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One of the most sobering statements Jesus makes comes from the gospel of Matthew. In the midst of warning his followers about false prophets he makes the statement that, “not everyone who calls him Lord” will enter God’s kingdom. He was addressing people who had done many good things (healing, prophesying, performing many miracles, etc.), however they had done all those things without doing the most important thing, giving him their heart. Their actions were noble but in done in the interest of appeasing a god they did not know, thereby rejecting a Son who longed to know them.

As believers, we should pursue excellence, not for our own satisfaction but for God’s glory. We serve and excellent God who desires to see excellence from us. What drives you to succeed? What is your motivation to get up every morning? Is it a paycheck and a few atta-boys or is it to look forward to another day of bringing glory to God through our thoughts, words and actions?


It’s interesting that when Jesus offered up his last prayer before his death he prayed for unity among believers. Unity is impossible when hatred is present. Love of the brethren is, in some ways more important than loving the ‘pagan’ because we are being watched. When I ask people who don’t attend church why they don’t, most of the answers center around church politics and hypocrisy. We say love the sinner and hate the sin but that starts in the church, in the body of Christ, the Family of Believers. It was the love/unity of the body that attracted people to the early church and people haven’t changed that much! All of us have people that annoy us for a variety of reasons — things they have done; personality conflicts; actions they have taken. Yet first and foremost we need to see others as God’s creation, not define them by their actions. We don’t love them because of who they are, we love them because of who Gd is. Jesus died for us when we were at our worst, the least we can do is to love others when they are at their worst through the power of the Holy Spirit working within us.


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Whether you believe in the whole virgin birth thing or not, one has to admit that during the Christmas season, the focus of our society turns towards love, joy and peace. History has shown that even the most brutal battles have taken time-out for Christmas.

The three words “I Love You” are full of a variety of meanings. When I say I love you it could be because I want something from you; when I say I love you it could mean you have done something that makes me happy. Often people equate the feeling of happiness and  belonging as being love. But authentic love, the love that comes from God is so much deeper than that.

Man’s love says “I’ll love you if”; God’s love says “I love you regardless. Man’s love says, “I may love you today, but tomorrow I may fall out of love; God’s love says, “nothing you can say or do will keep me from loving you. Man’s love says, “I can’t forgive you for that; God’s love says, “I’ll forgive you again, and again and again.” Man’s love can be unfaithful; God’s love is always faithful.

Authentic love can only be found when we find God for he showed his love through the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus.


We live in a time when hate seems to be at an all-time high. Tensions are high over issues of race, gender, political persuasion and just about everything else! Ironically, at the same time hate is high, belief in God is on the decline. Whether you choose to believe in him or not makes no difference. He is. And He is love. Even in the Old Testament, in which God seems to be an angry God, his anger is directed at people who refuse to follow rules that, in the end would keep them safe. God is love. Without that foundation, love is impossible. You can not build a skyscraper on a swamp. You need a deep and firm foundation. In the same way, you can not build a relationship of love without the foundation of love established by one who is, in essence love. Peace and unity will not come through equality and tolerance, it will come through God’s love because when we love as God loves, according to his precepts, peace and unity are the natural result. When God is present, love is inevitable, when God is absent, love is impossible.

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