Love Is Not

10 Ways to Love

Love is not reciprocal; love is sacrificial. Look at the verses above. A lot of the time, a couple of those are REALLY difficult for me.

(If you have started opening your Bible, make sure you look up the verses and underline them!)

We all tend to love “if you” or “when you”… right? If you do this____I’ll be able to love you. You don’t love me…you never_____. Are you with me? We wait for something to allow ourselves to love. We want to make SURE that person will love us back. I think that’s mostly because we are in such a broken world. Most people have been hurt by friends or family and that has caused us to put up a wall.

“Try to show as much compassion as your Father does” Luke 6:36

Jesus asks us to love sacrificially. When I think of the word sacrifice. I think pain, hurt, uncomfortable. What do you think of? We ARE expected to love EVEN WHEN it is uncomfortable. Even when the person might not feel the same. Think of the people that are in Rwanda. They continue, through God’s love, to forgive each other in such amazing ways. A neighbor forgives another for killing HIS ENTIRE FAMILY. That is continually happening through Christ! Now, you can’t tell me (if you live in the US) there is no hope for you loving unconditionally. If God can help people love others who have killed there wives and children/ husbands and mothers, etc… Whatever you have gone through…It’s possible. Now, I’m not discounting what you have gone through. A lot of you have gone through death, abuse, rape, and the list goes on. I am VERY sorry for all you’ve been through and my heart breaks for your pain. Speaking from experience…it IS possible to forgive and love those people, as God’s children, again.

Remember, 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7. The Bible doesn’t say it’s the verse to use at weddings, thought it fits. These verses are to guide us with everyone, everyday.

1 Corinthians 13

What I learned today…I need to work on more of the above, daily.

Rotten to Healthy Fruit Part 2

Okay, lets get back to the fruit of the Spirit.

So far we know –

Love – what we need to do all the time, even to the people who we don’t quite like.

Joy – is a choice. Don’t fake it, but do your best to choose it.

Peace – in relationships, at work, in your own mind, is key. Always strive to keep peace in all you do. It’s not a weakness, it takes determination and strength.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”     Galatians 5: 22-23

4. Patience -The thing we are taught not to pray for. Why? Because when we pray for patience, God will give us the opportunity to practice it until we really get it! I love what Matthew Henry has to say, “Cast not away your confidence because God defers his performances. That which does not come in your time, will be hastened in his time, which is always the more convenient season. God will work when he pleases, how he pleases, and by what means he pleases. He is not bound to keep our time, but he will perform his word, honor our faith, and reward them that diligently seek him.”
It’s all about God’s timing. Though, as we wait, we have a hard time seeing why God would make us wait so long, HE is in control. We also have a hard time believing He could ever want better for us than we can plan, but He DOES. When I need to remember to be patient, I look to Romans 8:28 “And we know in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.” If you believe in Him, you need to believe He does want good for YOU. The one who loves Him, who He loves. Remember this….

waiting

5. Kindness – This is a challenge for people. Kindness means “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourself,” Philippians 2:3 IF you are thinking of others, you are opening doors, helping carry items, stopping to talk AND listen, writing notes of encouragement, etc…etc… Sometimes it can be as small as a look, word and touch. Our pastor calls that ministry. Look someone that might be having a bad day, IN THE EYES. Say a word of hello, encouragement, SOMETHING. Then touch their arm, hand, back – NOT IN A CREEPY WAY, but in a “I SEE you” way. How can you be kinder EVERY DAY?

6. Goodness – How to define goodness? I always thought if you were good that meant boring. However in “The Goodness of God ” Tim Temple writes “theological definition of the goodness of God is the collective perfections of His nature and the benevolence of His acts.” As I think of the words ruthless and determined, I can understand those them. When I think of the word goodness, I think I get thrown. Good…lacking bad. Just good. I forget who at work, but someone just brought up the fact that God used the word good when he was finished with creating the earth. He didn’t say “great”. The Bible reads, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good…” Genesis 1:31a In this way, I can strive to be good in every way. I know God already looks and me and sees who I am through His eyes. I can only pray I can become better at being good each day and show goodness to those around me. How can you be better at being good?

7. Faithfulness. – Okay, faithfulness I get. I am an extremely loyal person to those I believe in and I have the upmost faith in God. Though I may whine, I am faithful and know God has everything under control. Currently we are in a difficult season, and I am thankful I have yet to feel fear as I know He has something better for the situation planned. I just need to show faithfulness to Him. How can you show faithfulness to God today?

8. Gentleness – There seems to be quite a lot of these that I have trouble with! We are in a society where being ruthless wins. The harder you are the more you will receive. That is counter to the culture Jesus teaches. He teaches the first will be last and the last will be first (Matthew 19:30). We need show gentleness to all. In words as well as spirit. Sometimes, even with our family, we forget to be gentle. We subconsciously thing they HAVE to put up with us. Well, the people around you don’t have to. They do because you are loved. If you have anger issues…make a conscious decision to be nicer today. To be gentle with those God has put around you. Even if it’s hard. Call on the Spirit to help you!

9. Self control – This says it all for me…

Lord keep your hand onWhat area of your life do you need help with self-control? Substances? Porn? (Ladies, that is not just for Playboy, Romance novels count too). Anger? Eating? (That is eating too much or needing to eat). Self-control is needed when you are too controlling, too.

Sometimes you have to have self-control to NOT control everything. I’m working on going to God with EVERYTHING so I make sure He is in control of all, not trying to take it on myself.

What I learned today…There is SO much in the Bible I need to read and re-read. I also learned that I need to pray for the Fruit of the Spirit in my life. For God to help me remember fruit is GOOD for me.