Holy Spirit

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!

Emptying Yourself

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Philippians 2:7-8 says, “Rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death - even death on a cross!”

What kind of love could have left heaven, the throne of God, and the adoration of angels to come to a world that would reject him, knowing he would be beaten, crucified, and ridiculed so those of us who caused His death with our sin could be saved?

Jesus emptied himself. Took on flesh. Squeezed His very being into an infant. Was born in a stable with stench and animals. And shepherds - of all people - were the audience to the greatest act of all history. This very moment divides our calendar in two - BC & AD.

He preached to people who had trouble understanding his words. He died for those who came against Him in sin. And because he emptied himself in all of that, his name is and will be forevermore magnified and glorified!

I must become less, and He must become more. When I empty myself, it allows for the filling of his Holy Spirit to shine through my life with the glory of Jesus! I pray for us, like Jesus, to empty ourselves today.

And there you go.

God is our Father

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Matthew 6:9a says, "This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven..."

Think on this. For those of us who are believers in Christ, God is our Father. Jesus taught His disciples the way to pray. He included that just as God is Jesus’ Father, so He is our Father. And though we cannot see Him in heaven, He is there with Jesus who is preparing a place for us. The Holy Spirit is now with us to show us how to live until we get there.

Isn’t it wonderful that our Father in heaven wants to talk to us and hear from us? Jesus has given us access to the very throne room of God. He tore the temple veil in two so we could enter the Holy of Holies, the place where God dwelt on earth.

Amazingly, that throne room now resides in our hearts and God, our Father, meets us there. It’s really too wonderful for words. 

And there you go!

Do You Need a Heart Transplant?

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Ezekiel 36:26 says, "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." Seriously!

That sounds like transplant surgery to me! But it’s a surgery of such promise. In her book, Fervent, Priscilla Shirer puts it this way…

Do you see the promise? I will give you. I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart that’s alive and tender again, one that’s beating and responsive again. Engaged again. Able to believe again!

How about you — is that the heart you want? Are you tired of sad? Are you sick of the numbness that comes from apathy? Do you want the heart of flesh that beats Christ’s life through your very being?

Let’s ask Him to make the exchange, brothers & sisters. Our hearts of stone for hearts of flesh! What will it look like when His spirit is poured out in us, on us, and through us?

This much I know — There will be joy, unspeakable, and full of glory. His light will shine; His good news will be shared; His kingdom will increase. Oh, the half of it has yet to be told of what God will accomplish with hearts that are His. And there you go!

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