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A Challenge to Love

“And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.” – Colossians 3:14 (MSG)

This verse hits me so hard every time I read it. As a girl, I do concentrate somewhat on what I put on in the morning; clothes, make-up, perfume etc, but how many times do I pay attention to preparing my heart for the day? I should wake up in the morning and prepare myself not for who is going to notice my appearance throughout the day but for who is going to notice my attitude, my heart towards others, the way that I love people. Because everything that we, as Christians, do reflects and represents Christ and we have to make a conscious decision every morning about whether we are going to represent Him in a positive or negative way. For me, it is all about an attitude of love. Jesus did not live His life judging and condemning those around Him, like so many of us are tempted to do, He simply loved. And unlike us, Jesus knew exactly what was going on in everyone’s lives whether it was public knowledge or not. We, however, have no idea what someone is going through. We don’t necessarily know their story, their past, sometimes even their present so how could we, as messed up people ourselves, possibly condemn and judge them for how they talk or act or dress or the statements that they make? I believe that this verse is a challenge to commit to love unconditionally, without condemnation or a sense of superiority. We are instructed to never be without love. So the next time that someone cuts in front of you while you’re driving or treats you harshly or acts mad or stand-offish,  bear in mind that you have no idea what they’re going through or what they have gone through to make them that way and simply love.

The Final Destination

Why is it so hard to go back to church after we haven’t been for a while? Why is it so difficult to pray (unless maybe in a state of panic) when we haven’t prayed in months, maybe years? Why is it so difficult to repent and fully give our lives back to God after a time of sinning and sometimes chaos? I know it’s difficult – I’ve been there! That feeling of pride, guilt, maybe even shame is not from Jesus and prevents us from having the fullness of joy that deep down we know comes from a relationship with God. Yes, perhaps we’re feeling convicted about what we’re doing or have done but God will not make us feel guilty or shameful. He will not put our emotions or conscience in a place where we don’t feel like we can go back to Him and back to church (by the way, if your church is making you feel guilty or shameful and not teaching God’s grace…find another church). We see in Matthew 21:28-32 that Jesus’ heart is one of compassion and forgiveness. Jesus blesses and more importantly accepts us even after a time of backsliding and sin, as long as we genuinely repent and believe. In fact, Jesus implies too that the ‘fake Christians’ (in this case, the Pharisees) will enter the kingdom of heaven last – if at all! You see, Jesus doesn’t care what we’ve done. Jesus doesn’t care if we’re “tax collectors” or “prostitutes”; He sees the heart. He looks at our hearts after we’ve said “I will not” yet eventually choose to follow Him. It’s better to have been on a journey as long as the final destination is Jesus and repentance than to walk in prideful circles with a stubborn heart.

Who Would Want This?!

Watch this moving and powerful clip from Matt Chandler – this video has been going around quite a bit recently and it is so worth a watch. Jesus wants the Rose.

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