Tuesday 2/20 ~ After the insult, take a deep breath and…

The scripture for today, February 20n (2/20), is Galatians 2:20 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.”

00-PAUL COVER-Thumbnail-The apostle Paul wrote this. He had been an angry, spiteful, and hateful man in his younger days. He had been a terrorist and had even declared holy jihad against Christians.  He had gone around the country rounding up Christians and sending them either to prison or to their death. He hated Christians.

But once Jesus got his attention and Paul realized he was persecuting those who could tell him the true way to heaven, he switched sides. Jesus had to do it himself because all the Christians were afraid of him. Then Paul, so to speak, crucified his old self, and let Jesus and his words live in him instead.  All his tremendous energy that he had used for hate was now used for love, and he turned his part of the world upside down for Christ.

Is there someone in your life or that you know of who is angry, spiteful, and hateful? Dare to talk to that person and tell them how much God loves him/her. S/he will argue with you and maybe even be meaner to you than ever. But when things calm down, try saying something else, perhaps about what Jesus did or said once in his life.

It may take you months or years. S/he will be curious why you keep coming back when s/he is being so mean to you. And eventually, this same person who uses all his enormous energy in a negative way, just might turn that same enormous energy around and use it for Jesus in a great way.

Give it a try. If you are crucified with Christ, then nothing anyone says can hurt you because your ego is dead. Keep trying to reach this enemy of Jesus. Keep trying to help this person become Jesus’ friend and defender.

You may be the only one in his or her world with the courage to do it. Keep trying. Cry in private after the insult, then take a deep breath and try once again. And once again. And again. Never stop. Who knows?

Scripture for Thursday, May 25 (5/25)

The scripture for today, May 25, is Galatians 5:25f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-COVER-KINDLE“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”

When someone is better than us in doing something, do we pick fights with them as punishment, or spread gossip about them in order to get others to quit respecting them?

Perhaps we don’t do this all the time. But what about times when there is something we feel we are really good at, but another person not as talented gets the honor? That’s when it’s hard to “keep in step with the Spirit.”

Whenever we envy someone, deep down we consider that person our enemy. Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:44-45a).

To many, loving our enemy is the most difficult command in the Bible. Perhaps one way to love our “enemy” is to realize that Jesus loved his enemies. Every time we sin, we become one of his enemies. But Jesus keeps right on loving us, even when we don’t want to stop doing whatever we shouldn’t.

Jesus demonstrates the love of the Son of God. And here he says, if we love our enemies, we are demonstrating what the sons of God do. And that is far more important than honor that goes to those we envy. Leaving behind conceit makes it much easier to love everyone.

 

#conceit, #provoked, #envy, #jealousy, #enemy, #punishment, #forgiveness                                       

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Scripture for Monday, May 8 (5/8)

The scripture for today, May 8 (5/8) is Psalm 5:8 as found in the Old Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 8-ComeFlyWithMe-Cover-Medium-New“Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness, because of my enemies ~ make straight your way before me.”

 

An enemy would like nothing more than to get into a good fight with someone. Do not let that happen. You have better things to do than that. Set your eyes, not on your enemy, but on the Lord. The path of enemies will take you on all sorts of side trips that lead to dead ends. The path of God rises up before you ~ straight and direct. Do not let your attention stray from that path.

Keep on walking on the path of God.

     And keep on walking,

          and keep walking,

               and walking, and walking….

                    ….until…at last…you walk right through the gates of heaven.

 

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#leadership, #lead, #shepherd, #path, #sidetrack, #enemy, #issues, #straight, #direct, #road, #stray, #walk, #gate, #heaven, #deadend

Scripture for Wednesday, March 15 (3/15)

The scripture for today, March 15, is Colossians 3:15 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

Oldoldstory-COVER-KINDLE“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

Paul was encouraging the Christians at Colossae to get along with each other. After all, they were all members of the one body ~ the one church. In the next verse, he even told them to sing to each other; not only to get along, but be thankful their brothers and sisters were who they were.

What a wonderful way to mend a rift. Begin singing. Sing with the person you are not getting along with. Watch the smile on your face drift over to them. Watch the smile on their face rise up out of a heart that really does want to love you.

Let not little things interfere with your love for each other. You do not want to cause pain to your heavenly Father when his children do not get along. Let us please each other ~ and sing!

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#songs, #singing, #peace, #friendship, #heart, #love, #enemy, #one, #body