Monday, January 8, 2018

Steppin' on My Own Toes

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As a Christian, you’re God’s messenger. What’s your message? What message does your life convey to the world around you?

Is it fair to judge you by the actions of your children?

Is it fair to judge God by the actions of His?

Is it fair for the world to judge God by my actions? Yours?

Since when is life “fair”?

Clearly, the world doesn’t understand the love of God. Could that be, at least, in part, my fault? Your fault?

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I recall a quote by Mahatma Gandhi, “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

Ouch! It stings because it’s so true.

What’s one small thing we can do today to begin to turn this around?

What’s one small thing you can do today, to being to turn this around?

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Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:34-35 (NIV)

January is often thought of as a month for new beginnings, a month for starting over, a month for self-reflection.

God is the God of new beginnings and He’s wildly famous for His grace that supplies endless second chances, and He’s the source of the power that raised Jesus from the dead, so when surveying our lives and habits and shortcomings, we can draw upon that same power to raise us from our slumber, from our negligence, from our lack of sharing His love.

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If we call ourselves Christians, the people around us are looking at us for a demonstration of God’s love. Let’s try a little harder not to let them down.

Like the world, we’re often afraid to extend unconditional love to those around us. But, we’re instructed to not be like the world.

John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

John 15:19 says, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”

2 Corinthians 10:3-6 explains, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they [our weapons] have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

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This makes it clear, we’re not to operate as the world operates. We are to love as Jesus loves us.

I’ll conclude with the words of Jesus, Himself when asked what is His greatest command.

“Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV)

Friday, January 5, 2018

My Word

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Waiting on….a word. Waiting for the right word to resound within me. The word I’d choose doesn’t fit quite snugly enough. The word I seem to be running from, keeps running after me.

You, or friends of yours, may hear a word that quickens something within them and they claim it as “their word” for the new year. Some may choose a word that they want to claim as their own, others may receive this word from God. Some may have no clue where the word comes from, but it somehow becomes their word.

It could be a word to arouse hope. It could be a word the describes what you’re looking for in the upcoming year. It could just be a word that nags at the back of your mind until you accept it.

If you have no clue what I’m talking about, your love language may not involve words, or you’ve just tuned in to what I’m referring to.

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Any way you have it, you somehow lovingly embrace the word, even when it’s not a word you’d choose if the choosing was yours. Even when it’s a word that normally conjures up visions of the not-so-pleasant; words that may not fall into the category of your favorite words. Such is the case with my word this year.

It seems like I’ve been waiting on myself, waiting on God, waiting on prayers to be answered or weight to be dropped, or energy to be infused.

Yes, my word encompasses the waiting of all waiting. But, not just waiting like dry bones lying in their grave, waiting with eager anticipation. Waiting with a joy-filled heart. Waiting with promise. Waiting with hope. And yes, waiting – with the Son of God, Himself: Jesus.

My word is not a passive word. My word can be an energizing word if I allow it to be. My word is an empowering word, if I so choose. My word, like any word, relies on what I do with it.

Do I bury it in the ground and hope it grows into something beautiful? Do I invest my word in the lives of those I love?

It’s totally up to me.

What will become of it this year?

My word is……….


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“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” – James 1:3-4 (KJV)

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified.., for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV)

“And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious uto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.” – Isaiah 30:18 (KJV)

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)

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What is your word for this year?