Tag Archives: love

Alleluia from head to foot

Something cool happened last week. My colleague mentioned something that surprised me, which got me thinking about how the world views Christians. If you have been on my blog for 5 minutes you would know what an animal lover I am. I had walked in from lunch excitedly telling her that I finally got the feral cat I feed here on campus to trust me. So she said to me, “you know, you have really influenced me to see animals in a better light. I never thought much of them other than being ‘just an animal’. But I feel for them now. Yesterday I saw an injured bird and for the first time my heart really broke for an animal, I was so sad. I view them differently now.”

I was surprised, because it has never been my intention to get her to change her mind and heart about animals! Cool! Basically, my genuine love, enthusiasm and passion for animals was the only thing that got her to see a different viewpoint.
Looking back, what I did not do was lecture her, force her to see things differently (“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world…” John 3:17) or speak badly of others who do not like animals (“Love your enemies…” Luke 6:27)

I won her over without even trying! I looked at Scripture on how we can apply the same behaviour as children of God for His Son:

I am always expressing my genuine love for animals, either in what I say or in recues/help
-“Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours” 1 Cor 3:21
-“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” John 15:13
-“
above all things have fervent love for one another” 1 Peter 4:8
-“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:18

-“But the fruit of the Spirit is love” Gal 5:22
-“present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God” Romans 12:1

I am constantly singing their praises of cuteness and wonder
-“proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9
-“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth” Ps 34:1
-“I will declare Your name to My brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You” Hebrews 2:12
-“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses…” Acts 1:8

My joy and enthusiasm just exude naturally when I talk about, or are around, them
-“the fruit of the Spirit is.. joy, peace…” Gal 5:22
-“Rejoice in the Lord always.” Phil 4:4
-“Abstain from all appearance of evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:22
-“The light of the righteous rejoices” Proverbs 13:9

 People have said when I’m around animals, my face shines
-“They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed” Ps 34:5
-“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden” Matt 5:14
-“Gentiles will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising”  Isaiah 60:3
-“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
-“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light” Ephesians 5:8

The world is dark – people need to see how excited Jesus makes us so that they can’t help but be attracted to what is making us so happy! This is just a drop in the ocean of getting people to realise Christ’s love for them. But if all we do and say glorifies God, who can resist Him!

Modeling Christ this Easter

This is the most important time in a Christian’s year. The death and resurrection of God’s beloved Son and our glorious King. 

However, we attend the church services and listen wholeheartedly to the sermons, but when the weekend is over we forget to live the lives from what we just learnt in church. We don’t walk the walk. How can we take the themes of Christ’s sacrifice for us and apply it this weekend, and ultimately extend it to the rest of our lives?

Obviously we have to encompass all of Christ’s goodness, purity and mind into our lives consistently; but I’ve chosen four themes to focus on this weekend, and really apply them diligently, so that by the time Easter is over I can have a stronger grasp of applying them: mercy, grace, forgiveness and love.

mercy-grace

“Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful” Luke 6:36
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” Matt 5:7
God has granted us overflowing mercy by providing us with redemption, but being merciful can be a tough one for anyone to master. Our flesh detests mercy and prefers to inflict physical and psychological harm!
How can we be merciful? A person who is merciful is basically compassionate. It is realising that we are all sinners and no one is perfect.
Mercy relates to grace. Mercy is not getting what you do deserve, while grace is getting what you don’t deserve. So forget the offence and hurt done against you. Do kind things without wanting to be thanked for them in return. Doing this glorifies God because we are obeying His commandments and are a reflection of His wonderful mercy.

forgive

Luke 6:37 “…Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
Matt 6:14-15 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
As humans, sometimes it feels like that if we don’t respond to an offense with bitterness, anger and even revenge, we have let the offender “get away with what they have done to us.”
But God let us get away with our sinful natures, through Jesus!  It is an alarming thought to me that if I don’t forgive someone God won’t forgive me! And I need a lot of forgiveness! That verse is so important to me that often I ask God to bring to my mind anyone I have not forgiven in my past or present, because sometimes we don’t even realise we are harbouring unforgiveness for someone.
Do you know what a simple test is? This is how I test myself: If you think you have truly forgiven someone, assess your reaction to them when you are in their presence (or even if you think about them) – how do you feel? What thoughts are going through your mind? If any thought or feeling is ungodly or works against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:5), you need to ask God to help you to truly forgive that person. “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.”
Forgetting is not forgiving! It will creep up on you. But forgiving will help you forget it.

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“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” John 3:16
God loves us through all our faults and weaknesses. His Son had to die for a wretched species. Yet He loves us still.
How can you honour God by showing love this weekend?
Love is patient and kind (1 Corinthians 13:4). When your spouse or child, for example, does something to start welling up feelings of irritation in you, remember how God was patient with you 5 minutes ago when you sinned! My husband is such a wonderful model of kindness and patience for me. When I’m having a bad day and so desperately want to throw a tantrum, he always turns the other cheek, or gives me a hug and responds to me with gentleness. You will find that if you respond to the other person in an attitude of love and kindness, it very quickly diffuses the entire situation.

Dear Readers, I encourage you this weekend to model these themes with me of Christ’s sacrifice for us. Let us be a light to those around us so that the world can see what true Christianity is really all about – mercy and love to a lost world. Let our Father be glorified!