Faith, Hope & Love?

What’s the greatest? Most people would say “faith.” Everything flows from faith. Of course. But if you know 1 Corinthians 13:13 you know the answer. The greatest of faith, hope, and love is LOVE.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

How can love be greater than faith? Simply because if you don’t have love you can’t have faith. God is love. Faith is belief in God. So, it all starts with love. If you don’t have love you’re a “resounding gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1). Translation: if you don’t love, everything else, including your faith, is blah, blah, blah. Nothing.

Love is like electric current. It flows. In fact, if it doesn’t flow it is nothing. God flows His love out to us and He expects it to keep flowing from us. You have to flow God’s love out of you to others.

1 Corinthians is read at so many Christian weddings that most people think it’s about the love between a couple. But it’s not. It’s about what love is supposed to be so we understand how we need to love. God loves us unconditionally. We need to at least try to love others unconditionally. That means letting love flow to others with no expectations that love will be returned.

You will never feel God’s love for you unless you let that love flow to others. It’s the nature of love. It flows. It’s that simple. But, then again, life is simple. Or supposed to be simple.

Let some love flow this week. And have a FANTASTIC week ahead!!!

The Only One Holding You Back is You!

Last week I wrote that the only one who can steal your joy is you. Well, right along those lines I’m writing today to say the only one holding you back is you. You can blame other people, and life situations, but the ONLY one/thing holding you back in life is you.

God has a special, unique purpose for you in life. One of the keys to life is understanding that purpose and pursuing it. Once you understand that purpose your focus in life should be realizing it. And the only one who can hold you back is you. Undoubtably, there will be obstacles along the way that you will have to hurdle or go around. But you can do it! God is in your corner (if you let Him).

There is a reason why I believe the first Secret to Life is LISTEN. Listen for and to God. Spending time with God and opening up your mind and heart will lead you to understanding your purpose in life. Then, with faith, no one can stop you from pursuing that purpose. No one. Only you.

Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, “Go, throw yourself into the sea,” and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Mark 11:23

Once again, I know this sounds way too simple. Life is much more complicated than this. No it isn’t—or shouldn’t be. God means life to be so simple. We are the ones who make it so difficult by complicating it.

Spend some time (REAL TIME!) with God and LISTEN for/to Him. You have a special, unique purpose in life. I don’t care who you are. We all do. You just need to understand it and then point your life in the direction of pursuing that purpose. And don’t let you get in the way. Because you are the only one who can stop you!

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Have a AWESOME day!!!

Guns and Hate

I’m tired of guns and mass killings! I don’t like guns but I don’t want to take away anyone’s guns except for military assault weapons, which have no place in a civilized society. Bad enough we need them in the military.

I’m even more tired of hate. We’re letting hate consume us. And I don’t want to hear any excuses that it’s President Trump, members of Congress, or anyone else spewing hatred. It’s up to each one of us to “love” each other, as God commands us to do. And that‘s the God of all of us. God is about love; hate is anti-god (call it Satan, devil, demon, or whatever you want to).

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. 1 John 4:20-21

Each one of us needs to drop the hate in our lives. Smile more. Help someone in need. Pay it forward. Don’t hold a grudge. Move towards love and move as far away as you can from hate.

No, none of this will stop the mass killings. We need to do something about gun violence and mental health. That’s a big societal issue that we all need the politicians to stop jabbing at each other and do something constructive. Now!!!

But in the meantime we can all do our part by starting with a smile and a good word. Forget how someone makes you feel. Only you can make you feel. Feel good! Make others feel good today! It’s a start.

And have a FANTASTIC day!!!

Faith or Love?

What’s more important in your life: faith or love? If you picked “faith” you just heard the wrong answer buzzer going off. If you picked “love,” congratulations. Certainly, faith is critical—a faith in an ever unceasingly loving God who demonstrated that love by sending His only Son as a living sacrifice for us. But, reread what I just wrote. A “loving” God. Because that’s what God is: LOVE!

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 

Paul said it all—the most important out of faith, hope, and love is LOVE. You can think you have all the faith in the world but if you don’t have love you’re a “resounding gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Corinthians 13:1). Translation: without love you can’t have faith. Your faith is empty.

I see a lot of professed faith out there in my travels but very little love. So, do a “love” checkup today. Do you really love? Everyone? Remember: it’s easy to love those who love you. God loves all of us unconditionally, regardless of whether we love Him.

Have a great day walking in love. The faith will follow!

Humility

If there is one word after “love” that makes the world go around it’s “humility.” Unfortunately, there is not enough love in the world and way, way too little humility. Love is what God commands us to do. In fact, it’s His only command. Humility is an outgrowth of love and the understanding that anything you have in this world is from God. Sure, I have worked hard for everything I have in this life. But everything I have, including my ability to work hard, is from God. Pure and simple!

I think Paul said it best:

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Colossians 3:12

If you watch the news—and all the news is the same, just variations on left and right—the pundits (in general) are a study in a lack of humility. And with that lack of humility comes a complete lack of compassion, kindness, gentleness, and patience. And the politicians generally follow the same theme. This is what we are exposed to day in and day out.

The devil loves this! Toss out the love and humility from this world and you get hell on earth—literally. And that’s where we are heading unless we wake up!

So, what to do? LISTEN to God’s call for you—yes, you! You have a special, unique purpose in life because you are special and totally unique in the eyes of God. He is calling you to fill that purpose as you walk in love and humility. Like God intends life to be, this is easy! Really easy!!! You just have to do it.

PS—I’m writing this (and posted Paul’s quote on my personal facebook page today) because humility has been an issue for me the past several days. It’s my own personal message to tone it down and remember who has given me everything I have—whatever that is.

Love. Humility. Note to self!

Have an OUTSTANDING day!!!

Magic Lamp or Prayer?

I hate to break it to you but there are no magic lamps, the kind where the genie grants you three wishes. What we have is prayer. But it’s not a magic lamp. You don’t pray for three wishes from God. You pray to converse with God. You talk, God listens. God talks, you listen. Prayer is conversation.

We often pray to God for something to be granted by God. Give us something, make something happen. There’s nothing wrong with asking God for something. The funny thing is you ask and God will answer. It may not be exactly what you asked for but it will be exactly what you need. After all, God knows.

I don’t know what I would do without prayer. Not that I’m some holy roller but I just like stopping every so often and talking (praying) to God. And listening. I don’t hear some booming voice from the heavens. I just feel God’s answer when I really commit to prayer.

Jesus not only taught us the Lord’s prayer, he taught us how to pray and how to escape the noise of this world to pray.

Prayer. It’s a gift from God. Better than any magic lamp. Try it. You’ll like it. You just have to commit to prayer, and open up your heart and mind. That will open up your “ears” to God.

Have a FANTASTIC rest of the day!!!

Polyester, Not Cotton!

Boy, life has a way of smacking you in the face. I was walloped the other day as I set out on my way to work. I have an office in Washington D.C. and when I’m there, if the weather cooperates, I walk the 1.2 miles to work. I set out the other morning on a cold but beautiful day, invigorated and bundled in my long wool coat, scarf my wife gave me for Christmas, and my favorite Ugg gloves. Then, I learned that you have to wear polyester because if you wear cotton you’ll freeze to death sleeping on the Metro grate. Whack to the side of the head! 

As I came out of the coffee shop with my hot chocolate and croissant, there was a man sitting on a stoop with a cup asking for money. I stopped, dug into my pocket, and pulled out some bills. As I handed the money to him, he pointed to another man asleep on top of the grate to the Metro (the D.C. subway system), where warm air rises, and told me the guy was lucky he didn’t freeze to death last night. He schooled me on the fact that if you’re wearing cotton close to your body it will absorb the warm but damp air and will freeze. You can literally die, especially when the temperature falls to single digits, as it did that night. You have to wear polyester.

I walked away all bundled up headed to my warm office with my hot chocolate and croissant with my head spinning after that wack to the side of my head. Yes, I had given the man money.  I stopped and talked to him. I said, “God loves you!” But why didn’t I give him my hot chocolate and croissant? Why didn’t I give him my gloves and scarf—even my coat? After all, Jesus said, “Give to everyone who begs from you…” (Luke 6:30). That includes the shirt off your back!!!

I don’t want for anything. But others do. It was sobering to learn my polyester lesson. That was further brought home by Gloria. But I’ll save that for the next post.

Don’t turn your back on anyone in need. There are so many who need so much. I realize I have to do more. A lot more!!! Polyester, not cotton!

Enjoy the day and have a WONDERFUL week ahead!