone
who is going through the same lesson.
You’ll never be enough to somebody
who can’t recognize your worth.
You can’t make them see
what they choose to stay blind to.
For the next 12 hours I’ll be exposed to the day’s demands.
It’s now that I must make a choice.
And so I choose—love.
I will love God and what God loves.
- I choose joy.
- I choose peace. I will live forgiven.
- I choose patience—Rather than complain that the wait is too long, I’ll thank God for a moment to pray.
- I choose kindness—for that’s how God has treated me.
- I choose goodness.
- I choose faithfulness. Today I’ll keep my promises. My wife will not question my love.
- I choose gentleness. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself.
- I choose self-control. I will be impassioned only by my faith and influenced only by God.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
When this day is done, I’ll place my head on my pillow and rest.
~ Max Lucado
Sometimes it takes being
Just so God can show you
~ Trent Shelton