Sunday, February 24, 2013

Love with All

What prompted me to write this post? The fact that so many of us love the verse but so few of us understand what it really means or apply it to our lives.

So, first, let's read the verse:

Deut. 6:5 

And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

The commandment is repeated by Christ:

Luke 10:27

And he answering said, Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.


And, too many times, we stop there. Today we're going further.

What it means:

Both the Hebrew and Greek words for love in these verses mean "love." 1 Corinthians 13 gives us a list of characteristics of love; Galatians 5 says love is a fruit of the Spirit; there are many passages of the Bible that talk about love. Here we see love in a command: to love with all our hearts, souls, might, and minds.

Love with all your heart.

The Hebrew word for "heart" in Deut. means "courage, mind, understanding." The Greek means "thoughts, mind, middle."

Love, with all your courage. {Love is courageous.}
Love, with all your mind. {Thoughts should be loving.}
Love, with all your understanding. {Understand that since God loves us, we are to love others.}
Love deeply. {You know the part that aches when your heart is broken? That's the part we are to love with.}

Love with all your soul.

The Hebrew word for "soul" in Deut. means "life, vitality, desire, content, self." The Greek means "spirit, vitality."

Love, with the all the life that God has given you.
Love, with all the vitality you can muster.
Love. It should be what you desire.
Love; this should satisfy you.
Love, with all yourself.

Love with all your might.

The Hebrew word for "might" in Deut. means "vehemence, intensity, diligence, exceed{ingly}, far, fast, good, great, loud, utterly, very." The Greek word for "strength" means "forcefulness, ability, might, power, strength, with much work."

Love vehemently.
Love intensely.
Love diligently.
Love exceedingly.
Love far.
Love immediately.
Love greatly.
Love utterly.
Love with all your force.
Love with all your ability.
Love with all your might.
Love with all your power.
Love with all your strength.
Love, with work.

Love with all your mind.

The Greek word for "mind" means "deep thought, exercise of the mind, imagination, understanding."

Love, taking thought for whom and why you are loving.
Love, imagining the other person's situation.
Love, understanding that since God loves us, we are to love others.

And the verse doesn't end there. Jesus goes on to say:

"...and love thy neighbor as thyself."


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Stop and Smell the Roses

If your life has been like mine has lately, it's been busy. It's been discouraging to see time kinda slip out of my hands. While I was preparing a lesson for girls' group, I learned something about growing faith. That when you're going through something tough, sit down and read your Bible; that's the greatest thing that you can do! And, oftentimes when we read God's Word it contains stories of victories God has provided in the past.

Let me put it this way:

You may have just gone through a trial, and are coming out of one.
Stop and smell the roses.

You may be in a trial now.
Stop and smell the roses.

 Remember the time...
...when God worked that out?
         ...when God answered that prayer?

         {most of all}... when God saved your soul through His amazing grace?

Those events, those victories of God are beautiful gems, fragrant roses. But, their fragrance continues. We can still smell them, and they smell beautiful.

You may be pretty busy now, but take a moment to look back and find a specific instance where God had the victory. Have faith. Stop and smell the roses!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Love Poured Out

Pouring out love, not anger

That's something I had to do the day before Wednesday, because I was in the confined car with two other people, and you know how that can be. Anything gets on my nerves in that situation, but I determined not to let that get the best of me. I also determined to have a wwjd attitude.

And that was hard.

But it reminded me that I love my brother more than my DSI, meaning that even if he ever did completely destroy what I spent lots of hard-earned money on, I still wouldn't give up on him by blowing up. With love, I still wouldn't have that right. {Which he didn't break it at all, by the way}

And that brings me to a great Valentine's Day story. It's a story of a guy who truly loved his girl more than any work or possession.

Read it here.

What a cool story! Something I didn't notice before is that Jacob worked for seven years after her married Rachel, which shows that he probably forgave Laban for his deception.

Suppressing rage is pouring out love, and that's one of the ways I poured out love and gave of myself this Valentine's Day.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day

It's Valentine's Day.

Some of you reading this are married; some may be in a relationship; some are single. I fall into the last category, and yes, I am celebrating Valentine's Day; because, even though the background of it may not have to do with singles, love does.

I do not have to be in a relationship or be married to love. The Bible says that love is a fruit of the Spirit, not a result of romance.

That means that I, as a Christian, can love, even if I don't have a significant other.

Enough about what love is not; let's talk about what love is.

Today, I am celebrating Valentine's Day by choosing to be loving through the strength of Christ.

I will choose to be patient, waiting on God's timing for romance.

I will choose to be kind, especially to my parents, who introduced me to singleness.

I will choose to reject envy, especially envy of couples.

I will choose humility, not boasting or prideful of a loving heart.

I will choose to suppress rudeness, especially to those who treat me differently because of my singleness.

I will choose to be a servant, even to those who have a significant other.

I will choose to reject anger, even towards my situation.

I will choose to reject a record of wrongs, especially those wrongs done due to my singleness.

I will choose not to delight in evil, especially lies that would tear me down.

I will choose to rejoice in truth, the truth that God's timing is best.

I will choose to protect my heart and others' hearts from lies.

I will choose to trust, especially in the Lord of my life.

I will choose to hope, especially in God's Word.

I will choose to presevere, even through this time of my life.

For then, I will love!

A re-definition of Valentine's Day:

This Valentine's Day, I dedicate my heart to the Lord of my life, Jesus Christ. Let His strength prevail, for I am fallen and weak, and cannot love on my own. May He work through me as He molds me and purifies me. I surrender my life to Christ, the Author of my life, and the Author of love!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

What I am thankful for Today

What I Am Thankful for Today
waking up
hearing the sound of children preparing for church
the crunching of cereal
worshiping my Lord
the lesson I learned from the sermon
the smell of, well, the outdoors
the little boy that surrounds me with a hug
-and warms me with a smile
my privilege of being the tickle-monster
the dependent, yogurt-splattered, cabbage-patch 
face whose eyes meet mine as I spoon some more 
food into her smiling mouth

Friday, February 1, 2013



Forbearance is calming every nerve in your body that tells you to scream when your brother is innocently squeaking the dog toy but it's biting at your pulsing headache.

Forbearance is calmly accepting the fact that you must learn how to waltz for drama class.

Forbearance is holding it the stomp and yell in when you just brushed your fake-hair clip five times, and, five minutes after you put it on, you must walk a ways in the cold harsh wind to your co-op class.


Forbearance is a type of reaction to a situation that's completely out of our control. Yeah, forbearance is that type of reaction that is glorifying to God. Forbearance is putting up with it (suppressing anger) while loving which means fully forgiving which happens due to the Holy Spirit within us which in turn leaves no room for bitterness.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance, against such there is no law."
~Ephesians 5:22-23 (emphasis mine)

And, since I will be on a road trip all day tomorrow {all the way to Tennessee!} with my brother and my mother in an enclosed space, I think I will need some forbearance. But, by definition, I can only do it through God. I am excited to see what God will do in me tomorrow as I live this out. :D