Tag Archives: loving others

I Kings 7; Ephesians 4; Ezekiel 37; Psalm 87, 88

I sometimes think all things should work out for me, here and now; as if I should completely find rest and satisfaction on earth. Expectations of God, of others, of me, and impatiently waiting for it to happen, now. Entitlement – a word to describe the belief that one inherently deserves privileges or special treatment. And I have no qualm in declaring with other worshipers, “All my springs are in you,” (Psalm 87:7). Hint to God.

Reality often strikes the senses like plunging your dry, warm body into a frigid pool of black water – shocking, awakening, slicingly sharp. Each time, I go back to my knees. Regroup, re-read Scripture, PRAY…“O Lord, God of my salvation, I have cried out day and night before You. Let my prayer come before You; Incline Your ear to my cry,” (Psalm 88:1, 2). Then more waiting…

When I forget that I have been redeemed, reborn, I feel like Israel who cried out to God, “Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!” (Ezekiel 37:11) Yet, regardless of my culpability in getting lost, God reminds me of His unfailing love. He demonstrates His mighty mercy to Israel and by their example, to me. God took the prophet Ezekiel to a valley to see dry, bleached bones come together; sinews attach, and flesh cover as the bones came to life. He gives this same promise of restoration and revival to the drought within this earthly temple, this jar of clay, me. And even if these promises become sparks of light He shoots out of my fingertips to others, I will be glad. Like King David who dedicated his personal goods to the future sanctuary that his son Solomon, not David himself, would build; I take pleasure in being a conduit for translating concern for the things of God to my family and others in my little sphere of influence. I can make every word count, every effort all in, every passion submitted.

Ephesians 4:29, 31, 32 “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” If my heart is turned to pleasing my heavenly Father and loving others, then the things of earth will pale in importance. How easy it is to trust God when my heart is set on obeying His commands. How satisfying it is to forget that I am and immerse myself in the “Great I AM.”

 

Janet (jansuwilkinson)

All Scripture and commentary quotes from: The Nelson Study Bible, New King James Version, Trinity Fellowship Church 25th Anniversary Commemorative Edition, 2002.

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Filed under 1 Kings, 66 Books, Ephesians, Ezekiel, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, Uncategorized

Leviticus 19; Psalm 23, 24; Ecclesiastes 2; 1 Timothy 4

Those others. People not in my immediate family. Those others played a huge role in my life: the Hispanic family down the street that knew just enough English to share the gospel with me (It was the seventies; I was nine and it was the first I’d heard it); the girl in fourth grade who prayed with me for salvation during an after-school playdate (I was ten); accompanying other friends to church on Sundays because my family didn’t go (I was eleven).

Oh, didn’t He pursue me?

Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life … Psalm 23:6 (NLT)

And He did it through others. The man on the college campus offering me a Bible (I was nineteen and angry. I refused it); I was cleaning a kitchen when a client’s grown daughter asked me what church I attended (I was twenty-one, and curious); a new neighbor inviting my husband and me for dinner, her husband praying before the meal (I was thirty-two); a former math teacher catching up through the years with me, encouraging me to give my children a religious foundation (I was thirty-four with a toddler). How many more professions of faith in Christ did I meet along the way? So many others on this journey, all of them influences.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. Psalm 24:1 (NLT)

Jotting down notes in Leviticus, struck by the occurrence of others: love them, provide for them, stand up for them, be fair. These others–they might be called native-born, foreigners, rich, workers, poor, elderly, neighbors, deaf or blind. Talking about how one should treat others, and wasn’t that me?

Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. 1 Timothy 4:12b (NLT)

Grateful for these words, this encouragement for others … to love them, provide for them, stand up for them. It’s how Christ’s love was portrayed to me, as an other. All part of His goodness and unfailing love. What an honor to be part of His plan to influence others in love.

Lord, as I move through my days, help me to see opportunities to love others–starting in my home and extending out to those who may be far from you. I pray that my example would glorify you–leading people closer to you and not further away. I thank you for your relentless, tireless pursuit of me, using others to love me–boldly making you known.

Courtney (66books365)

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Filed under 1 Timothy, 66 Books, Leviticus, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms

1 Chronicles 15, Amos 9, Luke 4, James 2

“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

James 2:14 – 17 NIV

__________

Almost every morning, I listen to Mercy Me’s latest CD The Generous Mr. Lovewell while packing lunches and making breakfast for the kids. The history and thoughts behind the making of the CD can be found here under Biography/Artist.

“The message of committing to extravagant selflessness and faithful optimism threads its way through every song.” *

So with thoughts and aspirations on how to love my neighbor and be available to those around me as the hands and feet of Christ, enters my scripture passage from James 2 and it’s message of Faith and Deeds. Faith by itself isn’t enough. “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder.” (James 2:19)

How often do I call myself a Christian by my faith, yet fail to live a Christian life in deeds? How often do I put my own desires ahead of someone’s true needs?

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Lord,

I want to be available to You and doing your deeds for those around me. Please open my eyes to the needs of others and help me to love them because of your unending, undeserving love of me. May the words of this song be our prayer and aim as Christ-followers. “We will be Your voice calling. We will be Your hands healing. We will be Your feet walking into a broken world. We will be Your chain breaker. We will be Your peace maker. We will be Your hope and joy. We will be Your LOVE.”

Your blessed beyond measure daughter,

Beckie (look2thehills)

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Filed under James, M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, New Testament