Tag: Love One Another

The Gospel Demands Forgiveness {Inspiring Women}

Hi friends! For the months of May/June, we will be using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries. Feel free to stroll through their Facebook page and blog. They even have a journaling kit and Bible study for this month’s plan!

In order to truly become transformed women, who are changed by our Lord Jesus Christ, we need to become women of humility. Humility, or its opposite – pride, shows up the moment someone has wronged us.

Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others (Col. 3:13, TLB).

How Do WE Respond… when someone has wronged us?

This is the moment where we realize a lot about ourselves and the grace that we are given through the suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is impossible for us to truly forgive those who have deeply hurt us, except by the power of our risen Lord.

King Jesus is the One who is doing this beautiful work inside of us.

And you will know God’s great power. It can’t be compared with anything else. His power works for us who believe. It is the same mighty strength God showed. He showed this when he raised Christ from the dead. God seated him at his right hand in his heavenly kingdom (Eph. 1:19-20, NTE).

Reminded of the Gospel

When these deeply conflicted situations arise, we are reminded of the Gospel. The Gospel reminds us that all people need God’s forgiveness – which is found only through Jesus Christ. They need our forgiveness, too.

God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. . . Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:19, 20b-21, NIV).

Because we have been changed by the reality of the Gospel, we will seek after God’s heart in our relationships. We need to be willing to pursue reconciliation with others, after being made right with God. If we want to see God bring healing, let’s choose to work toward forgiving others.

Letting Go of “The Right”

We may have “the right” to be angry with someone for the way they have hurt us, but we can willfully choose to “count it as rubbish (see Phil. 3:7-14)”.

Why would we do such a thing? Because, we have met Jesus Christ.

From the moment where we said “yes” to following Jesus, our lives have been changed – for the better. Our hearts and minds are being renewed. Now if we haven’t met Jesus Christ or been changed by Him in this dramatic way, we will try to forgive in our own efforts. We need Jesus Christ and His power to forgive. 

Forgiving others is hard, but made possible with Jesus Christ. Every hint of willingness reminds us of the Holy Spirit’s work in our midst. Through walking by the Holy Spirit’s leading, we are able to remember none compare with Him. His truth always wins.

In Christ,

Signature

 

Sacrificial Love Affects the Family

This post is from last year’s study, but I wanted to go ahead and share it anyway – because it just really hit home for me. Perhaps for you too.


Sacrificial love affects the family. Through the Word of God, we learn the sacrificial love greatly affects the family. Not only does sacrificial love affect the family, it is why we have a spiritual family in the first place.

Jesus Christ has come to forgive us of all our sins, call us His sons and daughters, and invite us to be a part of His great family!

Sacrificial Love…

This is not something that we only hear about. It is something we also see. When we have family that offers us sacrificial love, it leaves a permanent impact on our lives.

What Kind of Love?

Sacrificing the kind of love we give – means laying down our lives. Maybe, our time, own wants, or the plans we had for our day or possibly life. What kind of love do we often give to others?

Loving Like Jesus

In Luke (6:32-36), we are reminded that Jesus wants us to not only love when it is easy. We are called to even love the difficult-to-love. This kind of love is what sets us apart from the nonbeliever.

Love He Has Shown

For the follower of Jesus Christ, we have been given a tremendous amount of grace. Jesus Christ, Himself, has come and shown us what sacrificial love is.

“But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us (Romans 5:8).”

Love We Can Give

We can love, because He first loved us (see 1 Jn. 4:19). It is because of Jesus Christ that we can love others. We can love others and give of ourselves. And, we can have the strength and resolve to love with a cost. Because of who it is living, breathing, and working in us. And, His name is Jesus Christ! He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Costly Love

We love with a cost, because this is what makes an impact. As it leaves its affect on others, it affects… even changes us in the process.

How are we choosing to love with a cost?

We love with a cost, by choosing to not just love when it is easy. We choose to love and be present when it is perhaps the easiest to walk away.

In Ephesians 5:25-33, we are reminded of what God says to us, His dearly loved, as He invites us to dive into deeper love.

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, That He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things [that she might be holy and faultless].

Even so husbands should love their wives as [being in a sense] their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself. For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and carefully protects and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, Because we are members (parts) of His body.

For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. [Gen. 2:24.]

This mystery is very great, but I speak concerning [the relation of] Christ and the church. However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly] [I Pet. 3:2.] (Ephesians 5:25‭-‬33 AMP).”

Pretend to be Okay {{Reasons and Reflection}}

Often when we are in the midst of a trial, there is one game we all seem to do fairly well at. And that is, pretending to be okay. Today, was quite simply – “that kind of day.” Maybe, it was for you also.

While we may pretend to be okay, there is one fact we forget. Pretending doesn’t make us closer to being okay.

The Pretending

While, at church today, I did the performance dance. I listened to a beautiful message on
“pride” (I know, right??), and tried to muster up the strength to look okay on the outside. I want to focus on three reasons why we (or I) might do this little dance.

  • Pride.
  • Sparing loved ones of our burdens.
  • To not allow others to mourn with us.

The View From God

God looks at our hearts. He doesn’t want us walking around in our circumstances all on our own. God wants His people to open up and share diligently, so others can be there for us! In all honesty, I shared with a few trusted folks. We need those kind of friendships, where honesty can be utilized. The sharing, much like the illness, can get a bit complicated.

The Reason Why I Share

While man looks at outward appearances, it isn’t the one that ultimately matters. As the Word of God teaches us, God looks at our hearts. That’s what God cares about.

In the Bible, we find these words:

“… God does not see the same way people see. People look at the outside of a person, but the Lord looks at the heart. (1 Sam. 16:7b, ICB)”

Three Thoughts to Share –

Who am I excluding from seeing my hurts? Granted, this is a hard question to ask. Why? It gets into the issue of pride. A lot of times we keep on the mask, so, we look “normal” or more put together. But, that isn’t the real us. I want for us to learn how to tread this road of being honest with people, yet carefully.

“You know what, I have been better.”

Honest, yet limited detail.

My goal in these situations is to love others (and myself) by making these moments memorable. Memorable, because of the trust existing between them and me. Where encouragement and prayer can dwell. (Even alongside joy and gratitude!)

How am I allowing God to use my circumstances, to encourage others? Or, to teach them compassion? By sharing our difficult days, God can use us and the trials we may face. God wants to use us to speak to His children. Maybe, they need to hear your story – to deepen their own relationship with Him through Jesus .

How am I making the choice to be more concerned about my heart than appearance? God wants us to care more about our hearts than appearance. I know, for myself, my heart needs to take priority over making appearances.

God is far more concerned about my heart. That’s where my offering is.

We can each put our foot forward with trusting God goes before us. We don’t have to share everything, but we don’t have to hide everything either. We can be honest. Let’s start with being honest with our great God about how we are honestly doing. Let’s settle it in our hearts to be real with God about how we are doing.

Introvert Speaks: Guilt-Free Expectations

Let me begin, by saying this one thing:

God has given me the most amazing fellow readers and bloggers to enjoy life alongside – as I write and wrestle with this innate desire to be relational.

Thank you ladies and gents, for being soo amazing!

Thank you for allowing me to be real about my struggles – in this safe place. No guilt. No judgment. Just love that brings me closer to my Creator!

The guilt from being relational is real.

It is real, because there is this expectations that most are not willing to meet.

Even though, it can cause me to feel guilty at times. And even if it seems consuming, at times, this is a desire God will use.

Confession

Wanna know what kills me, though? Can I be honest something?

The relationships I view and experience, are often different from those God has designed for His Church. Think about it.

The Church is designed to live, breathe, and work together.

None are designed to go off on their own. We are even given a few important and impactful messages on the Christian community.

Like in Hebrews 10:23-25, where we are taught….

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Also, in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12…

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

When You Haven’t Missed the Boat

Clearly, I am not “missing the boat” in craving relationships with depth. It is backed up with what Scripture teaches us.

Abundant Life –

See, the thing is – God has this AMAZING, abundant life in store for us. As believers, who have wholeheartedly put their trust in Jesus Christ, we have the opportunity to have different kind of relationships than what the world chases after.

Bottom Line –

Bottom line: We were made to have someone invest in our lives, and vice versa. If we are not be filled with God and His Family, we will seek it somewhere else.

I am clawing for relationships of depth.

I am loving the reassurance that God has made our relationships for more.

I am clinging to the Word of God that teaches us the truth about the relationships we seek.

Because the world we live in, it can treat us, as though, we are asking far too much of people. Just to have them be present in our lives. It can lead us to feel, as though, there is just something wrong with us.

Guilt-Free Relationships

But, we aren’t asking too much of people – to simply be present in our lives.

To invest in our lives.

To love us right where we are. Mess and all.

It is not too much. It is not a matter of us needing to settle for complacency.

It is a matter of reviving relationships beyond the superficial gunk that is just going to distract us from the things of God.

It is within these relationships of depth and substance, that we find our Savior Jesus standing, smiling, and welcoming to His table and to experience His Kingdom.

God has so much more in store for us.

… if we would just quit settling.

We Deserve… Frends

We don’t need more followers.

We just need friends.

Legit friends. Friends that are willing to take the time to be with us. Friends that are willing to pour themselves in our lives.

Because the truth is – we deserve to have friendships where we are being poured into – rather than being depleted. We deserve to not only encourage, but be greatly encouraged. We deserve people to step into our lives, when the world steps out.

We deserve to have friends who are willing to take us to Jesus no matter what the cost.

We deserve friends that look more like Jesus, rather than settling for the acquaintances of this world – who have nothing of substance to offer us in the long run.

We deserve people to can step into our suffering, and mourn alongside us.

We deserve friends that carry us to Jesus – no matter what the cost.

KOKO

As the body of Christ, we have a duty to be there for one another. We need to keep each other lifted up in prayer and continue offering support however we can. Some years ago, I wrote about how Aaron and Hur pulled their physical resources to strengthen the brother – Moses – in a crucial time.

How can we do continue to offer support to our brothers and sisters in Christ?

I have a dear friend who I cherish. We have several things in common. We both cherish writing, God’s Word, family, and even share a similar affliction. Which if I were to be honest, strengthens our friendship that much more. It doesn’t mean I appreciate her low energy days or pain. It is just one of those things that has strengthened our friendship.

She has began sending me little messages that mean the world. We may not have this long ole’ conversation. But, those four letters mean so much to the both of us.

KOKO.

Keep On,

Keeping On.

Even if we are not able to have a long phone conversation with a brother or sister in Christ, we can still offer them encouragement they need.

KOKO is one of those things, that just encourages me. It is the underlying message it sends.

I know you are fighting

and the road may be getting rough,

but hang in there.

Jesus Christ is still on the throne!

He is still fighting on your behalf.

Keep your gaze on Him, because He is fighting for you.

Hang in there.

He is with you,

and fighting for you!”

That is an encouragement that only my Christian brothers and sisters can give to me. My other friends, who sadly do not know Jesus Christ, cannot offer the same sort of encouragement. Because they do not know the source of our great hope and life-giving encouragement. The encouragement is rooted in the God in whom I serve.

Because of the God I serve, I can KOKO. I can keep on. I can fight through the bad days. Because of the encouragement found in God, through His Son Jesus Christ, and the Christian Church, I can continue to persevere. I know bad days are expected, as I push past my feelings, health problems, fears, and anxieties. But, God is reigning on the throne. God is continuing to give me what I need to KOKO (Keep On, Keeping On).

2 Timothy 4:7 describes the goal. To “finish well”.

“I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith!”

When my life is done, I pray I could say I gave God my all and finished well. It wasn’t about what I couldn’t do, but what I did do.

It is about how we can continue to spur one another on in our lives, so we can all say at the end of our lives – we finished well, we kept the faith and gave our all to our Savior Jesus Christ.

No, our circumstances will not be what we will. Rather, they are what the Lord wills.

His Presence is not defined by the circumstances we face. Let’s make sure we continue to be present in one another’s lives – despite what we face. May we resolve to be people who seek to love God and love one another with all we have to give.