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Posts Tagged ‘Love’

What’s your vision?

August 11th, 2009 Comments off

Proverbs 29:18 – “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

Sometimes we have a vision to do something in our life, but when problems come that vision is quickly let go because we are only aware of what we are doing and the vision seems unattainable.  The verse above from the book of Proverbs (which by the way is an awesome book of wisdom and knowledge) doesn’t mean people will die because they have no vision, but rather they will live a life with no passion or direction.  Sounds kind of boring to me… I am a purpose driven person, and I have to see the purpose in things I do to be able to experience the joy of doing it.

But sometimes we need a bigger picture; a vision from God so you begin to see what God sees and not your own eyes.  When you receive a vision from God you’ll have a different perspective on what you are doing.  When your own visions seemed unattainable… God’s visions for you is attainable!  Though they may be quite large, it takes small steps at a time and hard work to reach it.  Suddenly we are driven by purpose and direction to reach this vision that God has given us, and that is why we do not give up on it so easily like our own visions.  It’s almost as if we’ve been commissioned by the President of the United States to take on a task.  Of course we will do our best!  The President just asked us to do something!  In the same way, visions that God gives you are so much more important than anything that the President asks of you, because the things you are doing fall into God’s plan for your life and others as well.  Christian leader says: “Vision, like courage and discipline, is a trait that can be developed by anyone willing to work hard at making it part of their every day life.”  It takes hard work and willingness to carry out God’s vision in your life!

I’ve recently had a vision that felt God showed me.  Actually it is quite a long story, but for those who don’t really know me, I help my church lead the Youth group.  Back in May, I gave this analogy during a sharing about being on fire for God.  It’s like a matchstick being lit.  But the whole analogy was more than that.  Matchsticks are so easy to catch fire, and they will burn rapidly for the first few seconds, but then slowly start to fade away.  It parallels to how Christians today catch a fire for God and burn so bright for Him, but only for a short time and soon burn out because of so much work or duties.  Then I began to share with the youth, what happens if multiple matchsticks were bonded together, and one of them catches fire…  They will all light up!  And not only that, their flame and light is so much greater than just one matchstick.  That was back in May…  About 3 weeks ago I had a prayer meeting, and I got this vision about people who were on fire for the Lord.  It wasn’t a clear picture that I could see, but it was like God talking to me through the prayers.  He was telling me there are those who are on fire for Him at my church, but they are individual fires by themselves, and could soon fade and die.  It was up to me to bring them together so they will burn brighter and stronger together…  When that happens, other people will catch the fire and begin to burn for God!  It’s quite funny how God uses my own teaching and says to me, “you taught it…now it’s time to actually DO it…”  I feel so on fire for Him right now, and the vision God gave me is to bring others on fire together so we can do something that this church has never seen before.

I’ll leave you all with a song that continues to speack to me.  It’s by the Jesus Culture band, written by Chris Quilala:  (If I can find a YouTube version, I’ll post it up)

Burning Ones

Here inside Your presence I’m taken by the wonder of You
Here inside Your glory we give our lives fully to You

And we cry Holy, Holy are You
 We cry Holy, Holy are You
 
Your Love it burns inside our hearts are satisfied by You
Your Love is all we want is why we ask for more of You
 
Holy, Holy are You
Our hearts are burning, burning for You
 
We are Your burning ones. We are consumed by You
We set our lives apart. We are consumed by You
 
So let this light be like a fire. Let our light be like a flame
Fill our souls with Your desire. Let our passion bring You fame

Categories: Devotions Tags: , , , , ,

The call to love (Part 1 and 2)

August 10th, 2009 Comments off

Ephesians 5:2  – “Live a life of love”

What do you value?  What do you tell others you value?  Would you say that you value your family?  Or how about a specific relationship?  What about God?  No think about how you spend your time, money and energy… and ask yourself if it reflects what you value.  If you value family, how often do you actually get to talk with them, or would you rather be playing video games late into the night, watching TV, and hang out with your friends?  If you value a specific relationship, can you actually openly share with each other, and not just that, but be willing to sacrifice your own desires for that person.  If you say you value God, how often do you spend time in His Word, and praying to him.  If you are seeing a big gap between what you say you value and how you live your daily life, maybe it is time you start thinking about the choices you are making.

It is important to take a hard look at the choices because it can lead to a condition called “Active Inertia”.  It happens when we continue to do things out of old-habit and not realize why we are doing it.  This will continue until we hit rock-bottom, and crisis occurs in our life.  This type of living is dangerous to our health, our family, and our spiritual well-being.  It could look something like over-working ourselves and serious illness comes into our lives. Or a couple who rarely spends time with one another because of busyness and stress, and suddenly find themselves signing divorce papers.  What about coming to church on Sundays for the wrong reasons and maintain a certain level of superficial-ness so that others won’t know the real YOU and you begin to fade away until doubts and lack of faith consume your mind…

There are many, many other examples of “Active Inertia,” and when you identify them in your own life, you must realize that this life here on earth ends..Period.  No matter what you have faced and are facing, will come to an end…  And then what?!  When you stop dwelling in the past and begin to look into the future, your actions will change.  You will suddenly realize the true things you value, and then start to live a life of urgency.  You will begin to seize moments and live for what you value.  You will get priorities straught.  You will begin to live a live of love…

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Don’t keep your love in a box!

August 7th, 2009 Comments off

Mark 14:3 – “She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.”

Imagine…someone who went out of his or her way to do something for you that you can never repay them back.  How would you feel?  Would you try to repay them in some way or another, even though you know anything you do will never be equal the thing that that person did for you?  That is, in fact, what Jesus did for Mary (the sister of Martha and Lazarus).  We know in Luke 10:38-42 that Mary was captivated by Jesus’ teaching and cared deeply for him.  But the thing that Jesus did for both Mary and Martha was He rose their brother from the back from the dead!  How awesome that must have been especially for Mary who loved Jesus and her brother, because that is certainly something we do not have the power to do by our own strength.  How could she repay Jesus, or show Him her appreciation and love?  It was through her deep devotion that led her to take expensive perfume and anoint Jesus with it.  It was pretty much all that she could do! (Mark 14:8)

Jesus did something even greater than raising Lazarus for you and me.  He took the punishment for OUR sins on the cross, and there made atonement between us and God.  He tore down the curtain separating us and God, and now, we get to worship God freely, because we are made righteous in His eyes through the blood of the perfect Lamb, Jesus Christ.  Not only that, we receive the gift of salvation if we believe in what Jesus did, acknowledge how sinful we were, and place your faith in God.  If you don’t understand what that means, I think it is time that you understand that God loves you so much that “he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)  He did all this for you and me.  What can we do to repay him?  How can we repay him?  Simple (even though it is quite hard…) – we must follow Jesus’ greatest two commandments that he gave us in Matthew 22:37-39 ” ‘Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul and with ALL your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”  It is quite interesting how we can repay God for what he has done for us out of his great love for us, by loving him and others…

Actually, I feel I’m using the wrong word here, the word repay…  repay means something we do out of obligation…  We have to repay back all the money we took out from a loan from a bank, or repay damages done from our own accidents, or repay borrowed money from a friend.  Those are all obligations that we don’t do out of love, but a sense of guilt almost, because we are indebted to them.  If you understand that we don’t NEED to repay God back for what he has done for us, then you understand grace, something we’ve been given but do not deserve! (Not to be confused with mercy – NOT getting what we DO deserve…punishment for our sins.)  Once you understand grace, you’ll have this sense of love within you and devotion like Mary had when she poured out perfume on the Jesus.  Our actions are a result from devotion, and NOT obligation, and that is the type of love Jesus commands us to love our God and our neighbors with!  It’s the type of love that builds a deeper and stronger relationship with God and others.  It is the type of love that causes conviction and change in people’s hearts.  It is the type of love that cannot die… so don’t keep THAT type of love in a box!

Categories: Devotions Tags: , , , , , , ,

Tough Love

July 30th, 2009 Comments off

Luke 23:34 – “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

Isn’t it amazing that while Jesus was up on the cross, in excruciating pain, prayed to the Father to ask for forgivness for the soldiers who were about to mock Jesus, for the rulers who didn’t believe, and one of the criminals being crucified alongside Jesus that despised Him.  The most surprising fact is He prayed for them BEFORE the series of humulitation and mocking were described in the Bible.

The more I look into the life of Jesus, the more and more I realize that He IS the ultimate/perfect example for use to follow.  It is important to note He did everything in His ministries as a man, a being made of flesh who experiences the same thoughts, tempatations, hurts, emotions, pain, weaknesses, etc. as we do.  And yet, His life is still spotless and shows us how we should live our daily lives.

For me, loving others usually comes easy, because I am just so darn nice :wink: !  I haven’t really experienced someone who abuses me, or treats me like trash, and I am most thankful to God for that.  But, that doesn’t mean that people who come into my life in the future won’t be so easy going and friendly.  That only encourages me to pray for them now just like Jesus prayed prior to receiving abuse.  I need to constantly prepare my heart to produce tough love for when the time comes so that I will be able to forgive them, because I’ll know they are in bondage to sin and they need my light to shine in the dark areas of their lives, and need the LOVE of God to transform them!