Christian

Where Has God Asked You to Love?

My job (and ministry) is in a middle school. You know, where kids know how to push your buttons and are exercising their desire to rebel against authority.

Maybe God hasn’t put anyone “hard to love” in your life, but I bet He has. I only know that what God has asked me to to do isn’t easy and even though I am willing – I keep failing over and over.

What is our mission?

It is to love!

Sometimes I wonder why He has called me to love those “not easy to love”. I’m not good at it! I lose my temper. I get angry. I lecture. I utter those horrible teacher words, “I’m done!”

The kind of love God expects us to show to others is not a feeling. It is an action. It can be very hard to show agape love. Where is your mission field? Do you sometimes find it difficult to show love to people there?

Over 20 years ago, God showed me something that I will never forget. At the time, I was very involved in women’s ministry, but I became increasingly disturbed by some of the teaching in my church. I asked God to show me where my focus should be.

I asked Him to show me the main idea of the New Testament. I felt like my focus was on the wrong things. In desperation, I read the New Testament through three times in a row.

In a notebook, I kept track of how often various subjects were discussed, such as hope, faith, prosperity, love, spiritual warfare, etc.

I discovered that love was the most frequently taught subject by far! There was no doubt about it. God was showing me, through my crisis, that love, agape love, was very important to Him and my focus should be there.

I began an in depth study on agape love, looking for every Biblical reference. I studied Greek and Hebrew definitions. I wrote. I read. I studied.

love is patient2I Corinthians 13:4-8

I can’t do it in my own strength. God must do it through me. Every day, I must pray for God’s power to dwell in me. Once we realize that we can’t do it ourselves, we have passed Lesson 1.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 (NIV)

Lesson 2: Let our day begin with prayer. “Father, Show the Savior’s love through me today. Teach me to love.” And pray for them. Ask God to help you see the good things about them, not just what they do wrong.

Lesson 3: Study God’s Word about love and be changed. Start with I Corinthians 13. Meditate on it. Study it. How does it apply to my life?

“Love is patient.”  I Corinthians 13:4a

(I don’t know about you, but I need to meditate on these 3 words for at least a week!)

The Greek word for patient is makrothumeo. It means “slow to anger”.

“Being slow to anger does not mean that one does not care, but rather that he has his emotions under control.” (Detzler)

Patience is a fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22)

According to Vine’s Bible Dictionary, “Patience is that quality of self-restraint in the face of provocation which does not hastily retaliate.”

Webster defines patience as “enduring … trouble with composure and without complaining; refusing to be provoked …”

Note: I wrote this post about a year ago, but I find myself once again needing His strength and His grace to do the very thing He has asked me to do – love those God has put in my path – and show them God’s unconditional love.

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog 

Bible

That’s Not What I Expected!

Sometimes God has a plan that is nothing like our expectations.  If only we would just trust Him, but instead we think we know what He should do. Learn how God just might do things in a completely different way than you expect!

Meet Naaman, the Commander of the Army of the King of Syria, a valiant soldier and highly regarded by the King. He was wealthy and respected by everyone; he had prestige, servants, and lived in grand style. I’m sure he had the best clothes, a beautiful home and (well you get the picture). Oh, he did have one little problem. He had leprosy.

His wife had her own personal servant girl, of course. Lucky for Naaman she was an Israelite. Even though she had been captured by a band of Syrian raiders, this little girl had compassion for her master (owner). 

One day, she told her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” (2 Kings 5:3)

Desperate to be cured, Naaman reported this to the king. The king, also anxious to see his best general cured of this egregious disease, sent Naaman to the King of Israel (with a lot of money, to boot).

Naaman expected the King to cure him of his leprosy in return for a substantial payment; but that is not what God had in mind. In fact, when the King of Israel discovered what Naaman wanted he panicked, thinking the King of Syria was trying to pick a fight. (See how this is not going as expected?)

When Elisha the prophet heard about this, he sent for Naaman. So Naaman gathered his entourage, his horses and chariots, flags and whatever, and he paraded to Elisha’s door.

Naaman must have thought pretty highly of himself, making a grand arrival with all those horses and chariots, and lots of money. But Elisha doesn’t even bother to come out and greet him! Instead Elisha sends a messenger who says, “Go wash yourself in the Jordan River seven times.”

Naaman expected the Prophet of God to dramatically wave his hands in the air and call on his God to cure him in some spectacular display. But once again, not what he expected. 

Naaman probably thought, “Who does this guy think he is? I’m not going to take a bath in that muddy river! Naaman, used to being treated with honor and respect, refused to do what Elisha said and stomped off in a rage.

I know what you’re thinking: What!? How can Naaman be that stupid? Doesn’t he want to be cured? 

But don’t we do the same thing? We pray for something, but it isn’t answered the way we expect. So we think our prayer isn’t being answered at all. Or, maybe we don’t like the way it is being answered.

It isn’t surprising that Naaman got angry. The Jordan River is a dirty, muddy river. We wouldn’t want to bathe in it either, especially if we tend to think rather highly of ourselves. (Ouch!)

leo-nard-461065-unsplash
This isn’t the Jordan River, but this river is similar in muddiness.

Only after his servants convince him, does Naaman agree to go and dip himself in the dirty river. When he followed God’s plan, he was completely cured and his skin became like that of a young boy. Things turned out even better than he expected!

Naaman exclaimed, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel.” (vs. 15) And he vowed to never worship any other god but the Lord.

Read the story of Naaman in 2 Kings chapter 5. There’s a lot more to the story!

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog 

1st Photo by Andre Guerra on Unsplash

2nd Photo by Leo Nard on Unsplash

Bible, Christian

Love Is Strong Spiritual Warfare

It really hurt my feelings. It was like stopping by your best friend’s house only to discover she was having a big party and you hadn’t been invited! I felt so left out and hurt. I felt like crying.

That morning, I had walked in to the Women’s Bible Study and there were all my friends having a pot luck that no one had told me about! Maybe I was being overly sensitive, and maybe this was an area of vulnerability for me, but I was very offended.

The Bible study teacher recognized that I was upset, and the next time I saw her she gave me an index card with some Scripture references on it. She probably had no idea that it was going to change my life. As I opened my heart to God’s Word, something wonderful happened! The Truth set me free! These are the Scriptures:

“A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to OVERLOOK AN OFFENSE.” Proverbs 19:11

“He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.” Proverbs 17:9

“A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.” Proverbs 12:16

This happened to me over 30 years ago, but the devil has used the same tactics since the beginning of time to battle against God’s people. He has used it on me. He will use it on you. He used it in the past.

Read about David in I Samuel, chapters 16 and 17. Count the number of times David overlooked an offense before he slew the giant. Satan tried to stop God’s plan for David, but he couldn’t do it because David overlooked the offense.

Over the years, God has continued to reveal to me how powerful it is to walk in love, and that means overlooking offenses.

“(Love) is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured.” I Corinthians 13:5 AMP

The devil will send offenses our way, but when we choose God’s way and walk in love, Satan’s attack will not prevail.

“Be of sober mind, be watchful. Your adversary who is a slanderer, namely the devil, as a lion roaring in fierce hunger, is constantly walking about, always seeking someone to be devouring.” 1 Peter 5:8 (Wuest)

Has anyone ever offended you? Insulted you? Put you down? If so, consider this: Love is strong spiritual warfare!

You may be thinking, “How is this spiritual warfare?”

Consider the evil attack on Jesus when he was crucified.

“… Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

22 “He committed no sin,
    and no deceit was found in his mouth.”

23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 1 Peter 2:21-23

It is following Him and walking in his steps that empowers us for spiritual battle.

The Bible says, “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.” Proverbs 25:28

It is only as we recognize that anger, resentment, self-pity, and unforgiveness are nothing but the attack launched against us by the devil, that we can refuse to be offended. This is spiritual warfare: Love vs. Evil. We can not allow our emotions to govern our life or we will be like a city without walls (defenseless).

The Apostle Paul said, “And I  pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ … Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory…” Ephesians 3:18-20

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Do you know Jesus?

If you have never asked Jesus to be your Savior, you can do it now. He loves you more than you can comprehend, and it will change your life forever.

“IF YOU CONFESS WITH YOUR MOUTH, ‘JESUS IS LORD,’ AND BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART THAT GOD RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD, YOU WILL BE SAVED. FOR IT IS WITH YOUR HEART THAT YOU BELIEVE AND ARE JUSTIFIED, AND IT IS WITH YOUR MOUTH THAT YOU CONFESS AND ARE SAVED. AS THE SCRIPTURE SAYS, ANYONE WHO TRUSTS IN HIM WILL NEVER BE PUT TO SHAME.”   ROMANS 10:9-11

realchristianwomen.blog

 

 

 

 

Christian

Where Has God Asked You to Love?

My job (and ministry) is in a middle school. You know, where kids know how to push your buttons and are exercising their desire to rebel against authority.

Maybe God hasn’t put anyone “hard to love” in your life, but I bet He has. I only know that what God has asked me to to do isn’t easy and even though I am willing – I keep failing over and over.

What is our mission?

It is to love!

Sometimes I wonder why He has called me to love those “not easy to love”. I’m not good at it! I lose my temper. I get angry. I lecture. I utter those horrible teacher words, “I’m done!”

The kind of love God expects us to show to others is not a feeling. It is an action. It can be very hard to show agape love. Where is your mission field? Do you sometimes find it difficult to show love to people there?

Over 20 years ago, God showed me something that I will never forget. At the time, I was very involved in women’s ministry, but I became increasingly disturbed by some of the teaching in my church. I asked God to show me where my focus should be.

I asked Him to show me the main idea of the New Testament. I felt like my focus was on the wrong things. In desperation, I read the New Testament through three times in a row.

In a notebook, I kept track of how often various subjects were discussed, such as hope, faith, prosperity, love, spiritual warfare, etc.

I discovered that love was the most frequently taught subject by far! There was no doubt about it. God was showing me, through my crisis, that love, agape love, was very important to Him and my focus should be there.

I began an in depth study on agape love, looking for every Biblical reference. I studied Greek and Hebrew definitions. I wrote. I read. I studied.

love is patient2I Corinthians 13:4-8

 

I can’t do it in my own strength. God must do it through me. Every day, I must pray for God’s power to dwell in me. Once we realize that we can’t do it ourselves, we have passed Lesson 1.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-11 (NIV)

Lesson 2: Let our day begin with prayer. “Father, Show the Savior’s love through me today. Teach me to love.” And pray for them. Ask God to help you see the good things about them, not just what they do wrong.

Lesson 3: Study God’s Word about love and be changed. Start with I Corinthians 13. Meditate on it. Study it. How does it apply to my life?

“Love is patient.”  I Corinthians 13:4a

(I don’t know about you, but I need to meditate on these 3 words for at least a week!)

The Greek word for patient is makrothumeo. It means “slow to anger”.

“Being slow to anger does not mean that one does not care, but rather that he has his emotions under control.” (Detzler)

Patience is a fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22)

According to Vine’s Bible Dictionary, “Patience is that quality of self-restraint in the face of provocation which does not hastily retaliate.”

Webster defines patience as “enduring … trouble with composure and without complaining; refusing to be provoked …”

Note: I wrote this post about a year ago, but I find myself once again needing His strength and His grace to do the very thing He has asked me to do – love those God has put in my path – and show them God’s unconditional love.

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog 

Bible, Christian

Love is Patient

“Love is patient.” I Corinthians 13:4

Slow to anger toward others: this is patience. Patience is one of the fruits of the Spirit. It is a characteristic of God. The Greek word for patience is makrothumia. It is also translated as patience in 2 Peter 3:9. “The Lord … is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” We are exhorted to “be patient, bearing with one another in love.”Ephesians 4:2

We say we want others to see Jesus in us. When we are patient with others, even when provoked, they will see Jesus. The opportunities will arise when you can show God’s love through patience. When we love, they will see Jesus in us.

Righteous Anger: There may be times when our anger is justified and it is not wrong to be angry. After all, Scripture tells us that God can be angry, yet He does not sin. But what we do in that anger is important. The Scripture says, “In your anger, do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. … Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling, and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. “Ephesians 4:26, 27, 29-32

With Love, Cindy

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Do you know Jesus?

If you have never asked Jesus to be your Savior, you can do it now. He loves you more than you can comprehend, and it will change your life forever.

“IF YOU CONFESS WITH YOUR MOUTH, ‘JESUS IS LORD,’ AND BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART THAT GOD RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD, YOU WILL BE SAVED. FOR IT IS WITH YOUR HEART THAT YOU BELIEVE AND ARE JUSTIFIED, AND IT IS WITH YOUR MOUTH THAT YOU CONFESS AND ARE SAVED. AS THE SCRIPTURE SAYS, ANYONE WHO TRUSTS IN HIM WILL NEVER BE PUT TO SHAME.”   ROMANS 10:9-11

realchristianwomen.blog