Yesterday I was meditating on a bible lesson I had taught the previous night about failure. I sensed a great spirit of hurt in my group, some of it visible on faces.
It occurred to me that some in the room had been hurt while in love. Failing at love can cause you to never want to love again. The hurt can be so devastating that you imagine never recovering. A part of you does not want to recover because it means giving up. That’s only half-true; you may be moving on from a love lost forever, but you’ve not given up on love.
Continue reading “Recognizing Love Again”
I just finished teaching at my church a 6-week class on evangelism by Bill Fay titled “Share Jesus Without Fear” and on the last night I asked the class this question: “Why do you want to witness to the people on your list?” (We all made a list on week 1 of those people we knew who needed to be saved). One sweet, godly lady said, “So they won’t go to hell.” I replied that was a common answer and a good one. However, I told the class that your motivation has to be more than that. In fact, what would it say about us if we wanted anyone to go to hell?
To overcome the fear and intimidation of witnessing we need more than making sure our loved one doesn’t go to hell. Someone else said we need love. I told the class yes but that our love for our lost one isn’t enough. I asked them, “All of us love those people on our list, right?”
Continue reading “A Sincere Expression Of Our Love”
I just received a very encouraging email from one of my devotional readers that greatly blessed me. What was most encouraging is how this dear sister-in-Christ and her husband, stationed in Japan, have gone and are going through great trials and yet they are standing strong in their faith. God is using their lives to glorify Him and on occasion this devotional speaks to them. I am honored and humbled that the Lord has seen fit to use me as one of His conduits.
There are more than 230 of you receiving this devotional and no doubt each of you could testify to how God has seen you through tough times. Or perhaps you’re facing tough times right now and see no way out. Too often we try to fight a battle that isn’t ours. We need to allow our King to step into the fray for us.
Continue reading “Chasing Healing”
We can be somewhere and have yet not arrived. Someone may ask you, “What are you thinking about? Where are you?” Of course if the person is talking to me then I am obviously physically present, but mentally I may have not yet arrived. My mind is somewhere else.
If I’m going to let go of the future and stop looking at it with a weary eye, I need to live in the present as though I’m already in the future. That may seem somewhat confusing but it was the Apostle Paul’s prayer for the Philippian church:
Continue reading “The “Already” And “Not Yet””
I’ve decided to combine the last step in our spiritual growth with its ultimate destination. Brotherly kindness is heavenly linked to love, which agape love is our ultimate destination in our spiritual growth. When we learn to love like Jesus loves, then we have arrived as a Christian. Loving like Jesus does is humanly impossible. It takes amazing grace to have this type of love. It is not human love; it is spiritual love.
The Greek word we get brotherly love from is philadelphia, yes the word from where we get our Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love as it is known. This word literally means “love for the brethren.” The brethren are fellow believers; members of the Body of Christ. If we are going to grow into Christlikeness, we must love our brothers and sisters in Christ. it is not optional:
Continue reading “Spiritual Growth – Love”
Last night on my way to church for Men’s Ministry, I turned on K-LOVE and the DJ was talking about tomorrow being Valentine’s Day and that it can be a tough day for the lonely. That first struck me as odd because even when I was single or had just come off of a broken relationship, I could not remember ever facing Valentine’s Day in such a way. But the DJ had experienced that loneliness and gave an encouraging word that no one has to be alone if they are in Christ. And that surely rang true in my heart.
I have faced lonely times but having given my life to Christ I have known His love in those sad times. Being a child of God means never being alone. As a Christian, no matter where I am at, I can find a brother or sister in Christ and be with family. The Apostle John recorded such sweet words to remind us of this:
Continue reading “What Manner Of Love”
What does it mean to love with agape love? The actual definition of agape means unconditional love and while we understand the term theologically, how does that manifest itself practically? Paul gives us a glimpse in his opening to the Philippian Church:
“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace. For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ. And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:3-11)
Continue reading “Loving Like Paul (Part 1)”