Tag Archives: peace
Anyone who says they hate in the name of Jesus is deceived.
Jesus said, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.” James 6:27-28
Does that mean love the white supremacist? Yes. Does that mean love ISIS members? Yes. Love Donald Trump? Yes. Love Hilary Clinton? Yes. Love Democrats? Yes. Love Republicans? Yes. Love all races? Yes. Love those you disagree with? Yes. A follower of Jesus is called to love ALL in His name.
That doesn’t mean we agree with all. It doesn’t mean we believe the same way. It doesn’t even mean we never stand up for what we believe or that we never fight evil.
Having hate in our hearts is something else.
Hate destroys the one it abides in.
Jesus goes on to say in Luke 6:35-36, “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”
We all were enemies of God but He loved us anyway and sent Jesus to die for us. He shows us mercy every day. We are to pray for those who are caught up in hate and evil. We are to pray for our leaders. Having hate in our hearts won’t change anyone except to change us into bitter, angry people.
We can’t do it in our own strength but Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to help us. With His power in us, we can love all, even our enemies.
S – “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Colossians 3:16
O/A – Let the word of Christ abundantly live in you. His word should fill my heart to overflowing. When His word fills my heart, I can teach and admonish others with wisdom as they teach and admonish me. To admonish is to warn, exhort, or caution. When His word fills us then we are able to teach others with wisdom. At the same time singing praise to Him, singing the Psalms and being filled with thankfulness in our hearts. My heart should be filled with thankfulness, not worry, complaints, judgments etc.
I need to let His word abundantly fill me and live in me.
I need to teach and exhort others.
I need to sing psalms and hymns continually in my heart.
My heart needs to be filled with thankfulness to God.
P – Jesus, please help me live this way. Help me make your word an absolute priority in my life so that it fills my mind and heart and comes out in exhortation and song and thankfulness. Thank you that you are so incredibly patient with me. I love you Lord.
SOAP Bible Study
“That brings out the mama bear in me,” a friend exclaimed!
Parental love is scary strong. Love hits a new parent like a tidal wave. It’s often said that becoming a parent is like having your heart walking around outside your body. Such fierce love struggles with children growing up in a world filled with danger, evil, and pain.
Parents decide to take control and guarantee their child’s safety. An impossible task. Knowing our children have free will to make bad choices adds to our fear. Even when our children are grown, we still want their safety, well-being, and happiness.
Once a parent, always a parent.
Our twenty-four year old son described a health issue he had but that he had no plans to see a doctor. I was sleepless as I imagined him headed to an early grave because of his choice to ignore the problem.
The next morning, reading about Abraham, Sarah and Hagar in Genesis 21,
I found hope.
God promised Abraham and Sarah a son, though past childbearing years. Sarah offered her servant, Hagar, to Abraham so he could have a son by her, planning to raise him as Abraham’s heir. Hagar had a son but a few years later, God fulfilled His promise and by a miracle, Sarah also had a son, the intended heir. When conflict arose between the two sons, Sarah insisted Abraham get rid of Hagar and Ishmael. So, Abraham (with God’s blessing) gave them water and bread and sent them into the wilderness.
Hagar went as far as she could, until the water ran out. “Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot, for she said, ‘Let me not look on the death of the child.’ And as she sat opposite of him, she lifted up her voice and wept.” Genesis 21:16
I feel her pain. She’s done all she can. She’s convinced her son will die. How does a mom watch her son die of thirst?
But… “And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, ‘What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation.’” Genesis 21:17-18
“Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water.” Genesis 21:19
Why did Abraham agree to send Hagar and their son into the wilderness? Unbeknownst to Hagar, God had already given Abraham a promise. “And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring.” Genesis 21:13
Before Hagar entered the wilderness, before she ran out of water, before she collapsed in pain and sorrow, expecting her son to die, God knew what would happen and had planned to make a nation from Ishmael. God had a plan Hagar didn’t know about. Then, He opened her eyes.
As a mom, I can think like Hagar: because of this obstacle, my son will die. But God is sovereign. He’s the one who knows what the future holds and He holds each of us in His hands.
I can trust Him.
I can pray.
God hears my prayers as He heard Ishmael (v. 17). I pray for our son and I give him advice when he wants it, but God already knows what will happen. He already has it covered. He had a plan for Ishmael from the beginning and He has a plan for our son.
I don’t have a guarantee bad things won’t happen to our son. Trusting God doesn’t mean everything will work out as I want or that our son will live to be a hundred years old. It means God already knows the future and He’s already there.
I can trust God no matter what.
Father, thank you that you knew the day you placed our son in our arms how his whole life would play out. You knew from the day he was born every obstacle he would face, each weakness, and each choice he would make. I know he belongs to you and you hold him in your hands. Thank you dear Father! I know I can trust him to you.
Already There by Casting Crowns says it so well.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
Paul has been writing about living by the Holy Spirit vs. living by the flesh. He describes living in the Holy Spirit here and points out there is no law against the fruit of the Holy Spirit. This means we are free in the Spirit to produce these things. We ca indulge in love, joy…patience…kindness…self-control. We are free to live as much of these as we want. The BEST things of life we are free to indulge in!
Do I indulge in love? Joy? Patience? Kindness? Self-Control? I never have to limit these things. They can be produced bountifully. I should never resist these fruits but indulge in them. How can I indulge in joy today?
Thank you Jesus that the things that matter most in life – that which brings real life – are gifts of your Holy Spirit and can be freely indulged in. Please help me indulge in your fruit today. Help me love extravagantly. Help me be ridiculous in joy, abundant in kindness, outlandishly full of peace. Thank you for filling us with the gift and power of your Holy Spirit. Help me yield to Him without restraint as I resist my flesh!