Tag Archives: Gary Chapman

Ex. 4; Luke 7; Job 21; I Cor. 8

Moses was concerned, doubtful, worried–what if they don’t believe him? What if he got tongue tied? Can’t you send someone else?

But it’s God who empowers. It’s God who changes hearts.

He can turn a staph into a snake, and water into blood. He can take a leader’s heart and make it hard.

Later, these signs would not immediately sway a Pharaoh’s hardened heart, but in this chapter, it’s love that brings about worship.

29 Then Moses and Aaron returned to Egypt and called all the elders of Israel together. 30 Aaron told them everything the Lord had told Moses, and Moses performed the miraculous signs as they watched. 31 Then the people of Israel were convinced that the Lord had sent Moses and Aaron. When they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped. Exodus 4:31 NLT, emphasis mine.

In Luke, Jesus has been healing and raising the dead, and John asks, “Are you the one?”

But it’s the woman bent over the Lord’s feet, pouring out perfume and tears that underscores: it’s love that brings about worship. He knew her many sins and didn’t turn away from her. In fact, he forgave her.

Paul tells in 1 Corinthians 8:1B: It is love that strengthens the church.

The prettiest words, the best arguments, the fanciest decorations, the strongest resistance–no, no–exclusion, judgment, grudge, spite–matching T-shirts, Facebook pages, Tweets in 140 characters or less–they don’t touch love. I can’t Photoshop it. I can’t Pin it. I can’t sell it. I can only give it away.

It is the heart’s hearing of concern and the seeing of someone’s misery. It is the presence in a sinful life repented, and a forgiveness of wrongs. Oh, I can come up with any number of reasons and excuses to deny it and dispute it (it’s too hard;  it’s complicated; do you know what they did; I don’t even like them)–but the barest essence of a life lived in faith is love.

What would your relationships be like if you treated every individual as a potential friend? This comes from Gary Chapman’s book Love as a Way of Life. I think of hurtful relationships, and can’t love shine there? God gives me opportunity to forgive and to love, and I can turn away and say, “Can’t you send someone else?” Like he used Aaron as Moses’ spokesman, he can use someone else for his glory.

But wisdom is shown to be right by the lives of those who follow it. Luke 7:35 NLT.

Lord, empower me, please, to serve you in the places you put me. Love draws people to you, to worship you. I don’t want to stand in the way of anyone getting to worship you–as my withholding of love or forgiveness is not a witness of my faith, but rather of my heart.

Courtney (66books365)

 

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Filed under 1 Corinthians, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Exodus, Luke, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament

Gen. 11; Matt. 10; Ezra 10; Acts 10

I’ve been thinking a lot about language barriers lately. Not so much the spoken language, as the ones not spoken. A number of years ago, I read a book called The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell. The languages (acts of service, quality time, encouragement, physical touch, gifts) have been on my mind for months, how they look in the grown-up world, and during a recent gathering of relatives, I realized a cause for many generational hurts was that (we) weren’t speaking the same (love) language. I thought about past relationships where misunderstandings may really have been an inability to understand how someone loves/interprets love.

My desire to learn to speak a new (love) language this year has been top of mind, so I wasn’t surprised today when I read of the power a language holds:

“Look!” he said. “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them!” Genesis 11:6 NLT.

At this time in the Old Testament, everyone spoke the same language and wanted to build a city and tower that would make themselves famous and prevent them from being scattered. God would scatter them, and give them all new languages. Their motive was self-centered–their fame, their protection, their power.

But in life God-centered, God gives us power and possibility and unity–through Christ. He gives us a new law, and a new language–love.

Father, you are the author of love, and love itself. You heal and reconcile our broken hearts. In the vapor-mist brevity of this life, help me to love like you. I know that nothing is impossible with you. Sometimes the brokenness of relationships seems too deep and long, but I don’t want to limit you and your power by my very limited and skeptical thinking. You tell me love never fails, and I know yours doesn’t.

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Genesis, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament