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Archive for the ‘Love Your Neighbor’ Category

Sometimes, it just seems like our good intentions just aren’t good enough.  I know that we mean well, but it may not end up doing us or anyone else any earthly good.

I believe that we all have set out to do something for someone else without an ounce of greed or arrogance in mind, not even within our hearts. Sadly, the end result ended up being a disaster in our eyes. It was not even close to what you had in mind when you started out. It ended up blowing up right in your face.

I speak from experience.

As bad as it has felt, I also realize how humbling it had been for me. I recognized the short-sighted and well-intended moves that I made really made no difference in anyone else but me. I was humbled enough to see how fruitless my efforts were from the start.

In order to truly help someone out, you truly need to hear someone out first. If you don’t know they’re needs, desires and hopes, you are merely going through the motions and working from assumptions.

I had been doing so for a long time.

“Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” – Romans 13:10

Loving others will cause to help without harming a soul. Love will cause us to listen and learn. Love will cause us to take it slow as we take it all in. Love will cause us to pause and pray over needs and issues that people have shared with us before we make the wrong move.

It was hard for me to learn that life lesson.

Let these words sink into your soul for a moment.

“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching”- Hebrews 10:24-25

By God’s grace, we have been saved. Our purpose is to produce fruit through good works. Live out your purpose as a believer and seek to do good. Allow your good works bear fruit that lasts eternally.

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“You shall have no other gods before Me.- Exodus 20:3 NKJV

GOD wants more out of us.

I know what you are probably saying or thinking but He does.  He wants more and He deserves more.

Who are we to eek out a meager or mediocre existence when we are divinely directed to have dominion over the things if the earth and to serve as stewards over His majestic masterpiece as His “dear children?”

He wants us delivered by Him.

He wants us dedicated to Him.

He wants us developed in Him.

We are not all that we can or could be, or even what we should be. God not only wants to have us, but He also wants to help us and handle us as His own.

He has once we have accepted His offer of salvation through Jesus Christ. That is the Savior’s work.

He helps us as He works in us and on us, so that He can work through us. That is the Spirit’s work.

He handles us by setting us straight and sharing His purpose and intentions with us. In other words, He makes His will known to us. That is the Scriptures’ work.

He does all of this for us with the expectation of getting more out of us. Therefore, we must confront our own complacency. We must shun our sullen slumps and dives into depression. We must relinquish routine and regulated religious acts done in a spirit of the status quo. We must answer to God for not going beyond the norm and not exceeding the epitome of earthly expectations.

Shame on us when appreciate the acceptance offered by human accolades and applause while heaven rendered silent because we have not preached Christ or His gospel. God have mercy on us when have neglected our first calling, quenching the Spirit and its unction for us to speak peace, love, mercy, grace and forgiveness into the lives of others and share the abundance of what the Lord truly offers us all and expects of every believer in His name.

Let us do better by ever going more to be better as we follow His perfect and humble example foe us.

Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.
1 Corinthians 11:1 ESV

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There are certain people who seem to be alive but they truly have a dark existence.  They breathe.  They speak and hear.  They have all od their senses.  Yet, they live in darkness.

The church calls them lost souls.  The Bible calls them children of darkness.  The Lord Himself considered them of this world.

So what do we do about people who live in darkness?

Let your light shine (Matthew 5:16).  Let it shine before men so that our good works can speak volumes to them and that they may come into the glorious light of our Lord and Savior. 

Share Christ by showing someone the love of Christ just as someone else most probably shared with you.

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But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.- 1 Corinthians 12:31

Paul speaks of a more excellent way.  He does not say it to disregard the gifts provided by God.  He says it as means of teaching others.  He says it as a way to share how believers can show the love of Christ with others and not simply get caught up in the diversity of gifts within the body.

We are all part of a body called to function together.  As we function together as one body, we must be certain to function in a way that allows us to see how God can manifest what He has for us among us. 

We can see the diversity of gifts on display among us, but we are better off seeing God’s love on display among us.  By doing so, we show our compassion for one another and edify one another through the proper usage of our gifts.

God is good to us.  We at least ought to be good to one another due to His love that we share with one another.

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But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.- 1 Corinthians 12:31

Paul speaks of a more excellent way.  He does not say it to disregard the gifts provided by God.  He says it as means of teaching others.  He says it as a way to share how believers can show the love of Christ with others and not simply get caught up in the diversity of gifts within the body.

We are all part of a body called to function together.  As we function together as one body, we must be certain to function in a way that allows us to see how God can manifest what He has for us among us. 

We can see the diversity of gifts on display among us, but we are better off seeing God’s love on display among us.  By doing so, we show our compassion for one another and edify one another through the proper usage of our gifts.

God is good to us.  We at least ought to be good to one another due to His love that we share with one another.

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But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.- 1 Corinthians 12:31

Paul speaks of a more excellent way.  He does not say it to disregard the gifts provided by God.  He says it as means of teaching others.  He says it as a way to share how believers can show the love of Christ with others and not simply get caught up in the diversity of gifts within the body.

We are all part of a body called to function together.  As we function together as one body, we must be certain to function in a way that allows us to see how God can manifest what He has for us among us. 

We can see the diversity of gifts on display among us, but we are better off seeing God’s love on display among us.  By doing so, we show our compassion for one another and edify one another through the proper usage of our gifts.

God is good to us.  We at least ought to be good to one another due to His love that we share with one another.

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Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
– Romans 13:10 (NIV)

Love fulfills the law.  That’s not the local ordinances of your city or municipality.  No magistrates or legislators are looking for you to love your neighbor.  The police and other law enforcement do not expect it out of you.  Otherwise, why would they exist?

We are called to live at a level above the low standards set by many.  We are called to live at a higher level than the low expectations that many people have for their fellow man.

If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? – 1 John 4:20 (NLT)

Love is about doing no harm.  Love is a life-giving force.  Love will make sacrifices of the self for the good of the ones who feel unwanted and unworthy of even being considered for love.

No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. – 1 John 4:12 (NIV)

If we really love the Lord, let’s start showing our love by loving our neighbors.  We can do better by being better towards one another.  It starts with you and I, then it moves on from there.  Let’s love somebody today and make things better by fulfilling the law.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is love.
– 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)

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And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. – Mark 11:25 (ESV)

Problems come up when we have to deal with each other.  Jesus addressed it.  He stated it plainly.  He didn’t sugar-coat the truth.  He offered a solution that many of us just won’t get into at all.

He said for us to forgive.  If you have something against somebody, forgive that person.  If you still hold a grudge, paraphrasing Jesus, don’t just pray to God.  Forgive that person.  Free yourself of the emotional baggage and bondage, then pray to the Father who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

Harbor ill feelings about somebody and you won’t get far.  That’s not good.  You will end up at odds with others and out of order with God.  God has forgiven you for your trespasses.  That should help you forgive others, too.

There’s a solution in the Scriptures for the problems in the pews.

Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. – Matthew 6:12 (NIV)

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Bear ye one another’s burdens,
and so fulfil the law of Christ.
-Galatians 6:2 (KJV)

Christians are to bear one another’s burdens.  It is the way of Christ.  That’s what He did, right? Remember WWJD? Was that just a fad? Or, did you really take that to heart?

Bear ye one another’s burdens. . .

Wow! That’s heavy.  Literally, it is heavy due to what it really means.  We are to carry the burdens of our brothers and sisters.  We are to feel their pain.  That means that we should empathize with others.  We are not called to simply stand off to the side and sympathize with them, feeling bad for them and going on. 

God wants us to live with the burdens of others as if they are our own.  If your brother suffers from addiction, you should live with it.  Even if you have never indulged, you are to suffer with your brother and sister as well as seek a remedy as if it were your own life in a shambles.  The same goes for homelessness, adultery, selfishness, greed and other things.  We need to share with our brothers and sisters.

Let’s be Christlike about it.  He went out of His way for us.  He suffered for our sakes.

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 But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.
  -Titus 2:1 (ESV)

There is nothing that comes naturally to us in this new life.  Our rebirth as children of God leads us to enter into a new life with a blank slate.  We are to put off the old man who has lived within us for so long, so that we may put on the new man who is to be developed and nurtured within us as new creations in Christ.

Sometimes it works.  At other times, it just doesn’t work.  We fail when we fail to rely upon the Holy Spirit.  We tend to not mature as steadily when we focus more on what we will get out of it or gain from it rather than simply submitting to the will of the Spirit.  We lose out when we lose sight of the unveiled mysteries that God has revealed to us through His Word and by His Holy Spirit.

Paul admonishes Titus to teach what is “sound doctrine.” In doing so, he shares with Titus how to lead multiple generations in ministry.  He offers a strategy for incorporating the people by empowering his people to teach one another in the Christian life.

Titus is to “exhort and rebuke with all authority”(Titus 2:15 ESV).  He, as the pastor and spiritual leader of the church, is to lead, guide, direct and provide the means for the older men to minister and mentor the younger men as well as the older women to do the same for the younger women.  In essence, according to Paul’s instructions to Titus, everyone has a role to play within the ministry of the church, ministering to each other in unity.

Read Titus 2 in its entirety.  Read through it, then study it.  See what God asks of us as believers when it comes to ministering to one another.  Pray over it.  Subject yourself to pastoral authority for the good of all concerned.  Do not simply go along to get along.  Give of yourself, sharing your experiences and lessons learned.  Let God use you to minister to your brothers and sisters so that the entire body of Christ will be strengthened in “sound doctrine.”

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