Then they remembered his words… Joy, pain, frustration and elation – We respond to our feelings and they sometimes cause us to do things we wouldn’t ordinarily do, both good and not so good. Lord, your love within us supersedes all feelings and all things. Give us the time that we need to recover from those feelings, helping us to remember that your love is the ointment that soothes and the spice that seasons and preserves our relationship with you. Thank you God, for it is by your love that we seek to live and by your love we call others to life. It is all the treasure that we need.
Open my eyes that I might see Psalm 119:18 I remember a time while I was waiting in line to return an item, a woman at the counter had dropped all of the contents from her wallet on the floor. Almost immediately, another young woman who was also at the counter helped to pick up the contents. A gentleman behind me waiting in line remarked; “That’s something you don’t see up north.” I suppose he was comparing the behavior to people in other geographic areas. The gentleman’s comment reminded me that we can’t know what someone is like without first having experienced them. If we assume that kindness is only found in specific geographic areas, why aren’t all of us as believers, living in those places? If we are not experiencing kindness from others in our current place, then others may not be experiencing kindness from us as well. Yet, if Christ is within us, then perhaps we are where we are in order that God working through us, we remember to demonstrate the kindness, that others like to see not only in the north, but the south, east and west as well.
I believe experiencing love for oneself is one of the most important things we can teach our children. It is not simply the arrogance of loving oneself. It is experiencing love in relationship with the Holy Spirit within us. It is the consciousness of what is good, what is right, what is whole, and what is perfect. It is not experienced in bits and pieces but rather consistent and ongoing knowledge of God’s love for us in spite of our conditions. This ultimate perfection in love cannot be experienced through other people because as humans we are imperfect. It can only be experienced through God in Christ. As much as we like to think that our love is perfect, it is not. We hurt each other albeit unintentionally. Even our feeble attempts to protect those we love hurts because we want to hide things. The reality is that we hide things to protect ourselves, not the people we love. If we first seek and experience God’s perfect love, then we will know what love is suppose to feel like, without conditions (mercy and grace). Having obtained the perfection of God’s love within us, it is then that the peace, which passes all understanding, becomes our peace, walking in love, as Christ loves us. We obtain that peace when we understand God’s love for us. When we understand God’s love for us, then we are able to begin to apply God’s love to other people. Not the other way around.
1 John 4:7-8 …because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.
Lent: Day 30 – There are times in our lives when things are really bad. Feelings of fear, oppression, disappointment, frustration and loss have become overwhelming. Absolutely nothing could be worse, than the way things are right now. Then one day you find the strength through God’s word to make a move in a different direction towards something that is both plausible and doable. However, instead of things getting better they get worse. Every ounce of strength and faith we have in God’s word, will be tested by those who refuse to see what we see and refuse to know what we know within your heart, through Christ. During the time of struggle, whatever time we take to understand God’s presence in our lives will be lifted up as Christ himself was lifted up. However, as we draw closer to God in the spiritual, the powers (depression, fear, jealously, pride, anger etc.) that belong to the physical realm begin to fight back. We don’t have a Moses per se, someone in the physical who can respond for us. What we do have is Christ within us by whom we respond in faith. Our faith becomes your shield in the face of those who put a stumbling block before us. What others intended to be a nightmare for us, has now become their nightmare because faith is like fire to those who do not believe. God who is faithful, will lift us up and continue to move us in the direction he intended us to be, in reconciliation with him. Believe and Live!
Exodus 5:1-6:1 ‘You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as before; let them go and gather straw for themselves. But you shall require of them the same quantity of bricks as they have made previously; do not diminish it,…Then Moses turned again to the Lord and said, ‘O Lord, why have you mistreated this people? Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh: Indeed, by a mighty hand he will let them go; by a mighty hand he will drive them out of his land.’
Mark 9:42-50 ‘If any of you put a stumbling-block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea…‘For everyone will be salted with fire. Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.’
I lift up my eyes to the hills—
from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
Merry Christmas! Today, I want to share another learning experience I believe (at least for myself) takes discipline in Christ to achieve; learning to live beyond what we feel and what we think other people are feeling about us. I have learned to not make assumptions or decisions based solely on what I feel or what I think other people are feeling. When it involves someone we don’t know (or don’t have a relationship with) leave it alone. However, in relationship (or someone you’d like to be in relationship with), always ask for what it is you need to know. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get the answer you want to hear. Be thankful that whatever they have told you is hopefully the truth. However, understand that as our circumstances change so will our truths. What was real for someone yesterday may not be valid for him or her today and completely irrelevant tomorrow. The good news is that God’s truth and the gift of his Love is not only unchanging but everlasting. Let the Spirit of Christmas reign. Forgive and be forgiven!
Don’t be discouraged, Give thanks; God’s truth; Gift of his Love; Forgive;