What Does Love Look Like?

hjIf I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, 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.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13

 

True love is a sacred flame
That burns eternally,
And none can dim its special glow
Or change its destiny.
And true love holds with gentle hands
The hearts that it entwines.

– Helen Steiner Rice

If We All Understood

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”  1 Samuel 16:7

COULD we draw aside the curtainsImage result for helping others
That surround each other’s lives,
See the naked heart and spirit,
Know what spur the action gives—
Often we would find it better,
Purer than we judge we would;
We would love each other better
If we only understood.

Could we judge all deeds by motives,
See the good and bad within,
Often we would love the sinner
All the while we loathe the sin.
Could we know the powers working
To o’erthrow integrity,
We would judge each other’s errors
With more patient charity.

If we knew the cares and trials,
Knew the efforts all in vain,
And the bitter disappointments—
Understood the loss and gain— ​
Would the grim external roughness
Seem, I wonder, just the same?
Would we help where now we hinder?
Would we pity where we blame?

Ah, we judge each other harshly,
Knowing not life’s hidden force;
Knowing not the fount of action
Is less turbid at its source.
Seeing not amid the evil
All the golden grains of good,
Oh, we’d love each other better
If we only understood.

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Enjoy Life

Life’s too short to be wasted.
It passes just once, so make the most out of it.
Live life the way you want it to be.
Live it to the fullest, feel free!

Live as the sun shines in the sky.
Live as high as the birds can fly.
Live as the colors of a rainbow.imagesZHGH5XS4Live as far as the clouds can go.

Never waste it with worthless doubts and fears,
With insecurities and useless tears.
Remember that what couldn’t tear you makes you strong.
Put away frustrations, sing your own song!

Believe in what you can do.
The world is round; it’s all up to you.
Think fast, act now!
Time is gold; it couldn’t be renewed.

Value experiences, learn from mistakes.
Improve for the better, live for others.
Do what is right and what is best.
Always be yourself, unique from the rest.

Laugh as if there’s no tomorrow.
Dance as though you’ll never get through.
Love with all your heart and soul.
Sing like you’re on the top of the world.

Forget the money, the root of all evil.
Treasure your loved ones; you’re blessed they’re still here.
Strengthen your faith, live with God.
The best things in life are for free, so why not?!

~Mae

 

 

We Need you, Lord

We need you, Lord.
Like lost wanderers in a burning, empty desert
thirst for cool, clean water,
we long for you to quench us.

Christian message be my guide

In a world gone progressively mad,
with chaos all around us,
we seek refuge in the order and purpose of your law.
With evil sneaking, leaking everywhere,
spreading heavy darkness,
creating feelings of emptiness,
we hunger for your goodness and light.
Turn us around, Lord, we pray;
retrieve your sheep who have gone astray.
Draw us to the satisfaction
of your purity and righteousness.
Cleanse us, and make us more like you,
role models, examples, beacons,
for others who are searching for meaning for their lives.
Come, Lord Jesus.
We need you, Lord.

Matthew 5:16
Proverbs 4:18

By Joanna Fuchs

Of Milk and Meat

I’ve been deep in thought over the last while. The Word of God continues to challenge me and I hope it does the same for you. My thoughts have been around a number of tough issues and I’m really taking strain as I try to digest it all. For starters, the writer of of-milk-and-meat.jpgHebrews has challenged me in the area of my spiritual maturity. In Chapter 5, the question is whether or not we are still stuck suckling on the milk of the truth about Jesus. Verse 13 says: “Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil”. Where am I in all of this? Do I keep going around and around with my baby bottle in my mouth, or is my chin carrying traces of the pepper sauce that smothered my medium-rare filet mignon? Does my behaviour suggest I know what obedience to God is all about and am therefore living it daily? If I were just starting on my road with Christ, this would be a proper place to start, but I’m more than a decade down the narrow path, and I’m expecting a lot of myself. I think God expects a lot from all of us. His expectations will always seem high, because God is all about us reaching to beyond the boundaries we set up for ourselves. Moses was just tending sheep when he spotted the burning bush. He was in the desert, totally out of the action, and the next thing he was standing before one of the greatest rulers of his time, telling him to let go of the slaves that were building monuments to satisfy his very vanity. God was expecting a lot, putting him before Pharaoh. We know the history: The seemingly impossible not only became possible, it was actually achieved. Heaven came to earth and history was forever changed.

I need a reminder every now and again, particularly when times are tough. Those are the moments I get a bit spiritually childish. When the tyre really hits the tarmac, I’ve found myself low on faith and high on suspicion of God’s true motives. That’s milky madness right there. How can I teach if I’m not going to believe what I’m saying? How embarrassing. I could just as well be sucking on a pacifier in broad daylight. No Brad, c’mon!

A teach affects eternity, he can never tell where his influences stops.

The Moses example seems a big one to use in this context. The Exodus story is hardly a fair comparison to what you and I might be challenged to do, but in principle, it’s really the same: Take God on His word, trust that He’ll keep His promises, suck it up and do what seems impossible and then see God move. That seems to me what true obedience to God is all about. I can forever just live in the safe zone and go through the motions, but where’s the testimony of true faith in that? That’s the right place to start, but it’s not where we need to end. Moses might have been content to herd sheep, but God had other plans. If God calls you, you need to answer, or face the chance of missing out. Let’s avail ourselves to the opportunity to show our Father our true obedience, to move forward in our relationship with Him and sink our teeth into something spiritually meaty. Based on verse 12 then, we need to be showing the kind of faith that brings the most amazing testimonies, because they become the springboard that others could use to be shot to even greater spiritual heights. Isn’t that what true teaching is all about? I immediately think of Moses and Joshua. Henry Brooks Adams said: ‘A teacher affects eternity, he can never tell where his influence stops.’ Let us be liberated by true obedience to a God who has never dreamed small. If we are to face something seemingly impossible, who better to have by our side than God Almighty, right? So, are you ready? Hang on!

 

 

Providences of God


Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD–Psa. 27: 14.

Time is an important element in all God’s plans: we are not, therefore, to be imagesTYZ6D74Odisappointed when the test of endurance is applied while the blessings we crave tarry long. God took time to frame the world and to fit it for human habitation; time to give the world its necessary experience with evil; time to prepare for the advent of Christ as the world’s Redeemer; time for the preparation of the Church and the rest of His Gospel-Age people to share in His glorious reign; and time must be allowed for the shaping and adjusting of the individual affairs of His people. God has not forgotten when the answers to our prayers seem to tarry long. He who heeds the sparrow’s fall and numbers the very hairs of our heads is not indifferent to the faintest call or the smallest necessity of His humblest child—
The providences of God on behalf of His people involve many delays to test their patience. Those who endure these tests with courageous hearts will thereby become strong in the Lord. Therefore they wait on the Lord amid all the varying circumstances of life, assured that He who is for them will manifest this in every time of need that comes into their lives.

Daily Heavenly Manna

When Angry, Sin not

desiringgod

“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].”
– Ephesians 4: 26-27 (AMP)

 

Anger is a natural emotion we all have from time to time. Even the most placid among us feel anger at times. It’s not exactly wrong to feel anger, after all Jesus displayed anger when he drove out the moneychangers. I believe it’s all in how we handle our anger.

If we respond to people and situations in an explosion of angry words and gestures, ranting and raving, then that expression is obviously the wrong way – it’s merely ‘venting’ the anger. When we do this, it’s the people around us that get hurt the most.

How, then, do we deal with anger?

I’m still on the journey of discovering how to not react out of anger. One way I believe God has spoken to me concerning this, is in this scripture: Proverbs 15:1 “A soft answer turns away wrath, but grievous words stir up anger.” It dawned on me one day, that if I respond in a ‘gentle tone using gentle words’, it will squash the anger inside. You see, when we ‘vent’ our anger it’s never ‘gentle’, it’s often loud, blunt, and hurtful with words that we wouldn’t normally use. Responding in this way set’s a pattern for how we respond, when angry, in the future – and on it goes! This is why I believe we are not to let the sun go down while we’re still angry.

 

Lord, please help me not respond
In a hurtful, angry way
But to respond with gentle words
In what I have to say.

 

Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor, contention) and slander (evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language) be banished from you, with all malice (spite, ill will, or baseness of any kind). – Ephesians 4: 31 (AMP)

 

photo: Desiring God/ Google

Meditation and Separation

Whatsoever parteth the hoof and cheweth the cud.  Leviticus 11:3 (R. V.)

The animals, in which these two characteristics met, were reckoned clean, and therefore fit for food. It is certain that the minute particularity of these words has some further reference than to the diet of Israel, important though that was, or to accentuate with every meal the necessity of their being a separate people. We, at least, may gather this lesson, that in our daily experience we must combine meditation and separation.

Meditation. – The cattle do not simply browse on the pastures, but they lie down to chew the cud. It is not enough to peruse our allotted Scripture portion; we must ruminate upon it, comparing spiritual things with spiritual, and scripture with scripture. The Holy Ghost will take of the things of Christ and show them unto us, and He will bring all things to our remembrance.

Separation. – “Whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God.” “The Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” We have not meditated to good purpose unless we have felt its keen edge. Detachment from the world must follow on true attachment to Christ. Love to Naomi will draw Ruth from Moab across the Jordan.

The two must be combined. – The swine divideth the hoof, but cheweth not the cud, and was therefore unclean. A man may profess to love his Bible, but the supreme test is his daily separation from evil. On the other hand, our daily life ought to emanate, not from without, which is Pharisaism, but from within, where we chew the cud of holy meditation.

F.B. Meyer

We Need Minor Keys Too

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“Giving thanks always for all things unto God.”  Ephesians 5:20

No matter what the source of the evil, if you are in God and surrounded by Him as by an atmosphere, all evil has to pass through Him before it comes to you. Therefore you can thank God for everything that comes, not for the sin of it, but for what God will bring out of it and through it. May God make our lives thanksgiving and perpetual praise, then He will make everything a blessing.

We once saw a man draw some black dots. We looked and could make nothing of them but an irregular assemblage of black dots. Then he drew a few lines, put in a few rests, then a clef at the beginning, and we saw these black dots were musical notes. On sounding them we were singing, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow, Praise Him all creatures here below.”

There are many black dots and black spots in our lives, and we cannot understand why they are there or why God permitted them to come. But if we let God come into our lives, and adjust the dots in the proper way, and draw the lines He wants, and separate this from that, and put in the rests at the proper places; out of the black dots and spots in our lives He will make a glorious harmony. Let us not hinder Him in this glorious work! –C. H. P.

“Would we know that the major chords were sweet, If there were no minor key? Would the painter’s work be fair to our eyes, Without shade on land or sea?

“Would we know the meaning of happiness, Would we feel that the day was bright, If we’d never known what it was to grieve, Nor gazed on the dark of night?”

 Many men owe the grandeur of their lives to their tremendous difficulties. –C. H. Spurgeon

When the musician presses the black keys on the great organ, the music is as sweet as when he touches the white ones, but to get the capacity of the instrument he must touch them all. –Selected

Mrs. Charles Cowman

 

Photo Courtesy of: Clipartpanda

 

Harmless As A Dove

“Be like the dove” (Jer. xlviii. 28).

Harmless as a dove, is Christ’s interpretation of the beautiful emblem. And so the Spirit of God is purity itself. He cannot dwell in an unclean heart. He cannot abide in the natural mind. It was said of the anointing of old, “On man’s flesh it shall not be poured.”

The purity which the Holy Spirit brings is like the white and spotless little plant which grows up out of the heap of manure, or the black soil, without one grain of impurity adhering to its crystalline surface, spotless as an angel’s wing.

So the Holy Spirit gives a purity of heart which gives its own protection, for it is essentially unlike the evil things which grow around it. It may be surrounded on every side with evil, but it is uncontaminated and pure because its very nature is essentially holy and divine. Like the plumage of the dove, it cannot be soiled, but comes forth from the miry pool unstained and unsullied by the dark waters, because it is protected by the oily covering which sheds off every defilement and makes it proof against the touch of every stain.

A.B. Simpson

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