Archive for August 2021

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1 John 4:7, Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.

WHAT IS LOVE? LOVE IS A COMPASS.

John 3:16 Tells you everything essential that you need to know about the love of God, or what we can call “the God kind of love.”  There are four important ingredients to the God kind of love.

1. Love is universal and not selective

2. Love is sacrificial and not selfish

3. Love gives and doesn’t take

4. Love leads to safe places

 

Contrasted to the “world’s kind of love”  we find quite the opposite.  The worldly kind of love is:

1. Narrow and highly selective

2. Stingy and selfish

3. Motivated by selfish gain

4. The best interests of others is not in view

How we relate to, and navigate with, others is one of the most important skills of life. Entire books and courses are dedicated to how to relate to others. All this is good, but walking in love is the most helpful. 

James called it the “Royal Law.” 

James 2:8, Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Leviticus 19:17-18)

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How we help children function or navigate early in life, charts the path for their future. How they learn to see themselves and interact with others, leads to the best outcomes.

Children Need NURTURE.Defined: Care for and encourage the growth or development of.

Parenting is relational, not transactional

Proverbs 1:7

 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction. 8 My son, hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother; 9  For they will be a graceful ornament on your head, And chains about your neck.

Matthew 18:6 

If anyone causes one of these little ones--those who believe in me--to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 

2 Timothy 1:5

For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.

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Mark 6:30, Then the apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. 31 And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. 32 So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves.

When taking a voyage of any type, before starting the navigation to the destination, check the readiness of the vessel. We are going to focus on self-care, not in a spirit of self indulgence, but in the spirit of being ready to serve the Lord. We want to be “Fit for the Journey.” The need for self-care is not evidence of a deficiency within yourself, it is evidence that you've been about the Father’s business.

Principles of Self-Care: 

1. REST   Good rest is one of the most important things you can do for your self care. Rest is not only about sleeping, which is a part of rest. Rest is a state of mind. If you don’t get rest in your mind, it may be difficult to go to sleep:

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

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Navigate is the best word I have found to characterize living and working in this interesting and sometimes perilous season. Looking at people and circumstances both within my circle and within our local and national community, we see challenges related to navigating life. We have seen both successful voyages and shipwrecks. 

Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

We can’t make sense of things that happen. We don’t dwell on bad things because “things” don’t define us. 

We are defined by our LOVE for God and fulfilling His PURPOSE— which causes the puzzle of things to work for our good.

What I mean by the word NAVIGATE:

1) Plan and direct the route or course of a ship, aircraft, or other form of transportation, especially by using instruments or maps.

2) To sail or travel over (a stretch of water or terrain), especially carefully or with difficulty.

3) Successful navigation or travel is based on fixed points of reference

Navigation Requires Fixed Points (coordinates)

#1 Jesus Christ 

Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8 )

#2 The Word of God 

#3 Objective Truth and Facts

We have to recognize truth at two levels: 

  1. Biblical truth and, 
  2. Objective truth. Believers who over spiritualize completely miss the importance of objective truth. Something which the Bible supports

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Remember. Don’t Look Back.

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One of the great challenges in life is dealing with circumstances in the present time that have roots in the past. Obviously, we are all products of our past. It’s important to separate out the negative and ungodly memories from the past and focus on the good. This is easy to say, but sometimes hard to do. Some people have lived through nightmares in their past lives.  In Christ, you are a new person!

Luke 9:59, Then He said to another, "Follow Me." But he said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father." 60 Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God." 61 And another also said, "Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house." 62 But Jesus said to him, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."

2 Corinthians 5:17, (NLT)
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

Beware of the lure of lesser things.
1. When given an opportunity to move forward in the purpose of God. Lesser things usually come from the past to hinder you from your future.
2. When Jesus calls you, don’t make any excuses. An excuse is usually an attachment to lesser things.

Philippians 3:13, 
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 

What lesson can we learn from Lot’s wife?

Luke 17:32, Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.

Remember and Don’t Look Back
1. Make the commitment, “This One Thing I Do.”
2. Forgetting the things that are behind. Don’t look back.
3. Reach forward to the things that are ahead.
4. Do it today!

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