There are many people with whom I disagree, but it doesn’t mean I hate them. Even if they hate what I stand for and call me names, I do not hate them. Satan would like it if I were to hate them but I will not. I confess that it is hard at times but that’s why I commend this to God and ask Him for help. Only God can give me the strength and fortitude to stand strong in the face of opposition. Only God can love me with a love that spills out for others to see that glorifies Him.
In the past, I didn’t always think this way (not that I am perfect now) and for that I confess my sins and repent of my behavior. Not that I necessarily hated the people with whom I was disagreeing, but I can see now how some of my statements would come off that way. You see, I have often taken to social media to express my beliefs and run to the defense of like-minded people/organizations. As if those who oppose them are going to be swayed by anything I say or write. At times, I have been downright feisty – sometimes to the point of my heart racing with emotions and crossing the line at times. Once again, I repent.
As Christians, we are never going to lead people to the Truth – Jesus Christ – through hatred, but only through love. You can’t hate someone and then proclaim Christ to them. It’s as it says in James 3:10-12…
10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
I regret the bridges that I have burned through hasty speech on social media and through other mediums. God forgive me. Brothers and sisters, let us bridle our tongues/words as we engage those with whom we disagree. Don’t come off as arrogant, morally self-righteous, or anything of the sort. Humbly approach each and every person and situation with the love of Christ – genuinely wanting people to come to the knowledge of the Truth. Pray for your heart. Pray for those who oppose you. Pray for your words. May blessings flow and not curses, that God may be glorified.
Holy God, bless the fountain that is my mouth and have holy dominion over my tongue. May the words that enter the arena for others to see/hear be holy words that glorify You. May disagreements be seen as mission fields and not battle grounds – opportunities to witness to the Truth. May my words be Your Words. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
You have probably noticed that I like writing poetry. I’m nothing special and definitely not the best thing since sliced bread, but I like trying to write it. Sometimes my poems are pretty strict in structure and beats per line. Sometimes I mix things up. Sometimes I write poetry that seems to break all the conventional rules. But no matter the poem, I have found a peace in writing them. As the following poem says, in my writing I am forced to think deeply about words I choose and in doing so I am thinking more deeply about my relationship with God through Jesus Christ. And so there you have it – my reason to rhyme…
Morning has broken, this day is new. And my coffee is ready to brew. Jesus my Lord, to him i will pray. Doing no other to start my day.
It’s Your grace i think on and review. Yet i’m writing a poem about You. It seems i’m lost and going astray. But in this style Your love i convey.
For as i write i think on You more. And that is great for You i adore. I’ll keep on going with You my God, What i’m doing is not a facade.
And so i sit with coffee in hand, thinking on You as my love is fanned. I think about each and every rhyme. knowing it’s never a waste of time .
The preaching series in James takes us into chapter 2 where James admonishes his beloved brothers (in Christ) about showing partiality. This is a message that hit my heart and one that I hope resonates with others.
So below is a prayer that I wrote for today’s Holy Communion liturgy, with James in mind (and in heart). To God be the Glory!
It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to you, oh God, Creator of all we can see and not see. In Love You created us. In love You saved us through Jesus Christ. In love You sustain us with Your Holy Spirit. In love, may we go and serve one another, regardless of what they look like or come from or believe or think. May we go with You and receive people without partiality. May we receive them for the sake of the Gospel – proclaiming the life-saving Good News of Jesus Christ. May we not be distracted by anything that Satan would throw at us to divide us. We are Yours, oh God, and we glorify You and You alone. And so, with the church on earth and the hosts of heaven we join in singing Your unending praise.
The warmth of this day reminds me of the warmth of Your love, oh God. The sun shines. It’s rays beat upon me. The light blinds my eyes. The sweat seeps out. And as the sweat trickles down my face, soaking my shirt, with its smell emanating from me, so may Your love overflow and emanate from my life. But as it does what will I do? As I hide the sweat on my body and the smell of it, will I hide the overflow of Your love? May I never do so. As the Son shines in my life: May others take notice. May people see the effects of Your love in my life. May it’s aroma cause others to pause. May I not mask what You are doing in me in an effort to avoid offense. May Your love sweat in my life and drip from my soul. May it’s sweet and pleasant aroma draw people unto You. May Your Son shine through. Oh Lord, my God, warm me with Your love through Christ Jesus my Lord. Amen.
I look at this picture and I see a child leaping with wild abandon into his father’s arms. The child, never for a moment, thinks that his father will drop him. It is a faith that is unshaken and solid. The father is bracing himself and eager to catch the child. Never for a moment does the father imagine doing anything to endanger his child. It is a fatherly love unmatched by anything and anyone of this world.
Following the catch I imagine a loving embrace filled with laughter. The father spins his child around trying to elicit more laughter all the while each of them are smiling ear to ear; enjoying the embrace. The child feels safe and secure; totally content and willing to jump again. The Father is filled with joy. Nothing in this scene dampens the child’s faith, but only draws him closer to his father. Nothing in this scene dampens the father’s love for his precious child. What a love that these two share.
Are you this child? God our Father is the Father ready to catch you.
Father God, may I jump with wild abandon into Your loving arms. May I cling to Your faithfulness even though the Enemy would have me doubt You. Holy God, I know You stand ready to catch, may I have the faith to jump. And as You catch me, may I cling to You and bask in Your presence; ready to jump again and again. Oh God, holy Father, You are my life, my shield, my home. In Jesus most precious name I pray, Amen.
Holy, awesome and mighty God,
I praise and worship You,
for through Jesus Christ I am sure that
neither death nor life,
nor angels nor rulers,
nor things present
nor things to come,
nor height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation,
will be able to separate me from Your love.
And so may I live with patience and hope
knowing that I have already won the victory through faith.
In Jesus Christ I pray,
Holy and awesome God, In love You created the world and all that exists. In sadness You watched this world plunge into darkness through sin. In compassion You sent the prophets to warn Your people. In patience You waited. In grace you sent Your one and only son to this world. In mercy Jesus suffered and died for me. In power Jesus rose from the grave for me. In love You give me salvation through faith in Jesus.
Holy and awesome God, I am humbled and blown away when I reflect on this story. I am grateful and thankful when I reflect on what You did for me.
Oh God, You are indeed holy and awesome. May You receive all worship, honor, glory, and praise; for in love You have given me hope; in love You have given me peace. Oh God, I am so in love with You. Amen.