Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Hard Command To Follow

“A Hard Command To Follow”
By Zach Wood
John 15:12

I wanted to share a passage with you that I was reading the other day during my devotional time and it really spoke to me.

When I read that passage, I thought of all the excuses I so often use toward God about not loving certain people who have treated me wrong.  But when I read this, I realize how much love God gave to me by coming to die for me and how little He asks for us to reach out and love others. 

Loving others may seem like a very hard task, but when I consider what Jesus went through to show His love for me, I shouldn’t complain about His command to love others.  This is not to say loving others is not difficult sometimes.  But we must remember what was done for us through Christ’s death and sacrifice to show us love when we have a hard time loving others.

I find myself giving so many excuses when God tells me to love on someone who has wronged me or has done something to lose my respect.  When people wrong us, hurt and/or do something that causes us to lose respect for them, we have a right to feel angry and frustrated.  However, God never told us we have the right to hold a grudge or to avoid them and not show love. 

I know there are so many different situations we can bring up and discuss where people argue of their reasoning to not to show to someone who has deeply hurt them or done something horrific in their family.  I myself have felt and would probably feel the same way toward those who have done that, but I know that God tells me I need to show love as He has shown love to me. 

Maybe there is someone you know right now that you have not shown any love toward because of what he or she has done.  Would you pray that God would work in your heart and give you the ability and desire to show them love?  I know that’s probably asking a lot, but just give that a try.  It’s not a change that will happen overnight, but God will give us, through consistent prayer, the understanding and ability to love those who are hard to love.

Remember Jesus’ words, “Love each other as I have loved you.” 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

How Foolish Of Me

“How Foolish Of Me”
By Zach Wood
1 Corinthians 1:18

I don’t know about you, but I know that I have done many, many foolish things in my life.  After 36 years of being alive on this earth, I have done some things that I am not proud of at all.  I have made bad decisions.  I have said bad things to other people.  I have had very bad thoughts that I would be embarrassed to share with others.  I have not done things that I should have done to help others.  I have sat back and watched things happen to people that I should have stopped.  I see so many times that I should have been bolder in my faith.  I have said things to my children that I regret.  I have said things to my wife that have hurt her and brought sorrow. 

As I think of some of the really dumb and foolish things I have said and done and things that I have not done that I should have done, I feel very foolish and many times like a failure in my walk with Christ. 

Usually when we hear of the word “foolish”, we immediately think of things we have done and things others have done to us that have been done without proper though and planning.  We have all been there, done that.  There is not a single one of us who have not said or done something foolish to someone else.  You would not be human if you haven’t. 

I would never think or consider foolish to be a word to describe my actions in a good way, but there is one way we can be foolish in a positive way.  It’s a way that the world does not understand and, as committed followers of Christ, we need to realize it’s the way God has called us to live.  The Apostle Paul makes it every clear that the message of the cross is foolishness to the world.  The world sees the way we live and thinks we’re crazy.  The world thinks we are foolish to follow such a life, but it’s that life that will truly save us. 

Please consider carefully the way you are living each day of your life.  Are you living a foolish life for God and following the message of the cross or are you choosing the life of this world and turning away from the true message of the cross?

I want to have a smile on my face when I share with others, “How foolish of me to live this kind of life for God.”  I guess I don’t mind being a fool for Christ.