All too often, in my ministry, I minister to people who suffer from the loss of hope. Hope should be one of the most powerful, energizing and enabling resources we have in the Christian life. When one loses hope it is the inevitable consequence of losing sight of Christ and focusing instead on earthly conflicts and struggles.
Like faith and love, hope is extolled as a primary and glorious grace of the Christian life. “But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13). Continue reading “A Glorious Hope”
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:7-8
Recently my son was presented with an impatient and assuming attitude by an adult and his question was “why do adults think teenagers are so bad?”. My response was that most people are not well equipped in their hearts to assume the best about people. I went on to explain that this is born out of fear or over protection of something and, in his example, their reaction had less to do with what he was doing at the time and was more about issues in their own lives. Continue reading “Assuming the Best”
The idea of love is a highly abused concept. From ancient times to the present people have sought it, received it, given it, and abused it. One must wander through a forest of semantics and wade through a swamp of corrupted ideas and ideals to find the essence of love in any culture.
Many mistakenly think of love in the sense of such emotions as passion or ecstasy. Couples entering into marriage with no more than sensual feelings will ultimately be disillusioned as passion begins to fail.
Love has never been more aptly modeled, described or expressed than in the gift of Jesus. He, Himself, quite adequately voiced it in John 3:16 when He said: ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ Continue reading “Because God Loved, We Can Love”
None of us can avoid or prevent conflicting situations with others all of time. There are many times we would much rather vent our anger toward others who have been offensive than to choose responsible and Godly behavior in its stead.
The world’s philosophy is to deal with such conflicts through retaliation with an “eye for an eye” type approach. That viewpoint was what Jesus was addressing when he said:
“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away” (Matthew 5:38-42).
Continue reading “Responding Graciously”