Love Hurts

If you seek to love as Jesus loves, you will not lead a painless life.  It’s not that love itself hurts, but that your love for others will encounter hurt.

Why does love encounter hurt?  Because people often do not respond to love the way they should.  Have you noticed?

Search the teachings of Jesus and you will find very little instruction about how to love those who love you.  No one needs instruction in that.  It comes naturally.  Parents who have constantly obedient children do not need to be exhorted to love their children.  Workers who have kind and patient bosses do not need to be exhorted to love and serve their bosses.  Husbands who have wives fully and affectionately devoted to them do not need to be exhorted to love their wives.  In short, if all our neighbors loved us, God would not need to teach us how to love our neighbors.  It would come naturally.  Only ingrates do not love those who love them.

The signature event in the life of Jesus of Nazareth was, of course, His crucifixion.  The context of that event included the many miracles He had performed, which were essentially good deeds freely distributed to saint and sinner alike.  In return for this unparalleled generosity and kindness, the society of His day condemned, tortured, and killed Him.  Whereupon He rose from the dead three days later offering complete forgiveness to them…and to the entire world.  If we’re going to claim that we love our neighbor, this is the standard against which we’re going to have to measure ourselves.

Jesus’ great love for us brought great hurt to Himself.  Yet His love endured that hurt.  It is this kind of love about which we are in need of instruction.

What You Have in Common with Others

There is something you have in common with every person you know:  God has created you both.

We pay far too little attention to this bond.  As a result, we are more prone to see the differences between ourselves and others.  This, in turn, can lead to judging others in inappropriate ways.

Rather than judging each other, we should be showing mercy to each other.  Focus on the Creator we have in common and you will find this easier to do.

Jesus Christ shows each of us mercy that we might show mercy to each other.  If you don’t show mercy to others, you are asking Jesus to withhold His mercy from you until you change.

Bible notes on this post.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ to those who want to hear about Him without having to join a church – or anything or anyone else – but Him.

Q: What Can You Keep Only If You Give It Away?

Q: What is it that you can keep only if you give it away?

A: God’s grace.

For if you withhold grace from another, God will withdraw it from you.  Therefore, by all means, be as generous with others as you want God to be with you.

Bible notes on this post.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ to those who want to hear about Him without having to join a church – or anything or anyone else – but Him.

Podcast SC045

If No One Ever Wrongs You, How Will You Get to Turn the Other Cheek?

If no one ever treats you poorly, how will ever get practice turning the other cheek?

If no one ever wrongfully takes what is rightfully yours, how will you ever have the opportunity to forgive?

If no one ever insults or mistreats you, how will you have the chance to pray for someone who is persecuting you?

Did you accept Christ so that you could imitate Him – or so that you could expect everyone else to imitate Him?

Don’t complain about mistreatment.  It’s your chance to shine!

Bible notes on this post.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ to those who want to hear about Him without having to join a church – or anything or anyone else – but Him.

Every Knee Will Bow…But Not All at the First Opportunity

The Bible promises that “every knee will bow” to Christ.  Of course, we do not yet see that happening.  We do see some knees bowed to Him – but not all.

For this reason, we must be prepared to bear the reproach of those who are not currently bowing.  Let us live holy in their midst, and be a demonstration of Christ to them – that they might bow the knee sooner than they would otherwise.  If we succeed at this, we will have honored our Lord.

Bible notes on this post.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ to those who want to hear about Him without having to join a church – or anything or anyone else – but Him.

If You Don’t Forgive Others, Jesus Won’t Forgive You

Jesus is willing to forgive you all your sins.  If, however, you are unwilling to do the same for others, then He withdraws His offer to forgive you.  I don’t know how He could communicate His intentions more seriously than that.

Needless to say, if you have anything against anyone, forgive.  It’s literally the least you can do if you claim to be a disciple of His.

Bible notes on this post.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ to those who want to hear about Him without having to join a church – or anything or anyone else – but Him.

All Who Desire to Live Godly in Christ Jesus Will Be Persecuted

Not only does the world not live godly, it doesn’t like it when anyone lives godly.  In fact, the world will make it difficult for those who desire to live godly.

Therefore, if you wish to live godly, prepare yourself for opposition and even persecution.  Make up your mind ahead of time that you are going to love and pray for those who give you a hard time.

Your persecutors are not intentionally trying to harass the godly.  On the contrary, they usually think they’re doing God a favor.  Or if they don’t believe in God, they think they’re doing everyone else a favor.

Bear up under suffering – just as your Lord did.

Bible notes on this post.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ to those who want to hear about Him without having to join a church – or anything or anyone else – but Him.

The Love of Christ Controls Us

The love of Christ is the controlling authority of our lives.

Christ’s love reaches out to us.  We receive it, and then return His love to Him by showing it to those around us.

We do not take into account wrongs suffered.  We turn the other cheek, and we love even our enemies.

The love of Christ defines our worth…and supplies our daily motivations.

Christ is love.  And His love consumes us.

Bible notes on this post.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ to those who want to hear about Him without having to join a church – or anything or anyone else – but Him.

Be God’s Love Letter to Your World Today

Do you love Jesus Christ?  Then consider yourself a letter from Him to those in your world today.  Be a love letter – an expression of deep and abiding affection for every person with whom  you have contact, beginning, of course, with each member of your family.

Do not be hate mail, and do not be junk mail.  Do not be a bill, and especially don’t be a past-due notice.

Be a letter that gives – not a letter than takes.

Be patient, kind, and gentle with others…that God may be forgiving of your sins against Him.

Pray each morning that you might be Christ’s love letter to everyone you encounter during the day to come.

Bible notes on this post.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ to those who want to hear about Him without having to join a church – or anything or anyone else – but Him.

Turning Our Hearts Toward Home

When we turn to Christ, He turns our hearts toward home.

Where is home?  Our ultimate home is heaven.  When we die, that’s where we go.  Until then our home on this earth is family, those to whom God has entrusted us and those whom He has entrusted to us.

A man who says he loves Christ but leaves his wife for another is lying.  No man can love Christ whom he has not seen if he does not love his wife whom he has seen.

Bible notes on this post.

The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ to those who want to hear about Him without having to join a church – or anything or anyone else – but Him.