Friday, February 4, 2011
“May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our father,
who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement
and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 NIV
God has encouraged us through his love. We aren’t worthy of what we receive. He grants us what we have because of His grace-His rich unmerited love given to us because we belong to Him.
We do have times when we forget that God loves us. When we deal with another’s impatience, we cross paths with someone who doesn’t care about others, or we find someone else changes our plans and expects us to accept the new format.
Life isn’t always what we would like it to be; but God takes the rough sandpapery conditions of life and smoothes them out.
Let’s allow God’s love to encourage our hearts and strengthen us in ways only He can. Then, let’s pass God’s love on to some one we know or meet that might need His love and encouragement.
We can allow God to guide us only when we turn our lives over to Him. Sometimes that involves something as elemental as seeking His guidance in such mundane activity as making out our grocery list, choosing to help a family member in a time of transition., or sharing news with a friend.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
1 Corinthians 13:13a (NIV)
Paul describes love, unselfish benevolent concern for another, as the most excellent way and the greatest gift. Poets and song writers tell us how basic love is to us. Dramatists portray the stories of love in our world.
We learn as young Christians, that God gave us His son because of His love for us, His children. (John 3:16) This deed, chosen by the Father, reminds believers even in the 21st Century of the greatness of God’s love for us.
As small children, we learned a song called, “Jesus Loves Me.” The words tell us of Jesus’ love for even the small weak children in our midst.
We also learned another song, “Jesus Loves the Little Children-All the Children of the World”. The phrases in this song remind us that Jesus’ love extends to every child, no matter his or her age or race.
We teach these scriptures and these songs to children and to new believers because we want people to know the love of God through Christ. As Christian believers,
we model His love for those less fortunate, those going through a season of hardship, and those in need of God’s healing.
How can we model the Love of God better?
Monday, January 31, 2011
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.”
1 Corinthians 13:13a (NIV)
Paul writes to the Corinthian believers to explain the foundational elements in living a life for Christ. He states this very simply.
The first element, faith, grows as we learn to trust God for the outcomes of issues in our lives. We nourish or faith through prayer and Bible reading. Spurgeon calls faith the root grace.
It is because of our faith that we become grounded in our relationship with Christ. Fellowship with like-minded believers adds to the process of strengthening our faith.
Element number two, hope-defined as reliance on God’s blessing, becomes greater for us as we learn to depend on Him. A dear friend had a surgical procedure done the beginning of Christmas week. The first study produced inconclusive results. A second study-what I consider an old school approach- caused her to wait an extra week to find out she did not have Cancer. She and her family relied on God to get through the extended time of uncertainty.
Faith and hope both play important parts in our lives in times of hardship-unemployment, health crises, inter personal issues, when we have been victimized.
Faith becomes real during times of strife. Hope stands like a beacon on a coastline. Its light draws us to safety as we travel through rough waters while we await the arrival of outcomes and results.
Two updates on the situations I mentioned above-my friend got back the best news she could receive; she has no Cancer. Our son, unemployed for almost two years has found a job.
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