Tag Archives: hate

New Every Morning

(A beautiful shot of a sunrise at Dolly Sods Wilderness Area,
near where I graduated from high school.)

As I look out the window this morning, Father, the sun is barely tinting the sky. It brings to mind a passage from Lamentations 3:22-23. It reminds me that regardless of where we stand before You, Father, whether we are close or have distanced ourselves, “Because of [Your] great love…[Your] compassions never fail. They are new every morning.”

I am so, so grateful that You love me – You love all of us. And not just those who are loveable. And not just those who love You back. You love every single person whom You have brought into existence. Your compassions for us never fail. Not because we deserve them or have earned them but because You are love. (1 John 4:8)

Matthew 5:43-48 gives us quite the challenge. Lord, we are not adherents to the law propitiated by the religious leaders of Your day but we might as well be. The whole idea of loving our neighbors (those that are loveable) and hating our enemies is an idea that we easily gravitate to. And WAY too many people flesh that out every day!

Here’s You response to that mindset, “But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!

See those exclamation points? Your words are not just idle suggestions – You mean business! From my own vantage point I would think that if anyone would possibly have reason to hate, it is You, Lord. You literally give us everything and are we grateful? …some of us yes but a majority of Your creation, not in the least. We are so arrogant and full of ourselves that we go so far as to deny Your very existence!

But what do you do? You give Your “sunlight to both the evil and the good” and You send Your “rain on the just and the unjust alike.”

And that’s the kicker, God calls us, his “true children”, to act as He would act, “to be perfect, even as [our] Father in heaven is perfect.”

Lord Jesus, that word “perfect” is daunting, to say the least, but it is a calling to be all we were made to be. You know our limitations and You know how far we can be stretched. I would pray that I would be Your “true” child. Your love is long-suffering and You will never give up on me. “Because of Your great love…[Your]compassions never fail. They are new every morning.” Amen –so be it!

Nov 27th, Mon, 6:59 am

“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us…”

This is a Throwback Thursday post from June 17, 2015. It is my very first blog post. Two people viewed it. Hey, you have to start somewhere! 

Father, thank You for Your concern in regards to my spiritual well being and development. Increase my eagerness to join with You each day.

Ephesians 1:1-14

“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us…”

It’s wonderful to see this amazing statement, which I have often proclaimed, firmly set in Your Word. To know that You loved us from eternity past should fill us with great peace and eradicate any doubt as to whose we are.

Help this to be foundational in how I think of myself and how I think of all others, even those that “Christians”* tend to reject. Father, help me to see people through the lens of Your perspective.

April 19th, Sun, 6:45 am

*A little expounding on my use of this term in this way might be helpful. So called “followers of Christ” have gotten a nasty reputation in latter years. Far too often we are haters and that’s not just a label others have put on us – many who bear the name of Christ are haters. If “sinners” don’t agree with us and they take a stand for what they believe, we don’t love them, pray for them or try to live lives before them that draw them to Christ. Instead, we blast them, berate them and out-and-out condemn them! In the Old Testament and the New, we are told over and over again, “Love your neighbor as yourself…” Read the Gospels and you will not find one example of Christ condemning a “sinner”, he loves them, forgives them and commands them to “go and sin no more” but, in no way, shape or form, does he hate them. On the other hand, He does condemn the spiritual leaders of His day. They were two-faced (hypocrites) and self-serving. They had the Law and they knew the Law but chose not to obey. I for one am grateful that he does not condemn sinners  for I wholeheartedly agree with Paul when he wrote in 1 Timothy 1:15, “This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all.” Father, help us all to see people through the lens of Your perspective.

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