Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Romans 12: 9-16

Brothers and sisters:
Let love be sincere;
hate what is evil,
hold on to what is good;
love one another with mutual affection;
anticipate one another in showing honor.
Do not grow slack in zeal,
be fervent in spirit,
serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope,
endure in affliction,
persevere in prayer.
Contribute to the needs of the holy ones,
exercise hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you,
bless and do not curse them.
Rejoice with those who rejoice,
weep with those who weep.
Have the same regard for one another;
do not be haughty but associate with the lowly;
do not be wise in your own estimation.

Jesus told the Twelve to love one another as he had loved them. In this passage from scripture we are told what that love looks like. Agape love, sacrificial love. Willing the best for everyone including those who hate and persecute us. This is a mandate on how a Christian is supposed to live his life. More importantly it is a mandate on how a servant of the Lord is to live his life. This is how God expects those who he calls to his service to live. We are to let the light of God shine through us for all to see in everything we do.

This is not something that can be done when our attention is pointed inwards. My love cannot be sincere when I am thinking of myself first. The only way that this is possible is for me to empty myself so I can be filled with the light of Jesus. I need to become the lantern to carry this light to all in darkness. A lamp produces its own light whereas a lantern shows forth a light produced from an external source.

If I allow myself to be filled with the love God has for me that love will spring forth and flow out from me in all that I do. It is our greatest source of real joy and happiness. If we do as this passage teaches we will live a good life in spite of any difficulty we are faced with. I life well lived is its own reward.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

James 4: 13-17

Come now, you who say,
“Today or tomorrow we shall go into such and such a town,
spend a year there doing business, and make a profit”–
you have no idea what your life will be like tomorrow.
You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears.
Instead you should say,
“If the Lord wills it, we shall live to do this or that.”
But now you are boasting in your arrogance.
All such boasting is evil.
So for one who knows the right thing to do
and does not do it, it is a sin.”

We are reminded that our time in this life is brief. No one knows what tomorrow will bring. Each day is a gift from God. How will we choose to use this gift? Will we choose to use the day to do good things and give glory to the Lord or will we choose to do selfish things and give glory to the self? Boasting is the building up of self, giving glory to the self over giving glory to God. It is choosing the crooked path that leads away from the Lord.

This day is a gift from the Lord. I may not get another. I should use it wisely, doing those things that are important. My day should start with praise and thanks to the Lord who has granted it to me. I need to approach each new day with awe and appreciation. I need to love others as the Lord has loved me. I needn’t let the stresses of this life worry me for they all will pass away. Trust in the goodness of God and he will provide all that I need for the day.

And when the day draws to a close I need to thank the Lord once again for giving me another day to love and worship him, another day with my family, another day of life. I need to account for my failing this day and seek forgiveness for the times I followed the crooked path. I needn’t worry about tomorrow or how many days lay ahead of me. Lord willing I will be given many. When my time is through upon this earth I pray that I will have lived and loved to my fullest and that I will be able to continue to do so for all eternity with God in heaven.