Loving the Unlovable

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Mark 12:30-31 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

There are people who don’t think like we do. There are people who “get on our nerves” so to speak. There are drivers who make road rage a little easier than others. Loving them is a little on the tough side.

Recently, I have been learning and relearning that even if others are unloving in word or in action, my response is my choice. Acting like Jesus by loving others even when they misread us can be a supernatural act for sure. But remember this, Jesus showed us how to do that while on the cross when He asked, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34

It takes God’s strength as the Holy Spirit leads us to love as Jesus commanded. It is amazing to me that He willingly overwhelms us with His love which can then flow out of us to others.

It may seem strange at first to say a kind work or do something kind for someone we don’t like, but supernatural love comes with supernatural strength when we ask God to help us obey His command to love.

So today, I hope you will pray for me and I will pray for you as we look for an opportunity to be a Good Samaritan to someone. Who knows what God is up to in our lives today? He might even change us.

And there you go.

Making Music

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Ephesians 5:18b-19 says, “Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord…”

Feeling blue? How about an inspiring song? Even if it’s simple, a tune in your head can make you feel happier! It is a scientific, statistical fact that upbeat music releases the feel-good chemical, dopamine, in your brain.

No wonder Ephesians 5:19 teaches us to “speak to one another with psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit.” God’s Word encourages us to “sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.”

On top of the feel-good brain chemical, you, as a believer in Christ, also have the encouragement of the Holy Spirit as you sing to Him. So here’s a melody to get stuck in your head today.

I sing because I’m happy,

I sing because I’m free,

For His eye is on the sparrow,

And I know He watches me.

I hope you are feeling happier already. Keep on singing!

And there you go!

Four Letter Words

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1 Peter 1:14-16 says, As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

Have you ever noticed both holy and obey are four-letter words?

1 Peter 1:14-16 says obedient children need to live holy lives. In verse 16, God says, “Be holy, because I am holy.”

What does it mean to be holy? The dictionary defines it as, “dedicated or devoted to the service of God”. Obey means to “follow commands or instructions.”

If I am living a holy life I will obey the instructions God gives me, because I am set apart for His service. He loves us. He died for us. He forgives us. He asks us to obey so we are truly free to live holy lives.

So let’s rethink those four-letter words; obey and holy. There is another four letter word that makes them both possible. LOVE. Let’s be holy and obedient through Christ’s love today.

And there you go.

(Today’s blog is an excerpt from my new devotional series, Perseverance Seriously! You can order it today by clicking HERE)

I Love You

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1 John 4:11 says,Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

When my mother was around while my brother and I engaged in sibling rivalry, she disciplined us. We were told to hug each other and say, “I love you”.

At the time, it was YUCKY! But what do you know? To this day I DO love my brother.

Sometimes he was annoying! Sometimes he made me so mad! Sometimes I wanted to slug him, and there were times I wished I didn’t even have a brother. Can anyone relate?

But God’s word tells us we should love others because He loves us. So here are a few ideas of how we might go about doing that.

  • A busy clerk needs a word of kindness.

  • A worn out teacher needs a hug and a smile.

  • Someone you meet today may need to hear the words, I love you. Perhaps they have a need where you can provide answers or aid.

Find someone you can love on today.

And there you go.

Becoming Mature and Complete

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James 1:2-4 says,Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Let’s face it. To get in shape physically, it takes perseverance and sometimes, a great deal of pain. But if we want to be completely fit, we must remember, “No pain. No gain!” I go to a trainer two times a week for thirty minutes, which frankly isn’t fun for me. I really like my trainer, but it seems she is only happy when I am sore. She has explained this is the only way she knows the exercises are working. Can you relate to that?

Spiritually, I believe the trials of life work the same way. James 1 says we should, “consider it pure joy” when we face trials of many kinds. Why? Because the testing of our faith develops perseverance.  

Perseverance must finish its work so that we will be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Sometimes I wish it could be easier, but remember, our Father always knows best and He loves us! I admit it’s often hard for me to find joy in the trials of life. Maybe it’s hard for you too. But in the end, we will forever be fit, complete, and mature.  

Today, let’s thank God for trials that come our way because we know we are going to radiate God’s glory when He finishes with our training! The finish line is in view and the crowd of saints is cheering us on to victory!

And there you go!

(Today’s blog is an excerpt from my new devotional series, Perseverance Seriously! You can order it today by clicking HERE)


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