Week 39: Love

lovespirit.png

Fruit of the Spirit: Love

It’s the most over-used (and misused) word ever! But it’s one of the most commonly used word in God’s Word.

LOVE

Fill in the blanks:

  • I __________ pizza!
  • I __________ puppies!
  • My Mama _________ me!
  • Jesus died for me because He ______ me!

See what I mean? From cover to cover, the Bible takes this word pretty seriously. In Genesis, Abraham asks Sarah to prove her love for him by disguising her identity. In Revelation, Paul chastises the church at Ephesus for forgetting their first love. But in over 130 mentions of the word Love from Genesis to Revelation, never does it mention loving chocolate!

I wonder how we ever came to misuse this word so completely! What the Word does encourage us to do is…

  • Love those who hate us (2 Samuel 19:6)
  • Love the Lord, our God (Matthew 22:37)
  • Love each other (John 15:17)
  • Love our neighbors (Matthew 22:39, Romans 13:9)
  • Love our husbands (Titus 2:4)
  • ¬†Love…believers (1 Peter 2:17) because…
  • God’s Love never fails (Psalms 107:8)
  • Love covers all wrongs (Proverbs 10:12)
  • A friend loves at all times (Proverbs 17:17)
  • God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16)
  • God is love (1 John 4:16)

Love is something to hold onto when everything else is gone. Something to hope for. Something to live for. Something to die for. Something to DO.

 

Week 38: Walk by Faith

2corinth

{So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. –2 Corinthians 5:6-7 ESV}

I’ve been looking forward to visiting my parent’s house for weeks. Finally, the day came and my daughter and I were headed north past the state line to a glorious 4 day with people we truly loved being around. The neat thing about going there is my Dad always has things planned out for us and we know we will be having some type of adventure when we are there.

When we arrived we were told the next day we would be going to the local rescue mission to donate some items he no longer needed. We jumped in the truck the next morning with a truck bed full of clothes, toys, and electronic items and headed downtown. The area around was dirty and sad, but you could tell the building itself had been lovingly cleaned and taken care of. We back up to an open door and were greeted by a small man with a happy, unusual smile – some teeth were missing – and a cheerful heart. As I stacked some of the donated items in his hands, I realized I needed to stop otherwise he would not be able to see. I said to him, “That should be enough for this trip.” He responded, “I walk by faith, not by sight, so load me up!” I just sat there in awe, final came to and then continued to stack clothes in his hands. Here is a man that has obviously had hard times, but contributing to his community by working. A man who could easily be down because he doesn’t have a lot. A man that sees the greater good because he has God leading him in his life.

When we were finished, I told him to have a blessed day and he confidently replied that he would. Yes, sweet man, I’m sure you did! Let us be reminded to walk by faith, not by sight because our God has given us everything we need. Be Blessed!

Week 37: Pretty Side Out

Psalm11918.jpg

{Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things from Your Word.–Psalm 119:18}

I placed a cross on my rearview window in my car the other day and it kept turning on its cord so I kept on seeing the back side of the cross. I took it off and then put it back on the mirror several times, but it kept on turning no matter what I did. I finally conceded to the fact that the back side was not was not as nice as the front side would be and that others would now see the pretty side. It made me think — we show God’s love (pretty side) toward others and our side (not as pretty) needs to be kept to ourselves. We as humans can be ugly toward others – jealous of people who have worked hard, short with the ones we love, not listening to the needs of others, and so many imperfect actions we do as creatures of sin.

What would happen if we really tried to look at others through God’s eyes? What would happen if we took the time for the people that cross our paths every day? If we held the door for the person behind us who is having a bad day? Listen to our family rather than zoning out on our phones? My goal this week is to purposely show God’s (pretty) side to others. Won’t you join me? Be Blessed!

Week 36: Can’t

phil413.png

{I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me.–Philippians 4:13}

What an ugly word “can’t” is. I was talking with my husband about a goal I have and asked his opinion on how to meet that goal. After a while, he stopped and said, “Do you realize everything I suggested you said to me I can’t do that?”. I paused and realized he was right (I’m being transparent right now and it’s a little hard to do that). After talking with him, I opened my Bible and asked God to just take over this area in my life. It made me realize, I’m not strong enough on my own to meet this goal by myself. I am going to have to relay on Him to help me go through the hard times of meeting my goal. I will be the one doing the physical work with Him beside me.

This morning I overheard two women talking and one asked the other how she was doing. She answered in a monotone voice that was she doing just fair and she wasn’t going to do something because she just can’t — it’s too hard. I thought to myself, “Wow, that’s so silly, you’re not even going to try?” BAM!! Yes, it was a thump on the head from God for me. I had to be outside of my situation to see how I sounded. A dear friend said, “Don’t compare someone’s chapter 20 to your chapter 1.” Here’s the thing, you have to open your book and start on page 1 and pray for God’s strength. Know that you may end up reading the first chapter a couple of times before you make it to the end of your book. Just don’t leave a bookmark on the first page. Be Blessed!

Week 35: His Timing

ecc311

{God makes everything happen at the right time. –Ecclesiastes 3:11 (CEV)}

I had rented a popular movie the other night and needed to return it to one of those outside movie boxes. I always return movies to the same place, but I ended up going home a different way and realized too late that I missed the street and would have to find another location to return the movie. Score! I found a corner store and pulled into the parking lot. I noticed a man at the movie box looking very frustrated when I walked up. He walked away empty handed and got into his truck with his family in it and sat there for a moment. As I walked up to the box screen I noticed it was still on the first letter of what he tried to select and it started with the same letter as the movie I held in my hand. I turned around to his truck, waved my hands, and he rolled down his window (I can only imagine what he thought at first). I asked if he was looking for the movie I held and he said “YES!”, I told him I’d return it then he could have it. I could see the relief and joy in his eyes as his kids clapped in the truck. I told him I didn’t usually drop off my movies there, but I guess God thought it was meant to be. He agreed, smiled and thanked me again. I sat in my car for a moment to see him drive away much happier than when I’d arrived.

It made me think…timing is everything. Especially when we realize it’s God’s timing! He chose for me to miss my original turn, to drive up to that particular store, have the man still there, leave the screen on the letter, and gave me the insight that my movie may have been the one the Dad was looking for. I believe there are no coincidences; instead directions from our Lord. Trust in His timing. Be Blessed!

Week 34: The Right Thing

1-peter-3-14

{Even if you have to suffer for doing good things, God will bless you. So stop being afraid and don’t worry about what people might do.–1 Peter 3:14 CEV}

My integrity was tested tonight. Do the right thing for a personal issue and have someone disappointed with my decision or say to myself, ‘Will it really matter?’ and make the popular choice. It can be troubling to think about what will be said or thought about you for taking a stand. I remembered my family and friends depend on my honesty and faith to be the person God created me to be. I am fulfilling His plan with my good choices and being truthful so the choice was easy.

It made me thing – the person who was questioning me on my decision to do right in this situation is who I will lift up in prayer for strength. I may be God’s tool for that person to show His glory. Cutting corners or choosing the easy way may be robbing God from the future gifts He wants to give us. Be strong and be blessed!

 

Week 33: Begin

2chron.jpg

{But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded. — 2 Chronicles 15:7}

I went to a local fast food drive-thru for lunch and was amazed by the team work that was displayed in the parking lot. There were 2 people taking orders, a person checking receipts, and another person handing out the food in front of the window to help speed up the process. At first, I thought this is a whole lot of people just for lunch. Then I realized there had been at least 10 cars in front of me and it took less than 5 minutes to play my order and receive it–and it was right! See, they saw the small goal–get customers their food quickly, but they also honored the big goal–time matters to their customers.

It made me think–how thought out is my life? Do I see the big picture and realize that breaking a big process down to make it more successful is worth my time and energy? Am I intentional with the little things I do? Our God has given us the skills to be successful. Sometimes we just have the break down the big goal and start with 1.) BEGIN. Be Blessed!