Monday’s Blog: Love Always Perseveres

This is the last blog in our series on love as described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. www.ChristianTimesOnline.com started posting this series every Friday under Bible Teachings-Women in Ministry if you would like to follow it from the beginning.

Today we end the series with persevering.

One of the first verses I ever memorized was Hebrews 10:35-39, So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, “He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.

God has used these verses through the years to teach me how to persevere. The first thing He taught me was not to throw away my confidence.  (V.35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.)

When I’m following Christ, doing what He’s called me to do, the first thing the enemy attacks is my confidence. He’ll point out everything wrong with me. He’ll remind me of my weaknesses, past failures, insecurities, inabilities, and so on. If I start accepting those thoughts, I’ll easily trash my confidence.

Our confidence shouldn’t be in what we can do. It should be in what God can do through us. When our confidence is in God’s ability we can persevere despite our shortcomings. We can be confident He will equip us to do His will. And as we persevere in His will, we can look forward to our reward. (V.36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.)

God never takes back His promises. If God promises us something, He will deliver. Romans 11:29 says, “For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn.” NLT

We can’t lose God’s calling on our life. We can walk away from it, but it will not be taken away. When we have done the will of God, we will receive what He has promised.

He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:24 ESV

I have a hard time waiting to receive God’s promises. (V.37 For in just a very little while, “He who is coming will come and will not delay.) God’s little while and my little while never seem to be the same. For me, a little while is a couple weeks. With God, a little while can be years. God’s timing however is always perfect. He is never late delivering His promises.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:9

I was reading a chapter in Isaiah once, and I felt God speaking to my situation through each verse. I was ecstatic until I came to the last verse which read, “in its time I will do this swiftly.” I became discouraged instantly. I didn’t want to wait until “its time.” I wanted it right away.

No one likes the waiting process. We want everything now. However, I’ve discovered the waiting process is the most important part. The waiting process is what prepares us to handle those promises we’re waiting for.

Each promise comes with a greater responsibility. If we can’t handle what God is having us do right now, we won’t be able to handle what He has for us later on. Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

We need to be obedient with the little things in order to be obedient with the bigger things. We need to follow through with our commitments, and be diligent. We need to do the best we can while waiting on God to bring us to the next level.

1 Timothy 4:15-16 says, “Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”

I have these verses hung on my mirror as a reminder to be diligent and watch my life closely. If we want to be used by God to reach others we have to watch how we live. We have to hold on to the Truth of God’s Word, not picking and choosing what we want to believe and follow.

When I am in the waiting process, and it’s taking a while to receive God’s promises, I have to be careful I don’t lose heart and fall into disobedience. It’s hard to keep doing what’s right when we’re not seeing results. But we need to be diligent if we want to receive what God has promised. If we shrink back (lose faith) we won’t receive His promises.

(V38-39 But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him. But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.)

Faith is the door to God’s promises. To persevere means to hold fast to our faith in Christ. Once we lose faith we will walk away from God’s will and we won’t receive what He has promised. Jesus said in Matthew 17:20 …I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

There have been times when I’ve wanted to give up, but God wouldn’t let me. I believe because I still had a mustard seed of faith which kept me hanging on to Him.

God has given each of us a measure of faith to help us persevere (Romans 12:3). We need to hold on to the faith He’s given us. If we press on, holding to our faith in Him, He will see us across the finish line where His promises are waiting for us.

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**Something to think about this week**

Whatever God is calling you to do right now, be diligent and don’t give up. Keep persevering. Keep walking in love. Keep holding on to God and you will receive what He has promised.

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

James 1:12

Have a blessed week in Christ!

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If you have never accepted Christ as your Savior, please click on the “SALVATION” tab at the top of the website. Don’t wait another day!

**Starting next Monday, I’ll be posting guest blogs for May and June. There will be some great testimonies and Bible teachings to encourage us in our walk with Christ. I’ll be starting a new series after the guest blogs. I’ll post a reminder when the new series is about to start. I know you’ll be blessed by my guest bloggers. They all have hearts for Christ and a passion for sharing Him with the world.


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Monday’s Blog: Love Always Hopes

We are nearing the end of our series on love as described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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.

Christian Times Online started running this series if you want to follow it from the beginning. Click on the titles to take you to the first two blogs: “Love Is Patient” and “Love Is Kind.”

This week we move on to hope.

What are you placing your hope in? Are you placing it in your job or your bank account? Are you placing it in your spouse or your children? Are you placing it in your beauty or your material possessions?

To put our hope in something means we need it to make us happy. If our hope is in our job and we lose it, we also lose our hope. If our hope is in our spouse and they leave us, our hope leaves with them. If our hope is in our beauty and it fades, our hope fades with it.

All our hope needs to be in God because He is the only one who can make us happy.

Romans 5:5 says, “And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”

God’s love never disappoints us. But have you ever been disappointed in God? I know I have.

In the past, I would get disappointed if I trusted God to answer a prayer and He didn’t. I would get disappointed if I obeyed Him and didn’t see the right results. I would get disappointed if I was hit with a trial and He didn’t rescue me.

I thought my hope was in God, but I was often disappointed in Him. I soon realized I wasn’t placing my hope in Him. I was placing it in my own expectations of Him.

For example, when God first called me to write my book, I expected to write it and publish it right away. I was often disappointed when I was rejected by agents in the beginning. I thought if God told me to write a book He would open all the doors. It took awhile to see He was opening the doors; they just weren’t the ones I was knocking at. I wanted Him to do it my way. I didn’t like some of the doors He wanted me to go through. They often led to trials, lessons, and hard work.

Now looking back, those trials are what I needed to prepare me for what is ahead. Had all my hope been in God’s plan for me, I could have enjoyed those times instead of being disappointed.

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12

Thinking positive, praising God, and communing with Him, keeps our hopes up. It helps us stay joyful while waiting on God to fulfill our desires.

Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”

I’ve experienced this verse many times in my life. Once was when I had to go back to work a few years after having our first child. I was devastated to go back and even tried to avoid it. I frequently asked God why He wasn’t providing for me to stay home.

As I had more children I kept praying for God to help me afford to quit. I tried all I could to stay happy and be a good employee while waiting on God to answer my request. But as the years went by I started losing hope and fell into depression. Losing hope made my heart sick.

As I clung to God, He brought me out of depression and opened the door for me to stay home. As I looked back I could see His provision was there all along. Through those years, God was working with us on our finances so we could afford one income. He was also working in me during that time. He was teaching me to be faithful even when it hurts. He was teaching me to trust Him even when I wasn’t seeing results. He was teaching me to be happy even when there wasn’t anything to rejoice in.

During those years I learned valuable lessons I wouldn’t trade now for anything. More importantly, I learned my prayers were answered the moment I requested them. I just didn’t see it until after I received it.

God answers our prayers, we just don’t see all the behind the scenes work He does to prepare for that answer. We have to remember His ways are far beyond ours. We only see what is in front of our eyes. God sees above and beyond. He sees the final outcome, which is why He asks us to place our hope in Him. We will have nothing to be disappointed about when all our hope is in Him.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

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**Something to think about this week**

I want to encourage you to place your hope in God. Don’t focus on your outward circumstances. Face each trial with joy as you hope in Him. Cling to Him. Praise Him. And remember to be faithful even when you’re not seeing any results.

But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?

Romans 8:24

Have a blessed week in Christ!

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If you have never accepted Christ as your Savior, please click on the “SALVATION” tab at the top of the website. Don’t wait another day!

**Come back next Monday as I share more of God’s Truths and the reasons behind the Truths.

All Bible verses are taken from the NIV, unless otherwise noted.

 


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Monday’s Blog: Love Always Trusts

We continue our series on love as described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 with trust.

Trust used to be one of my biggest struggles. I had been hurt many times in the past by those I trusted. As a result, I became leery of others. This made me standoffish and often unapproachable. This affected all my relationships including my marriage.

I didn’t trust anyone. I didn’t even trust those who were sincere. I always thought they were going to someday let me down. I was constantly watching others expecting them to hurt me. This made people hurt me more because I was looking at everyone through a magnifying glass, and every little offense would crush me.

But was I wrong not putting my trust in others? Micah 7:5-7 says, “Do not trust a neighbor; put no confidence in a friend. Even with her who lies in your embrace be careful of your words. For a son dishonors his father, a daughter rises up against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—a man’s enemies are the members of his own household. But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.”

We are not supposed to put our trust in anyone except God. I was wrong not putting my trust in God. I was wrong looking at others to meet my needs instead of God. I was wrong expecting people to treat me perfectly and getting upset when they wouldn’t.

When we put our expectations in others we will be disappointed. We can’t trust that we won’t let ourselves down, so why would we expect others not to. When we put our trust in anyone or anything other than God they will let us down.

God wants all our trust because He will never disappoint us. He is the same today, yesterday, and forever. He is unchangeable.

When all our trust is in Him, it frees us from putting our expectations in others. When we look solely to God we can overlook the faults of others.

When we trust God we can believe the best in others and give the rest to God. The amplified version for this week’s message in 1 Corinthians 13:7 says that love is…ever ready to believe the best of every person….

I had to deal with someone once whom I didn’t feel I could trust. As I was telling God about my mistrust I felt Him say…Do you trust me?

I prayed and asked God to help me trust Him and started believing for the best in this person.

This person did end up wronging me but God rescued me and used the experience to teach me. I learned God gives us warnings as I did feel something was not right about them from the start. I ignored the warning and pursued getting involved with them. The moment they wronged me God opened the door and told me to leave as He was there to rescue me.

When we put all our trust in God, even if others wrong us, God will work it out for our benefit. We don’t need to worry about people hurting us. We can always learn something from our hurts. Psalm 119:71 says, “My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees.” NLT

When our trust is in God, He will show us who we need to avoid and who we don’t. God sees beyond what we see because He looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7 says, “…The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

Our hearts can deceive us. We might run from those who have a good heart but may not say or do everything right. Or we may be deceived into trusting those who are out to hurt us.

For example, when I started dating my husband, another man was also asking me out. My mother favored the other man over my husband. She thought my husband looked rough and the other man looked kind.

Based on outward appearance she thought the other man was good for me and my husband was not. But it was just the opposite. My husband was respectful and the other man was not. She was deceived because she judged them by their outward appearance.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. NLT

We can miss out on developing great relationships when we rely on our own judgment. But when all our trust is in God, He will always seek what’s best for us.

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. Isaiah 55:8 NLT

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**Something to think about this week**

With Easter coming up let’s not forget what Jesus did for us. Let’s put all our trust in Him. He deserves our all!

He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.

1 Peter 2:24 NLT

Have a blessed Easter!

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If you’ve never accepted Christ as your Savior, please click on the “SALVATION” tab at the top of the website. Don’t wait another day!

**Come back next Monday as I share more of God’s Truths and the reasons behind the Truths.

All Bible verses are taken from the NIV, unless otherwise noted.


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Monday’s Blog: Love Always Protects

We continue our series on love as described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 with: Love Always Protects.

The original Greek word for protect in this verse is pronounced stegō. It means: 1) to preserve 2) to cover over with silence 2) to keep secret 3) to hide, conceal the errors and faults of others.

To protect someone means to protect all that concerns them. This includes protecting their reputation. I learned what it means to protect someone’s reputation by seeing how my husband protects mine.

He is always building me up to others. I often think he makes me sound better than I am. I’ve even seen him make himself look bad in order to protect my reputation. He goes out of his way to make me look good. He does this because he loves me.

If we want to love others then we have to protect their reputation. We don’t protect people’s reputation when we gossip. Proverbs shares many verses on gossip and the reasons why we need to avoid it.

Proverbs 18:8 shares the most important reason. Solomon must have thought so because he repeated it in verse 26:22. The NLT version explains it as: Rumors are dainty morsels that sink deep into one’s heart.

Gossip contaminates our heart. 2 Timothy 2:16 says, Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.

When we put others down we take ourselves down. Gossiping may seem harmless and feel good at the time, but it gradually hardens our heart. It is impossible to love others when our hearts are hardened.

Proverbs 16:28 shares another reason why we need to avoid gossip. It reads, A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends. I wonder how many friendships have been destroyed over gossip. I wonder how many families have been divided over gossip. Gossip spreads like wildfire and doesn’t go out until someone puts it out.  The more it spreads the more it deceives.

Years ago I had someone spread gossip about me. It made its rounds through many people. By the time it came around to me it was almost comical. The story was twisted so far from the truth that you knew each person had to have added something new as they shared it with the next. What hurt most was that I had done nothing wrong in the first place. The one who started it didn’t agree with something I was doing, so they took it and twisted it to make me sound bad.

Proverbs 26:20 says, “Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.” Every one that shared the gossip threw their wood into that fire to keep it going. All it would’ve taken was one person to stand up and say, “I’m not going to accept that.” The fire would’ve ended there and never made it back to me.

We may not be the ones who spread gossip, but how many times do we sit in the middle of gossip and just listen? To protect someone’s reputation means that we’ll have to stand up in others’ defense when they’re being talked about.

I remember calling my mom one time to talk about someone who wronged me. I expected her to listen to my complaints, but instead she started saying positive things about this person. At first I got irritated because it threw me off. But after hearing the things she said about them my heart started softening. God used that conviction to help me turn from it so He could pour His love into my heart for that person. That moment I saw the reason why God wants us to protect people’s reputations – it changes our heart.

Leviticus 19:16 says, “‘Do not go about spreading slander among your people. “‘Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor’s life. I am the LORD. People’s lives can be dramatically affected by gossip. How many Hollywood stars will never be respected because their mistakes have been shared with the world. We are to build up, not tear down. When we build others up and protect their reputations, God will protect ours.

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**Something to think about this week**

I encourage you to pray this week for God to help you protect others. Pray for courage to stand up and defend those who are being slandered. As you build others up God will build you up.

…but love (affection and goodwill and benevolence) edifies and builds up and encourages one to grow [to his full stature].

1 Corinthians 8:1 AMP

Have a blessed week growing in Christ!

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If you have never accepted Christ as your Savior, please click on the “SALVATION” tab at the top of the website.

**Come back next Monday as I share more of God’s Truths and the reasons behind the Truths.

All Bible verses are taken from the NIV, unless otherwise noted.


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Monday’s Blog: Love Rejoices With Truth

We continue our series on 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 with love…does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth (1 Cor. 13:6).

I went to the saddest funeral I’ve ever been to last summer. He was a family member. We were the same age. We grew up together. He even lived with us for a period of time growing up.

As we got older, I only saw him maybe twice. Once was shortly after I had to deny him from coming to my home because I couldn’t trust him anymore. Sadly, his funeral was the first day I didn’t worry about being around him.

The path he had chosen in life was filled with deceit. The sad part was that his funeral was no different. It was a showcase for the deception that took his life.

At funerals, there are normally pictures displayed that showcase the good to remember in someone’s life. That wasn’t the case at this funeral. The pictures showcased the lifestyle he lived as if it were something to be glorified and praised.

At funerals, the one who leads the prayer service normally shares the good in the life of the deceased. That appeared to be the case at this funeral. I felt sorry for the minister who shared only what he was told by the family and friends, which would be fitting for any funeral. He didn’t know that the good he shared was only evil twisted to make it sound good.

Hiding this man’s lifestyle with lies such as, “He would never take no for an answer,” and “He would do anything to feed his children,” when the truth was he would steal from anyone he could to feed his habit.

Friends who shared his lifestyle let out chuckles and praises throughout the service, which made those of us who didn’t support his lifestyle cringe. My heart deeply ached at the glorified deception that took place. What hurt most was knowing that what his family and friends perceived and glorified as truth was a lie.

My family and I left the funeral that day feeling like the enemy had won. I regretted not reaching out to him more. I regretted not standing up and confronting his family and friends with the Truth. I regretted not telling them about the enemy who was deceiving them. I regretted not warning them that they’d wind up the same if they didn’t change their ways.

I felt like evil triumphed and I sat there and did nothing while the enemy rejoiced.

Though we all felt defeated that day, it didn’t take long for God to remind us that the enemy never prevails. God had bigger plans.

About a month later, God began exposing the lies. This man’s mother and step-father received Christ and stood up to his friends and admitted his lifestyle was wrong. God shined His light of Truth on a family that had been living in darkness for so many generations.

The enemy did not prevail even though it appeared he had for that moment. Christ prevailed and Truth won!

Love…does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.

1 Corinthians 13:6 NLT

Truth always triumphs. Jesus has already given us victory over everything. Even though evil seems to be prevailing all over the world, we will triumph!

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.

2 Corinthians 2:14

If you are discouraged by all the sin in this world, get up and rejoice that Truth will prevail. We’ve already won! Praise God for giving us victory in Jesus!

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**Something to think about this week**

If you have a loved one who doesn’t know Christ, I want to encourage you not to give up on them. Pray this week for an opportunity to share the Truth in love and pray for God to soften their heart to receive it. I deeply regret not sharing the gospel with this loved one. But I did not delay in sharing it with his mother and step-father. God led me to share the Truth of His love as well as the plans the enemy has for all of God’s creation. Their eyes were opened to see the whole Truth and they received Christ, as they were not going to allow the devil to destroy their lives.

Carry this verse with you and ask God to shine His light of Truth in your loved ones’ hearts.

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:6

God’s light will shine out of darkness and Christ will prevail!

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If you have never accepted Christ as your Savior, please click on the “SALVATION” tab at the top of the website.

**Come back next Monday as I share more of God’s Truths and the reasons behind the Truths.

All Bible verses are taken from the NIV, unless otherwise noted.


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Monday’s Blog: Love Keeps No Record of Wrongs

We continue our series on love as described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. When someone wrongs us our first reaction is to defend ourselves. We want to fight back. We want to prove we were wronged. We want to make them repay. But the amplified version for this week’s message in 1 Corinthians 13:5 says that love…takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

So does this mean we ignore every wrong done to us? Do we allow people to walk all over us by never standing up for ourselves?

I remember being falsely accused by a co-worker one time. This person spread lies about me to our boss when he was the one doing wrong. I felt intimidated so I found another job and left without saying anything about it. I still to this day regret not standing up and pointing out the truth to my boss.

God doesn’t call us to ignore wrong-doing. Jesus said in Luke 17:3-4, Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.” (NKJV)

When someone wrongs us we need to rebuke them. But we need to be careful how we do it. Galatians 6:1 says,Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.”

When someone wrongs me, God has taught me to wait until my emotions settle down before I do anything. Sharing the incident with everyone does not settle my emotions. Running it over and over in my head does not settle my emotions. Throwing a pity party does not settle my emotions.

I settle my emotions by giving the offense and offender over to God, and searching for the blessings that I believe God hides for us in every offense, hurt, and trial we experience. As I focus on the good, my attitude begins to change. I start to get excited anticipating how God is going to work it out.

When my emotions are settled I pray for God to speak through me as I confront the person. I may not always know what to say, but when I give God control He gives me the right words, even if it’s not apparent right away. I may think I messed up by saying the wrong thing, but I soon find out that His power was in my words and it was effective.

After I confront them, if they accept it then I need to forgive them. I don’t need to dwell on it or bring it up again. Proverbs 17:9 says,Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.” (NLT)

If they don’t accept the rebuke, and continue to wrong me, then I need to do what Mark 6:11 says, “But if any place refuses to welcome you or listen to you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.” (NLT)

I had to part ways from a loved one recently. I stood firm on something that I closed my eyes to for many years. God gave me boldness to stand firm against their wrong-doing by not allowing it around my family. They didn’t agree so I had to walk away and give them over to the Lord.

I still love this person and I forgive them, but I don’t have to accept their wrong by allowing them to hurt my family.

If we never stand up and call anyone out on their wrong-doing, they will continue thinking they can get away with it. We don’t forgive others by covering our eyes, we forgive them by telling them the truth in love and praying it opens their eyes to bring repentance.

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**Something to think about this week**

I encourage you not to ignore the wrongs done to you. We don’t have to go around rebuking everyone for every little thing they do wrong. But we do need to stand firm and not allow people to walk all over us. Follow God’s leading next time you are wronged and look for His blessings in it. God has obligated Himself to work our wrongs out for our good. Don’t hold on to an offense, give it to God and watch Him work it out for you!

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Romans 8:28 NLT

Have a very blessed week in Christ!

**************************************************************************

If you have never accepted Christ as your Savior, please click on the “SALVATION” tab at the top of the website.

**Come back next Monday as I share more of God’s Truths and the reasons behind the Truths.

**Follow me on my Facebook page as I share verses throughout the week that correlate with each week’s lesson.

All Bible verses are taken from the NIV, unless otherwise noted.


Posted in Love Series, Monday's Blogs by with
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Monday’s Blog: Love Is Not Easily ANGERED

We are half-way through our series on love as described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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.

If you missed any of the previous blogs in this series, click on the ones that are highlighted above. This week we are moving on to anger.

God doesn’t tell us anywhere in the Bible that we should never feel anger. In fact, Mark 10:14 says that Jesus was indignant when He saw His disciples rebuke those who were bringing children to Him to bless.

There are two kinds of anger. There is a righteous and an unrighteous. The righteous anger stands up for what is right. The unrighteous anger fights against what is right.

The righteous anger lasts only a moment because it’s filled with love and mercy. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime…. Psalm 30:5

The unrighteous anger continues and grows stronger because it’s filled with sin. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.” Genesis 4:6-7

If we don’t deal with our anger, it will continue to build up until we finally explode. The more we allow it to grow in us the stronger it becomes.

I used to be a very angry person. In fact, my husband’s nickname for me used to be “Angry A.” Praise God I’ve changed, but I still have to be careful because I can easily fall back into it. If I don’t deal with my anger it will gradually build up in me.

We deal with our anger by paying attention to what irritates and easily provokes us, and asking God to help us in that area. For me, I’d find myself easily angered when my plans would suddenly change. I had to practice keeping my peace whenever something came up that would ruin my plans. The more I practiced and relied on God to help me, the less it became a struggle.

Another area that would trigger my anger was with keeping up the housework. A woman told me one time that her husband said he’d rather have a nice wife to come home to instead of a clean house. My husband would agree. I had to let some things go and not allow myself to stress out by trying to keep a perfect house. As I did, the calmer I became and the happier my family was.

Another area I found myself being quick to anger was when I was around someone else who was angry. It’s easy to hold our anger when we’re around people who are sweet and kind, but it’s not so easy when they’re not so kind.

Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

In my years of being a server, I frequently came across rude customers. For many years I would naturally respond the same in return, which only fueled their anger and mine and never ended well. Once I started walking with God, He started convicting me to be polite and friendly to everyone, no matter what. This wasn’t easy to do at first, but the more I did it, the more amazed I was at how I had the power to change the situation.

When someone was rude and hard to please, I would just smile more and give them the best service regardless. By the end of the meal, when they realized they couldn’t upset me and I provided them with good service, their attitude would change. I’d see their attitude calm down because I gave them nothing to fuel it. Experiencing positive results made me determined not to give fuel to someone else’s anger. As I did this, I realized I needed to be doing it outside of work as well.

Galatians 5:15 says, “If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”

My husband was the least angry person I knew. But being around “Angry A” for so many years, I started rubbing off on him. For the first half of our marriage we’d just feed off each other and our problems would escalate. When we’d argue, walls would get punched out, things would get broken, sentimental items would get destroyed. My husband even ended up in the hospital one time because he cut himself breaking something during one of our fights. If God hadn’t stepped in to help us we would’ve completely destroyed our marriage and each other.

When we don’t deal with our anger we leave the door wide open to the enemy who seeks to destroy us. Ephesians 4:26-27 says, “When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down. Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him]” (AMP).

God gives us a whole day to work out our feelings of anger and to deal with it before we go to bed. He doesn’t want us to wake up with it the next day, because the more we hold on to it, the more it builds up and the stronger it becomes.

 

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**Something to think about this week**

Ask God to help you this week to deal with daily offenses. Don’t take them with you to bed. Each night give them over to God. Hold on to this verse to remind you to rid yourself of those things that once controlled you.

You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.

Colossians 3:7-8

Have a very blessed week in Christ!

**************************************************************************

If you have never accepted Christ as your Savior, please click on the “SALVATION” tab at the top of the website.

**Come back next Monday as I share more of God’s Truths and the reasons behind the Truths.

**Follow me on my Facebook page as I share verses throughout the week that correlate with each week’s lesson.

All Bible verses are taken from the NIV, unless otherwise noted.


Posted in Love Series, Monday's Blogs by with
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Monday’s Blog: Love Is Not SELF-SEEKING

Sorry this week’s blog is so late. A lot of crazy things have been going on with my computer and my website, but God was faithful and worked it all out!

I want to first start off by saying that my heart and prayers go out to all those who were affected by the devastating tsunami and earthquake this past week. I pray for God’s comfort and grace to abound and fill the hearts of all those in Japan and around the world. Each life that was lost is precious to God.

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

Isaiah 54:10

 

Giving Ourselves To God

We are continuing on with what love is according to 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 by focusing this week on self-seeking.

We may think to not be self-seeking means that we have to please everyone. The Bible tells us to deny ourselves and lay down our lives for others, but if we learn from Jesus’ example, He didn’t live to please everyone. He lived to please God by doing His will, which was for the benefit of everyone.

In order to lay down our lives for the benefit of others we have to first lay down our will and submit it over to God. 2 Corinthians 5:15 says, And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”

After trying everything I possibly could, I hit a point in my life where I gave up and basically said to God, “Here I am Lord. If You can do anything with my life and have anything planned for me, I’m all Yours.” I stopped trying to plan my life and stopped seeking my own will, and that is when I opened the door for God to live His will through me.

As we give ourselves to God, He works His love in us and enables us to love others. 1 John 4:7-8 says, Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

Being married and having four young children who constantly need my attention, sometimes I feel like all I do is give of myself and at the end of the day there’s nothing left in me. I’ve learned that I need to spend time daily with God and allow Him to continually fill me with His love in order to keep giving myself to others.

We can’t give something that we don’t have. We can’t give ourselves to others when we’re spiritually empty. Jesus often went without food to keep preaching and meeting the needs of others, but He never neglected His relationship with God as we see in Luke 5:16, “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”

We will just be left spiritually and emotionally drained if we keep trying to do things for others without allowing God to work His love in us. We need to take the time to spend with God and allow Him to fill us with His love in order to share it with others.

Giving Ourselves To Others

As we commit ourselves over to God we can focus on loving others. God wants to fulfill our needs and desires while using us to bless others. I’m amazed at seeing how God meets my needs when He prompts me to commit whatever I’m facing over to Him and moves me to meet someone else’s need.

About a year ago, my husband and I were both hit with car trouble four consecutive times in a row. We would drop off one car to be fixed and then something would happen to the other and then we’d have to keep switching them out. By the fourth time my car needed to be fixed, my husband suggested that we wait since it was still drivable, and we had spent all we had on the other repairs.

A short time later, as the problem continued, I started to fall into self-pity. God quickly humbled me by informing me of a couple I knew who had gone through an extremely rough year, financially, emotionally, and physically.  My problems didn’t even compare to what they had been through. I was moved by their situation and eagerly wanted to reach out and help them. I asked my husband even though I wasn’t sure we could even afford it. My husband was for it so I knew God was moving us to help them and He’d take care of us.

After reaching out to them, I got into my car to go home. When I turned on the ignition I instantly noticed the problem was gone. I was just amazed at how God took care of us while using us to take care of someone else.

God wants to meet our needs and bless us, but when our minds are on ourselves we miss out on what God has for us and miss out on meeting the needs of others.

There are many different ways God wants to use us to meet people’s needs. When we follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit He will show us what people need. Like Jesus, sometimes what God prompts us to do won’t necessarily make us feel good or please others, but it will be what is needed.

I had to do something for someone one time that was very difficult. I actually prayed for God not to have me do it because I knew this person wouldn’t respond well. Nevertheless, I ended up laying down my will and obeying God. And even though this person wasn’t happy with me, I eventually saw the changes God brought about in their life. This showed me that it was truly for their benefit.

People will not always approve of us, but when we lay down our needs for others, and seek God’s will, lives will truly be changed, ours included!

No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends.

John 15:13 AMP

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**Something to think about this week**

I made a list one time where I filled one side of the paper with everything I was committing over to God, all of my weaknesses, fears, worries, and cares. I then flipped the paper over and only wrote: Jesus. I can look back at that list and remember that Jesus is all I need because He takes care of all the rest. I want to encourage you to do the same this week and commit everything over to Him. When we commit ourselves to Him then we have nothing left to do but love others.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

1 John 3:16

Have a very blessed week in Christ!

**************************************************************************

If you have never accepted Christ as your Savior, please click on the “SALVATION” tab at the top of the website.

**Come back next Monday as I share more of God’s Truths and the reasons behind the Truths.

**Follow me on my Facebook page as I share verses throughout the week that correlate with each week’s lesson.

All Bible verses are taken from the NIV, unless otherwise noted.


Posted in Love Series, Monday's Blogs by with
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Monday’s Blog: Love Is Not RUDE

We are moving on to our sixth week of studying what love is according to 1Corinthians 13:4-7, Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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.

If you missed previous blogs in this series, click on the ones highlighted above. This week we focus on three ways we can convey rudeness. We do it either by our words, our attitude, or our actions.

Rude Remarks

It is foolish to belittle one’s neighbor; a sensible person keeps quiet.

Proverbs 11:12 NLT

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and then suddenly you’re hit by a rude remark that was meant to purposely bring you down? Then shocked and hurt, it takes everything you have to keep from striking back?

I have been on both the giving and receiving end of rude remarks. There have been people I’ve dreaded being around because their harsh, critical spirit leaves me feeling completely belittled. Yet I can’t judge them because I’ve done the same thing to others.

In the past, if I saw something wrong with someone, I’d let them know by criticizing them with a rude comment, hoping it would open their eyes. Every time I did that the big plank in my eye continued to grow, blinding me even more from my own faults (Matthew 7:4-5).

Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. We are walking around each day speaking death or life into the lives of those around us and reaping the fruit of it in our own lives.

James 3:6 says, The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. We reap what we sow. If we speak words of life that encourage and bless others, we will be encouraged and blessed in return.

Rude Attitude

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 2:5

Our attitude causes us to be rude to others. If we don’t change our attitude we will continue to spew out fiery remarks. Just last week, as I was preparing this message, I had to get up three times to open the front door for my husband because he either forgot something or had something to tell me. I started to get annoyed and by the third time I was rolling my eyes and shaking my head.

God quickly convicted me that I was getting an attitude. If I hadn’t yielded to that conviction I would’ve been rude to my husband. If God hadn’t helped me stop it that morning, I would’ve held on to it through my day and it would’ve continued to affect my attitude.

Even if we don’t physically say anything rude, our attitude and our tone of voice can convey rudeness. Rolling our eyes, huffing under our breath, being sarcastic, complaining, and being impatient, all convey a rude attitude.

We need to pray for our attitude to be like Christ’s and live by His example.

I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

John 13:15

Rude Actions

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you…

Matthew 7:12

We don’t always have to have a bad attitude or say anything wrong to come off as rude. Our actions play just as important of a role. There are many things people do today that is just plain rude. Here’s just to name a few:

Do you borrow things from people but never return them? My mother literally returns everything that is not hers. She will even drive thirty minutes to my house just to drop off something I accidentally left at her house.

Do you park in a handicap spot when you have two perfectly well able legs to walk on? I remember as a teenager thinking it was so cool to take my friend’s dad’s car to the mall because he had a handicap sticker and we could get front row parking. I never thought about those who actually needed to be in the front row because of a handicap.

Do you interrupt people when they’re talking? Do you blurt out replies before listening to what they have to say? Proverbs 18:13 says, answering before listening is both stupid and rude (MSG). I am so guilty of this verse that I even find myself replying to an email before I’m done reading it.

Do you ever make promises and not follow through with them? People highly respect those who are reliable and trustworthy. It’s nice to have people you can truly count on to do what they say they are going to do, and to be there when they say they are going to be there.

Do you ignore the “Please RSVP” when you receive an invitation? I have had parties where I ran out of food because people showed up that never told me they were coming. I have also had parties where I had a lot of food leftover because those who said they were coming never showed up.

Do you ignore someone because you don’t want to tell them no? When I was researching the publishing industry I was amazed at how many people I had inquired for information that completely ignored me. I found such respect for those who took the time to answer me even when it was just to say, “Sorry, I cannot help you.”

We should think about others in every situation and do to them as we would want them to do to us. This is how we truly love others, by showing consideration and thinking of them.

For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 2:21

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**Something to think about this week**

Let’s pray and ask God to make us aware of any of these areas that we convey rudeness. God is faithful to help us and He will always give us a warning and a way out, just like He did for me with my attitude last week. We can carry this verse to remind us to treat others the way Jesus treats us.

I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

John 13:15

Have a very blessed week in Christ!

**************************************************************************

If you have never accepted Christ as your Savior, please click on the “SALVATION” tab at the top of the website.

**Come back next Monday as I share more of God’s Truths and the reasons behind the Truths.

**Follow me on my Facebook page as I share verses throughout the week that correlate with each week’s lesson.

All Bible verses are taken from the NIV, unless otherwise noted.


Posted in Love Series, Monday's Blogs by with
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Monday’s Blog: Love Is Not PROUD

We are moving on to our fifth week of studying what love is according to 1Corinthians 13:4-7. Pride is something that we all struggle with because it basically comes down to not submitting to God’s authority in some area of our life.

The Bible gives us many warnings against pride and the repercussions it brings. I will only focus on a few but I encourage you to study it on your own asking God to show you and help you in the areas you struggle with pride.

Pride Deceives

When I worked as a server at a restaurant, I waited on a family one time that appeared to be very wealthy. While the father stepped away from the table the family cautioned me to do everything he requested perfectly and on time. They basically told me he was not to be disappointed at all.

I instantly felt intimidated and was on edge the entire time I waited on them. After they left I thought how deceived this man was. He thought because of his wealth he was higher than anyone else and deserved absolute perfection. Galatians 6:3 says,If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”

Pride blinds us of our true value and the value of others. When we’re caught in pride, we inflate our value and devalue others. When in reality we all have the same value. No one in this world is greater or less than anyone. Galatians 3:28 says, There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” The smartest, most successful man in the world is no different than you and me in God’s eyes. We are all sinners and Christ died for every one of us.

When we measure ourselves to others we will either feed our own pride or tear ourselves down. When we see ourselves and others as God sees us, it humbles us and prevents us from thinking we’re better than or inferior to others. 2 Corinthians 10:12 says,Oh, don’t worry; we wouldn’t dare say that we are as wonderful as these other men who tell you how important they are! But they are only comparing themselves with each other, using themselves as the standard of measurement. How ignorant!” (NLT)

Pride Destroys

Pride is what led to Satan’s destruction. If he could become prideful after knowing God in His full glory, then how much more susceptible are we to pride. In 1Timothy 3:6, as Paul was giving warning against putting a new convert in the position of an overseer of the church, he stated, he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.”

When we fall into pride, we stand against God who opposes the proud. When we ignore God and try to handle our life on our own, we open the door to Satan’s deception and influence. He deceives us by telling us we don’t need God so he can drag us down with him. Proverbs 16:18 says,Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”

Whenever I fall into pride, thinking I’m so wise, God humbles me by allowing me to fall. This opens my eyes to see my weaknesses, and it reminds me that I can do nothing without God. I am absolutely nothing without Him.

Praise God that even though we do fall, He is always there waiting to help us when we’re ready to humble ourselves and accept His help. Proverbs 24:16 says, “The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.” (NLT) “Godly” means “righteous.” We are made righteous when we receive Jesus. Without Jesus, we have nothing to protect us when we fall.

Pride Humiliates

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve acted in pride and found out later that it only made me look stupid. Those who are caught in pride are blinded from reality. Everyone else but them can see their folly.

This is one of the reasons why God tells us to listen to advice, because when we’re caught in pride we don’t see our own faults. Proverbs 13:10 says, “Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.”

God will often try to reach and humble us through others. If we don’t humble ourselves, we’ll continue to make a fool of ourselves. Proverbs 19:20 says,Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.”

Loving God Keeps Us Humble

Sometimes I think the more we grow with Christ, the more tendencies we have to fall into pride. We have to be careful that we don’t start thinking we’re holier than others and forgetting that it’s God who sanctifies us, not us. 1 Corinthians 4:7 says, “For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?”

Those who are proud and compare their sins to others, instead of to God’s Holiness, will not be merciful to others. Pride does not promote love, it tears people down. We can’t love others when we think we’re better than them.

1 Corinthians 8:1-3 says, “…of course we know that all of us possess knowledge [concerning these matters. Yet mere] knowledge causes people to be puffed up (to bear themselves loftily and be proud), but love (affection and goodwill and benevolence) edifies and builds up and encourages one to grow [to his full stature].

If anyone imagines that he has come to know and understand much [of divine things, without love], he does not yet perceive and recognize and understand as strongly and clearly, nor has he become as intimately acquainted with anything as he ought or as is necessary.

But if one loves God truly [with affectionate reverence, prompt obedience, and grateful recognition of His blessing], he is known by God [recognized as worthy of His intimacy and love, and he is owned by Him].” (AMP)

All the knowledge and wisdom we receive from God does us nothing if we don’t love others. People aren’t interested in how much we know, they’re looking for true genuine love, the kind of love that only God can give. We have to love God in order to love others. As this verse says, to love God is to have reverence for Him, to be obedient to Him, and to be grateful for what He has given us.

I’ve found the best way for me to stay out of pride is to be continually filled with praise and awe of what God has done in my life. Just remembering where I used to be, and where I still should be, and seeing where He has taken me, fills my heart with gratitude and keeps me humble. We often think about all that God has not done for us instead of praising Him for all that He has done.

We can see this in Luke 17, where Jesus healed ten men of leprosy. Only one of them, when he saw he was healed, came back praising God and threw himself at Jesus’ feet in thanksgiving. In verse 17-18 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”

Also in 2 Chronicles 32:24-31, we see King Hezekiah’s pride. Verse 24-26 says, “In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. He prayed to the Lord, who answered him and gave him a miraculous sign. But Hezekiah’s heart was proud and he did not respond to the kindness shown him; therefore the Lord’s wrath was on him and on Judah and Jerusalem. Then Hezekiah repented of the pride of his heart, as did the people of Jerusalem; therefore the Lord’s wrath did not come upon them during the days of Hezekiah.”

God does so much for us that He deserves our utmost respect and praise. Praise keeps us humble because it keeps us focused on God and not ourselves. When our hearts are filled with gratitude toward God we will stay out of pride.

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**Something to think about this week**

I pray that we all would seek God’s heart this week by studying pride in the Bible. Psalm 119:45 says, I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts. I just heard a Bible teacher yesterday use this verse and explain that if we want to be free from the strongholds in our life then we have to study God’s Word and believe it and pray it over our lives.

So let’s keep praying 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 throughout this series, confessing that…we are patient, we are kind, we do not envy, we do not boast, we are not proud, we are not rude, we are not self seeking, we are not easily angered, and we keep no record of wrongs. We do not delight in evil but rejoice with truth. We always protect, we always trust, we always hope, and we always persevere.

Have a very blessed week in Christ!

**************************************************************************

If you have never accepted Christ as your Savior, please click on the “SALVATION” tab at the top of the website.

**Come back next Monday as I share more of God’s Truths and the reasons behind the Truths.

**Follow me on my Facebook page as I share verses throughout the week that correlate with each week’s lesson.

All Bible verses are taken from the NIV, unless otherwise noted.


Posted in Love Series, Monday's Blogs by with
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