Tag Archives: hate

Random Thoughts

Good morning, Father, thank You for a wonderful day yesterday! It was a beautiful day to travel and it was wonderful spending time with family we too rarely get to see! Be with me this day as we come together to bring You the praise and worship You deserve. Amen.

Lord, these thoughts have been on my mind for a couple of days now and I want to get them out of my head. I’m sure that I am not alone in thinking about my relationship with people with whom I interact on a regular basis. In thinking about this last week, the thought came to mind, “If people really knew me would they still like me?” Not a single one of us is perfect. Even if they are only things we mull over in our mind, we all have thoughts of anger, impatience, distaste, shallowness, greed, stubbornness, lust, hate, whining, futility, boredom, disdain, selfishness and the list goes on and on… “If people really knew me would they still like me?” …much less love me…

Some of these things may lay about our minds fairly regularly, other things just pop in on occasion…none of them are pretty, and none of them are things people want to see or hear. So for many of us, they stay inside. There may be a couple of people that see them peek out on occasion but all in all, we keep them to ourselves. We don’t like seeing them in the lives of others and we know others don’t really care to see them in us either.

But You, Lord…You are different. You see every single thing that projects up onto the screens of our minds. You miss nothing. We cannot hide anything. It is astonishing but in spite of it all, You not only still like me…You love me!

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. Ephesians 1:4

In the sphere of time, You have never not loved us! With all of our faults, with all of our failings, with all of our imperfections – and You know them all – You love us!

Lord, may we love ourselves because You love us. May we love others because You love us. It’s a challenge but we have the perfect example…You! Amen.

July 16th, Sun, 6:16 am

Rain on Us All

As I look out this morning as the day is just beginning, it has started to rain. Father, the day is just beginning and it is not bright, though the sun is up. In the early light, everything is a dark green – the grass in the front yard, the cattails across the road creating a border to the soybeans and then corn behind them and then the line of trees forming the backdrop under a cloud laden sky.

And it continues to rain, beating down on the highway, pelting the bay window – nothing is missed, everything is wet. Lord, You have brought to mind this morning a passage from the Gospel of Matthew – a portion of Your Sermon on the Mount – and You spoke of rain.

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:43-48 (emphasis mine)

Lord, You equally bless us all –no one is missed, everyone gets wet – and You are not just speaking of rain here. You are speaking of how you feel in regards to us all. You, in all Your holiness and perfection, choose to love us in all of our sin and imperfection. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us that You are “patient…not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

Lord, Your word is clear. As I read the passage from Matthew again I cannot miss it – no further explanation is needed– we are called to love and pray for our enemies. Help me, Lord, help me to be like You. Amen.

July 10th, Mon, 6:31 am

I Choose Love!

It’s unusual, Father, that I sit down with You at the beginning of the day and then again at the end but here I am. May I have ears that listen to what You have to say to me and what I hear may I put into action. Amen.

Revelation 2:6 (<<click green)

Lord, as I read this verse my study Bible points out something very important. You compliment the Ephesians on the fact that they “hate the evil deeds of the Nicolaitans.”

The Nicolaitans were believers who compromised their faith in order to enjoy some of the sinful practices of Ephesian society. The study note on verse 2 states that Ephesus was “a city noted for immoral sexual practices associated with the worship of the goddess Artemis.” She was a fertility goddess. It goes on to say, “We also are living in times of widespread sin and sexual immorality. It is popular to be open-minded toward many types of sin, calling them personal choices or alternative lifestyles. But when the body of believers begins to tolerate sin in the church, it is lowering the standards and compromising the churches’ witness…God’s approval is infinitely more important than the worlds’. Use Gods’ Word, not what people around you are willing to accept, to set the standards for what is right or wrong.”

That’s pretty black and white. But looking back at verse 6, Lord, You say absolutely nothing about hating the Nicolaitans. The believers in Ephesus hated the “evil deeds of the Nicolaitans.” Your guidance hasn’t changed one smidge. We are to stand against deeds that are against Your word but we have to love the doers of the deeds. Once again,

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12

What’s love got to do with it? Everything!

Lord, I would pray that You would help us to love like You love. Our world makes it so easy to hate. So many things are divisive. We are constantly pitted against one another. May we be more like You each and every day. Amen.

June 28th, Wed, 11:17 am

Cold World

It is a beautiful morning, Father – another gracious gift, one of an incalculable number of gifts, from Your almighty hand! All praise to my God and Creator! Amen!

Regardless of where we live, north or south, or the season in which we find ourselves, we live in a cold, cold world. So much pain and suffering, so much hate and violence, so much selfishness and greed – we are all chilled to the bone. Sin does that. We, in and of ourselves, can do nothing about it. We are condemned to suffer in a meaningless existence, frozen to the core.

I know it is spring – at least where I live – but all of John’s talk of love has brought this cold to mind.

I don’t recall meeting anyone who did not enjoy a crackling fire. In a fireplace inside or a fire ring outside, there is just something about a fire that draws you in. It is inviting. It is comforting. Regardless of gender, race or age, we like to sit and watch it do its thing, we enjoy basking in its warmth.

Love – real genuine love – does the same thing.

Lord, You are the source of all love, for You are love. 1 John 4:8, 16

“This is real love – not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” v16

“We know how much God loves us, and we put our trust in his love.” v16

“We love each other because he loved us first.” v19

Lord, I may live in a cold, cold world but the fire of Your love within me dispels the cold. Cold has no power of its own – it cannot recreate itself. In actuality cold does not exist, it is merely the absence of heat. May I radiate the heat – the love – that you have placed within me. May I be a comfort to those in need, to the lost, the hurting…and the frozen. May they be drawn to You through me. And may they welcome Your fire in themselves so the cold may be banished in their lives, as well. Amen!

May 16th, Tues, 6:26 am

Hate: Stumbling in the Dark

Father, what a day of emotions yesterday was – up and down and all around! I’m so glad You were along for the ride and continue to help me keep things in perspective. You are bigger than them all and all I have to do is to look up into Your face and know that we’ll get through it together.

1 John 2:9-11 (<<click here)

Lord, “hate” is a very potent word and in the next chapter, John even equates “[hating] another brother or sister”, i.e. a fellow believer, with murder. (1 John 3:15) From a very early age, it was drilled into me to not hate others. We might strongly dislike the actions of someone but we were never to hate them. It may seem like I am splitting hairs but even at my age I still feel that there is a big difference between the two. In Romans 12:9 Paul tells us,

“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.”

When we “hate a fellow believer” we are “still living and walking in darkness” and hate coupled with darkness is always misleading. If we were to have to navigate someone else’s home in the dark there would be many stubbed toes, banged shins and probably some broken things as well as we stumbled about trying to find our way through the maze of the unknown.

Hate is just as blinding. The emotion skews our view of the circumstances. When we see the person we hate our perception is distorted. But again, as I referred to last week, You stated from the cross in regards to those who had nailed You there, in regards to those who were hurling insults upon You, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34

Hate is debilitating. When it factors in we hurt ourselves and we hurt others. We are not the only ones stumbling about but we can “cause others to stumble”, too.

Lord, the culture in which we live is a breeding ground for hate. Hate speech is everywhere! Help me to avoid feeling that way when I think of fellow believers who don’t agree with me, especially when we disagree strongly or when they lash out and hurt me. May I be like You. May my love be unconditional. Amen.

Apr 11h, Tues, 5:23 am