“Love Hurts!”

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But he was pierced for our rebellion,
    crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
    He was whipped so we could be healed. – Isaiah 53:5 NLT
Because   He loved us, God gave us His Son who loved us so much He gave His life for us.  He suffered the most painful, undignified death that one could suffer. Love hurts.  Despised, rejected, acquainted with deepest grief. Love hurts.  “Pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins, beaten so we could be made whole, ​and whipped so we could be healed.”  No one took His life from Him, He gave it freely. And still, He is rejected. Love hurts.  Redemption requires blood, blood requires wounds. Love hurts.  
​Our love for Him will cost us our lives which we freely lay down to gain eternal life with Him. But instead of wounds, we receive healing spiritually and physically. On a lesser scale, showing His love to others can cause us to be rejected and yes, even beaten and persecuted. Love hurts.  The difference?  He suffered alone but we are partners with Him when we suffer.
 
Partners

 
 Love Hurts​ but in the end, it brings glorious joy!

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 04-22-2018

Show Sincere, Deep Love

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22 You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart. – 1 Peter 1:22 NLT
 
In these verses, we are reminded of how limited the English language is in words to express love.  We have one word, the Greeks had at least six words expressing different levels and types of love. Philia which means friendly and/or brotherly affection and is the word used here for the “love for each other”.  The second word used here for love is agape which is the word that comes closest to expressing the kind of love Jesus showed for us when He chose to die on a cross for our sins. It is a totally selfless, unconditional love. It is a love that is unquenchable and no matter how much it gives, it is never satisfied.  It only wants to give more and more. It is the kind of love that God wants us to have for Him and our brothers and sisters, as well as our enemies. The last part, “love for our enemies” is the one that gets our flesh in an uproar.Our flesh screams out, we have been wronged by that person and there is no way that I will ever forgive or love that person or those people. But Jesus told us in His model prayer to pray “forgive us as we forgive others” and we are also told:

14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. — Matt. 6:14, 15 NIV
This is a requirement for those of us who have been born again. Our flesh is perishing but we are being renewed daily by the living Word of God. So, we must mortify the flesh and follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit that so richly abides within each of us. That leadership will require us to love and to forgive at all costs.


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Posr 04-15-2018

Does My Love Reach the Mark?

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Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. – 1 Cor. 13:7 NLT
 
What if our every thought had to pass a test before it could be converted to spoken words or to actions?
Does this thought show others that I have patience?
Does it show kindness?
Is it truthful?
Does it show concern?
Does it reflect my trust in God?
Does it show the hope I have in Jesus?
Will it help me or those around me to endure trials and persevere?

All the above should be answered with a “Yes”
All the below should be answered with a “No” 

Is it boastful? 
Does it make me appear to be envious?
Does it disrespect or harm others?
Is it just for my benefit?
Is it a knee jerk response to something that has angered me?
Is it a resentment caused by past actions?
If it fails in any area, we need to reconsider before we speak or act.

26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” ​ –​- Matt. 19:26 NIV

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 04-05-2018

Show God’s Love to Others

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If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. – 1 Cor. 13:3 NLT
 
Anyone can do good works and have good intentions. You can help people without getting involved in their lives. It seems that in today’s society, that is the preferred way to help. If we just throw some money at the issue, maybe it will go away. But, our example, Jesus, got involved. He knew and we are learning that money is not the cure for a sinful world. We can take vows of poverty and give away all we have, but if we don’t love, it is a useless endeavor. Our churches can exercise all the God-given gifts, but if we don’t show love, it will not bring others to Jesus. We tend to show others “love” when it is convenient and cost us very little in terms of investing time and touch. Before anyone can really show love, they must have the love of God in their hearts. True love comes only from God.16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.​ God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect.  ​ – 1 John 4:16-17 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 04-04-2018

Show Love By Words and By Deeds

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10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.–Romans 12:10-1​1​ NIV

We should always be humble in allowing others to go before us, that is one way we can show our love for them and for Jesus. Jesus is our example. He left all of His glory in heaven, came to earth as a “man of sorrows” and had a servant’s heart. Though He never sinned, He was obedient even to death on the cross. In those days when someone was hanged on a tree, He was considered to be cursed by God. This curse by God for our sins was the agony that Jesus wanted to avoid, but He could not be disobedient to the Father. There are times when love calls us to be meek and lowly just as Christ demonstrated.  But there are other times when love and devotion to God calls for another kind of action. Jesus also demonstrated this when He drove the money changers from the Temple. His zeal for the Father’s house consumed Him. God is love, Jesus was all God, so Jesus was love, but that never caused Him to compromise His stand against wickedness and evil. He sometimes spoke very harshly to the scribes and Pharisees.  God doesn’t need us to defend Him or His Word.  He needs us to be His representative and stand for Him.

13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.Ephesians 6:13 NIV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 03-17-2018

Show Genuine Affection

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Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. – Romans 12:9-10 NLT
Unfortunately, the English language has one word for “love” so it can be confusing as to what we mean some times. To say we “love” our family, “love” our car and “love” ice cream, we use the same word, but the depth of feeling for each category would not be the same (at least, one would hope not). So, what does sincere love mean and how do we show it?   The Greek language has five or more words that can be translated “love”. The Greek word used here is “agape” which means affection, good will, love, or benevolence. So, the definition gives us some hints of what it is and how we can show it. Affection means to show tenderness or warmth to others. There are instances of people who have broken into tears because someone has tenderly touched them.  The human touch is an amazing thing and it is one way we can show sincere love.  Just as Jesus touched the lepers, we must be willing to touch the “untouchables”.  We can show sincere love with our benevolence. This can, but does not necessarily, include monetary gifts. Jesus said a cup of water given in His Name was showing your love for Him. It can be as simple as a smile or a hello or it can be complex, as shown in the story of the Good Samaritan. Either way, it requires us to be involved in the lives of those around us. One study has shown that  it takes at least seven touches to lead someone to Christ. We can show sincere love by being one of the seven.


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 03-15-2018

Love Jesus – Love Your Neighbor – Love Yourself

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13 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. 14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”15 But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another. – Galatians 13-15 NLT

Those who choose Jesus are “free indeed”. Jesus died to set us free from the bondage of sin. But, we must never take that liberty as a license to live a lifestyle of sin and indulgence in sinful pleasures. Whereas, before our repentance, we were bound to do those things that the flesh desires, we are now free to do the things that the Spirit desires. True repentance means turning from one way of life to a new way of life. In our old lifestyle, there was no compulsion to forgive anyone for anything or to love any one. Now, with the love of God and His Holy Spirit living in us, we are compelled to forgive and love. It is impossible for man to do that without the leadership of the Holy Spirit. If we truly love Jesus, we keep His commandments. Those commandments require us to love and forgive. Loving and forgiveness are not products of our emotions, they are willful decisions that we make. If “loving your neighbor as yourself” takes you to the cross, are you willing to go?
Jesus was!

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 01-16-2018