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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about love and hate. It seems in many ways lately we have far more examples of hate than love. Love seems to be defined in some circles as a weak emotion, or as measured by what the object of our love can do for us. “How can you fill my desires?” “What will you do for me?” Far too often ‘love’ ends when needs aren’t met; opinions aren’t valued; desires fall short; dreams are shattered.

Especially for us who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ, love must always be defined by the perfect example of love, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God.

One of the most popular verses in the Bible is John 3:16, ““For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

But we often overlook the very next verse, and to me this verse sets the stage for the previous verse and life in general. “God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” (John‬ ‭3:17‬) Imagine that! NO condemnation! Paul writes the same thing in Romans, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” (Romans‬ ‭8:1‬)

That’s love! Being passionate about a relationship with someone who is, in every way, shape and form different than you with absolutely no chance to measure up to your standards.

Jesus calls us to love! Especially to love those who are brothers and sisters in the faith. “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” (John‬ ‭13:34‬)‭

So how can we, as believers in Jesus do anything other than love? Recently I’ve seen so much hatred expressed on social media. Some has been by non-believers and that’s to be expected. But much Seems to be directed towards professing Christians who may read a different version of the Bible, attend a different denomination, or hold to different opinions on doctrine or theology.

Brothers and sisters. Let us not forget we are to shine the light and love of Jesus wherever we go! John puts it bluntly. If you don’t love, question who your God is.


Few people that are successful started at the top. I have a friend who is a billionaire. He started by cutting and selling firewood. Now he owns 5 corporations and about 50 banks.

What’s true in the business world is true in life. You want to do great things for God? You want to see his power flow through you? You want to see victory over that habit? You want to get out of debt? You want to start eating healthy? These are all things we hope for.

I think the ‘trick’ is to start small. Too many times we try to change everything all at once. This leads to frustration, discouragement and eventually giving up trying all together. Take small steps. What sins are you holding on to that need to be brought before the power of all-mighty God? What attitudes are you justifying because you’ve been hurt too many times? Who do you need to forgive?

Choose one thing today that needs to to change. Take the first step. Tomorrow do it again. If you mess up don’t give up. Start over. Growth that lasts takes time and we serve a patient, loving and understanding God.



In Old Testament times people understood full well what a sacrifice was. Devout Hebrews would go out to their barns, look over their flock, and take the very best, kill it and offer it to God. This was no small deal. That meant taking the very thing that would make you the most money and simply destroy it. No monetary compensation. No physical profit. Yet they realized that the value far outweighed the cost. What was at stake couldn’t be bought. What they received was forgiveness and peace with God.

Jesus became our sacrifice. He paid a debt I could not pay. Paul calls us to be living sacrifices. He calls us to give all we have to God. Not to earn his favor. Jesus did that. We give God all we have in gratitude for what He’s gives us. The problem with living sacrifices is they tend to crawl off the altar when the fire gets too hot!

Father help me to stay on the altar; to give all I have especially when times are tough. Lord Jesus, thank you for giving me the example of sacrifice. Holy Spirit, empower me to stay true. Amen.


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