Living in the NOW

Screwtape Blog 2

The biggest downer in life is to never enjoy the day. That temptation is one of the devil’s best tools. We spend our lives fretting about what comes next and never relishing what is now. Take some time to live in the moment God have given



Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Matthew 6:34 ESV



Carpe Diem

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Self Discovery

Musings #5





Merton challenges us to look inside of ourselves with great introspection that allows us to see ourselves as God and others see us. Many times we are shocked by the comment of a loved one or friend about something we have said or done. Our first reaction may be to say that we are misunderstood, but we will never really understand until we pause and take a deep look at ourselves. God sees in us what we cannot see in ourselves. The creator made us in his image and likeness with the knowledge that we would never live up to our full potential. Too often we hide behind our accomplishments and never take that voyage to the most difficult destination of all – our true self. Merton reminds us of this, but how do we begin that scary voyage?

Let me suggest a few possibilities.

These three possibilities are not a silver bullet to finding our true selves but some tools that will drive us deeper into that uncharted territory that lies within all of us. As we venture deeper into ourselves, God will give us the wisdom and courage to confront the bad and the joy of the discovery of the good. Remember, the image of God is imprinted in our DNA, and it is the desire of God that it comes out. Spend some time today pondering the possibility that that image can emerge and I know God will bless you.

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The Path to Full Devotion

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A brother renounced the world and gave his goods to the poor, but he kept back a little for his personal expenses. He went to see Abba Anthony. When he told him this, the old man said to him, ‘If you want to be a monk, go into the village, buy some meat, cover your naked body with it and come here like that.’ The brother did so, and the dogs and birds tore at his flesh.  When he came back the old man asked him whether he had followed his advice. He showed him his wounded body, and Saint Anthony said,

‘Those who renounce  the  world  but  want  to  keep  something  for themselves are torn in this way by the demons who make war on them’

—-Sayings of the Desert


At face value, this saying seems to be unreasonable. Meat, birds, dogs, torn flesh what a revolting picture. The real story is conditional commitment is no commitment at all. Abba Anthony is trying to tell us that a monk must fully commit himself to his calling. This same thinking applies to us who seek to be followers of Christ. The goal is to become fully devoted to the Christian journey and to hold nothing back from this way of life. As Christians, we promise to give our all to our savior. In the holding back, we invite temptation and evil to come into our lives. These forces keep us from the high calling that we have received and limit the power of the gospel that lives within us.


PRAYER

Lord, let me realize that you have given me unlimited strength to live for you. Please keep my mind focused on your strength and away from my frailties.

Amen

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THIS WEEK- SUFFERING

Suffering- the bearing of undergoing pain, hardship or distress. 

(Oxford Dictionary)



We live our lives surrounded by suffering and pain. Our time seems to be loaded with many and diverse situations that cause suffering and pain. Some of the pain is physical and much of it is emotional. We are faced with difficult decisions, and we must decide how to react to suffering. Wars, sickness and strife are now regarded as things that just happen. It seems that we are backed into a corner and just must bear the pain.

That is true ,but suffering can be used for our benefit. We all know that Jesus suffered and died for us. His suffering had a great and noble purpose. He offered himself freely for that purpose. Heaven forbid we think that we can accomplish with our suffering what Jesus did with his. Our suffering can, however, have a purpose. We are all called to be followers of Jesus, and perhaps we should consider that our sufferings are a way we follow him. The scripture says, “That suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”

When I was a boy and something unfortunate happened that caused me pain or stress, I was to “offer it up.” This practice is known as redemptive suffering. Simply put, redemptive suffering is taking our misfortunes and pains and allowing them to be an avenue to identify with the suffering of Jesus on the cross.

How does that look?

  • We see our pain as redemption.
  • We know that our suffering is rooted in the world and not God.
  • We know that suffering brings growth.
  • We acknowledge that it will end.
  • We offer our pain as a prayer.

There are those who have decided that to be a fully devoted follower of Jesus we must put ourselves through self-inflicted suffering. There is nothing further from the truth. Redemptive suffering is our way to take the evil that the world casts upon us and turn to God with our faith. We must thank him for the suffering that Jesus experienced and continue to have faith in him in our most difficult times.

This week we will all experience some level of suffering. Those trails can defeat us and drag us down to reject God and feel that we can do better ourselves, or it can make us stronger and more determined to follow him. Let us “offer it up” and become stronger and more faithful.

The reward of suffering is experience.

~~~Harry S. Truman

To endure the cross is not tragedy; it is the suffering which is the fruit of an exclusive allegiance to Jesus Christ.

~~~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Never to suffer would have been never to have been blessed.

~~~Edgar Allan Poe

If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.

~~~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.

~~~Helen Keller

Suffering is but another name for the teaching of experience, which is the parent of instruction and the schoolmaster of life.

~~~Horace

To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.

~~~Friedrich Nietzsche

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.

~~~Khalil Gibran

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of those depths.

~~~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

Wisdom comes alone through suffering.

~~~Aeschylus

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.

~~~Helen Keller

God has been good to me. My faith has been good to me in the moments of deepest suffering, doubt and fear.

~~~Pierce Brosnan

And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you.

~~~1 Peter 5:10

And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,

~~~Romans 5:3-4

I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us.

~~~Romans 8:18

He was despised and rejected by others;

  a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity;

and as one from whom others hide their faces

  he was despised, and we held him of no account.

~~~Isaiah 53:3

Then Job arose, tore his robe, shaved his head, and fell on the ground and worshipped. He said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.’

~~~Job 1:20-21

Surely he has borne our infirmities

  and carried our diseases;

yet we accounted him stricken,

  struck down by God, and afflicted.

~~~Isaiah 53:4

Blessed is anyone who endures temptation. Such a one has stood the test and will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

~~~James 1:12

Many are the afflictions of the righteous,

  but the Lord rescues them from them all.

~~~Psalm 34:19

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

~~~Romans 8:35

‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

‘Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account

~~~Matthew 5:10-11

This is my comfort in my distress,

  that your promise gives me life.

~~Psalm 119:50

For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well—

~~~Philippians 1:29

LORD, I pray that you will comfort me in my suffering and allow it to strengthen and teach me. Help me to overcome the pain that I bear this moment and allow me to offer it to you as a part of my faith journey. Let me be tempered as the iron is tempered by the heat of the fire. I will then go forward stronger and more resolved to be your servant.

Amen

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What Can We Gain ?

What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves? This is the most important of all voyages of discovery, and without it all the rest are not only useless but disastrous.

— Thomas Merton

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What Must I Do to Please God?

Musings #3

Today , I call your attention to the monks of the desert who chose to escape the temptations and hardships that beset them when they lived in the cities. Their escape to the desert was the way that they chose to pursue their calling as Christians. I have chosen two quotes, one from Anthony, the father of all monks; the other from Poeman, “The Pastor,” to begin an exploration into this thinking. I hope it speaks to you.





For quite some time I have been learning great lessons from the men and women of the desert monastic movement. Their commitment to living a Christ honoring life was given number one priority in their lives. Many of them abandoned influence, wealth, and families to live for Christ. They were the mentors of numerous leaders of early Christianity. Their attitudes and actions drew people to them for inspiration. I have shared some quotes from their teaching today. I will expand on those in the words that follow.

In our first saying we see the age-old question, “What must I do to please God?” That is the most important request that anyone can make. Anthony’s reply is simple. He is saying that it all has to do with focus. He says to begin with your personal life. The Christian must always have God before him. Too many believers make it habit to compartmentalize their lives. When we have a box for God, a box for work and separate boxes for each part of life, we lose sight of what should be our primary focus. Christians should always have God in front of their eyes and all else will come into focus. Anthony then turns his attention to the scripture and tells us that we should look for its testimony. The Holy Scriptures are given to us by God as a guide for life and work. We should consult with them and live in them for everything we do. Anthony’s next stop is where we live. If we establish stability of place, we will not spend our lives searching for the next adventure or excitement of life. Focus on God, Holy Scriptures and stability of place, and God will bring you great peace and salvation.

Abba Poeman warns us against excessive guilt and self-loathing. Many people suffer through much in life because they never forgive themselves for some grievance that they have committed. Somehow, they always feel a sense of guilt and never really accept the grace of God. Such an attitude leads to self-loathing and ultimately to destructive behavior. The monk communicates to the brother that God will accept the repentant heart without excessive penance. The message is that we do not earn God’s forgiveness, it is given to the penitent heart. When Christians accept and live out that truth, they are free.

We are all involved in a journey towards the cross. It is a cross of suffering and salvation. Abba Anthony gives us some ways that we can focus our lives. Abba Poeman offers us a way that we can accept forgiveness and move on with life. These two concepts will perhaps give you a vision of how to apply Christ’s suffering and salvation to your life. 

Lord, allow me to see and hear the message that you have prepared for me. May I discover the love that surrounds me and know that you are the source of that love. May I go through this day as one who is at one with you.

Amen

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Making Our Peace

Musings #2



How many times have you sought to make peace with someone or even yourself? I would be willing to say that we have gone about this task many times. Unfortunately, we do not seem to be able to come to a lasting peace. That is because we do not understand where to start. Our minds tell us we must start with ourselves and seek a solution that we can understand. I am sorry to say that our solution will likely fail, and many times make the problem worse. Merton points very clearly at the way we must approach this in ordered steps. Peace begins with us, but the source is far outside of ourselves.

We seek peace with others by making peace with God. There are so many promises in the Bible that we receive the moment we make peace with God. Here are just a few:

  • Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. ~~~John 14:27
  • Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. ~~~Hebrews 12:14
  • If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. ~~~Romans 12:18

We begin our journey to peace by making our devotion to God our source of strength. Making peace with God means relying on him for everything. We get a strange sense of warmth and comfort when we turn things over to him. Suddenly, delightfully, we are no longer alone, and peace floods our souls. Let us look at those three biblical concepts of peace.

When God gives his peace to you it is radically different than the peace of the world. World peace is temporary and never given without a price that we must pay. We proclaim peaceful compromise, even forgiveness of offences, but we can never forget. All human forgiveness is merely clemency and not the true forgiveness of God. With true forgiveness comes a peace that surpasses understanding. That is the peace that only God can give. Once we receive God’s peace new avenues of opportunity come our way.

An important one of these opportunities is the ability to pursue peace. Every Christian should have the goal of being at peace with all. Without God’s peace in us, we are not even capable of pursuing peace with others. The word pursue means to chase. God wants us to chase peace with our brothers and sisters throughout the world. A sort of utopian peace is the pinnacle of the Christian life.

The writer of Romans gives us the charge and the reality of living life as a peace pursing follower of Christ. He tells us to expend all of the resources and energy that we can muster to live in peace with the world. A lack of peace should never be our choice. We must always do everything we can to achieve that goal. The ultimate goal of every Christ follower is to live peaceably with all.

Let us all try to make the lyrics of the familiar chorus become true. “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me; let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be.” We are called to do our part to lead this world to where God meant it to be.

LORD, lead me this day to be an instrument of peace to the world. May I trust you enough to truly have your peace in my heart. With your peace in my heart, I know that I can make a difference. Please give me opportunities and means to be your spokesman to the world. I trust in you and your ability to lead me this and every day.

Amen

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Encouragement

Musings #1

There has perhaps never been a time in my life when the world needed as much encouragement as it does now. We are beset by a horrible health crisis, looming economic problems, unparalleled political division, and a growing population of unchurched and anti-church people. The world situation gives us much to be discouraged about in all ways. Our Gospel, the good news, allows us to see a different point of view. Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” These were encouraging words for a gloomy time then, and are still so today.

The first question is, how do we get the abundant life that Jesus proclaims? We get abundance by simply believing that Jesus can deliver what he has promised. Jesus is God on earth that came to redeem the world. The world is so busy trying to redeem itself, that a cloud of gloom and discouragement has landed upon us. We are like the ships of old that are sailing into a fog bank and frantically looking for the lighthouse to guide them around the treacherous rocks. It is only when the light is seen that the ship is safe. We need to see the light of Jesus and follow it to the path of abundance.

That is an encouraging word. We do have something to look toward, and it is far better than anything that we can conjure for ourselves. Once we see that abundance, then we can feel encouragement and share encouragement with others.

  • We can know that God is really with us, and he never abandons us, even in the darkest times.
  • We can walk through dark times with the knowledge that he is helping us along the way.
  • We can share words of encouragement with others, because we know that we will come out on the other side.
  • We can share a forward-thinking attitude that allows others to look forward as well.
  • We live in such a way that people can see that God is with us.

Stephen Covey tells us to treat a man as he can and should be, and he will become such a man. That is a tremendous charge for us. Jesus tells us to be the salt and light of the world. Most assuredly, we can make a difference in the lives of others. We can encourage and sustain them, and the world will be the greater for it. Followers of Jesus are called to be the encouragers of the world. Let us try to invite those we meet to be the person God intended them to be.

There are times that Christians need encouragement as well. The best source of encouragement is the church. As members of a church, you are introduced to the preaching and teaching of the word, have access to the sacraments, and contact with one another. These are means of grace, and they are all found in the church.

The Church is meant to be a cauldron of encouragement. A church is a place that we are on our best behavior, and we are looking for the best in each other. Pray that you will be of such a mindset when you are participating in church. It will encourage you as well as all those around you.

Everyone has inside them a piece of good news. The good news is you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is.

~~~ Anne Frank

Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be.”

~~~Stephen R. Covey

You can get a thousand no’s from people, and only one “yes” from God.”

~~~Tyler Perry

Instruction does much, but encouragement everything.

~~~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Encouragement to others is something everyone can give. Somebody needs what you have to give. It may not be your money; it may be your time. It may be your listening ear. It may be your arms to encourage. It may be your smile to uplift. Who knows?

~~~Joel Osteen

A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.

~~~Unknown

When you encourage others, you in the process are encouraged because you’re making a commitment and difference in that person’s life. Encouragement really does make a difference.

~~~Zig Ziglar

The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.

~~~Marcus Aurelius

“Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess. Just breathe and have faith that everything will work out for the best.”

“When you feel like you’re drowning in life, don’t worry – your Lifeguard walks on water.”

“Never let a bad situation bring out the worst in you. Choose to stay positive and be the strong person that God created you to be!”

“You’re not going to master the rest of your life in one day. Just relax. Master the day. Then just keep doing that every day.”

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”

– Albert Camus

 For nothing will be impossible with God.

~~~Luke 1:37

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

  and do not rely on your own insight.

In all your ways acknowledge him,

  and he will make straight your paths.

~~~Proverbs 3:5-6

The Lord is my light and my salvation;

  whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life;

  of whom shall I be afraid?

~~~Psalm 27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.

~~~John 14:27

The wicked flee when no one pursues,

  but the righteous are as bold as a lion.

~~~Proverbs 28:1

for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.

~~~2 Timothy 1:7

The Lord, your God, is in your midst,

  a warrior who gives victory;

he will rejoice over you with gladness,

  he will renew you in his love;

he will exult over you with loud singing

~~~Zephaniah 3:17

The wicked flee when no one pursues,

  but the righteous are as bold as a lion.

Be strong, and let your heart take courage,

  all you who wait for the Lord.

~~~Proverbs 28:1

No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.

~~~1 Corinthians 10:13

I have said this to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world!’

~~~John 16:33

LORD, if there was ever a time that we need some encouragement, it’s now. Let me hear a word from you and know that you have my well-being in the palm of your hand. I trust you to guide me through these difficult days. Help to hear the word as I read the word. Help to hear the words of comfort and encouragement as others speak them to me. I know that you will provide all that I need. Amen

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Sermon July 18

I have been in the process of transitioning to a new ministry role. Look for more posts being this week.

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This Week–LOVE



THIS WEEK –LOVE

Love – A state of feeling with regard to a person which manifests itself in concern for the person’s welfare, pleasure in his or her presents and often also a desire for his or her approval.

(Oxford Dictionary)



Four Types of Love

Today, love is overused and undervalued at the same time. We love everything from various foods to cars, from movies to retailers, from people to God himself. We may not consciously distinguish one use of love from another in part because our speech is becoming more and more informal, but it is important to be intentional about the differences. As we know, Scripture tells us that love is the highest attribute. So, let’s look at the four types of love found in the Bible that Lewis helps to draw out in The Four Loves, published in 1960.

I Corinthians 13:1-3 says, “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”

Affection (storge)

This type of love covers a lot of different circumstances of love. All mothers, human and otherwise, possess a natural affection toward their offspring. Affection intermingles in many of our relationships. We are kindly affectioned toward our spouses and our coworkers. Affection walks in step with the other loves and often is an outgrowth of another. It is not possible to maintain a romantic or friendship love with someone and never feel some level of affection towards them. Affection for the people around us on a daily basis is very natural.

Friendship(philia)

Friendship love is often dismissed by our culture. “To the Ancients, Friendship seemed the happiest and most fully human of all loves,” says Lewis, “the crown of life and the school of virtue. The modern world, in comparison, ignores it.” Why is that so? Perhaps it is because true friendship is time consuming and rarely celebrated. Romance leads to conception and families, Affection makes us feel accepted and cared for, and charity (God love) leads to redemption. We develop this love when we spend quality time with people who mean a great deal to us.

Romantic (Eros)

Lewis says that romantic lovers are absorbed with each other. One thinks that the absence of the other means the end of their lives. The romantic bond of two people is the most fulfilling love that you can experience. Lewis says, “The event of falling in love is of such a nature that we are right to reject as intolerable the idea that it should be transitory.” This type makes us whole. The bond between two people in marriage has been celebrated from Genesis onward and is a picture of God’s love towards us. This love is far greater than the drivel that is promoted by our culture.

Charity (agape) -God’s Love

This is the chief aim of our lives – to be loved by God, to love him and to share that love with the world. The other three loves, according to Lewis, are training ground for the love of God to grow. We are created to love and desire to be loved. We must lay ourselves out, just as Jesus did, and take the chance that we will be rejected. It is in that rejection that we come to understand the love of God. His love is ultimately shown by His death on the cross.

There is no safe investment. All love is costly, perilous, and risky. To love is to be vulnerable and exposed. Love anything and your heart will be taxed and possibly broken. If you want to be safe you must give yourself to no one, not even an animal. You can wrap yourself safely in the things you do, the fun you experience and work you pursue. Doing this is almost like placing yourself in a coffin of selfishness. You will never be broken hearted, because you have developed a heart of stone. If we protect ourselves by never loving, do we know and experience the love of God?

When we give ourselves and our children to be baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and promise to make disciples of all nations, we are committing to love in every way.

Let us ask God to awaken such an abandoned and reckless love to come alive in us.



Musings 47-4

Quotes BannerWhen one loves, one does not calculate.

~~~Thérèse of Lisieux

One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love.

~~~Sophocles

The supreme happiness of life consists in the conviction that one is loved.

~~~Victor Hugo

The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it’s indifference.

~~~Elie Wiesel

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

~~~Martin Luther King Jr.

Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.

~~~William Shakespeare

Tis better to have loved and lost Than never to have loved at all.

~~~Alfred Lord Tennyson

When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it–always.

~~~Mahatma Gandhi

We love the things we love for what they are.

~~~Robert Frost

The spiritual meaning of love is measured by what it can do. Love is meant to heal. Love is meant to renew. Love is meant to bring us closer to God.

~~~Marcus Aurelius

To see the universal and all pervading Spirit of Truth face to face, one must be able to love the meanest of all creation as oneself.

~~~Mahatma Gandhi

Your giving and searching for ways to give is love in action. This is the evidence of Spirit at work.

~~~Marshall Vian Summers

You can never love another person unless you are equally involved in the beautiful but difficult spiritual work of learning to love yourself.

~~~John O’Donohue

Scripture BannerLove is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful.

~~~1 Corinthians 13:4-5

Let me hear of your steadfast love in the morning,

   for in you I put my trust.

Teach me the way I should go,

   for to you I lift up my soul.

~~~Psalm 143:8

Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

~~~Colossians 3:14

So we have known and believe the love that God has for us.

God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.

~~~1John 4:16

‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

~~~John 15:12

No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.

~~~1 John 4:12

No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

~~~John 15:13

Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness

   will find life and honor.

~~~Proverbs 21:21

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

~~~Romans 8:38-39

The Lord is merciful and gracious,

   slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.

~~~Psalm 103:8

Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.

~~~Romans 13:10

When I thought, ‘My foot is slipping’,

   your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.

~~~ Psalm 94:18

Prayer BannerLord, Help me to be able to love in all the ways that you have revealed to me. Give me the courage and understanding to learn to love and be loved in risky and outlandish ways. Give me the opportunity to share God’s love with others today, not simply a love that saves but a love that sustains and guides every day. Our world is crying for love that only you can give.

Amen

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