Love’s Second Look

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         Ah, love is a wonderful thing.  Now I’m not speaking about a mushy, sentimental emotion but the enduring forever kind.  You cannot love someone without asking this question, “How much will you suffer for loves sake?”  It has been said, “Suffering is the true cement of love.”  Paul Sabatier   If there is one thing Christ taught us it is that love is not weak or compromising but strong and ready to stand against all odds.  Love is the most majestic and noblest of all human responses.  Jesus Christ, because of His deep love and commitment to us, suffered great agonies.  It is His example that teaches us what love is.  Faithful love must be learned over and over again.

            One of the ironies of love is that often when seeking to do good toward a loved one there is a price to pay.  Yet we must prevail and take a loss.  If a Christian should suffer, which is at times God’s will, it should be for doing good.  “So if you are suffering according to God’s will keep on doing what is right and trust yourself to the God who made you, for he will never fail you.”  1 Pet 4:19   We cannot say we love someone but condone their wrong actions.  “Love that seeks to do men good is cowardice when it refuses to prevent them from doing wrong.”  Shailer Matthews   We are to love someone so much that we experience heartfelt pain to see them do damage to their conscience and relationship with the Heavenly Father.

            Dear Christian, we must trust God to bring us through the hard times.  There will be hurt along the way but God is standing by to encourage us.  “He personally will come and pick you up, and set you firmly in place, and make you stronger than ever.”  1 Pet 5:10   Love is not for the faint-hearted.  It is a promise to another person which should be broken only by God.  The truth is, “We never know how much one love’s till we know how much he is willing to endure and suffer for us.”  Henry Beecher   Ah, love.  Let us think about the commitment.  There’s nothing like it!

Click here to read about Christian love in action.

Click here to read “Love God. Love Others.”

Enough Already

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          Have you ever noticed that our culture is obsessed with an exaggerated importance on laughter?  Perhaps laughter isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  The book of Ecclesiastes sheds some light on the positive effects of an unpopular emotion called sorrow.  “Sorrow is better than laughter for sadness has a refining influence on us.”  Eccl 7:3   It’s encouraging to understand that often the sadness we are experiencing is not only beneficial but appropriate.  “There is a right time for everything… a time to cry, a time to laugh, a time to grieve.”  Eccl 3:1

            James chapter four explains that allowing godly sorrow to have its way in our lives moves us dramatically closer to our Heavenly Father.  Sorrow can bring much needed healing when we face the things that have hurt us including our persistent tendency to walk away from God.  “And when you draw close to God, God will draw close to you.  Let there be tears for the wrong things you have done.  Let there be sorrow and sincere grief.  Let there be sadness instead of laughter…”  James 4:8, 9  The right kind of sorrow does an amazing work in our lives that is called repentance.  “To repent is to alter one’s way of looking at life; it is to take God’s point of view instead of one’s own.”  Anonymous   “Mere sorrow which weeps and sits still, is not repentance.  Repentance is sorrow converted into action; into a movement toward a new and better life.”  Marvin Vincent   We first need submission to God’s call to make repentance a daily practice.  Repentance is not one single action but a way of life.  Second we must resist the urge to suppress our sorrow.  Sorrow can be redefined as the positive healing work of God.  “It was a good kind of sorrow God wants his people to have.  For God sometimes uses sorrow in our lives to help us turn away from sin and seek eternal life.”  2 Cor 7:9, 10   Essentially, repentance is giving up our sin to receive something far better, peace with God.  . 

          What is hurting you today?  Isn’t it time to come to God for blessed renewal so that his own joy might be yours?  “Now change your mind and attitude to God and turn to him so he can cleanse away your sins and send you wonderful times of refreshment from the presence of the Lord…”  Acts 3:19   Now that makes me laugh!

Click here to read another blogger’s insights on repentance.

Click here to read an encouraging article about freedom from sin.

My Dad

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My Dad is an artist.

He created grass and trees.

My Dad made the oceans.

Even rocks and dirt and leaves.

 

My Dad can make a bunny

With a tail so soft and white,

Or a great huge Mr. Hippo

That can give you quite a fright.

 

My Dad is a doctor.

He helps hurting people everywhere.

My Dad can mend a broken heart

And give real love to share.

 

My Dad can paint a picture

Of hills or sunrise fair.

My Dad’s a good mathematician

Counting sparrows, even hair.

 

Even though He’s rich and famous,

He has time for me each day

To listen to my problems

He has a lot to say.

 

I bet you wonder who my Dad is

And why He is so great.

Can any of your Dads

Make love come out of hate?

 

Can any Dad that you know

Brighten Heaven with wondrous stars unfurled?

I am ready to tell you.

He’s the King of all the world.

The New Covenant

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The old has passed away and the new has come.

We have found the secret to life, a changed heart.

We have found a best friend who is always with us.

We have found a Savior that fulfills prophecy.

We have found a way of relating to our neighbors in which mercy triumphs over judgment.

We have found an advocate who presents our petitions before the Father.

We have found the perfect priest who helps us in our temptations and weaknesses.

We have found a present and abiding peace.  

We now serve Christ because we want to.  

We have an great inheritance waiting for us in Heaven.

We are blessed beyond measure.

Christ has brought us into the very presence of God.  In that presence we find all that we could have hoped or dreamed.

This is the new covenant.