Wednesday, December 22, 2021
Some people share their views peacefully and quietly. Some people share them violently in an anarchist way. Regardless, if we don't share our message with love we never can win anybody to our side.
Wednesday, December 22, 2021
Originally Published February 12, 2021
Romans 13:8, 10
Through the end of the year, we’ll be rerunning some of the best Life Lifters from 2021. We hope you’ll join us each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning!
Our world has a lot of people that have a lot of views. That's to be expected when you have 7 billion people on the planet. The problem is how people share these views. Some people share them peacefully and quietly. Some people share them violently in an anarchist way. Regardless, if we don't share our message with love we never can win anybody to our side. And what the world needs is love, sweet love. And I get that from a passage in Romans chapter 13, where it talks about love as we get closer and closer to the very end of time as we know it and the Lord returns. Romans 13:8,10 says, "let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellow man has fulfilled the law". So the first thing it says is that the only thing we should ever owe people is love. You always owe people love. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you forfeit your right to hate anybody because God doesn't hate anybody. He hates sin, but he doesn't hate people. So that's the first thing, we need to be a source of love.
Then I think about verse 10, where it says, "love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore Love is the fulfillment of the law". We see a lot of people saying "you need to change," but they're saying it with a bat, or catching things on fire, or punching, stabbing, shooting, and killing people. There's a lot of violence in our world and there's a lack of love. In fact, Jesus said "the love of many will grow cold" in the end times, and I think we're getting very close to there, if we're not they're already.
But this is your chance to shine, to show love when there's so much hate. I know this --I'm responsible for my behavior. I'm not responsible for how people respond to my queries. So be a person who extends love. I know Valentine's Day is for your sweetie, your boyfriend or girlfriend, your husband or wife if you have one. But, let's extend love and show love to people. We owe that to them. And if we want to represent Jesus Christ well, if we want to be heard, if we want to make the world a better place, we have to communicate the message of love. And most importantly, perhaps, if we want to model Jesus Christ so that people will see Him in us, let's show love.
So when you see people remember you owe them love and if you really love you will show no harm. Love is the fulfillment of the law. So I hope this week that you'll be a loving person that you'll show love everywhere you possibly can. I think your life will be better for it and maybe the world's a little better for it.
Let's pray. Father in heaven, thank you so much for your love. Your love is what fuels our love. We live in a world of hatred, and enmity, and strife and bitterness, and cantankerous and fighting. I pray that we'll be people of love that we will love the people that we engage with even if we disagree. I pray that we'll be able to show your love through it and that people will see you in us. I thank you for this, in Jesus name. Amen.
Monday, November 1, 2021
Today, I want to talk to you about something that I have personally struggled with for many years. I know many other people have as well. It's the idea of apologizing.
Monday, November 1, 2021
I know this is hard, but but some of us are parents, we can implement this with our spouses, with other family, maybe people that we work with. The fact is, is apologizing is hard. But he says, "Do this in accordance with the faith that God has distributed to each of you." In other words, do this with the faith that God has given you. It is by grace that we have been saved, but it's also by grace that God has given us a sensible spirit. So if you're feeling heated, you feel like you have a conflict with somebody, or if you think "maybe I said something that really turned somebody the wrong way," I want to encourage you, and I want to challenge you today. Go apologize to that person. I know how hard it is. Oftentimes with my boys something comes up, or they say something, or I come in and I'm like, "Yes, I got this, right." And I realized I just broke them down in the process. I didn't mean to do that. So I want to just challenge you today. Maybe there's that person that you need to call or text and start that conversation to apologize. Don't be too proud. Be understanding, be sensible. Father, I want to pray for everyone right now who's dealing with this and we know how difficult it can be to apologize because it all comes down to our pride. I pray that we'd be able to swallow that and to make right with whoever we need to, whether it's our children, or our spouse, or family members, friends, co-workers, whoever that may be. Give us the courage to do so, so that we can follow what your Word says, and that we would distribute the faith that has been distributed to us. We thank you in Jesus' name, amen.
Monday, October 11, 2021
I really want to write about the importance of knowing and understanding God's love for us, and how when we understand that, and we have that in our lives, how it actually transforms us.
Monday, October 11, 2021
I want to start in Ephesians 1:4-5, "For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love, he predestined us for adoption, to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and his will." So the point is that God loves you so much. Maybe you've never heard that before, maybe you've heard it a lot, but the truth doesn't change. God loves you so much. He loves you so much that he chose you. He chose you before the creation of the world. He chose you before time began. He chose you to be adopted into his family. He did this through Jesus Christ, who took your place and my place on the cross. He paid the price for our sins with his blood, making us holy and blameless, setting you apart for his purposes, his pleasure, and his will.
And here's the thing. God's love is rooted in grace. What is grace? When I was a new Christian, somebody told me an acronym that I've never forgotten. Grace stands for this: God's Riches At Christ's Expense. We get to experience all the riches of God's glory and his grace at the expense of Jesus Christ, because Jesus Christ is the one that paid the price on the cross for our sins. So, we get the benefit of what Jesus did on the cross, and God gives us this grace freely, we see this in verses six and seven. He gives us grace freely - you can't buy it, you can't earn it, you can't steal it. It's a gift from God. And we have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ. Redeemed means we were bought at a price. Jesus paid the price in full on the cross for us. When we are in him, when we are in Christ, when we believe and we receive this gift, we are forgiven of our sins in accordance with the riches of His glory and his grace. Paul tells us that God's grace has been lavished upon us. I love that word "lavish" because it means it has been richly poured out on us or, or it's been showered upon us. Imagine just standing in the shower, and God's grace showering down on you. So, when you understand this, when you understand how much God loves you, that begins to change everything. That's what we're going to talk about the rest of this week. So let's pray. Father, I want to thank you for your grace. I want to thank you for your love, that you chose us to be adopted into your family. You loved us so much that you chose us before time began. And you've given us a purpose, and you've given us grace, you've given us forgiveness, you've redeemed us. Father, for all these things that we see in Ephesians chapter one, thank you, Lord. And thank you for changing us from the inside out, as we'll see the rest of this week. We ask this in Jesus' name, amen.