Tag Archives: hate

“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

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