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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.


Thieves take for their own benefit. Jesus gives for the benefit of others. His joy is in giving, not getting. Some thieves steal goods and property but the worst thieves are those who steal or destroy your heart. Physical property can be replaced. Physical wounds can heal. But the wounds of the soul are unseen and can take years, if ever, to heal. Love Jesus. Be a giver, not a taker.


I’ve often looked at this verse from 2 Corinthians and focused on the beautiful promise of the first half of the verse. NEW creations! Not refurbished. Not remodeled. Not modified. NEW! That’s grace! My loving Heavenly Father took this worthless pile of flesh and made something new. And, might I add, God don’t make no junk!

Then one day, rather somberly, I spent some time on the rest of the story.

“The old life is gone…”

Is it? The question haunted me. Yes, I’m forgiven. The debt of my sin is eternally washed away. On the inside I’m new, but this battle raging inside me continues on. Some days I’m strong and watch the enemy retreat. Some days he wins the battle.

Jesus’ invitation to follow him is no party. Instead of balloons there is hardship; instead of cake, temptation; the ice cream is replaced by worry. That’s when I’m also reminded I was never called to walk this road alone. My strength was never a factor, only my reliance on him.

Paul had a similar struggle he tells about in Romans. He loses with the reminder that only the grace of Jesus will rescue me from the battle. Some days I lose the battle. Some days I win. But in the end the war is won because of the empty tomb!

Father help me to live worthy of this new body. Give me a Holy Spirit power to leave the old behind and dwell in the new!


To those of us who are Christ-followers, we must realize that we speak a language few understand, and the problem is becoming increasingly evident.

Several years ago our family traveled to the SW United States. Since we were only a few miles from the Mexican Border, we decided to cross over and see this foreign land that is our neighbor. None of us spoke Spanish. None of us had ever experienced a situation in which we were obviously the minority. It was an interesting lesson to learn!

Don’t get me wrong. The people were very friendly and tried to be accommodating. There were a few smiles which I assume could have been translated as “silly Americans!”

The problem wasn’t intelligence. The problem wasn’t arrogance or racism. The problem was we didn’t speak the language. We tried. The people tried. But while there was some similarity, there was an obvious communication gap.

I see similar situations in the church today. We need to come to the point where we realize we live in a post Christian Era and a post Christian America. Regardless of who’s to blame, we simply don’t speak a language others understand.

Don’t ridicule the natives. They simply don’t understand. Our visit to Mexico and a small cafe was ‘rescued’ when a server knew English. He could translate to our server what we wanted to eat.

In the spiritual realm we also have a translator, the Holy Spirit. I’ve tried to remember to pray that the Spirit would speak to those in my circles that need Jesus. I can say my words. I can tell my story. But HE is the one who will give understanding. Don’t just pray for those you know who need Jesus. Ask His Spirit to ‘interpret’ the message for you.


Light is an amazing thing.

On those bright sunny days we wear sunglasses to protect our eyes from the sun. Where I live, it’s especially necessary in the winter when the sunshine reflects off the bright snow. Almost unbearable light!

On the other hand, too little light is also a problem. For those of us with waning eyesight, low light makes it impossible to read. Driving at night is always more confident with high beams than low beams because you want to see the road ahead as well as any critters deciding to cross in front of you.

So, light appears to be relative to the person or the situation. That sheds a whole light on Jesus claim that he is the light of the world. (Yeah, I know. Bad pun. Live with it. 🙂 )

With Jesus as the light, he illuminates my life just the way I need it. Light should never be used as a weapon as some have done by beating people over the head with the gospel. Light should never be hidden (I don’t want to offend. Religion is personal business.) Since when is offering someone life saving measures a personal issue.

Shine your light in a way that is attractive, illuminating and beneficial. Jesus never wavered from the truth, yet he attracted those who were living in darkness.

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