This Love Won’t Let You Down

This is the final post in the series “God’s Love is the Greatest Love.” To read the previous post, click here.

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For it is not an enemy who taunts me—
    then I could bear it;
it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me—
    then I could hide from him.
But it is you, a man, my equal,
    my companion, my familiar friend.
We used to take sweet counsel together;
    within God’s house we walked in the throng.

~ Psalm 55.12-14, ESV

Next to grief, betrayal is the most lingering pain.

Some betrayals—like adultery—stagger us in their severity. Others are “microbetrayals,” slowly poisoning a relationship until it is beyond healing.

We are a faithless society. The sense of duty has been drummed out of our collective conscious in favor of passion. Passion is fickle by nature. If we love only when we feel like loving, or act only when we feel like acting, then our relationships will never have any staying power. This is why divorce is rampant, patriotism is passé, and “organized religion” is repugnant. If we tie ourselves down too deeply, we will feel the pain too profoundly.

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What I Learned From Being Quiet

A few years ago, I found this acrostic on Pinterest: “Before you speak, THINK: is it True, Helpful, Important, Necessary, or Kind?” There is wisdom in choosing our words with greater care.

The following is an excellent article from a fellow blogger on being more purposeful in our everyday speech. I would add that we need to also be careful in what we “say” with our keyboards!

Enjoy!

Samaritan's Song

I am in the middle of a ten-day “word fast” – fasting from certain kinds of speaking for the length of ten days.  The idea came from the appropriately-named Ten-Day Word Fast available for the Bible app on my phone, and the premise is simple: abstain from complaining, criticism, judgments, sarcasm, and gossip for ten days.

There’s a little more to the fast than that, and the definition of the words are carefully drawn out (i.e. “criticism” as it’s used here is made distinct from authentic and honest admonishment given in love).  But I’ve been working with the first two so far (complaining and criticism) and not complaining or being critical has taught me a lot.

Most importantly, what it’s taught me is this: I often complain and am critical to avoid being direct.

If I have a bad day, for example, I have a tendency to complain about it:…

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You’re Not As Alone as You Think

This is part 4 of the series “God’s love is the Greatest Love.” For the previous post, click here.

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“But who knows what she spoke to the darkness, alone, in the bitter watches of the night, when all her life seemed shrinking, and the walls of her bower closing in about her, a hutch to trammel some wild thing in?”

~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

Loneliness has a way of seeping into the soul uninvited, slowly sapping our stores of joy until a gaping emptiness remains. Loneliness assaults us in the dead of night or kicks us in the gut as we jostle our way through the madding crowd. It metastasizes through our hearts and minds, increasing our susceptibility to temptation.

“I just wish someone understood…”

“Not a single person has walked in my shoes.”

“I don’t have anyone to talk to…”

“Even my wife doesn’t get it…”

“Everyone I see on Facebook is out having a good time, but I don’t have any close friends.”

“Since my husband betrayed me, I can’t trust anyone ever again.”

“I don’t think God hears my prayers anymore…”

Do any of these phrases sound familiar? Have you ever felt misunderstood or forsaken? Continue reading

The Greatness of Sacrificial Love.

This is part 3 of the series “God’s love is the Greatest Love.” For the previous post, click here.

 

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We mortals make much ado about our sacrifices in the name of love. I’ve heard countless people say they would take a bullet for Jesus or their family. On the other hand, they don’t want to give up Sunday sports to go to worship or put down  their iPhone to have a meaningful conversation with their kids or spend a little less on themselves to help a brother in need.They say they would give up their life, but they are unwilling to make even small sacrifices for others. They would die for others, but not necessarily live for others. Real love does both.

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The Love of our Heavenly Father

This is part 2 of the series “God’s love is the Greatest Love.” For the previous post, click here.

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One of the greatest tragedies for a young child is to grow up without a good father. For one thing, fathers provide protection, establish balance, and are often essential to a child’s understanding of how men and women should behave toward one another.

Fathers are a vital part of the family unit.

In ages past, fathers often treated their children as though they ought to be seen and not heard, rarely showing affection and often remaining aloof. This explains why many of the old preachers and pastors framed God as wrathful and distant. In our current culture, many hear “God is our Father” and do not believe He actually exists or cares because their own fathers are likewise absent or uncaring.

How we view earthly fathers directly affects how we relate to our Heavenly Father. Continue reading

God’s Love is the Greatest Love

God's love is everlasting

We long to be loved, don’t we?

Unfortunately, we tend to spend most of our time “looking for love in all the wrong places.”

We expect our best friends to manifest their unwavering loyalty, only to be wounded when they seem to have forgotten us. We seek approval on social media, and inevitably come up short. We long for our spouse to love us with fervent devotion, but illness, stress, and apathy so often weaken the intensity of their love.

Human love is capricious, but the love of God endures forever.

The words in the above verse, “I have loved you with an everlasting love,” are spoken by the only One who can speak them with absolute truth and confidence.

In your daily bible study, take note of the countless times God demonstrates His love. Commit such verses to your heart. Write them down and memorize them. When dark times come (and they will come) you will be armed with the assurance of His presence, your heart shielded from the piercing darts of despair.

 

Are you afflicted by pangs of loneliness, overwhelming grief, or crippling anxiety today?

Have you suffered betrayal from a spouse or friend?

Do you feel ignored? Forgotten? Misunderstood?

Be comforted, my friend: Your Heavenly Father, the Eternal and Omnipotent King, sees you and loves you with His incomparable and unfailing love.


Next week, while the U.S. is celebrating the Hallmark-holiday of Valentine’s Day, we will be turning our thoughts to the nature of God’s Love. I hope you will join me for this little miniseries!

How do I Achieve Peace AND Be Holy?

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Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

Hebrews 12.14, ESV

Peace is an elusive, hard-won, state of affairs.

One party may feel at peace while another is ramping up efforts to overturn it. World leaders made flowery overtures about how they longed for lasting peace after World War I. Unfortunately, their desire to humiliate the Germans via reparations payments simply set the stage for another world war.

These past several years have been anything but peaceful, and the past few weeks have been downright nuts. I don’t care where you stand politically—both sides are behaving like sugar-hyped, bickering siblings. Continue reading