Love your neighbor…

It may seem odd to some that as a Christian I have often wondered about the verse in Matthew 22:39       that says that we are to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” When I read that for the first time my immediate thought was, “What if you don’t love yourself?”

I know Christ is the perfect example for us since He showed His great love by dying on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. But does that mean that I have to die on a cross or step in front of a bus to save  someone from being hit?

Those of us that were raised in abusive homes were not given examples of love. Many were not shown what love is or taught how to show love. So as adults why would we not be confused about this loving others as ourselves verse? Many hate themselves!

I asked the Lord about this the other night and He gave me some examples of showing love to others. He did not include dying on a cross or stepping in front of a bus. He brought to mind a few examples from my own life that I would not have connected to “loving others as yourself.”

One example was when I was in Walmart during the summer months and a lady stepped up beside me to look at some similar products that I was looking at. She had on a beautiful summer dress and I just couldn’t help myself, “Oh, I love your dress! It looks so good on you and so comfortable.” I exclaimed. Her face lit up. “That’s showing love” the Lord said.

Another example was helping a neighbor find her little dog that got out of the fence and ran off. “That’s love” the Lord said.

When a lady stepped up beside me in the drug store and mentioned her son had just died I could see the anguish in her eyes and tears filled mine. I asked if I could give her a hug and she let me. “That’s love” the Lord said.

The lady in line ahead of me at the grocery store was short a dollar and was going to put something back. I handed her a dollar. “That’s love” the Lord said.

Yesterday a lady was in line behind me to check out and had 2 items and a heavy baby carrier with her infant asleep inside. I had several items in a basket. I told her to go ahead of me. “That’s love” the Lord said.

The examples continue each day as the little things I do pop up here and there. He’s showing me that we show His love throughout our days by the kind, considerate, and “loving” things we do. Berating someone is not love but a smile to a stranger, a kind word, encouraging someone, stepping up to protect someone, sending a card, calling someone to say happy birthday, cheering at their accomplishment, all is showing love. We don’t have to have what I call BIG love events (stepping in front of a bus) to be examples of Christ’s love in a hurting world. All the “little” things we do and say can make or break someone’s day.

Wow, I guess His example of being love and showing love isn’t so hard to understand after all. Now some of us need to learn how to love ourselves like that.

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elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.

What’s with all this Suffering?

I don’t think there is a human being alive that hasn’t questioned the reason we humans suffer. Many have given the very simplistic answer that, “Well, it’s just God’s will.” Others go into all sorts of long exasperating explanations that make no more sense than the simplistic answer.

Can any of us ever really understand why we humans suffer? I don’t think so! God is so far above us in all aspects that there are just some things that we will never fully understand until we are standing before Him and He’s explaining some of it to us. Personally I like the idea that I have all of eternity to question Him.

I am no different from someone else who questions why did my husband die in the prime of his life? Or why do children suffer abuse from the hands of those who are supposed to love them? Or why did so and so die after I prayed fervently healing over them? Why did this happen or that happen? We all have questions and there seems to be no satisfying answer coming. Yes, some will turn their suffering into bitterness and turn from God. Others, that truly are close to the Lord and more mature in their faith may find strength through their suffering. We all react to suffering in various ways.

Well, today I got an answer that has encouraged me and has helped me to better understand what all this suffering is about. It came from the Holy Spirit and I hope it can be an encouragement to you, the reader as well. It has certainly shed new light and has given me a new perspective on why we suffer.

We have to think about God’s glory. Isn’t that what all of this Christianity stuff is about? Doing, praising, worshipping, all for His glory? God’s glory is so far above anything we can even imagine! Our lives on this earth in no way can come close to His glory. There is absolutely nothing that we suffer that can come close in comparison to His glory. No matter what has been done to us, no matter what hurt we have suffered, no matter what physical, emotional, financial, or even spiritual pain we have gone through or will go through comes remotely near His phenomenal and awesome glory.

We are like a baby in the womb. That baby struggles to live. It fights for every breath, it kicks, stomps, and maybe even screams and cries. It fights for life and waits and struggles for the day it will be expelled from the present world it is in. We’re like that baby in the womb fighting the umbilical cord waiting to be expelled from this our temporary home. We struggle daily, we suffer in a variety of ways, and we fight, sometimes for just the next breath, to make it the end.

The day we take our last breath and leave this earth is our birth. All this time on earth is as though we are in the womb. Suddenly we take our last breath and are expelled from our temporary world into the full glory of the Lord. ALL of His glory is within us, around us, above us and beneath us. We are encapsulated in glory!

That is what all this suffering is about! It is our time of preparation for the day we will be born into the full glory of God. Our suffering is over. No more tears, no more sorrows. Only the full and complete awesome glory of our Almighty God is now our new home.  We have left the womb of suffering, heartaches, and sorrow and Jesus says, “Welcome home.”

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Blessings to you.

 

Election 2016-Candidate Review: Hillary Clinton

Ain’t it the truth. (My opinion, of course)

Inspirational Christian Blogs

This is part 4 of my review of the candidates in the 2016 presidential race. I’ve talked about the disaster that is Bernie Sanders. Now I’ll talk about the train wreck that is Hillary Clinton. I won’t spend to much time on this because I honestly don’t think it’s worth the time.

Economics:

Hillary Clinton claims she wants to help the middle class and not burden the next generation with our debt. Her solution? To pay the debt. That sounds reasonable, right? Well, the problem is as a senator she consistently voted “NO” on bills that would help pay off our debt and reduce federal spending. Just like a politician (which she certainly is), she’s all talk and no show. Apart form her voting record, she really hasn’t made her campaign on the economy. She’s made it on the fact that she’s a woman, a woman who happens to have…

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Hope Deferred?

Another year has passed and as we step into this new year many of us have many expectations we hope to be fulfilled. The way the world is going, the unfolding of prophetic events leave me wondering if I will even be privy to the joy, hope, and excitement that may or may not come. I hear so many say they are excited about this new year and what the Lord might do. I don’t have that same excitement. Maybe it’s because I’m grounded in the Lord and in His promises. Maybe I’m being too much of a realist. I know that He is in control and when I pray for this country and our politicians I pray His will be done. I know the Lord is going to do what He is going to do. My hope does not lie in the government or a new president or any of the other worldly expectations being fulfilled.

That may sound negative to many but if God is in control then I need to trust that He knows what is best and that the events that are happening and that will happen will be according to His will and for His good purposes. And if something happens that He allows even though it wasn’t His will I still know that He will use what is meant for evil for His glory.

He has told me on several occasions that our present president was allowed to be in office to lead us closer to the fulfilment of His prophecies. In short, His return. I can’t help but rejoice in that even though I get angry and have furious outbursts about this president and our so-called leaders. I hate the evil that is taking place in this world but it is no surprise to those of us that read and believe what the Bible says. We’ve been told and are still being told and warned. He is calling us to repent of our evil ways and yet it seems nothing is getting better. He also tells us that it is going to get worse.  Now how can I get excited about that!?

A new year on the horizon does not change the fact that God has a purpose. I have absolutely no doubt that His purposes will be fulfilled. That doesn’t prevent me from praying. I have heard from some that we, as praying Christians, can bring a delay to some events. I don’t know if that is true or not but for me, I don’t want His return delayed! I wait, I watch, I anticipate, and the only expectation I have is hoping to see Him return on the clouds and hearing the trumpet blow.  Now that causes excitement and joy within me!

Our hope is not in what we can do, what we can attain, some new president that promises to save the world, or some new job, new home or whatever it is in this world that we hope for. Our hope is in the Lord and that when we stand before Him He will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” That is my hope for this new year. My prayer is, come Lord Jesus, come.

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Blessings to you.