Shock your enemies!

 Love  Comments Off on Shock your enemies!
Feb 092018
 

“Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:20-21).  

Between the years 1861-1865 the United States found itself in the midst of a bitter civil war over the issue of slavery, and several other serious disagreements.

By the time the North won the war nearly 620,000 soldiers had perished.  

There were many in the North who were so embittered that the South had dragged them into such a deadly conflict that they wanted the South to pay dearly. 

At the end of the war, a group of Southerners gained an audience with President Abraham Lincoln.  

His gentle, kind and friendly personality quickly softened the hearts of his once-hardened foes and the Southerners left the interview with a deep respect for the man who had been their bitter enemy.  

Not long afterward, a northern congressman criticized Lincoln for “befriending the enemy!”

He suggested that he should have had them shot for being traitors instead of welcoming them! 

Lincoln simply said:

“Am I not destroying my enemies by making them my friends?” 

If you’re serving the Lord-

– you can expect your share of enemies! 

Don’t let a root of bitterness grow up because of them-

– but rather, seek to win them over with gentleness, kindness, and evenlove.  

Show your enemies the Lord’s grace and His peace through your Spirit-controlled response.

And in so doing, you’ll “heap coals” upon their heads!  

Satan wants to provoke you through their hatred and opposition.

Don’t let him!  

Instead-

– shock your enemies,

– not with angry retaliation…

– but with Spirit empowered love!  

(PA)

 

Demonstrate your devotion!

 Love  Comments Off on Demonstrate your devotion!
Feb 072018
 

How can we demonstrate our devotion to God?

Some ways are relatively easy such as reading the Bible and spending time in prayer.

These we can do on our own time.

But there’s another thing we can do that involves other people-

– lending a hand to those who need it.

One of the great joys of the Christian life is the opportunity we have to help each other.

It’s easy to help those you know will help you back.

But look at the people Jesus talks about in Matthew 25.

He says: ‘I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me’ (Matthew 25:35-36).

The people Jesus was talking to were confused, ‘Lord,’ they said, ‘when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ (Matthew 25:37-39).

Jesus responded, ‘As you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me’ (Matthew 25:40).

The righteous in these verses were demonstrating their devotion by going above and beyond in serving each other.

Rather than just helping those who could help them in return-

– they went the extra step and helped those who couldn’t repay them in any way.

They fed people who couldn’t afford food; they clothed people who couldn’t afford garments.

As Jesus’ response indicates, these weren’t just kind gestures to people in need.

They were demonstrations of faithful devotions to God.

Ask yourself:

What opportunities to serve have been presented to me in the last month?

Have I participated in those?

Why or why not?

Do I find myself often asking, ‘What’s in it for me?’

Make the decision to do one thing this week for someone who probably can’t repay you.

Ask God to open your eyes to the need of those around you.

Ask Him to show you how you can meet those needs and demonstrate your devotion!

(PA)

Friendship with God

 God's love, Love, Obedience  Comments Off on Friendship with God
Nov 042017
 

“You are My friends if you do whatever I command you” (John 15:14).

How do we show our friendship for Jesus?

How do we show our love for Him?

In John 15:14-

Jesus points out three things we can do to show our friendship with God!

First-

True friends of Jesus will affectionately obey Him.

Quite simply, we will do what He says.

If we don’t, then we have no right to call ourselves His friends.

When we are in love with God, obedience will not be a duty; it will be a delight.

Next-

This friendship with Jesus will actively obey Him.

Some people think it’s enough if they avoid what He forbids.

And certainly being a Christian means ceasing to do certain things.

But it also means starting to do certain things.

It is not merely avoiding the wrong, but it is doing the right.

How do we find out what God wants us to do?

By reading the Bible, by becoming familiar with its content.

The more we know of His Book, the more we will know of Him.

The more we know of this Book, the more we will know about what He requires of us and what friendship with Him actually is.

Lastly-

True friends of Jesus will always obey Him.

In other words, we are constantly obedient—not perfect, but trying.

And if we fail, then we repent and get up and try again.

This obedience should not be too hard because of whom we are obedient to.

This is Jesus asking for our obedience.

That changes everything, because we love Him.

(PA)

Oct 152017
 

“Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them” (Romans 16:17).

It seems as though we are living in a day of tabloid mentality.

The society is so obsessed with gossip, innuendos, and rumors.

Just turn on the TV and you’ll find all kinds of programs that probe into the personal lives of others.

This tabloid mentality has even entered the news media, where reporters hunt for that juicy piece of gossip.

The tragedy is that if someone is charged with a crime today, we try him or her in the media before they ever have had the opportunity to enter a court of law where evidence is presented and where they face their accusers.

Sadly, this kind of thinking can even enter the church.

When we hear something about someone else, immediately our ears perk up.

But what does the Bible tell us?

It says that love believes the best of every person.

It doesn’t say that love believes the worst.

This means when someone says something about a Christian brother or sister-

– you should immediately have some disbelief in your heart.

The reason is that you are to believe the best of that individual.

We must be very careful, because many times we accept rumor as truth.

Then to make matters worse-

– we start repeating what we’ve heard without checking the facts.

One of the things the Bible says that-

God hates is the one who sows discord among others. Proverbs 6:16–19.

This is the person who spreads rumors, who spreads innuendos, and who slanders others.

God hates this.

Don’t be someone who spreads rumors.

Don’t be someone who gossips.

It’s wrong.

It’s sinful.

It displeases God!

(PA)

Jul 312017
 

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18). 

Are you gripped with fear about something?

Love is the answer to overcoming your fear!

Because love is the Christian’s security blanket!

When you were a child-

– did you have a teddy bear or a blanket that gave you a sense of security,

– something you wanted to hold close to you and get wrapped up in?

The Holy Spirit of God-

– is the believer’s warm, loving security blanket!

“Perfect love casts out fear!”

But it never rang true to me because I had never done anything perfectly except sin.

God’s perfect love can eliminate all dread.

It is not our love for Him, but His perfect love for us that will cast out our fears.

The question isn’t:

Am I brave enough?

The question is:

Do I trust His love enough?

Memorize 2 Timothy 1:7-9 this week.

(PA)