Love Your Neighbor

If you spend your time being judgmental of others, you have little time to love them.
The NIV translates Psalms 33:5 as, “The earth is full of His unfailing love.” The word translated love, can also be “goodness” and “kindness”. Can you imagine life on this planet without God being around to do this?
Read no further than the book of Judges. It describes a period of Israeli history when the people removed God from their national identity and replaced Him with themselves (Jud. 17:6). The story ends in chaos.
The US started this process in the ‘60’s, whereas, the rest of Western Civilization started much earlier.
Whenever there is no “higher power” to whom all of humanity – no matter economic status, race or gender – is accountable, humanity itself becomes the higher power. No clear standard of right and wrong will ensue and chaos eventually follows.
This is why God instructed people to love their neighbors. When you don’t have neighbors (e.g. live on a deserted island by yourself), who cares what you do?
When you decide to live in a neighborhood, however, there must be agreed upon standards of behavior (“common sense”) on how to get along with your neighbors.
Does it ring a bell about the current situation in America? Maybe, but, I’m talking about the current situation in the American Church!
Only 17% of those who claim to love and follow Jesus, filter their life’s decisions through the Word of God. In other words, 83% have made themselves out to be god.
Kind of sounds like the church Jesus talked about in Laodicea where He was not invited to their meeting, doesn’t it (Rev. 3:20)?
Love, goodness, kindness must start with you and me, brothers and sisters (Gal. 5:22).
If you are part 17%, please keep living and talking about Jesus. Our neighborhoods need lots of love, goodness and kindness flowing into them at the moment.
If you are not, maybe it’s time to make Jesus Lord of your life, not just Savior. Your neighbors sure hope you do.

Time Lived

Too much time spent on yesterday can lead to regrets; too much time spent on tomorrow can lead to worry, so spend much time today on rejoicing, which can lead to peace.
I stopped counting how many people who’ve said, “I can’t wait for this Covid thing to be over.”

That’s just another way of saying, “I can’t wait until tomorrow comes.” How do you know tomorrow will come? We are not guaranteed the next minute, let alone tomorrow.
Life is lived in the moment with Jesus. We are to never stop talking with Him. We are told to continually thank Him. Isn’t this what “to rejoice in the Lord always” means?
Length of life on this planet is not guaranteed. Eternal life, which is lived out in a succession of moments, is because Jesus is and gives that life right now.
Time spent on what Jesus did in the past leads to rejoicing in the present and peace about tomorrow. He is in control, even when it doesn’t “look” like it.
Focus on Jesus, the solver of life’s events. As you do, you can be the witness He asks you to be to those who are focused on the events of rather than on life itself.

Divine Opportunities…If You’re Ready

“There’s a divine purpose for all the experiences you go through.” Author Unknown
I experienced something most unusual. I downloaded an app to my mobile devices. Something that would make my life much easier and more efficient.
It downloaded just fine. That, however, was when the easy and efficiency ended. I ran into numerous problems as I was attempting to actually use it.
Something that should have taken only a few minutes took over 3 hours. Frustrated? Naw. I was actually praising the Lord while shaking my head in total disbelief!
I was “forced” to contact one of their representatives…in another country. No problem, they worked with me to no avail. I was handed off to another person in yet another country. No problem, this person worked the problem from numerous angles as well. Yet, the program kept “glitching” no matter what device I was using. I was eventually handed off to a third person.
Why praise? The Lord wanted to speak into the second person’s life through me. Most of those minutes trying to get the program to work were actually used by this person to ask questions about my faith and how to have a deeper walk with Jesus!
I certainly never expected that to happen. I bet Philip thought the same when the Spirit had him pop up in Gaza to talk with a man who eventually brought the good news to Ethiopia.
We bring the presence of Jesus everywhere we go. So be ready. You never know how the Spirit may use you. It just might be someone who lives hundreds if not thousands of miles away.

Get a Movin’

If you don’t like where you are, change.
God told the nation of Israel He would give them a homeland from the Mediterranean Sea in the west all the way to the Euphrates River in the east (i.e. parts of modern Jordan and Iraq).
They saw what He did in the desert (meat from the sky, water from rocks, bread from dew) and in taking out two giant led nations.
God promised them Land. God provided all the means to take the Land. God had proven faithful in getting them to the Land. Now what?
They had to act. God told Joshua, “I will give you every place where you set your foot.” This meant they had to do something while believing God would continue to provide and to prove faithful.
If you don’t like what you have become or where you are at the moment; you don’t have to stay there!
We often wait for God to do all the work. It doesn’t work that way. He chooses to enjoy the walk with us as He does the changing.
If He wants you to walk on water, you’ve got to start moving toward the water! Walk or not, it’s up to you.

Choose Significance over Success

Success is not the same as significance.
The latest estimate of those currently living on Earth is 7.8 billion. Now, how many of them have you heard about? Not many, right?
Did you know there once lived a woman who saved an entire race of people from annihilation, but her name is never recorded in human history?
She came to this position through circumstances we all would deem ghastly. Her life and future were under the total control of men. And yet, she made a choice that would enrich the futures of billions.
Her name, in English, was Esther or Hadassah, in Hebrew. She was a queen of the Medo-Persian Empire, but her name is only recorded in Scripture.
As so few know of her outside those pages, some might not consider her very successful. Yet, she was extremely significant.
She chose to use her position to save an entire nation, who would eventually return to Israel; and, give birth to the Savior of those living on the planet for generations to come.
Some are “successful” and are known by millions, if not billions; but are not that significant. Choose to be significant. Do what Jesus tells you to do regardless of who ever knows about your choices.
A little unknown drop of water on a dried out leaf will be immensely significant to a person dying of thirst.