Posts Tagged ‘love’

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Rejoice With Those Who Rejoice, Weep With Those Who Weep

July 15, 2011

Romans 13:15  “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” 

There was a time in my life when I had shut off most of my emotions.  I did not allow myself to feel happy or sad.  When I saw someone really happy, I resented them.  When I saw someone sad, I didn’t want to be around them.

 In thinking about this scripture, I am so very grateful that today this is not the case.  God has truly removed my heart of stone and given me a heart of flesh (Ez. 36:26).  This process was not quick and was not easy. The stone had to be chipped away with His chisel and many times was a painful process.  There are still bits of stone hanging on, but I know that God will continue to conform me to the image of my Lord (Ro. 8:29).

 I can truly rejoice with those who rejoice today and I can weep with those who weep.  I am no longer afraid to feel. I am able to become vulnerable and not be threatened.  I can love.  Thank you Jesus Christ for making this possible and giving me Your heart.

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Ro. 12:13a Contribute to the Needs of the Saints…

July 9, 2011

We are commanded to love one another (John 15:12).  When you love someone, you are aware of their needs.  Many of us support missions financially and that is good.   Many of us do not “see” the needs in our own church family.

I know that there is a “church mask” that is worn by most of us.  It masks the needs we may have.  The Holy Spirit can break through that mask by giving us discernment if we are willing to follow His lead.  He can also show us how to meet the need in a way that will not produce an enablement of what might be a bad habit (like giving money to an addict).   That is a place where the gift of mercy sometimes does more harm than good.  But, for the most part, if someone needs financial help and we can help, then do it.  If they need friendship, love, compassion, or just to be welcomed and noticed we must be able to fill that need.   And if we ourselves are in need, let others know. 

I belong to a fellowship where there are no masks for the most part.  If someone asks “How are you?”  An honest reply usually follows: “fine” is not an acceptable answer.  “Hi, how are you?” has become a greeting instead of a question in our society.  That’s too bad.

Jesus said in John 13:35 that all men shall know that we are His disciples by our love for one another.  So…how’s that going?

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Continuing Romans 12:10…

July 2, 2011

Well, I spent a lot of time yesterday thinking about this “honor” thing.  I talked about it with friends and looked up the meaning in Strong’s Concordance and, guess what?  It means “honor”, to place in high esteem, to respect.  It means what it means.

If we just back up to Romans 12:3, Paul says “I bid every one among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think…” and if we go ahead to Romans 12:16, Paul says, “Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly, never be conceited,” and there are many more.

So, once again, scripture interprets scripture.

Jesus taught over and over again against pride, taking the Pharisees to task many times and showed his disciples by His own life, how to be humble.  He only looked down on those who were puffed up, never on those who were “meek and lowly of heart.”

So, Lord, help me to always see others as You do and remember that it is only by Your grace that I have been chosen for Your Kingdom, forgive my pride and open my heart and mind.  Let me have eyes to see, ears to hear and courage to act in accordance with the Holy Spirit’s lead.

 

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Outdo One and Another in Showing Honor

July 1, 2011

Romans 12:10 continues the thought of loving one another with brotherly love;  Paul asks us to outdo one another in showing honor.  To honor means to respect greatly, regard highly or esteem.  Wow.

I don’t think I do that well.  I believe I love everyone in our church with brotherly love, but honor?  Hmmm.  I need to think about and work on this.   Respect, I was taught, is earned.  But here, I am being taught it is to be given with grace.  I have never heard a teaching on this and it looks like a great place for one.

I am at a loss for words.  I really have to think about this and change the way I look at others in my church family.   Not only should I highly regard my brothers and sisters, but I should try and outdo everyone in doing so.  This will take practice. 

Sometimes love is easier than respect for me.  I think I’ll have to continue this tomorrow after I meditate on the Word today.

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Love One Another with Brotherly Love

June 30, 2011

Romans  12:10 begins with this challenge.  I call it a challenge because Paul exhorts us to love one another in the body with brotherly love.  I have a brother and love him dearly.  I am able to allow him to be him and I can overlook what I consider his faults; however, I am not so good at doing that with all others.  Because he is my brother and “love covers a multitude of sins”, I am confident that nothing he does affects his basic love for me, nor mine for him.

We are called not to judge, yet I know I do.  I even judge my natural brother, but I then choose to love instead.  I can do that because I already love him.

I sometimes forget that the family of Christ is also my brother and my sister.  I forget to choose love for those who may not fit my expectations;  even I can’t fit my expectations.  I wish that all would love me as I am, am ok with those who don’t, and I hope to be able to accept and love my brothers and sisters in Christ the same way.   They are a gift to me from my God.  They are my friends, counsellors, network, family, testing ground, teachers, comforters…  I do, in fact, love them all and am grateful that they are in my life…all of them.

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Let Love be Genuine

June 27, 2011

Romans 12:9 begins with “Let love be genuine”.  I’ve been thinking about that.  I first was thinking about “genuine” love.  For the better part of my life, I had no idea what that was.  I knew I loved my son unconditionally; I knew I had had an aunt who loved me unconditionally, but I had conditions on every other relationship.   I also thought all others had put conditions on me.  Having grown up in a family where love was conditional, there was no other way for me to think.

Here, Paul asks us to let our love be geniune.   Even though I was born again in 1975, I didn’t understand genuine love until much later.  It was not until I was able to accept myself as flawed and accept others the same way, to let my guard down and allow others to see me, warts and all, that I was able to begin to see what genuine love is.

As it states in 1 Corinthians 13, love is not a feeling, it is an action,  a verb.  To have genuine love is to truly accept, to be tolerant and kind, to see others as Christ sees them and accept them, flaws and all.  Love is caring enough to stay true to yourself and allow others to be themselves, without conditions.

The key word in this scripture to me is “let”.  In order to “let” my love be genuine, I must be genuine.  My motives must be pure, without manipulation, intimidation, judgment, or prejudice.  It is not my job to “fix” anyone, to change anyone, to please anyone.  God as asked me to let myself have genuine love for them.