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Spreading Love

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In my post Love Defined I explained how the word love is perceived one way in society– an emotion or attachment and another in God’s eyes–an attitude or behavior. Further I explained that God is the creator of the concept of love and without God love simply doesn’t exist.

We love because God first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

Society has become extremely hateful and negative as a whole. God created us and instructed us to love our enemies. (Matthew 5:44) The intolerance, discrimination, and anger/bitterness that people hold against one another is out of control. It has got to the point for some, that those who are different or think differently than oneself is immediate grounds for hatefulness, slander, and down right bigotry.

God never intended for our world to be full of so much hatred– however by choices made by each person in society– here we are in 2021– God is not allowed to be talked about in school, prayer is frowned upon– yet sex, violence, and other sinful nature runs ramped and no one blinks an eye. I think this year needs to be the year we choose change–choose to spread love–healthy, Godly, unconditional love. The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 4:8 that love covers a multitude of sin.

Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins.

We are called to walk in love, to share the love of Christ with others, and to be the example of Christ’s love to the world. You have everything you need to walk in love. You already have compassion, empathy, patience to love– you only have to accept Jesus and access it through the Holy Spirit. Love is believing the best in people and not the worst.

Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

I want to be clear that when I refer to society being hateful and negative as a whole–this INCLUDES many self proclaimed Christians. In fact if I am being honest–I have had some experiences where the Christian folk was far more rude, hateful, and unpleasant than the unsaved folk who had never heard about the love of Jesus.

This is disheartening and exactly why Christians get a bad stigma. When people see someone whom is claiming to be a Christian and love God acting in such a way– it detours the lost– why would they want to live for Jesus and act like that? We have to be very careful and be sure that if we are talking the talk– we need to be walking the walk. This doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t mess up because you will– we aren’t perfect. Being aware of your talk and actions during your day to day interactions will help you recognize when your fleshly emotions are starting to take over.

In the Bible God gives us instruction on how to behave like a Christian.

Romans 12:9-21

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor (Hate) what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

God wants us to love like He loves– not like the world loves. God designed the concept of love and wants us to understand how perfect His love is. When we spread love in the way God tells us too– It pleases Him. God even went as far to say in Matthew 25:33-40 that when you help others you are helping Him. I have often heard people say why doesn’t God stop all the terrible things in the world or why does He allow people to go hungry and without a home. I usually respond with something along the lines of “God created us and called us to do His work– often times we see these things because God is calling one of His children to help those in the world around them and unfortunately we don’t always make the move when we are called into action.” One person alone can’t fix all the “problems” in the world today BUT if we all did our part and acted when called upon to help and show love like Jesus–society as a whole would be much, much better.

Matthew 25:33-40

33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

5 ways to spread love everywhere you go

Smile at people
Hold the door open for someone
Compliment a stranger
Pay it forward (buy someone a meal, coffee, etc.)
Leave positive post-it notes in public places

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for another day to serve and spread Your love! Thank you for the direction and instruction on what love is and how we are called to spread Your love everywhere we go. Father, I confess at times I get wrapped up in the stress and things happening in the world and quickly forget to spread Your love instead of joining the world in spreading division and hate. I pray that You would remind us of Your love and the examples You have given us through the Bible. Lord, help us to be great and loving servants, help us to spread Your love to all those we come in contact with. Touch our hearts and lead us each day to those You have sent for us to share Your love and truth with. It is in Jesus name I pray.

Amen


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Devotional-Be Alert!

1 Peter 5:8-9

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

There are many voices in the world screaming their agendas and beliefs, all trying to get us to ‘jump on their bandwagon’ and stand with them in their ‘truth’. This is a very dangerous game that people all over the world are playing. Right now it is beginning to get very difficult to speak of real truth– the absolute truth— the truth in God’s word.

In the current time we are in when you stand on the truths in the Bible, people in the world begin to persecute you and begin to exercise the newest trend of ‘cancel culture’. Basically this is a ‘if you do not believe the way I do and do not stand up for what I believe to be truth’ you are labeled a fascist, intolerant, hateful, racist, and a whole slew more of not so pleasant labels.

The Bible warns us of such behavior that in the end days the world will not know the truth and they will except lies for truth and begin to worship the antichrist.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
2 Timothy 4:3-4

With all the fairly recent laws that have been passed we can see 2 Timothy 4 playing out in front of our eyes. For instance, marriage is a covenant that God created for a man and woman to become one. The Bible has a lot to say about marriage and its divine purpose for being created. However, the world is morphing the true purpose of marriage, eliminating the divine purpose of God and the facts on what marriage TRULY is.

Another example would be our leaders trying to remove God out of everything– the pledge of allegiance, prayer isn’t allowed in schools, the talk of removing God off of our currency, and the list could go on. The Bible warns us about turning from the ways of the Lord for our own selfish desires and that is exactly what our nation is doing.

28 “So you shall say to them, ‘This is a nation that does not obey the voice of the Lord their God nor receive correction. Truth has perished and has been cut off from their mouth.
Jeremiah 7:28

The light and truth in God’s word is being snuffed out by the evil, prideful, and selfish ways of the current generations in the world. It has morphed from being about what is good and right to what makes one ‘feel good and feel accepted’.

The problem with this is that the world is teaching us all the wrong ways to achieve self happiness and self worth when in fact neither have to do with us. Our actions or feelings are not what leaves us feeling fulfilled. God created us and the ONLY way to feel complete, worthy, and accepted is to understand who we are in Him and NOT what the world says.

19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
John 3:19

The darkness in the world is attempting to fully overtake the light, but we do not have to fear or worry God is in control and knows exactly what is happening. Remain steadfast in the faith and stand upon the rock of Jesus in truth and God will ALWAYS protect and lead the way.

Be alert when reading ‘news’ stories on social media or listening to them via a news station, ask God for discernment to know what is truth and what is a lie, and be on guard to not quickly fall into the ways of the world.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for being the voice of truth and the light in a world full of deceit and darkness. I confess that there are times I do not use discernment and quickly fall into the trap of lies the world has to offer; Lord forgive me. I pray that each person that reads this will have an open heart and mind to receive Your message. God it is You who gives me these words and I pray each person would hear what You want them to and receive the message they need to hear through this article. I pray we would all be alert and on guard so that when the enemy attempts to deceive us we are ready to put him in his place. I pray you give us all the courage, strength, and wisdom to follow Your Truth above all else. In Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo- Faith Tested

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.

Psalm 3:18 NKJV

The Bible tells us that in the world we will have tribulations- that trials are inevitable. Everyone experiences trials and pain throughout their life. It’s part of life and a consequence of sin being introduced into the world. Believer and Non-Believers alike will all have pressing times.

The difference among people going through trials are the way we perceive them.

Believers often look at their trials in a different light. When we are going through a trial in life we know we can rest assured knowing that the Lord is near to the broken hearted. Just as Psalm 3:18 tell us.

Furthermore, the Bible also tells us that we can rejoice in our trials- knowing that with trials comes spiritual growth. Our faith will be tested- there are countless stories through-out the Bible that show the various trials and testing of faith.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

James 1:2-4 NKJV

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,

1 Peter 1:6-7 NKJV

You can see in the above scriptures that going through trials allows us to grow and obtain practical knowledge of who God is and what He is capable of doing in our life. Our perspective on the trials we face makes all the difference on the outcome and how we deal with the situation.

I personally use to have a problem with perceiving trials in a negative light. I often felt as if I must have done something wrong to deserve going through such painful experiences. When a trial would strike it came with a ‘here we go again’ or a ‘why is it always me’ attitude. This is destructive.

As I studied the Bible, I began to learn that it was my perception and destructive attitude that was making my trials far worse than they should have been. Trials are hard to go through but they do not have to result in our spiritual destruction.

Learning that trials were common and even those in the Bible were bombarded with them- gave me peace to know it isn’t ‘Just Me’. Learning that God is near to the broken hearted and that we should expect trials through-out life in order to grow spiritually gave me the peace of mind that I can and will get through any trial life throws at me.

If God is for me than who can be against me?

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:31 NKJV

Find joy and comfort when you find yourself in trials. Knowing that God is near- He fights for you- and it will produce spiritual growth.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

I thank you Lord for this day- for Your message on trials- and for using me as a vessel to spread Your word. I thank you for Your instruction on the testing of our faith and the knowledge of the growth it brings within us. I pray that each person who reads this will have clarity and understanding of what Your words says. I pray that they would find joy in You during their trials and seek Your wisdom and clarity as they go through them. I pray that the hearts of the lost would be open to Your truth- that they would have an undeniable experience with You. I pray Your love and presence surround each of us- protect us Lord from the schemes of Satan- and bless each person abundantly in Jesus mighty name I pray

Amen

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Daily Devo- We all have Spiritual Gifts

A spiritual gift is a concept in Christianity that refers to an extraordinary power given to each person by God, our Creator, through the Holy Spirit. God has given each of us a different gift according to His plan and purpose for our life. It is our responsibility to seek Him and use our gifts to strengthen the church (the people; not the building) and share the message of Christ.

The Bible refers to spiritual gifts in multiple places; giving examples and direction on what we are to do with the gifts He has given us.

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

Ephesians 4:11-13 NKJV

We shouldn’t be jealous or envious of another person’s gift(s), God has chosen and designed each of us for a specific purpose- tailored to who we are called to be- in Him.

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Romans 12:6-8 NKJV

I myself have often “wished” I had other gifts. However, I quickly began to learn to stop chasing “dreams” that were not meant for me. Stop wasting my gifts, to pursue and wish away my life trying to be something or someone I am not called to be. To start embracing what God has equipped me to do and who He called me to be in His kingdom.

for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

1 Corinthians 12:8-11 NKJV

I encourage each person to dig into God’s word-spend time in prayer- and discover who You are and what gift(s) God has blessed you with.

Then, I encourage you to find ways to use and share your gift(s) with others.

As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 4:10-11 NKJV

Discovering who you are in Christ and seeking to fulfill your purpose in Him is the most freeing decision you could ever make. Learning to embrace and even celebrate the things that make you “different” releases the pressure of feeling the need to measure up to someone else’s standard.

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for being a father who loves us and has chosen us before we were born. Thank you Lord, for blessing each of us with spiritual gifts to grow Your kingdom and share the good news of Jesus Christ. I confess that often times I get wrapped up chasing “dreams” of this world and lose focus of seeking Your purpose for my life. Lord, I pray that You would lead me and guide me in the way You want me to go. Show me the gifts you have blessed me with and how You want me to use them to glorify You. Thank you Lord for Your many blessings in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Invest in your eternity: Make the dash count

The day my life changed and I truly started enjoying life, was when I realized that I was NOT living a life that counted. I woke up each day just to go through the motions. I was not enjoying my life, in fact I didn’t even like my life. I was miserable. I lived to please everyone besides God and myself. I did this for years! Not just with family but significant others and friends too! Everyone and everything came before God and my own well being. This led to being used, abused, and all around taken advantage of. I was a people pleaser and lived for the acceptance and love of others.

I felt as if my value came from others as if pleasing them was the only way I was “happy” with myself. After years of disappoinment, hurt, and the feeling of utter failure, I began to accept that some people will NEVER be pleased. My value and worth does not come from them but from God. He created us each differently with a purpose and plan in mind. We are all wonderfully and perfectly made with our own gifts, trials, and triumphs!

Just as we have a birth certificate we also will have a death certificate. On our headstone there will be a birthdate and a death date along with a little dash in between- the dash is what it is all about. The dash represents the life you lived while on Earth, the dash is what people remember about you and your life, and most importantly what God holds you accountable for.

Romans 14:12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.

Life is but a mist, a fast runner, a breath, a wisp of smoke, a shadow, here today gone tomorrow — these are all metaphors used to describe life in the Bible. Think about that for a minute, let it really sink in, our days are numbered and our time on Earth is limited. We have to understand and accept that some day we are going to die and it’s the choices and life we live during our time here that counts.

Knowing and accepting our time here is limited causes us to examine and alter what our actual priorites are. Knowing the end of something is coming, changes how we approach what is happening in the present. In a way we are all terminal once we are born but if we choose to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior we have eternal life- not here on Earth- but in Heaven. Now that is something to be excited about!

We need to be thinking more about eternity now- I mean afterall we will spend more time there then our short lived life here on Earth. Our residency on Earth is temporary- what happens after we die is eternal.

1 Peter 1:17- If you address as Father, the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in [reverent] fear [of Him] and with profound respect for Him throughout the time of your stay on earth.

Things in this world are temporary and can never truly fulfill us. A realtionship with Jesus will, you will find peace beyond understanding, find joy in each day, and learn to love the life you live as you fulfill your purpose. Celebrate each day as the gift it is from God. Wake up believing it is imporant to live today and that there will never be another day like today.

Being “full of the world” is where waking up stressed out, overwhelmed, worried, and full of anxiety comes from. Because we are human- we often try to control cirumtances that are out of our control. We should be handing over each need, worry, and situation to God.

As we begin to invest our time into forming a realtionship with God, we will begin to feel and see the changes in our life. God isn’t in the business of knocking you out and waking you up changed. As if it were some surgery being performed. He is more the- here is the anestisia- enough to get you through but you are still awake and aware of what is happening. In fact, it is a process that you have to continually agree to as if you are “signing off” as you go. Everything in life is based on the freedom of choice.

We should be living a life with a sense of urgency. The word someday is so damaging as it robs us of today. Someday I will go to church. Someday I will finish school. Someday I will chase that dream. Why not today? We should have a set of priorities that help us stay on track and know where to properly invest our time. We need not live in a “frantic life” but one that is properly prioritized to ensure a happy, healthy, and eternally beneficial. We often hear the phrase Invest in your future- I encourage you to think deeper and invest in your eternity.

Your enemy- the devil- may know he can’t make you do “bad things” but he can make you “busy” with a set of mixed up priorities and a “someday” attitude. Causing you to be too busy to think about eternity.

I ask you today are you living a life you love? A purposeful, joyful, fulfilling life- one that you will be proud to stand before our Lord and Savior and take accountability for? Are you making your time on Earth count?

We are not designed or intended to live in shame, worry, anxiety, or fear. I encourage you to evaulate your priorities and make time for a realtionship with God. Seek Him above all things, look to Him for direction, wisdom, and clarity, ask God to provide your needs and desires. Find your purpose and make “the dash” of life count!

Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Jeremiah 29:11-14 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.

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Give it up!

Do you feel like your in a constant battle? Like your fighting a fight that is impossible to win? Life just keeps circling around you and you feel lost in the whirlwind it leaves behind. You keep feeling like your never going to make it, the harder you try the worse things seem to be getting…

Now.. think of one of the biggest trials or obstacles in your life right now. Maybe its finances, maybe it’s your marriage, Maybe a job, or maybe its your children; the list could go on. Do you have it? Good.

Let me ask you this.. How many times in the past week have you prayed over that particular situation? Have you been seeking out God’s direction or relying on your own ways and thoughts to solve what lies before you.

The Bible tells us in Proverbs 3:5 to trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding. We are to bring each and every request before Him, He will provide your needs.

Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

Philippians 4:19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

We as humans are constantly trying to control everything that happens in our lives. The harder we try to control every little thing around us the more frustrated we become. Before we know it we are drowning in a pool of negativity and pulling everyone around us down. The sooner we come to grips that we are NOT in control, the sooner we can start living happier more fulfilling lives.

Stop trying to control what happens next. Stop trying to control your children’s every move. Stop trying to change and control your spouse. Stop trying to control things that are out of your control. Stop trying to be two steps ahead of God… just STOP! It will never work.

1 Peter 5:7 says casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

This means we need to give it up, let go, and let God. If its worth complaining about, than it’s worth praying about.

Psalms 55:22 Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

I ask that you take the time now to listen to God’s word and seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you (Matthew 6:33).

If you have never prayed before or asked God for help there is no right or wrong way to pray. God knows your heart and he is always listening. I challenge you today to take the time, grab a notebook, and write a prayer to God asking for His guidance and direction with whatever trial is pressing on you today.

It’s time to let go of the things that are holding us back. Let go of the what if’s and the wondering of what will happen next. Truth is weather you what if and wonder it is not going to change what is going to happen. God is in control! He will help you through whatever lies ahead. All you have to do is let go and trust God. He will never let you down. He will never fail you. In fact, He is the ONLY one whom can truly help you through whatever trial you are struggling with.

Heavenly Father,

Lord I pray for each and every person reading this post. Lord Jesus, touch their hearts, open their minds and give them clarity to understand Your Word. I pray they would cast their cares upon you Lord and let go of the things in life that they can not control. Lord I pray that each would learn to seek You first in all they do, in times of trials and tribulation, but also in times of rejoicing. I pray each person would feel Your love and presence and know that You, God, are always near. I pray that this article reaches those that need to hear this word and that You God would get all the glory, honor, and praise in Jesus name. Amen

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- January 16, 2018

1 Peter 3:15- But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- December 12, 2017

1 Peter 5:8- Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- November 30, 2017

1 Peter 5:10- But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- February 26, 2017

1 Peter 5:8- Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking who he may devour.