“Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness.Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.” 1 John 2:9-11
1 John contains some strong convictions about love. When we have any trace of hatred in our heart, we are still in darkness. Our hatred for a brother or sister keeps us blind and from loving God and others as we should. Notice verse 11: “they do not know where they are going.” Our hatred leads to blindness, which leads to losing direction! We are no longer following Christ when we harbor hatred. Loving our brothers and sisters completely is living in the light.
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal your heart and any areas of darkness. Ask the Holy Spirit for the grace to love–especially those whom are hard to love. Clearly, hatred is not compatible at all with following Christ. We must allow any hatred to be completely uprooted from our hearts in order to walk in the light.
“Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.”—Proverbs 4:23
It’s time for my monthly post over at Modern Ruth Project! This month, the theme is boundaries vs. intimacy. I bare my heart about when I have not followed the wisdom of this very important verse from Scripture. I share about the importance of guarding one’s heart and what it takes to build a healthy relationship.
Check out my guest post! Hope you are able to gain wisdom as you discern best how to guard the one heart that you have been given from above!
All I can say is that this has been a rough week. Sunday I sat in the car shop for 6 hours after church and paid over $300, a very unanticipated expense. Another unexpected event happened that evening that knocked me off balance and involved a dear friend. Not to mention I am perpetually feeling [very] stretched with my new schedule of working full-time and being a student, as well as trying to do all the basic things that life requires. It was a week where many things just seemed to go wrong from the start.
However, I thank Jesus that He extended His love through others. Many blessings were present in the midst of the setbacks of the week.
On Valentine’s Day, my roommate gifted my single self with a card & a few items to pamper myself with.
One night, I had a child care job taking care of a delightful and very intelligent 4-year old.
Today, I called in sick to work. Most of the day was spent in bed. This evening, a friend was unexpectedly in the area, a friend I hadn’t seen in months. My friend bought me a bowl of pho. It was so healing to talk over good food with a friend about what had been going on in my life and hear about the very exciting events recently happening in his life.
The pho was nourishment for my tired body. The kindness was healing for my bruised heart.
Don’t underestimate the power of kindness! The Lord can work through your actions to bring much healing.
The United States of America is entering a new chapter. For actually a few years, I have had the sense that the United States was going to enter a time of difficulty. I believe that the time of difficulty has now begun. Recent events have thrown my workplace into upheaval. Really, the entire country and, to some extent, the world, are in a place of uncertainty. There is a culture of animosity right now in the United States. At certain points, all of these events have been a lot to take in emotionally. I’ve been surrounded by them from morning to evening. I felt so weak and drained.Then, I felt the Lord telling me to live courageously. He confirmed this as every song that came on the radio seemed to echo the theme of courage and bravery! No matter where you are, YOU are being called to live courageously.
What does it mean to live courageously?
Living courageously means keeping your center on JESUS even when the world has gone crazy.
Living courageously means being PEACE in a world where anger and negativity is rampant.
Living courageously means walking HUMBLY with God even when you are surrounded by darkness and ego on every side.
Living courageously means casting out fear and replacing it with LOVE.
Living courageously means speaking up for JUSTICE for those who are voiceless.
Living courageously means RELIANCE on Jehovah-Jireh (God the Provider) when you don’t have a paycheck and wonder how you will pay the bills, or when you don’t know if you will soon have a paycheck.
Living courageously means being a sign of HOPE to others even when you feel weighed down by the burdens of your life and the world.
Living courageously means being a person of PRAISE as the storm rages all around you.
Living courageously means TRUSTING in God when all stability is pulled out from under you.
Living courageously means picking up your shield of FAITH and the sword of the Spirit, the WORD OF GOD and knowing they are your weapons.
Living courageously means staying in a place of PRAYER in a world that distracts and fills us with noise.
Living courageously means knowing that God’s POWER is made perfect in your WEAKNESS. (2 Cor. 12:9)
Are you ready to live courageously? It will not be easy, friends. Thankfully we have our perfect Heavenly Father to fight for us, His Son who endured every temptation that we do (without giving in), and the Holy Spirit who permeates every darkness and every fiber of our being. Let’s go!
“Father, grant that I may be a bearer of Christ Jesus, your Son. Allow me to warm the often cold, impersonal scene of modern life with Your burning love. Strengthen me by Your Holy Spirit to carry out my mission of changing the world or some part of it for the better. Make me more energeticin setting right what I find wrong with the world instead of complaining about it. Amen.”~Taken from Living With Christ daily missal, June 7
“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Luke 12:7
Dear friend, you are of immense worth to your Heavenly Father! Every aspect of your being and of your life matters. If God cares about something even as mundane as the number of hairs on your head, He surely cares about everything else. Yes, everything. Your feelings, your strengths, your struggles, your health, your finances, your home, your relationships, your career, and those tiny, unspoken desires in your heart. Everything.
I asked God about His will in a certain area of my life, then wondered if it was silly to pray about it. He gave me the sense that no, it was not silly to pray about. After all, He loves me and dotes on me as a loving Father does. It was God who knit me together, body, mind, soul, and purpose, while I was in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139). It was He who brought me into being, Who knew every moment of my life before I was even created. So that “silly” thing I prayed about? It actually matters to Him, because I matter to Him. Friend, even the hairs of our head are all numbered. That number changes each day as we shed (gross, yes, but true). So if God even tracks that seemingly insignificant detail? Every last detail about you and your life does matter to Him, because He loves you. Bring it to Him, whatever it is.
I will be entering into “sacred silence” during this Holy Week. Instead of stressing about what to write this week, I want to focus on my Savior. Look for some new posts next week, about a limitless life in Christ and about the temples we are walking around in (aka our bodies!). Maybe a book review about an amazing book will even find its way onto here!
Be assured of my prayers for you all. May you get to know His great and unendinglove for you and His willingness to lay down His very life so that you may live! May you know the truth of the Resurrection and that He is our Redeemer! I pray these truth sinks deep down into your heart and takes root! Be blessed.