Jesus loved us with a sincere love. Everything He did, right down to dying on the cross as a substitute for our wrongs, was motivated by love, real love.
Paul commanded, “Let love be without hypocrisy,” (Rom. 12:9; NKJV). The church was to model Christ in the way that they loved people. They are to have the purest and most sincere love that would compel people to want to know more about Christ. They are to be pillars of love that the lost, broken and hurt can lean on and find strength.
One thing people can readily pick up on is fakeness. Those that come to us and come to our buildings are looking for something real. They have had enough of the phony stuff. They have dealt with the pretenders of the world and they are not looking for that in us. They are looking for something real. They are looking for something pure. They are looking for somebody to look at them as Christ would and feel nothing but love and compassion for them.
How many times has the Bible described Jesus as being “moved with compassion?” That’s what sincere love does; it moves the heart. It allows one to look beyond what they see to have genuine concern for others. This is what people are looking for. This is what the church should be displaying. The love of Christ is our greatest asset in drawing people to salvation. After all, wasn’t it God who told Jeremiah, “With lovingkindness have I drawn thee,” (Jer. 31:3; KJV)?
Real love draws people. Fake love pushes them away. If we truly want to be like Christ then love on people sincerely. Don’t give them what the world is already giving them; fake love. Give them something genuine. Give them something real. Give them something that will bring them closer to God. Give them real love!
Races can take you through many terrains. Running uphill, it’s hard. The more you go, the steeper the incline, the harder it gets. Breath after breath your chest heaves for relief. Push after push your muscles cry out for mercy. And, just when you thought you had no more in you; just when you thought you couldn’t go any farther, from behind there comes these hands out of nowhere that steadies your stride and helps propel you forward some more. On the side of you comes smiling faces with encouraging words grabbing hold of your arms and help pull you up that incline that you might finish your race. They want to help you make it.
The Apostle Paul often described our Christian life as a race (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). We run it. We press for it. But, sometimes the way gets hard and if it had not been for the grace of God, we would not have made it.
As the community of racers pushed and pulled the struggling runner uphill, so God will minister to us to help us go through our race. Often this is done through the community of believers that will come alongside the one that needs support.
In this world the struggle is real. May we, as a community of believers, recognize the support that each one needs. May we join up with our fellow Christian race runners and offer the help and encouragement they need to make it. May we see beyond our own race and allow God to use our hands and smiling faces to help bolster someone’s faith as they are striving to make it up the inclines of this life.
We all have the same goal in mind: to finish the race. We need each other to do it. As a community of believers, our job goes beyond spreading the gospel and being a light in this dark world, and all the other spiritual stuff it entails. Our job is also to seek the welfare of one another. We need to be there for one another. We need to be present and involved in the process of what they are going through “that there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it,” (1 Corinthians 12:25-26).
More encouraging verses and quotes:
“Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11
“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow . . .” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10a
“God has chosen us to help one another.” Smith Wigglesworth
“The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: ‘If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?’ But… the Good Samaritan reversed the question: ‘If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?'” Martin Luther King, Jr.
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The God who touches me is the God who loves me.
Saved, my sins He has thrown into the deep sea.
He carries my soul in His hand day by day.
He wraps His strength around me; my fortress, my stay.
He covers me in light that shields from the dark.
He is the armor that protects from all fiery darts.
He’s my Shepherd and the Lamb, who leads and sacrifice.
My safety; my salvation came at His high price.
The God who touches me cares beyond what we know.
His love on display is the grandest show.
In it we see eternity play out.
His best became our rest; no reason to doubt.
On His throne He sits in heaven where we bow at the knee.
Never forsaking us, in His presence, till we are there home free.
The God who touches me, I reach out for Him too.
As the woman grabs His hem and is healed through and through.
To feel His virtue; His power; His love – it’s so real.
His Spirit overwhelms; on my heart is His seal.
Taking me to heights in heaven to know,
where for eternity I bask in His unimaginable glow.
Photo Credit: Pixabay/Screamenteagle
There is always something about the stories where the underdog comes out on top, where the least of all becomes the greatest that sends chills of inspiration up the spine.
The story of David and Goliath has long evoked a sense awe at the victory won and the hope of possibility in the soul still in the fight facing his/her own giants. The fact of the matter is that many things in this life which we face day to day can at times seem too much to bear. Our worries don’t necessarily have to be against the biggest guy around. Just the struggle of making it one more day, another try at giving it your best shot, can make it really hard for some people.
That’s why this article is not going to focus on the beast Goliath was or how David brought him down with just a stone and slingshot.
Nope. I want us to focus on the confidence that David had in God.
To me, it doesn’t matter if what you face is big or small. Sometimes the hardest stuff is the routine, small stuff that gets on your nerves every single day and makes you want to throw in the towel and quit.
Yes, David did the impossible in the name of the Lord. But, what I have found out in my own life is when we evoke that same confidence in God in every area of our lives, big or small, God tends to step in and work it out for us. And, you know it was Him because that very area in life that used to be a source of hardship and frustration now becomes a place of peace and productivity.
David, before confronting Goliath, declared, “The LORD delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine,” (1 Samuel 17:37, NKJV. emphasis mine). I want us to focus on “He will” of that statement. David expressed in those two little words the amount of confidence he had in the God he served.
Confidence in God the key no matter what. Many of times we misplace our confidences in the things and the people we see around us, allowing them to become our focus and control, when God should be at the forefront of the battle with us. Over and over again we are told in His Word, “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man,” (Psalm 118:8, NKJV); yet, man seems to always get more of our attention and we wonder why we falter in the battle and don’t end up standing as victor over the giants and circumstances we face.
We have to rely more on God than anything else in this world. He truly is the only one who can get in there and fight with us and for us and bring us to a victorious end on the other side.
Below are some reminders to trust God and have confidence in Him no matter the size of anything we face. Knowing this will improve our day to day struggles in life and turn them into day to day victories.
- “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” – Proverbs 3:5
- “Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.” – Isaiah 26:4
- “Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.” – Psalm 37:3
- “Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.” – 2 Chronicles 20:17
- “Never be afraid to trust in unknown future to a known God.” – Corrie Ten Boom
- “Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times.” – Martin Luther
- “So many of us limit our praying because we are not reckless in our confidence in God. In the eyes of those who do not know God, it is madness to trust Him, but when we pray in the Holy Spirit we begin to realize the resources of God, that He is our perfect heavenly Father, and we are His children.” – Oswald Chambers
How many times have I missed the mark?
How many times have I chosen the dark?
How many times have I despised what’s right?
How many times have I lived for the night?
How many times has my life taken an ugly turn?
How many of your graces did I willingly spurn?
How many times do you love me still?
How many times do You draw me to do Your will?
How many times has Your Spirit poured out,
To quench the thirst of this soul in drought?
How many times, in my life, Your victories have won,
To reach in and save me by the blood of Your dear Son?
How many times have you drawn me to stay
By Your side, because You’re the only way?
How many times have you redeemed me from my sinful plight,
To allow me to relish in Your Son’s holy light?
How many times can I say I love You?
Numbering them one by one just won’t do!
How many times is a question I ask,
Because keeping this soul is an awesome task.
How many times . . . oh, I’m so grateful You do,
Never to give up on a love between me and You.
“For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again,” Proverbs 24:16
Text Free Photo Credit: Pixabay/Geralt