Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Loving (Literally) Everybody

Love Everybody, Always

Love people more.

“Love one another.” What is simple often isn’t easy; what is easy often doesn’t last. 


It was a lawyer who tried to set up Jesus. This lawyer asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was. I think he was looking for a plan, but Jesus told him about his purpose instead. He said it was to love God with all his heart and soul and mind. Then in the next breath, Jesus gave the lawyer some unsolicited but practical advice. Jesus told him he should love his neighbors just like he loved himself. Sometimes we see these as two separate ideas, but Jesus saw loving God and loving our neighbors as one inseparable mandate. They were tied for first in Jesus’ mind. I think Jesus said these things because He knew we couldn’t love God if we don’t love the people He surrounds us with.
Simply put, we can stop waiting for a plan and just go love everybody.

There’s no school to learn how to love your neighbor, just the house next door. No one expects us to love them flawlessly, but we can love them fearlessly, furiously, and unreasonably.

We’re not supposed to love only our neighbors, but Jesus thought we should start with them. I bet He knew if our love isn’t going to work for the people who live close to us, then it’s probably not going to work for the rest of the world. Jesus didn’t say who our neighbors are either. Probably so we wouldn’t start making lists of those we don’t need to love.

Each of us is surrounded every day by our neighbors. They’re ahead of us, behind us, on each side of us. They’re every place we go. They’re sacking groceries and attending city council meetings. They’re holding cardboard signs on street corners and raking leaves next door. They play high school football and deliver the mail. They’re heroes and hookers and pastors and pilots. They live on the streets and design our bridges. They go to seminaries and live in prisons. They govern us and they bother us. They’re everywhere we look. It’s one thing we all have in common: we’re all somebody’s neighbor, and they’re ours.

This has been God’s simple yet brilliant master plan from the beginning. He made a whole world of neighbors.
We call it earth, but God just calls it a really big neighborhood.

What often keeps us from loving our neighbors is fear of what will happen if we do. Frankly, what scares me more is thinking about what will happen if we don’t. Being fearless isn’t something we can decide to be in a moment, but fear can be overcome with time and the right help. We can bring all the game we’ve got, but only Jesus has the power to call out of us the kind of courage it takes to live the life He talked about.

Saying we love our neighbors is simple. But guess what? Doing it is too.

We don’t think Jesus’ command to “love your neighbor” is a metaphor for something else. We think it means we’re supposed to actually love our neighbors. When joy is a habit, love is a reflex.

Be love. 

God didn’t give us neighbors to be our projects; He surrounded us with them to be our teachers.

Our friends do things like this for us. They help us see the life Jesus talked about while giving it to us in smaller pieces — sometimes just a teaspoonful at a time.

Selfless love has the power to transform even the darkest places into meadows.


Saturday, May 5, 2018

The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure.


Finally an end to the month long FBT League 2018. Heavily invested my weekend for this league. Thank God for the mental and physical endurance for the full games of 3 periods of 12 minutes because it has been so long since I last played a full game. Wasn't expecting to win anything since there are stronger teams but yay to God for 3rd place.

Not the best season but let's come back stronger. For now, use this break to recover and rest well.
(Hello my weekend...)

So....I am going to try my hands on volleyball, heh.

Friday, May 4, 2018

God's ❤

Matthew 3: 13-17
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”
Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.
And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Another timely reminder of God's overflowing, self-giving love -God is love.
Thank you Jesus



Thursday, May 3, 2018

Divine Delays 🕗


God is faithful
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. — Romans 5:3-4

For the past several years, I have flown several times. And I would love to say every flight is an easy trip. But you and I both know — especially if you fly a lot, too — that your schedule is subject to all kinds of potential interference. Whether it’s long lines going through security, weather delays, chasing down lost luggage, waiting on maintenance to repair a plane, or the flight crew arriving late, anything can happen.

Through all the unexpected delays I’ve experienced, I’ve learned patience and perseverance. Neither of these qualities is my strong point, but God is always faithful to use our circumstances to strengthen the areas where we are weak. He is so faithful to use whatever is at hand to grow us, to keep us on course, and to get us to our destiny. And if we get off course, He’s faithful to help us make an adjustment and get headed in the right direction again.

As you walk through today, let any divine delays strengthen you. Let them challenge your thinking and mature you. Let them keep you on the right course to reach your destiny.

God, I know that You orchestrate my path, and You’re there in delays and schedule upsets. Please grow me and stay with me as I stay flexible this season.


As I embark on a new journey, I know that all is in His timing. It may be late in this world's timing but never in His for He is always on time.
Thank you Jesus

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Finding Blessings in Brokenness



God will make it right

Often when tragedies strike or hard times engulf us, we ask, “Where’s God?” In asking this question, we make the assumption that God must not have known what was about to befall us or else, if He were powerful enough, He would have prevented it. Or we assume that God must not love us, because surely if He loved us, He would keep us from all hurtful times and hard experiences.

We might think that, but none of that is the truth.

This is the truth: God knows. God is powerful. And God loves.

Blameless, Upright, and Broken

When we experience difficult times or feel great inner pain and turmoil, we usually try to assign blame. We say either, “The devil caused this” or “God caused this.”

The greater likelihood is this: the devil caused it, and God allowed it.

Consider the Old Testament story of Job, who was described as being “blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil” (Job 1:1). Yet God gave Satan permission to “strike everything [Job] has” (Job 1:11), but not Job himself.

God allowed Job to suffer incredible loss for reasons that were God’s alone.

Throughout Job’s pain and losses, however, God never abandoned Job for even a moment. He knew at each step of the way how greatly Job was being afflicted. And our sovereign God was overseeing this refining of Job.

The good news for us anytime we find ourselves being broken is this: our sovereign God is overseeing the refining process in our lives. He sees the beginning and the end. He has a good future designed for us, and ultimately heaven awaits.

We can be sure that our period of brokenness is not the end, but rather, a passage and a process to a rich, new beginning.

Yes, God knows. God is powerful. And God loves.

God Always Acts Out of Love

The motivation behind everything God does in our lives and everything He allows to enter our lives is love.

God is never acting in anger or wrath when He breaks us. Rather, God moves in our lives because He loves us too much to see us continue in our sin, remain in a lukewarm spiritual state, or go unfulfilled in His purposes for our lives. God moves in our lives so that we might change, grow, and become both spiritually mature and whole in spirit, mind, and body.

Chastisement Versus Punishment

God’s love prompts Him to chastise us when necessary. Chastisement is God’s method of disciplining us. God’s purpose is to lead us to confront, remove, or change those habits, attitudes, and beliefs that keep us from growing into the full stature of Christ’s likeness.

Punishment is for unbelievers. It is an expression of God’s wrath against those who have rejected the only Sin-bearer who can save a sinful person from that wrath. Our holy God cannot tolerate sin. He must eradicate it from His presence. The unbeliever is in an awesome, terrible position — totally exposed to God’s wrath.

Punishment flows from God’s wrath; chastisement flows from God’s love.

And God loves us so much that He longs for us to reflect His very nature and, literally, to be the body of Christ on the earth today. The chastisement we experience is a means of refinement: just as refining removes the dross and impurities from metal, so God strips us of the sin and the faults that keep us from being made whole.

God Does Not Want to Break Our Spirits

God’s purpose is not to break our spirits, but rather — and for our good — to break the stubbornness of our wills. He does this so He might effect His will in our lives.

A good parent knows that a child’s streak of stubbornness and pride must be broken. The breaking of a child’s stubbornness is not done to break the child’s spirit, but rather, to help the child grow up to be a productive, law-abiding, generous, and loving spouse, friend, parent, citizen, and member of the body of Christ.

Just as a parent breaks a child’s stubborn pride and willful disobedience, so God seeks to break within us the pride and disobedience that keep us from being loving, generous, Christlike people.

God Does Not Delight in Causing Us Pain

Just as it is not God’s desire to break our spirits, neither is it God’s purpose to cause us pain.

Our heavenly Father, the sovereign God, has a purpose in allowing bad things to happen, and His purpose extends not only to my life alone or yours alone, but to the lives of many people whom you and I may influence and help.

If we believe Romans 8:28 to be true, we must believe it to be true for all circumstances in our lives:

We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

Whatever it is that we may experience and however we may be broken, God has a good end for us.

We must never limit God’s ability to redeem even the worst, most pain-filled experience in our lives and turn it into something worthwhile, something that is good for us and that glorifies Him.

Regardless of the source of our pain, we must accept that God knows, God is powerful, God loves, and God is at work. We may not be responsible for what has happened to us, but we are responsible for our response to it. We must ask ourselves, “How can I walk through this pain? How can I benefit or profit spiritually from this?”

God’s Design

Where is God? He was with you at your first taste of pain, He has been with you in the darkness, He continues to be with you, and He will be with you as He uses this experience to do His refining work in your life.

So ask God to reveal to you what He is doing in your life — and what He desires to do for you, in you, and through you as the result of your brokenness.

Ask Him to help you see your brokenness in light of His great design for your life.


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Love of the Cross✝️


The Cross 

Focused on the Cross

For the joy set before Him [Jesus] endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. — Hebrews 12:2

For the joy set before Him… that’s us! When Jesus was on the cross, the joy that kept Him going — the passion that fueled His endurance of pain — was knowing the freedom His death, burial, and resurrection would produce in our lives.

Nothing demonstrates God’s love more powerfully than the Cross.

Jesus wasn’t forced to die. He wasn’t overpowered, outnumbered, or tricked into it. He chose the Cross because He loves you and me. Jesus’ passionate love for us took Him to the Cross — with its pain, humiliation, and complete separation from God — and then on to the resurrected life that means victory over sin and death for you and me. What passion!

Throughout our lives, we have opportunities to show God we love Him. Again, we do these things not to earn His love but in response to His unconditional, unstoppable love. Because our hearts burn with the same kind of passion that lives in Him. So, activate that passion in your life today. Worship Him passionately. Seek Him first passionately. Share His love with your family passionately. Reach out to others passionately. Let’s turn our lives, our families, our communities, and the world around for Jesus!

What amazing grace! What indescribable love! Jesus, thank You for dying on the Cross for my sins — and teach me to live a life of passionate thanks.

Amazing Love

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power… to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. — Ephesians 3:17-18

If you need a light in the darkness today, ponder God’s amazing love for you: 

As He knit you together, He loved you (Psalm 139:13). 

Before you could choose Him, He chose you (John 15:16). 

When you were broken, bitter, and blaming, He made you whole and showed you the sweet taste of forgiveness (Psalm 103:8-12). 

When you had no hope, He became your hope (1 Peter 1:3).

When you were too busy with the cares of this world, He interrupted you to show you what is eternal (Psalm 90:4). 

When you were lost, He found you, rescued you, and showed you that His mercy and justice will prevail (Luke 15). 

When you were disappointed, He taught you that disappointments can bring you to appointments He ordained (Romans 8:28). 

Then, in His ultimate act of love, Jesus owned the Cross — He made a way for us to be with God. Now you are empowered to know His love and bring His hope to a world desperate to know Him.

Lord God, Your love is overwhelming. Show me how to share Your light in the darkness.

 

Monday, April 9, 2018

Keep It Shut: Our Words Matter


For Out Of The Mouth, The Heart Speaks

Sparks, Squabbles, Spats, and Such: Our Words Matter


Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. – Proverbs 18:21

Words are one of the most powerful weapons we have. They can be a sharp sword or a soothing salve, and can change someone’s life in an instant!

Words are powerful and they have consequences.

What starts as a little spark can become a booming blaze, as in the Colorado Black Forest fire of 2013.

James 3:2-12 tells us this about the tongue:
• It can corrupt our whole body.
• It cannot be tamed.
• It cannot pour out both what is bitter and what is sweet.

Luke 6:45 states that the mouth speaks what the heart is already full of. We need to learn to “mind our spillage.”

Our tongues are fire. From where will they be lit: above or below? Are our words a sword or a salve?

Let’s learn to pause before we pounce; to not say something permanently painful just because you are temporarily ticked off.

Perhaps we need a “force quit” feature for our mouths...



A timely reminder indeed,
Thank you God