Archive for June, 2012

Isn’t it a shame how often we have a you first outlook on love? The shame is that’s not how love works at all. The very purpose of love is to be given away not to be acquired. The love we’re trying so hard to find is already ours and can’t be won or lost. It’s only the love of God that truly quenches our burning thirst and once tasted must be shared. Then shared love begets love.

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Ephesians 1:9 says, He made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of His will, according to His purpose which He set forth in Christ. I came across this verse yesterday while reading E. Stanley Jones’ In Christ and what I love about it is that it clearly lets us know that there’s no huge mystery in understanding God’s will. That Jesus is His will, not spelled out, but lived out. That’s not to say we are to go around “acting like Jesus”, but rather that the relationship that Christ has with The Father is the same relationship He wants for us. The things that we can have in common are intimacy, the peace and security that Christ has no matter the circumstance and the ever-increasing ability to trust. The rest will be as unique as each of us. God’s will looked at through Jesus spells “Love”.

Scripture tells us that when we show compassion to those around us that are in need or are hurting it’s as if we cared for Jesus Himself. Today will be filled with opportunities for us to love the Lord through the kindness we pour out on others. Let’s be generous, empathetic and patient. Nothing speaks louder than when people see us put aside our needs, wants and agendas to focus on theirs.

The more we learn to trust God, the better we get at allowing Him to do what He does best. We develop the skill of getting out of His way. Many times when we get anxious over something our tendency is to take matters into our own hands and try to force things to be as we see them. This can put us in a position of competing with God instead of cooperating with Him. Our goal should always be to seek Him and discover how He sees the matter so we can be part of His solution and not our own.

Scripture says we’re to be anxious for nothing, really, nothing? Does God know how many things come our way each day that are really worthy of worrying about? I mean big things. And we don’t need to get worked up about them? Could it be true? The only way to know for sure is to give it a try. Is God real enough, does He care enough and is He big enough to meet us right here, come beside us and take on our worries, fears and concerns? It’s not easy; too often I’ll trust Him with something only to take it back upon myself only to find restlessness and unease. The better I get at leaving those things in His hands the more peace and ultimately resolution I find. I pray this for you today.

One way of approaching life is to assume that no one else is watching out for your best interest. Unless you take what you need you will do without. Another way of looking at things is that you have a God that loves and cares for you and promises to provide for all of your needs. We’re faced with these two views throughout each and every day and the one we choose in a given moment directly affects all involved. Are we going to live in doubt looking out for ourselves or are we going to trust and be part of providing for others?

How often is the irritation we feel towards others a result of us having unspoken expectations? Scripture says to freely give just as we freely receive. Both of those are tough. Is it okay to get agitated when we don’t get what we think we deserve? Or even more so is it all right for us to give but then be disturbed when the gift wasn’t appreciated to the degree we believe is appropriate? The closer our relationship with God the more we come to understand that everything belongs to Him and when we no longer assume ownership we can let go of expectations and freely give what we have so wonderfully received.

There are times when life can be completely overwhelming, we feel like we couldn’t do anything right if our life depended on it, we may be isolated, afraid and full of doubt and the last thing that comes to mind is being thankful. But that’s exactly what we need to do. Even if we can only find one thing to truly be grateful for, it can be the thing that opens the door to hope. With God there is always hope and through hope comes change. Change in our outlook and change in our circumstance.

We all have people in our lives that are difficult to love, maybe even hard to like, they zig when we zag and we can’t seem to ever be on the same page. The reasons are varied but if you dig deep enough you’ll usually find insecurity at the root and it’s typical to find incompatible insecurity on both sides of the rub. These relationships can be the ones that miracles are found in. As we get closer to God, become more like Him, our compassion for those that are different or difficult increases. We get better at seeing the wonderful things about people; we recognize the weaknesses in others as being not different than our own and our hearts change. I’ve seen these types of relationships become some of the richest.

You may have noticed in yesterday’s post that all of the questions began with who, who do you care about, who do you love, who do you give your time to… not what. You see what is never important if there isn’t a person involved. Far too often we get caught up in the thing or the what and lose sight of the folks God has put around us. Sometimes we even appease ourselves by thinking that the thing that is so important to us is for the masses and therefore it’s okay to neglect the persons for the sake of the people.