Try New Things
Keep You Promises
Learn from Mistakes
Laugh Every Day
Listen to Your Parents
Hug a Lot
Respect Each Other
Be Kind With Your Words
Always Tell the Truth
Do Your Best
Have a Sense of Humor
Never Give Up
Love Each Other
Shortly before our family reunion last November, I saw this plaque in a store. I read each word and knew that we had the same values, hopes and dreams for our family. I bought it and hung it on a wall. What we value in life tells a lot about who we are and how we think. I look at these 'values' as individual pieces of a puzzle spread out on a table. One piece, the most important piece, is missing however. Jesus said,
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." Matthew 22:37
I find it interesting that Jesus mentions three different ways we are to love Him. With our heart, which pumps life sustaining blood throughout the body and is the core of our feelings and emotions. With our soul, the spiritual part of us that yearns for the love of our Creator. With our mind which is our intellect and enables us to reason. This is a three-dimensional love the Lord speaks of, and needs to be the centerpiece in the puzzle of life.
You can't just sit down and decide that you are going to love God. It doesn't work that way.
"God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit."
In other words, it is God who pours out His love into our heart by His Holy Spirit. I have a friend who says, "If God doesn't pour it, we don't have it." We need to ask Him to fill our heart with His love. He will.
After the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, He stayed here on earth for another forty days, Acts 1:3. When He ascended into heaven, He did not leave us alone and powerless. He left us with His Spirit, the Holy Spirit of God. Without it, we are not drawn to love the Lord. All believers have been given the Holy Spirit, and this is how we are able and willing to love God and be empowered to live life with joy and in peace. Paul wrote in I Corinthians 12: 3,
". . .no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit."
We therefore can't condemn anyone who doesn't believe. We can share what we know to be true; the rest is up to God. Don't try and convince people of what they can't understand, accept that this is God's business and just be loving toward them.
Think of an electric fan, or vacuum cleaner or a car without an engine. If there is no source of power, these things are worthless. We too need a power source that will allow us to accept God's love and give us the desire to live a righteous life. A 'righteous life', is pretty much impossible for any of us to attain on our own. God never expected us to. Jesus said,
"My grace (getting something we don't deserve) is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." II Corinthians 12: 9
In this same passage, Paul went on to write. . .
"Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." II Corinthians 12: 9 -10
None of us enjoy hardship and difficulties. But it does appear to be a part of the process of bringing us into a relationship with God. He doesn't want us to struggle, so let go of that burden you carry around, just give it up. Rather than feeling weak, you will feel empowered and discover a new freedom.
I remember the first time I had my car washed, so many years ago. I stayed in the car. It was hooked up to some device that pulled it through a tunnel-like building. It got all soaped up, rinsed off and I had a clean car. I was told not to touch the steering wheel. It was so hard for me to sit in the driver's seat behind the wheel and not touch it. I wanted to be in control and guide the car. Isn't this how most of us feel about our life? We want to be in control. Trouble is, we have no power. In fact, we don't really know what is 'right'; we can only guess and hope for the best. God knows.
There is such peace in 'letting go', not being snagged by the past or obsessed with the future. God loves you and has a plan that will ultimately bring joy and peace to your life as you begin to trust Him and walk in faith. This is how we can achieve victory over a world that is often full of pain - yes, try new things, learn from mistakes, respect each other, laugh, hug, be grateful and show compassion. You may not think you have the best parents in the world, but they are the ones God has chosen for you, so out of love for Him, honor them and if they are wise parents, listen to them.
"This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalm 118: 24
Thank you Lord for your wisdom and daily guidance. Help us to grow in faith trusting Your plan for our life.
Bobbe Van Hise
- Over the past few years my blog has been visited by people from all over the world. Very few know me, or of me, they simply are looking information concerning the Bible and discover my blog. After many years of intense study and teaching, I've come to believe we are vulnerable to misguided and incorrect teaching if we don't understand for ourselves the teaching of God's Word. My 'hot buttons' are - grace, sovereignty, exhortations and sanctification. If you understand these basic principles of Scripture, and apply them to daily life, you will understand what it means to have peace, joy and absolute security in any circumstance.