April 28, 2017

Jesus Is All The World To Me

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Jesus is all the world to me,
My life, my joy, my all;
He is my strength from day to day,
Without Him I would fall.
When I am sad, to Him I go,
No other one can cheer me so;
When I am sad, He makes me glad,
He’s my Friend.

Jesus is all the world to me,
My Friend in trials sore;
I go to Him for blessings, and
He gives them o’er and o’er.
He sends the sunshine and the rain,
He sends the harvest’s golden grain;
Sunshine and rain, harvest of grain,
He’s my Friend.

Jesus is all the world to me,
And true to Him I’ll be;
Oh, how could I this Friend deny,
When He’s so true to me?
Following Him I know I’m right,
He watches o’er me day and night;
Following Him by day and night,
He’s my Friend.

Jesus is all the world to me,
I want no better Friend;
I trust Him now, I’ll trust Him when
Life’s fleeting days shall end.
Beautiful life with such a Friend,
Beautiful life that has no end;
Eternal life, eternal joy,
He’s my Friend.

CRC Worship
written by Will Thompson

This song came into my mind a few weeks ago, and I kept “singing” it over and over.  I noticed that the word “Friend” was in each verse at least once.  Mr. Thompson referred to Jesus as his ‘Friend’. I decided to go to Biblegateway.com to look at Scriptures with “friend” in them.  There are 170 verses in the NIV translation with that term and many more with references to friendship.  Some verses refer to betrayal or jealousy, while others refer to intimacy.  The verses I pulled out refer to the personal friendship with God and Jesus that means “all the world to me.”

Even now my Witness is in Heaven; my Advocate is on high.
My Intercessor is my friend, as my eyes pour out tears to God;
on behalf of a man He pleads with God as one pleads for a friend.
Job 16:19-20

A friend loves at all times,…
Proverbs 17:17

…there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 18:24

One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace
will have the King for a friend.
Proverbs 22:11

When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
Luke 5:20

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
John 15:13-15

Here are just a few more “friend” verses that you may want to read at your convenience: Exodus 33:11, Song of Songs 5:16, Matthew 11:19, Luke 12:4, James 2:23.

There have been (and will be) times when we fall, and we fail to do God’s perfect will.  I’m so thankful that Jesus is there for us.  He is our Strength, and lifts us up back into fellowship with Him.  In Him we find true joy.  Jesus is “all the world to me!

The LORD upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.
Psalm 145:14

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
James 4:10

…and those the Lord has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
Isaiah 35:10

When we are in fellowship with Jesus, we will experience blessings even when we are going through trials.  That’s because wherever Jesus is blessings are too.  They are a part of Him, and we are the benefactors.  Jesus is “all the world to me.”

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms
because we are united with Christ.
Ephesians 1:3

There is no truer Friend you or I can have than Jesus who laid down His life for us (John 15:13), and promises us that He will never forsake us. Jesus is “all the world to me.

…be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6
Because of our friendship with Jesus, we have this assurance:

Beautiful life with such a Friend,
Beautiful life that has no end;
Eternal life, eternal joy,
He’s my (your) Friend.

And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding,
so that we may know Him who is true;
and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ.
He is the true God and eternal life.
1 John 5:20

Jesus said to her, “I am the Resurrection and the Life.
The one who believes in Me will live, even though they die;
and whoever lives by believing in Me will never die.
John 11:25

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Revelation 21:4

Is Jesus your Friend?  If not, He’s waiting for you.  My friendship with Jesus means “all the world to me,”  and I pray you can say the same.  You will have “no better Friend.”

“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone hears My voice and opens the door,
I will come in and eat with that person, and they with Me.”
Revelation 3:20

 

Dear Jesus, thank You for laying down Your life and rising to new life for us. Through Your ultimate sacrifice, You made the way for us to become Your friend, a part of Your family. We have no better Friend. You are our life, our joy, our all. You are “all the world to us.” Thank You! We give You our all to be Your friend. In Your Holy Precious Name we pray, Amen.

The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free
Rolling as a mighty ocean,
In its fullness over me
Underneath me, all around me,
Is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward
To Thy glorious rest above

O the deep, deep love of Jesus
Spread His praise from shore to shore
How He loveth, ever loveth
Changeth never, evermore
How He watches o’er His loved ones
Died to call them all His own
How for them He intercedeth
Watcheth o’er them from the Throne

O the deep, deep love of Jesus
’Tis a heav’n of heav’ns to me
And it lifts me up to glory
For it lifts me up to Thee
And it lifts me up to glory

Selah
Lyrics: Samuel Francis / Music: Thomas Williams 

*  ~    ♥ ~ ✞ ~ ♥    ~  *  

Such a stirring, convicting song!  These lyrics remind us of the immensity and the magnitude of Jesus’ love.  As the song goes, “…vast, unmeasured, boundless….”  No love on this earth ever was, nor ever will be, any greater!  His is a deep, deep love!

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down His life for His friends.
John 15:13

Truly, it could only have been His pure love that compelled Him to die for us. Jesus was fully aware of the kind of sacrifice that was required to redeem mankind.  In His last moments of freedom, while praying in the Garden at Gethsemene, He agonized over what He knew was to come.  And yet, He did it. For us…with deep, deep love!

For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps
for a good man someone would dare even to die.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us,
in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood,
we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God
through the death of His Son, much more,
having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Romans 5:6-10

And so deep is this love of Jesus for us that it requires being born-again—to have Christ living in us—to even be able to comprehend this deep, deep love!

…that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend
with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ…
Ephesians 3:17-19

But, by God’s grace and through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit, we are given some insight into this love.  And to begin to know this love.   To fully comprehend this kind of love I truly believe it will take having the new minds and new bodies which are promised to us when He returns.  Perhaps it is just too much for us to completely understand His deep, deep love at this point.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers,
nor things present, nor things to come,
nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature,
shall be able to separate us from the love of God,
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38 and 39

“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you…” (John 15:12).  These were Jesus’ words to His closest friends during the last meal He would share with them.  He knew the time was imminent and that the time was at hand when He would show His deep, deep love.  He gave clear command to them (and to us—we are to do the same).

And so, what does that mean to you (me, too) today?  How will we show this deep, deep love of Jesus to others today?  This wasn’t Jesus’ suggestion or even His plea…it was His command.  And it is how the world will know that we ARE His!

By this all people will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another.
John 13:35

This Week…LOVE (Advent, week four)

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Merry, blessed Christmas to each of you!  How encouraging it has been to read the Seeking Him devotionals each day during this Advent season focused on the themes of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love.  The Scriptures and the encouragement shared have reminded me of God’s goodness and helped me to prepare my heart for the celebration of Jesus’ birth.

We all know how easy it is amidst all the hubbub—the list-making, and shopping, and baking, and caroling, and visiting, and wrapping—to be distracted from the true importance of the season.  Jesus’ birth changed EVERYTHING.  His first coming as Emmanuel, God With Us, redeemed the past, gave purpose for that present time, and hope for the future.

…while we wait for the blessed Hope—the glorious appearing
of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness
and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good.
Titus 2:13-14

This week, Ahmee, Ann, Cynda, Laura, and Tina have helped us to keep our focus on the love that Jesus’ birth showed to mankind.

For God loved the world in this way:
He gave His One and Only Son,
so that everyone who believes in Him
will not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

*    ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *

Laura wrote in God’s Love Abounds that “If we love God then we should show that same love to our neighbors. We should be helping our neighbors when trouble hits as well as during the good times. This is showing godly love.

Loving God means knowing God.
Knowing God means showing it through prayer and service to others.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.
Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:7

In God’s Banner Over Us is Love, Ann reminded us of the truth about LOVE.

Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Jesus gave us the commandment to love one another as He had loved us. And for us to show that we are His disciples we must love one another.

Christmas is also a season of love—a season to give and a season to care. Therefore choose someone you can bless with food items, clothes, etc., as an act of love. God freely gave us His Son. We should also freely give what we are blessed with!

Cynda shared in Love Is Action of God and Jesus’ proven love for us.  She wrote, “Christ made the ultimate sacrifice, knowing all the while we were not worthy.  He came for us because He loved us.  Romans 5:8 (NLT) makes that clear – ‘But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.’ And 1 John 3:16a (NLT) ties it up in a neat little bow: ‘We know what real love is because Jesus gave up His life for us.’

This year for Christmas I want to focus not only on the miraculous birth but also on the love that was made real in a tiny manger in Bethlehem. I want that real love to flow through me to those around me. I want His love and His light to shine through me.

That’s the reason He came.
That’s the reason for Christmas.
To put love in action.

Ahmee wrote in Love Is A Choice the following.  “Love is—and will always be—an action. Therefore, since love is a verb and requires us to do something—it is a choice. Love will always be a choice. You choose to love your coworkers when they annoy you. You choose to love your boyfriend or your spouse, even when you don’t agree. I fear the day our actions are no longer something we choose to do, and are simply things that happen. Until that day, though, you choose.

As John said in 1 John 3:18:

Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other;
let us show the truth by our actions.

And Tina reminded us of Jesus’ perfect example of love in No Greater Love.

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
John 15:13 NIV

Ponder those words. Do you have a friend that would do that for you? You know that you do. If you have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, He has already paid that price for you. You see, Jesus knew from the Creation of man, that His Father meant for Him to come dwell among us, to be an example of how we should live in this broken world. God knew it would be better for us to see how to live a perfect life. And Jesus is the example of living a selfless life.

 *    ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *

Thank you, ladies, for reminding us and compelling us to be loving as we have been commanded AND enabled to be!  As you have prayed with us this week, may our prayer today continue… 

Father, we thank You for the love that You have for us.  Teach us, Lord, to love one another as Christ has loved us.  Help us also to practice love not only in this season but all the days of our lives, Lord.  Thank You for showing us Your love through the birth and death of Jesus.  Without Him, we would not know You or be able to show Your love to others.
Thank You for sending Your son Jesus to live among us.  Thank You for the many times You give us to live for You.  Please let Your love flow through me each day but especially during this wondrous time of year.
Lord, may we come to understand and embrace love as an action. Let us show Your love to the world.  Let us strive to show this type of love to all. We as the Church are Your example of how love functions. Christ is Your ultimate example of love.  May You receive all the glory and praise!  We love You!!!  And pray these things in Jesus’ name, amen.

No Greater Love

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Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
John 15:13 NIV

Ponder those words.  Do you have a friend that would do that for you?  You know that you do. If you have believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, He has already paid that price for you.

You see, Jesus knew from the Creation of man, that His father meant for Him to come dwell among us, to be an example of how we should live in this broken world. God knew it would be better for us to see how to live a perfect life.  And Jesus is the example of living a selfless life.

We are blessed to know God and His Son. Not all that are called accept true life.  Not all that accept true life follow Him.  All we can do is pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ.  We can pray for their acceptance,  and we can pray for our ability to accept them, not judge them.  We all have to keep our thoughts and actions in check. We get so busy with life that sometimes we forget to check in with our Father. We can change and begin to seek our heavenly Father more.

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us,
not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy.
He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,
Whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,
so that, having been justified by His grace,
we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things,
so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves
to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.
Titus 3:4-8

 *    ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *

Father, thank You for sending Your son Jesus to live among us.  Thank You for the many times You give us to live for You.  Jesus, we thank You for interceding on our behalf every day….even when we don’t deserve it.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

A Beautiful Exchange

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

You were near though I was distant
Disillusioned I was lost and insecure
Still mercy fought for my intention
You were waiting at the door, then I let You in

Trading Your life for my offenses
For my redemption
You carried all the blame breaking the curse
Of our condition
Perfection took our place

When only love could make a way
You gave Your life in a beautiful exchange
When only love could break these chains
You gave Your life in a beautiful exchange

My burden erased, my life forgiven
There is nothing that could take this love away
And my only desire, and my sole ambition
Is to love You just the same

Holy are You, God, Holy is Your name
With everything I’ve got my heart will sing
How I love You

Songwriter – Joel Houston / Performed by Hillsong United

* ~ ♥ ~ ✞ ~ ♥ ~ *

Thank You, Lord, that You were near even when I was distant….

Sometimes, there’s so much going on in your life that, God fades from the picture…creating distance.  In other words, your relationship with God may be weakened because your focus is not on Him.  Not spending as much time with God can create distance because your mind becomes occupied by other things…thus shutting God out.  If you are a person who spiritually feels God’s Presence and Love—and then you don’t feel it anymore—that can mean you are becoming distant from God.

But even if there are things going on and you are distant from God, He is still always there and He will never fail you, even if you don’t feel His presence.  All you have to do is close the distance, and put your trust and focus back on Him.

The problem lies within us.  God is the same, yesterday, today, and forever; He never changes.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Hebrews 13:8 ESV

We must return our focus back to Him the One who is Faithful…

What a beautiful exchange—Jesus’ life for mine!  He freely laid His life down for you and me.  Therefore, all thanks, praise, and honor should go directly to Him!

Jesus said in John 15:13 that there is “No greater love that a man can have than this: that he lay his life down for his friends!”  How can we not place our main focus on Him and allow Him time in our lives when He laid down His life for ours?!?  We must not let the distractions in our lives take precedence over our time with Him.

My burden erased…my life forgiven…there is NOTHING that could take this love away for you and for me.  Our sole ambition should be to love Him the same!

 * ~ ♥ ~ ✞ ~ ♥ ~ *

Heavenly Father, I come to You today with a grateful, thankful heart. Forgive me for the times I have let the distractions of my life take away from my time spent with You. Thank You for the beautiful exchange of laying down Your life for mine…and that, no matter what, nothing could ever take away from Your love for me… In Jesus’ name, AMEN!!!!

Oh, The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast unmeasured, boundless, free
Rolling as a mighty ocean, in its fullness over me
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to Thy glorious rest above

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, evermore
How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ’tis a heav’n of heav’ns to me
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee, yeah
And it lifts me up to glory

~  Sing this song with me as our prayer and worship today.  ~

Lyrics: Samuel Francis / Music: Thomas Williams /
Performed and sung by Selah / and danced by Praise in Motion

*  ~  *  ~    ♥ ~ ✞ ~ ♥    ~  *  ~  * 

Such a stirring, convicting song!  These lyrics remind us of the the immensity and the magnitude of Jesus’ love.  As the song goes, “…vast, unmeasured, boundless….”  No love on this earth ever was, nor ever will be, greater!  His is a deep, deep love!

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down His life for His friends.
John 15:13

Truly, it could only have been His pure love that compelled Him to die for us. Jesus was fully aware of the kind of sacrifice that was required to redeem mankind.  In His last moments of freedom, while praying in the Garden at Gethsemene, He agonized over what He knew was to come.  And yet, He did it. For us…with deep, deep love!

For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps
for a good man someone would dare even to die.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that
while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood,
we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son,
much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Romans 5:6-10

And so deep is this love of Jesus for us that it requires being born-again…to have Christ living in us…to even comprehend this deep, deep love!

But, by God’s grace and through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit, we are given some insight into this love.  And to begin to know this love.  Truly, I believe, it will take us having the new minds and new bodies which are promised to those that are His when He returns to fully comprehend.  Perhaps it is just too much for us to completely understand His deep, deep love at this point.

…that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend
with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ…
Ephesians 3:17-19

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers,
nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature,
shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38 and 39

“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you…” (John 15:12).  These were Jesus’ words to His closest friends during the last meal He would share with them.  He knew the time was imminent and that the time was at hand when He would show His deep, deep love.  He gave clear command to them…and to us—we are to do the same.

And so, what does that mean to you (me, too) today?  How will we show this deep, deep love of Jesus to others today?  This wasn’t Jesus’ suggestion or even His plea…it was His command.  And it is how the world will know that we ARE His!

By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
John 13:35

CHRISTLife — ThirtyNine: Purposeful

cl purposeful

We each have the very same purpose that Jesus had when He walked this earth.  His purpose—to love. Our purpose—to love.

God purposed to love the world by giving His Son.

Jesus was sent to show God’s love, to be God’s love, to give God’s love.  He was the epitome and the manifestation of His Father’s love.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

Jesus purposed to love by revealing God’s love.

Immediately before He allowed Himself to be arrested, and knowing that He would be interrogated, tortured, crucified, and ultimately give His life, Jesus prayed this prayer.

Father, I desire that they also whom You have entrusted to Me [as Your gift to Me]
may be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory,
which You have given Me [Your love gift to Me];
for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.
O just and righteous Father, although the world has not known You and has failed
to recognize You and has never acknowledged You, I have known You [continually];
and these men understand and know that You have sent Me.
I have made Your Name known to them and revealed Your character
and Your very Self, and I will continue to make [You] known,
that the love which You have bestowed upon Me may be in them
[felt in their hearts] and that I [Myself] may be in them.
John 17:24-26

Jesus purposed to love by giving up His life.

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13

Our purpose is to show God’s love by giving of ourselves.

Jesus taught a great lesson (Luke 10) about love in the parable about the Good Samaritan.

“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’ Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?”

Jesus taught His disciples and other followers numerous times about love and the immense importance of it. There is much to glean and learn in Jesus’ lesson.  In this account, He gave a graphic example of what love DID NOT look like…and how love DID look.  And then He said,

“Go and do the same.”
Verse 37

The love that the Samaritan showed for the stranger laying on the side of the road was purposeful…intentional…took effort.  All love should be the same.

Not only do we have the same purpose……but we have the same ability.  With Christ in our hearts, we can know this love.

We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us.
God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence
in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.
1 John 4:16 and 17

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself
unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.
I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him,
he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love;
just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
John 15:4-5, 10-11

I pray that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory,
to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;
and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend
with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge,
that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:16-20

Above all, maintain an intense love for each other, since love covers a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8

Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.
1 John 4:11

Each of us is a person with one life of purpose to live along with the choice to love.
By God’s love and grace we have been given the ability to purposefully live out this high calling.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

And NOW here is some encouragement from Kim
along with the final  page for her beautiful inner identity album!

CLiiakim030614

I love how Mrs. Myers writes: “We are not qualified from a human viewpoint, for we lack many longed-for qualities, abilities, talents. Yet from Gods viewpoint we are qualified. God does not call the qualified.”   He qualifies the called…so let your light shine before men so that your Father in Heaven may be glorified.

Crazy Love: Chapter 7 – “Your Best Life…Later” (pp 119-124/Kindle LOC 1537-1606)

We know what real love is because Jesus gave up His life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion – how can God’s love be in that person?

Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings and he knows everything.

1 John 3:16-20 (emphasis mine)

There is one major theme that I pulled from this passage of Scripture.

Real love is an action, not a feeling.

Jesus gave up His life for us, SO we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters (1 John 3:16, emphasis mine).

The principles Jesus taught are contrary to the way our world works.

  • The world says we should look out for #1—ourselves. 
  • Jesus says that “there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13)

Often when we are called upon to help someone in need, we are looking at how it will help us—maybe we will get paid, or receive accolades/glory, or it will give us something to boast about to our family or friends. In other words, we are motivated by selfish desires rather than by love. But Jesus’ way says that serving others should come from a selfless, sacrificial heart. The closer we can align our heart with His by reading His Word and letting Him change us, the easier it will become to love others the way He loves us.

It is worth repeating that we absolutely cannot do this on our own. We need God to help us love others like He loves. We must ask Him to help us.

As Christians, we carry a huge responsibility—to show and to share the truth of God’s love to the rest of the world (Matthew 28:19-20). This is an incredibly difficult task when the world wants us to be like them—talk like them, act like them, and just “fit in” with them. But Jesus calls us to be different. His ways do not make sense to the rest of the world.  Followers of Christ should be known for the way they love—without judgment, criticism, or selfishness, but with compassion, selflessness, and sacrificial giving.

Let’s act on this selfless love that was so graciously poured out on us.

 

reallove

 


Let’s Pray:
Heavenly Father, thank You for showing us what REAL LOVE truly is. Thank YOU for sending Your Son. Lord, we want our actions to show that we truly love others. Provide us with opportunities to pour love onto others this coming week. If we are struggling with this concept, Father, we ask that You help us see where we are having trouble and to help us work through it. Lord, we know that Love comes from You and we love because You first loved us. Thank You for that, Father. It’s in Jesus’ name that we pray, Amen.

Your Assignment:
Do you struggle with the idea of “giving up your life for your brothers and sisters” or “laying down your life for your friends?” What do these passages mean to you? I encourage you to read them for yourself and see what the Lord reveals to you as you work through this concept.



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