Posts Tagged ‘ Unconditional Love ’

VerseD: 2 Thessalonians 3:5

May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.
2 Thessalonians 3:5 ESV

We cannot fully and consistently love others without the love of God filling us and flowing through us.

Especially when others have wronged us.

Or we disagree with them.

VerseD: Jeremiah 31:3

the Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
Jeremiah 31:3, ESV

Just as Israel walked away and God – through disciplining them in the wilderness and then the Exile – was faithful and brought them home, He may discipline us to drive out our sin and make us more like Christ.

VerseD: John 15:13

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
John 15:13, ESV

Love is sacrificing for others. Your time, your energy, your possessions, your dignity, even your life.

For God. For others. Even for those who hate you.

Reliving Responses to Christmas: The Least of These

It happens to be Christmas Eve!

Back in the first year of this blog, I did a short Christmas series, beginning with this post, and then this post and this post and this post and this post.
Shall we relive the memories? Okay!


This last part might be a bit fanciful, but one of the joys of Christmas is having some fun.

When Jesus was born, we read: “She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7)

Immediately following His birth, we read: “When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’ So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.” (Luke 2:15-16)

Eight days after He entered our world, we read: “When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: ‘a pair of doves or two young pigeons.’” (Luke 2:22-24)

A while later, we read: “Magi from the east came to Jerusalem.” (Matthew 1:1)

What is connection in all of these?

Those are barely mentioned, if at all, in each segment of the story: the animals!

Think about it:

  1. Animals had to give up their place to eat for the night.
  2. Animals were left alone for the night.
  3. Animals had to die for the Lord!
  4. Animals had to help carry worshipers and gifts for the Savior of the world.

When Mary and Joseph laid Jesus in the manger, a feeding trough for animals, this meant that for at least that night and into the morning the animals gave up their dining table.

When the shepherds left their herd for the night, as I mentioned the other day, the sheep lost their security system for a while.

When Jesus was dedicated, two pigeons gave up their lives!

When the Wise Men journeyed from the East, it was their camels and horses who bore the brunt of the excursion and lose any comfort during the trip (though I am sure the Wise Men would have mentioned a thing or two about riding animals through desert and mountain paths).

Would you give up your dining table for a poor baby? Would you like knowing you were unprotected for the night? Would like to carry someone else’s belongings for hundreds of miles (or several dozen … no one really knows exactly how far they travelled)? Would you die for someone?

My take on these under-mentioned characters is this: they were unwilling participants … actually, more like unawares … in this story of our Lord’s birth, yet they can still teach us something.

There are times when God will call us to go hungry for the sake of the Kingdom.

There are times when God will call us to step out of our comfort zones for the sake of the Kingdom.

There are times when God will call us to give up our lives for the glorification of Jesus Christ.

I can almost guarantee you that these things happen frequently throughout our lives without us even realizing it.

Think of Chinese believers who are worshiping together in someone’s home, when authorities come in and break up the meeting.

Think of Asian/Arab believers who are going to church, and they get beat up as they walk for simply believing in Jesus.

Think of African believers who sit in prison for reading the Bible at home.

Think of the missionaries who die entering a town, yet their children are able to share the gospel with hundreds or thousands through their tragedy.

Think of that time you saw a man on the side of the street, begging for money, and you gave him or fast food sandwich to help him survive a couple more days.

We are all called to serve. We do not always get an angel or a star to warn us and guide us before our service starts.

Merry Christmas, and peace and joy from our Lord to you!

Plumb Deserving of God’s Love

Your soul deserves to be fed wisdom, so head over to Proverbial Thought!

It is time for another song! As much as I like this song, I cannot fully stand behind it. I disagree with part of its main point!

I do not care for the fact that there is no direct mention of God/Jesus anywhere in the song, but I can let that go knowing so many of their other songs do. I will look at this as an opportunity to get into secular radio stations to pique the interest of someone who may not believe in God, yet. That being said …

The song is Plumb’s “Don’t Deserve You”, which I find an excellently orchestrated song and one I would suggest many people listen to.

My issue is specifically with one (repeated often) line, “I don’t deserve your love …”

Here is my issue with it: If God created you, then He has declared you worthy of His love. Every single person on this planet not only deserves His love, but, as the song says, “You give it to me, anyway.”

I think that is one of the hardest things for us to fight in our world: convincing others that they can and should be loved. I think singing about it like this can be detrimental. However, putting these lyrics to music could be the very thing that helps some people repent of this thinking and turn to God and His love. This is why I still like the song! (The thing we do not deserve is His grace, but that is the very reason it is grace! It is giving something undeserved!)

May you grow in the love of Christ and come to understand how vast His love truly is for us!


Plumb – Don’t Deserve You

You’re the first face that I see
And the last thing I think about
You’re the reason that I’m alive
You’re what I can’t live without
You’re what I can’t live without

You never give up
When I’m falling apart
Your arms are always open wide
And you’re quick to forgive
When I make a mistake
You love me in the blink of an eye

[Chorus]
I don’t deserve your love
But you give it to me anyway
Can’t get enough
You’re everything I need
And when I walk away
You take off running and come right after me
It’s what you do
And I don’t deserve you

You’re the light inside my eyes
You give me a reason to keep trying
You give me more than I could dream
And you bring me to my knees
You bring me to my knees

Your heart is gold and how am I the one
That you’ve chosen to love
I still can’t believe that you’re right next to me
After all that I’ve done

[Chorus]

I don’t deserve a chance like this
I don’t deserve a love that gives me everything
You’re everything I want

An Open Rebuke…Er… Letter to the Western Church

Please seek wisdom, and find some at Proverbial Thought!

An Open Rebuke…Er… Letter to the Western Church

As of late, there have been many decisions and laws, legislations and rulings coming from our government – at the local through the federal levels – organizations, and churches, upsetting many people across this nation and across political, ideological, and theological lines.

This is to be expected.

What should also be expected is that the Church would rise to the aid of all who feel oppressed, attacked, left behind, and disenfranchised.

What I have been hearing and reading on TV, online, in newspapers and magazines, and from acquaintances and friends is that “those people deserve what’s coming,” “they are all wicked,” and “I want nothing to do with those people.”

I also have been hearing and reading people say “Why should I care about what those deviants think is happening to them?” Or “I do not want to be seen as supporting [their ideas/their lifestyle/their habits/their theology].”

These comments are usually closely connected or followed by thoughts along the lines of”they have to get their act together and come to Christ!”

I am not saying we should never disagree. I am not saying we should condone willful sin and moral ambiguity or deviancy.

However, when all we do is worry about what others will think of us for being associated with “them” (whoever and whomever that may be), and all they are able to hear is “God does not love you” based on our words and actions, then the Church is largely failing to follow the example of Christ.

Our Lord was accused of being a glutton and a drunkard (Luke 7:34) and for condoning sin (Luke 15:1-2), all for associating with such people.

How about we stop squabbling about our rights and freedoms as much and reach out in love to those with whom we disagree and see as sinners?

How about we stop telling everyone firstly that they are evil, but instead they are loved?

How about we stop excluding others, and we invite them to learn the joys of the love of God?

How about we stop making people change before coming to Christ, and instead simply show them that the love of Christ changes lives?

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.”

Galatians 5:1-6 (ESV)

Thank you, brothers and sisters, who love like Jesus!

Crucified, Dead and Buried, and Rose Again to Life

(Proverbial Thought. Go. Get wisdom.)

We have been looking at the Hard Knocks Life. I am not going to write much this week. Instead, I will let the Word speak for itself, because it tells about some of the hardest knocks anyone can face.

The Crucifixion of Jesus

As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then

“‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”
and to the hills, “Cover us!”’

For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.”

The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”

There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews.

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

The Death of Jesus

It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

The Burial of Jesus

Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.

The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.

Jesus Has Risen

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” Then they remembered his words.

When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

Luke 23:26-24:12, NIV

Let us remember this week: HE IS RISEN!