Monday, May 25, 2020
“Always Remember…..With Love”
1 Corinthians 13:1-3
If I speak in the tongues 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, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
We all have experienced more than we ever thought we would have in the past several months. Many of us still shake our heads thinking, “Is this really still happening?” We’ve all had so many changes happen in our lives and, at times, we are still trying to make sense of this new “normal” as so many have come to call it. This year has been unlike any year for everyone. Sometimes, we can go through experiences in life and feel like we’re all alone because we think no one else has gone through what we are dealing with. Well…..not now! We are all experiencing many of the same feelings and emotions.
As many of us have been dealing with different experiences, it can be very challenging to show love to one another, especially when we get on each other’s nerves. Just the fact that we are all dealing with constant changes can alone bring much irritation, especially if we are a person who doesn’t deal well with change. Everyone is different for sure and that’s okay. It’s in times especially like these that we need to be challenged to love people more as God calls us to do.
Think about what is really showing love to those around you? It isn’t just saying that you love the people around you, but most importantly showing them love. Paul makes it clear that we can do all the great “acts of service” we want to in life and look really good doing them, but if we don’t have love, it’s absolutely meaningless and we’ve wasted our time. Ouch! That’s a tough one to swallow!
I would like to encourage us all to make the extra effort to show God’s love sincerely to those around us each day. Whether it’s people who are easy to love or who are difficult to love. And, remember that YOU are difficult to love sometimes as well. Ouch! Another tough one to swallow! Let us always remember that we need to do and say things……with love.
Lord, help us to truly show love to others each day of our lives. Help us to not only say we love others, but to really show it. We need to love more than ever before. Help us to love sincerely and even when it’s hard to do so. You loved us enough to die on the Cross for us, regardless of how people treated You. Help us also to love others, regardless of how we are treated, even though it is often hard. Help us love others each day, especially as we continue to navigate these uncertain days ahead. Help us love with Your love. Amen!
Tuesday, May 19, 2020
“Certainty In A World Of Uncertainty”
Hebrews 13:8 NIV
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
There are some things that I don’t mind being the same in my life. There are certain things that I enjoy being predictable and expected each day and each week. I’m sure there are things that you all enjoy each day that become a routine. We all get into routines and we come to expect certain things at certain times.
We get up in the morning, take a shower, eat breakfast, get the kids off to school (in the normal world, of course), drive to work (or go into the home office), eat lunch, drive home (or leave the home office), eat dinner, go to bed at some point. We sometimes add to these activities or change them up in some ways as different things come up, but we stick to a routine a lot of times.
We live in a world right now where nothing is certain or predictable. Just when we think we have something figured out, change comes drastically it seems. Nothing seems certain anymore, especially with all the chaos of the pandemic around us. We have become very unsure and uncertain of many things. It seems every day that I go to work, there are some changes taking place and more to follow.
I’ve come to a point where I mentally have to prepare myself for any changes that may come and ask God to help me deal with them. Sometimes I deal with changes ok, but other times I do not. The change in expectation or routine can totally throw my day off. It can ruin my mood and make me crabby the rest of the day with coworkers and then with my family at night. I just want to have certainty in life so often. However, I need to learn better to expect the unexpected and just be ready if things change. I don’t need to be anxious, but just prepared.
Friends, we live in very uncertain times, but one thing you and I can count on each day is knowing, trusting and believing that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. We can rest in that promise that He will never change and that we can trust Him in every aspect of life. Nothing will ever change Who He is and how awesome He is. He will remain the supportive and loving God we have followed for years. Be certain that in this world of uncertainty, He is and always will be constant.
God, we thank you for being such an amazing Father to us. In this world of constant uncertainty, we praise You for remaining You. We thank you for helping us and never leaving us, no matter the situations that come up in life. We are so grateful that we can put our trust in You, even in the midst of the uncertainty in the world with this pandemic. Help us trust You, even when things don’t make sense. We lay our worries and anxious thoughts before You. Thank you for hearing us. Amen!
Tuesday, May 12, 2020
“Continued Thanks Through Uncertainty”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
This passage is very powerful and encouraging as Paul reminds us to rejoice always no matter the situation, never give up with prayer, and continually give thanks. Friends, this can be so hard to do some days, especially when we are bombarded with so many different venues of news and statistics.
We have so very much to be thankful for these days. We always have a reason to continue our attitude of thanks. There should never be a moment that goes by in our daily lives that we don’t have something to be thankful to God for. I know sometimes it’s hard to give thanks when we are having really bad days and things right and left seem to be falling apart. It’s in these times that God challenges us more and more to focus on how blessed we really are. It can be tough to look through the stormy clouds and feel joy and thankfulness.
We need to be consistent in our daily thanks to God for all He has done and all He continues to do. I want to challenge us all, whether we are working from home or if we’ve been laid off and are spending much time at home with our family than we possibly ever have before, to cherish this time when we are forced to not go places and do the things we have been so accustomed to doing. Life has slowed down in so many ways and God has opened so many other doors of opportunity for us to fellowship with each other.
Let’s take advantage and be grateful for this time we have to be close to our family members every single day and look for the opportunities God gives us to bless each other and grow closer together. Maybe we need to turn off the TV and any other news source pumping stats into our minds and just focus on being together and praising God for everything He has blessed us with.
Some days, it’s honestly hard for us to give thanks, even though we know we should always be doing so. We are human and we often get very frustrated and the enemy can easily work through these times to steer us away from our gratefulness toward God. If we focus each day on His abundant blessings, we will be reminded of our need to have continued thanks through uncertainty.
Father, as we continue on in these unknown days that follow, we desire to seek and trust You every step of the way. We want to focus on the amazing abundant blessings that You continue to pour out, regardless of our situations. Help us focus on Your unfailing love and the opportunities You give us to be a blessing to others during this challenge time. We give You continued thanks because we know You are always with us through everything. Thank You for being faithful. May we also be faithful as we seek to serve You each day. Amen!
Tuesday, May 5, 2020
”Thank You For It All, Lord”
Psalm 36:5-7 NLT
Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths. You care for people and animals alike, O Lord. How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings.
Lately, I have been finding myself thinking of more and more ways to be thankful each day for what God has provided for me. This passage is powerful starting with declaring praise to God for His unfailing love. I am thankful each day how God reminds me that I need to be constantly and more grateful for the unfailing love He pours out to me.
I’m so thankful that He continues to love me, even as I am often unlovable to those I love and care about the most. There are days when I’m just not fun to be around and I’m so grateful for the love my family continues to show in those times toward me. I’m grateful for His continued faithfulness that never ends and stretches beyond the clouds. He is faithful even when I am so often unfaithful to Him in little and big ways. Some days, I just don’t want to even try for various reasons. I get in my own world and I’m just selfish and want things my way. I’m thankful for not only His faithfulness, but the faithfulness of my family in those times.
I’m finding myself becoming more aware of all that He has done for me and continues to do through His faithfulness and unfailing love despite so often how self-absorbed I can get. I’m so thankful for it all! I don’t want to become ungrateful, but so often I do. I’m so grateful for how faithful He is to give to us so abundantly in so many different ways. I need to be reminded often how very grateful I should be.
Friends, these are just thoughts I want to share with you in hopes that you will be reminded of how grateful you need to be as well because of the amazing faithfulness, unfailing love and righteousness of God. We serve an amazing God and we all need to be daily reminded of how very Awesome He is! We need to be reminded to be so thankful for all things and all the people He has put into our lives to encourage and love on us. We should also be thankful for those who challenge us to be better servants in our lives.
With all the continued changes we are dealing with day in and day out, we need to be reminded of His blessings and say, “Thank You For It All, Lord!”
Father, help us to be in complete awe of You every single day from the moment we get up till we lay our head on the pillow to sleep. Help us to be strengthened each day by Your constant, unfailing love and faithfulness. You are faithful, even through all these challenging days. Amen!