Love

Stop Giving Up On People

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Consider the command in Ephesians 4:32 to be kind to one another, tenderhearted, and forgiving.  When we carry resentment in our hearts, it’s like a little pocket of poison that pulls down our personalities and sours our spirits.  But when we’re kind and pleasant, it lightens our burdens and brightens our days-not to mention what it does for others.

God knows how we best function-He created us-and He’s an expert on the care of the soul.  Obedience not only glorifies Him, it blesses our lives.

Commentary from David Jeremiah’s Pathways Devotional, May 10.

Love: The Superior Way

If I speak the languages of men and of angels,

but do not have love,

I am a sounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I have [the gift of] prophecy,

and understand all mysteries and all 

knowledge, and if I have faith,

so that I can move mountains,

but do not have love, I am nothing.

And if I donate all my goods to feed

the poor, and if I give my body

to be burned, but do not have love,

I gain nothing.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3

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The Beauty of Worship of God

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What is worship?  A. W. Tozer described it this way:  “Worship is to feel in your heart and express in some appropriate manner a humbling but delightful sense of admiring awe and astonished wonder and overpowering love in the presence of that most ancient Mystery…which we call Our Father Which Are in Heaven”.

For some, the word worship conjures up awkward feelings of being uncomfortable while singing in a church setting, but notice Tozer never mentions singing, raising hands or even being with others.  Rather, he states it is expressing “in some appropriate manner” that which you feel in your heart toward God.  In fact, the most commonly used word for worship in the New Testament, the Greek word proskuneo, has more to do with an intimate reverence toward God; being still before Him in awe and adoration.

The beauty of worship is that it is not limited to what anyone believes it should be.  The most important things are for worship to be personal, selfless, intimate and from the heart.  Worship as a performance is not worship, it is performing.  Worship of God is from an overflow of love for Him.

Portions of commentary from David Jeremiah’s Pathways devotional, November 24.

The Reason

She gave birth to a son,

a male child,

who will rule all the nations

with an iron scepter.

And her child was snatched up to God

and to His throne.

Revelation 12:5

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Many people go through the motions of the holidays, buying gifts, baking cookies, and sending Christmas cards; but after it is all said and done, they are left with a longing in their heart, a vast emptiness that was not filled by all the merriment of the season.  December becomes a month in which credit cards and stress levels are maxed out.  And though precious memories are made on Christmas morning, there is no lasting meaning for the celebration.

For Christians however, Christmas is a time to celebrate and rejoice that Jesus came down in the form of a baby and brought salvation to an undeserving world.  Today, focus your thoughts on the only true and lasting meaning of Christmas, that Christ came down from heaven to bring us gifts that remain even after the day is over: hope, peace, and love.

Wishing each of you the merriest Christmas this year!

 

Portions of commentary from David Jeremiah’s Pathways Devotional, December 25.

Who do you love?

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For everyone who practices wicked things

hates the light and avoids it,

so that his deeds may not be exposed.

John 3:20

“Keep everything hazy in his mind now, and you will have all eternity wherein to amuse yourself by producing in him the peculiar kind of clarity which Hell affords.”  The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis, pg. 7

The plain birds

Who is interested in the plain birds?  Those that aren’t colorful, nor flashy…

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…but God knows they all sing beautifully  

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Sing to the Lord, praise His name;

proclaim His salvation from day to day.

Declare His glory among the nations,

His wonderful works among all peoples.

Psalm 96:2-3

Drawing image credit:  retrieved from-https://www.pinterest.com/pin/518547344577609737/

Family

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I don’t want to make light of what I’m about to say, but I use this image to lighten a sometimes pretty heavy subject.  That subject being that many of us have in the past, now are, or will in the future deal with some pretty hurtful things from someone in our family.  It’s just the way relationships are.  Sometimes people can make a mess of their lives (just look at her!), and sometimes relationships become messy.

Our families are our greatest blessings-and sometimes our greatest burdens.  When we have tension in our marriages or homes, we suffer deep pain, anger, or anxiety.  When we’re worried about a loved one, the distress can become obsessive.

There are four things we can do in every circumstance: (1) Love unconditionally.  Remember, loving someone doesn’t mean endorsing his or her behavior.  (2) Model the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).  When we’re loving, joyful, peaceful, and patient, it always improves the climate.  (3) As much as possible, keep open the lines of communication.  (4) Pray.

Our families are precious blessings that should be treated with prayer.  Remember, God can do more with them than we can.

 

Portions of commentary from David Jeremiah’s Turning Point Devotional, November 19/20, 2016.

Photo credit: T. Link