The Biggest Lesson I Learned From Last Year

LOVE ONE ANOTHER

 

The year of 2018 was filled with so many lessons for me. But there is one that stands out far and above all. That is the lesson of love.

As a Believer in Christ, have you ever found it hard to relate to people? I don’t just mean the unsaved. I mean saved people as well? For years of my faith walk with God, it just seemed like relating to people was the hardest thing for me to do.

I could not figure it out. One minute, I just knew that I was relating to people the way God intended. Then, other times, I was the ultimate failure at it.  “God, what could I possibly be doing wrong?” It wasn’t until last year that I realized what I was doing wrong.

 

You cannot relate to something you don’t first love.

 

I could not relate to people because I had not first loved people. In fact, I know that I had spent most of my time judging other people. I was an absolute piece of work I tell you. And you know what’s crazy? The very thing I wanted so bad to do, I could not do. I allowed a lot of things to get in the way. Self-righteousness. Pride. False humility. Everything…….but…….love.

Love is spoken of throughout the whole entire Bible. From beginning to end, love is the driving force of all that God has done pertaining to everything that He has created. That includes you and me.

Everybody seems to have their own opinion of what love is supposed to look like. I know I did. But, if we know anything about opinions, we know that opinions are not our reality. God, however, gives us the truth about love. The picture that He created. So, what is the true picture of love?

God is love. 

There is none else I know that as holy and sovereign as He is, would put all of Himself in mortal flesh, and come to the earth to save sinners. People who are wicked and have no real desire to know Him. Yet, it was His love for us that compelled Him to do so. He desires for us to know Him and be known by Him. 

 

And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. ~ 1 John 4:16

 

Love God with all your heart. 

Not only does God want us to know Him, He wants us to love Him. God desires to have daily communion, fellowship, and a relationship with us. He gave us every part of Him so that He could have every part of you and me. God didn’t give us less than His best. He gave us His best. This is the exact thing that He expects from us. 

 

Jesus said to him, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” ~ Matthew 22:37-39

 

Love your neighbor as yourself.

This is where the challenge came in for me. Last year, however, God really showed me that to love my neighbor as myself is to really love Him. How can I say that I love God without loving the very people He created? In His image. It would be contrary to everything God is. He is love. Remember?

It is funny the simple things God has commanded, we complicate. Love is as simple as obeying God. To obey God is to love God. God deserves our love. Other people deserve our love too. That includes even our enemies.

Before I accepted Christ into my life, I was an enemy to God. It was His love that won me over into His kingdom. Though loving in the capacity that God commands has been of a great challenge, I decided that I want to love like He loves. That has meant that I have had to do a few things:

  • I had to lay aside everything that hinders me from loving as God desires. 
  • I had to refrain from passing judgment on anyone who is in the world, for I too was once a person of the world. 
  • I had to truly examine and humble myself. 

Guess what? I still have to do all of these things. I am determined that it will be love that wins.

Love is the key.

While we are on the subject of love, can I share with you a way that we can all collectively come together to love God and our neighbor?

 

world malaria day

 

As a blogger for Compassion, my mission is to raise awareness for the needs of children who are in poverty all over the world. For the month of April, however, Compassion is holding a fundraiser to help intervene and prevent malaria (a disease caused by a parasite that is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito) from wreaking havoc on the lives of the children and their caregivers in the Geita region of Tanzania.

It is reported that malaria kills a child every thirty seconds. In the year 2010 alone, there were 655,000 estimated deaths. The people of Compassion, since then, have been doing everything in their power to make sure that that number has not continued to grow. And I want to make sure that this does not have to be the report any longer. With that being said, we are asking you to come along and partner with us to make sure that it will not.

How can you help? It is simple. Donate to Compassion in the amount of $18. That is all that they are asking for from you. What this donation does is to provide an insecticide-treated bed net for prevention of malaria as well as medical support when needed. 

Not only will your donation provide a net of safety and medical support, but it will also provide necessary training for the families in Tanzania that will teach them how to protect themselves from malaria.

As one man puts it………

The reality is that Malaria is a killer and the cause of poverty prevalence in Africa. If there is a way we can eradicate Malaria, we will be eradicating poverty to a large extent. ~ Eddie Barack

 

Donate and help save a life today.

 

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One Word for 2019

Happy New Year!

Yes, I know that we are in the month of March. Yes, I realize that March is about to end and we are days away from entering into the month of April. To me, that’s beside the point. It is still a new year. 2019 to be exact. Now, let me ask you, how is it going for you so far?

No, really, how is it going?

Are you still working towards those New Year’s resolutions that you set for yourself back in December of last year? If so, good for you! Or do you find yourself like me right about now…at a crossroads?

Have you ever been at the crossroads your life and the only thing you’re left with is making the decision to stay where you are or cross over? What was it like realizing that you were at a vital point at which that decision must be made?

I’ll tell you what it has been like for me. It has been challenging. Here’s why.

Last year, I struggled with sharing my faith in God with others. Don’t get me wrong, the people around me know that I believe in God. Yet, when it came to speaking words I felt like God would lead me to say, I said nothing.

One day, I found myself questioning my behavior. I needed to know why was I doing that. It made no sense. I love God. I believe in Him and His Son, Jesus Christ. There’s nothing more that I want to do than to tell people about Him and what He, by His grace, has done. Why the silence?

Then it hit me. I had to ask myself another question. Am I ashamed to speak about Jesus? How could this be? Where did this shame come from? Why?

Let me tell you why. It was simply because the focus of what I had set my eyes on had shifted from looking at God to looking at the world. I had taken in too much of what the world was saying and doing. So much so that it provoked me to silence. And to truly be honest, I had become afraid to speak His name. Ouch!

It was no other person’s fault but my own. That’s why at the realization of my error, I knew I needed to regain focus and make a definitive decision. It comes down to one word.

 

meme unahamed

 

 I’ve decided to live unashamed of being saved by Jesus Christ.

Apostle Paul made it clear to the church in Romans that he had become sold out to living his life for Jesus Christ and preaching the gospel. To him, it was nothing that he was ashamed of.

 

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. ~ Romans 1:16

 

On the day of December 3, 2006, my life had changed for the best. I gave my heart to Jesus that day. I was a sinner who needed desperately to be saved. I had tried everything in my own power to fix my life within my own strength, and nothing was working. I was even running from God. Like many people, I was not ready to give up the ways of the world. I ignorantly assumed that living for Jesus would be boring. How foolishly wrong I was.

My life, in the past thirteen years, has been everything but boring. I have witnessed God move in miraculous ways. He forgave me of all of my sins. He’s purified and cleansed me of the mess I had made of my life by removing what had made me feel so dirty and empty inside. He’s given me joy and peace that has surpassed all of my understanding.

Life with God has been such a blessing. I have been given an amazing gift. I see no reason to be ashamed of Him.

 

Testimonies

 

I will live my life being unashamed to speak of God’s Good News.

If I leave this earth knowing nothing else, I will assuredly know that God loves me. His word tells me so, and I believe it. Contrary to popular belief, we all need that love. We all need the gift of salvation that our Creator God has provided through His one and only Son.

 

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. ~John 3:16

 

The love of God is something worth speaking about. Everyone born into this world deserves to know of this love. Why? God gave the ultimate sacrifice for us to know. Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God died for us all so that we could all know how much God loves us. Friend, that is good news worth telling. It’s become my testimony. I’m sticking to it.

Faith in God came to me by me hearing the word of God for myself. What I heard, by way of a preacher, I received. My life has changed for the best because of God’s Good News. Let’s just say that I know where my blessings have come from.

 

hope2

 

I will live my life unashamed of the hope I have in Jesus Christ. 

I have always been a hopeful person, even when I was living life without Jesus Christ. It mattered not what I was going through. I stayed hopeful that I would somehow somewhere, eventually see change. Hope kept me strong when I thought I did not have the strength to carry on.

Today, I have a different hope. I have hope in the second coming of my Savior and Lord Jesus. I’m sure most of us have heard of the true story of the life of Jesus. But for those who have not, I will give you that good news.

Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, was born through a virgin named Mary. The power of the Holy Spirit of God impregnated her with the Son of God. The reason being was so that we, every man born into sin after the fall of the first Adam, could be saved from our sins. It was this purposed life that Jesus lived until it was time for Him to give up His life.

In giving up His life, He took all of our sins and nailed them to the cross. The body of Jesus was pierced so that His blood could be shed to purify and redeem us back to eternal life from eternal death. In three days, after He died and was buried, He rose again from the dead. This rising of Jesus signifies for all who come to believe in Him and the power of His resurrection, that we have risen to new life in Him.

That’s not all. People who give their lives to Jesus Christ become the Bride of Christ. Through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit that comes into their lives by way of confessing Jesus, they have now been empowered to live a different life than the one they previously lived. This new life sets them apart from the people of the world as God’s pure and holy chosen generation. And it is that generation that Jesus is coming back to claim.

I said all of that to say that the hope I now have is in the hope of His second coming. It is a hope that compels me to live my life according to the word of God. It is a hope that signifies that my life is not my own. It is a hope that declares that God knows best. It is a hope that comes into agreement with His standard of living for all whom He has created in this world. It is a hope that purifies me just as Jesus himself is pure.

With all that I have shared with you today, can you see why I have no reason to be ashamed? There is nothing wrong with living for and speaking of Jesus. Everything about Him and life in Him is all right. It is perfectly all right.

 

And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

~1 John 3:3

 

This year, I am choosing to live differently. I am choosing to live completely unashamed. I have Who the world needs living inside of me. I will not sit by and be silent about or ashamed of Him any longer.

What about you? If you are saved, how do you currently feel about your walk with the Lord? Are you like I was? If so, then will you join me in changing that around?

 

NEW SIGNATURE

 

 

#compassionblogger