Loving Amid Chaos

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 
Romans 12:15 ESV

Everyone I have met thinks that memory care ministry is a great thing to do, but very few are willing to stay involved for long. They enthusiastically come for a few sessions, and just about the time that the residents start to get to know them they give up. Am I saying that these folks are bad people? Absolutely not! … To read the rest of the story go to Walking With Lambs

Happily Ever After!

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all you do be done in love.
1 Corinthians 16: 13-14 ESV

The Hallmark channel is immensely popular because many of us love to watch stories about romantic love. Though the actors and actresses change, and the settings vary from the Canadian Rockies to the Texas Gulf coast, the plot lines all seem to end in “Happily ever after.” So, when we come to the New Testament’s concept of love, pictures flit through our mind of happy couples embracing and working out their differences over candle-lit dinners. But these kinds of scenes are as far from the mind of the Apostle Paul when he wrote today’s verse as the far side of the moon.

According to the Bible, true love is something commanded of all believers. Jesus said it like this, “This is my commandment, that you love one another” John 15:12. Notice, this is not a guideline, a suggestion or an inspirational idea. Jesus commands a love, that is humble enough to wash dirty feet and yet ferocious enough to stand the test of a cross. In today’s passage, Paul begins by describing this kind of love as being watchful. While people say that love is blind, or that it sees things through rose-colored glasses, Paul says that it stands guard and watches out for the enemy’s attacks. Though, we confidently love others, at the same time we are told to be on the lookout for trouble. No matter how much we love, there will be tests, severe enough to cripple relationships if we are not guarding against them. Then we are told that this watchfulness takes its stand on faith. Just being determined to preserve a friendship a marriage or a family isn’t enough to guarantee success. Lasting victory comes by a faith that stands firmly on the promises of God. It means keeping a solid grip on Jesus Christ, before trying to help others. We cannot save someone who is drowning, unless Jesus is holding on to us so that we won’t sink ourselves! Last of all Paul tells us to act like mature men and women. We mustn’t rely on Hallmark Channel miracles, to love others. When the background music isn’t gently playing and it feels like everything is caving in, it takes the fiercely obedient love of God in our hearts, to make it through. It takes a faith that stands firmly on the Bible, even when it means being cancelled on social media or demoted at work. That is the kind of love by which God loved the world enough to send His Son to die in our place. This love of God, is our strength for today, helps us stand in our battles and is our action plan for tomorrow. Only this is the kind of love that truly loves others and lives happily ever after!

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A Superglue Love!

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? …Romans 8:35

I have always loved this verse, though holding on to it at times of trouble has seemed elusive at best. Usually when the going gets tough in relational conflict, under financial pressure or sickness I forget about God’s love and revert to anxiety or stressed out overreactions. But God’s love is supposed stick to us like superglue; so what are we missing?

Maybe our common weakness in situations needing God’s love is expecting to find the source in ourselves; and when that is failing we fall back into fear, stress or shame. But this morning I noticed how this superglue love that sticks through every possible circumstance has nothing to do with me or you. Its holding power is linked to who Jesus is and where He is in the previous verse.

Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Romans 8:34 ESV

Yup…that superglue love is all about Jesus interceding for us with the Father right there in heaven. Remember He told us, “I and the Father are one.”? His love for us superglues Him to that place in Heaven. No situation of life or death, sickness or persecution can unstick His love or make Him give up on us. His love is superglued right to the throne of God and nothing in creation will ever separate us from the amazing….unbelievable…all powerful and wonderful, love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord! Now that gives me hope and puts a drop of God’s superglue love in me!