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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.


Pardon me but your log is showing. Have you ever noticed that the person who is the most critical of everything and everyone is often angry? There is an old saying that goes “unhappy people make people unhappy” and there is truth in that old adage. The psalmist writes “search me and know me.” Those are wise words for they invite divine and personal introspection. When we see ourselves as God sees us it is hard to be arrogant and critical because we realize the depth of our own depravity. The arrogant have no filters. They scream out all the faults of others with complete disregard for their own faults. The humble speak truth in love realizing that only Christ can change the hearts of those who attack us. Arrogance attacks; humility builds up through love.


One of the hardest things for any of us to do is to be people of honor in an argument. This is especially true when we know the truth or are being personally attacked or wrongfully accused. It is during these times that honor is difficult if not impossible to hold on to. For the believer in Jesus Christ it is imperative that we remain people of honor; that we are salt and light not purveyors of darkness adding fuel to the fire. To the unbelieving pagan Jesus simply spoke the truth and by his actions showed love and acceptance. To the arrogant religious people, who were bent on attack, he lashed out at their shallow actions but in the end said “Father forgive them”. It’s no wonder that James writes, “Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.” (James‬ ‭3:2‬) Knowing when to hold our tongue is a sign of spiritual maturity and honor. It is a process accomplished over time and with reliance on the Holy Spirit.


It’s easier to blame others than to accept responsibility for our actions; to dwell on the mistakes made in the past than to build towards the future. Some look on the social, political and physical problems of today and blame God or others. Yet the evil of today isn’t because of divine action but due to the natural consequences of greed, lust, hatred and anger. Fire can’t be fought with fire. More darkness won’t defeat darkness. The smallest amount of light will penetrate the deepest darkness

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