Posts Tagged ‘Love


Saving The Wanderers

As we journey along this path of faith, we may wander from the straight and narrow or we’ll notice that others have done the same thing. How should we deal with those who wander? James says:

My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins. – James 5:19-20 (NIV)

When someone wanders away from Jesus, we have to go after them. We have to search for them. We have to care enough about them that we will point out the error of their ways. We do not stand over them in judgment, but rather we reach out to them in love. We’re throwing life preservers to our brothers and sisters, not berating them for falling overboard. When someone falls down, we pick them up instead of ignoring them. Let’s encourage each other to stay on the straight and narrow path and seek those who are wandering from it.

Praises And Curses

Our tongues are capable of such greatness. We can utter prayers to our Father in Heaven on behalf of loved ones who are sick or in distress. We can sing majestic hymns and powerful songs of praise to our God. We can tell people about the good news of Jesus Christ and see them come to faith in Him. Yet, in the very next breath, we can tear people to shreds with insults, gossip and backstabbing. This is what James says:

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. – James 3:9-10 (NIV)

All people are made in the image of God. When you insult and put down a human being, you are insulting our Creator. James says that when we praise God out of one side of our mouths and curse His most prized creation out of the other, it is like a fresh water spring producing salt water or a fig tree bearing olives or a grapevine producing figs. It just doesn’t make sense. So be careful little tongue what you say. God loves people and if you love God, you should love people too. Let your words reflect the love you have for both.

A D.O.A. Kind Of Faith

Good Tuesday morning to you! James, in writing about faith and deeds, gives an example of a fellow Christ-follower who is in need. He says:

Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

We can talk a good game about loving God and loving people, but if our actions don’t match our words, do we really love them? We can say that we believe until we’re blue in the face, but if we don’t put hands and feet to our faith, do we really believe in the One who served and sacrificed for others? If we don’t do something about our brothers and sisters in need, our faith is dead on arrival. In the church, we must not neglect the poor and needy among us. There will be those who struggle and we need to help them. It’s the proof that our faith is more than just talk.

A Lifestyle Of Love And Obedience

We can make all kinds of claims as believers in Jesus. We can claim that we love God. We can claim that we are followers of Christ. We can claim that we know God. James asks us about the proof of our claims. He says:

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? – James 2:14 (NIV)

He asks two rhetorical questions in this verse. First, what good is it if we say we believe, but live like we don’t? The answer is that it doesn’t do anyone any good. Second, is this the kind of faith that saves a person? The answer is no. If there is no evidence of faith in our lives, do we really believe? Following Jesus is more than saying, “I believe.” Following Jesus is a lifestyle of love and obedience. We must do more than simply claim that we believe. We need to live out our faith each day. If we’re not obeying God’s Word by loving God and loving people, do we really believe?

The Royal Law Of Love

James tells us that we are not supposed to play favorites in the family of God. He says that it is really the opposite of how we should treat each other. We have to ask ourselves how we’d like to be treated and then love accordingly. James wrote:

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. 9 But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. – James 2:8-9 (NIV)

Jesus said that this commandment was the second greatest commandment in the entire Old Testament. When it comes to favoritism in the church, we are not loving others the way we want to be loved when we love some more than others. If we play favorites, we are guilty of sin, says James. If we choose to love some more than others in the church, we are guilty of sin. Praise the Lord that He sent Jesus to die for our many sins. Let’s work on the loving our neighbors thing today by not playing favorites in the church and instead, loving others equally and unconditionally.

Husbands And Wives

The Bible calls for a special relationship between husbands and wives that sometimes creates controversy and hurt feelings. Paul says:

Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. – Colossians 3:18 (NIV)

A wife is to respect her husband because she loves and submits to God first. This is God’s expectation of a wife in her relationship to her husband. Was Paul a male chauvinist pig? Not at all! In the next verse he says:

Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.  – Colossians 3:19 (NIV)

A husband who loves his wife sacrificially and unconditionally and is patient with her will find that he has a wife who respects him. The husband’s job is not to make his wife submit. The husband’s job is to love her as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25). How did Jesus love the church? He died for the church. Husbands, if you are not willing to die to yourself daily for your wife, you are not loving her the way God intends for you to do.

The Greatest Virtue

Good Wednesday morning to you! Paul, in 1 Corinthians 13, said that three things remain: faith, hope and love. He wrote that the greatest is love. In Colossians 3, he said that love holds all of the virtues of a Christian together. He said:

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. – Colossians 3:14 (NIV)

Friends, if we are not loving God by loving others, we are doing this Christian thing wrong. We have to learn to be loving above everything else. Our kindness and compassion, humility and forgiveness have to come from a heart filled with love – for God and for other people. We cannot possibly hope to follow Jesus without love because Jesus is love. If we’re not willing to show love to people in Jesus’ name, we’ll never be able to share the good news of the Gospel with them. It all starts with love.

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