Loving Others as Our Self

Jesus made a point of telling us to love others as we love our self. Most of us despise our self, have grudges and disappointments and unforgiveness toward our self. We do not love our self at all (Mark 12:30-31).

Therefore, how can we truly love anyone else? We compare our self to worldly standards and find our self lacking. We listen to significant others in our life and adopt their opinion of us, even if it is negative.

We try all of our life to earn the unconditional love, respect, worth and affirmation we so desperately need. We sell our self short and give up on our self. We feel useless, hopeless, helpless and unlovable.

We are not powerful enough, rich enough, adorable enough, smart enough, talented enough, or attractive enough; we are not enough. We see our self through the eyes of others and we feel disappointed and ashamed.

However, God wants us to see our self through His eyes – as a person He cares about so much that He gave His life for us. He wants us to love our self as He loves us, and then to love others as we love our self.

We can start by accepting our self as He accepts us, just the way we are. We can make better, healthier, wiser and more nurturing choices. We can speak only kind, loving words to and about our self and others.

We can take care of our body, soul and spirit. We can accept our feelings and seek God to find resolutions for our negative feelings and unresolved conflicts. We can judge our self only through the eyes of God, not the eyes of the world.

We can stop using addictions, people, vocation and talents to make us feel better about our self. We can stop abandoning our self and taking our self and others for granted. We can stay in touch with who we are, what we need and how God is leading us all throughout our day.

Prayer:
Father God, enlighten the eyes of our understanding to see our self as You see us: as Your adopted children, co-heirs with Christ of Your entire Kingdom. Remind us to pay attention to our physical, emotional, spiritual and mental needs and to seek You on how to fulfill them.

Help us to accept our feelings and circumstances, even the negative ones, as Your tool in our life to bring us closer to total surrender to Your will and to keep us from depending on our human resources and understanding. Give us Your peace and joy as our strength. Remind us that without You we are nothing; but with You, all things are possible if we simply believe (John 15:5; Mark 9:23).

Thought for the Day:
Take the time throughout the day for a personal physical, mental, emotional and spiritual inventory; meet your needs or ask God to meet them; and then give yourself time to renew Your strength in the Lord and to rise up on wings like eagles. – Isaiah 40:31

No Idol Will Stand

What irritates you? What is your pet peeve? What steps on your last nerve? That is an idol in your life. Okay, maybe you do not daily worship at the altar of that idol, but when you are feeling that stress and negative emotion about that issue, you are. Anything that distracts us from peace with God is an idol. Lay it down at the altar.

King Jesus is the Lord, and it grieves Him for us to give our entire focus of attention to another person, activity or thing (Isaiah 42:8). Once we surrender that issue to God, His Spirit helps us to change our focus about it, or to let go of our penchant for worrying, complaining and being distracted by it.

When it stops bothering us, we see the Lord exalted on His throne of our life, and His holiness and glory will fill our life (Isaiah 6:1). As we recall the abundant goodness God provides for His children, our heart bursts out in song; and the petty grievances that once robbed us of our joy seem insignificant. God’s new mercies meet us every single morning and give us His strength as our stronghold.

In times of trouble, He is our refuge. As we elevate our loving God in our life, our heart is filled with praises to Him (Psalm 59:16-17). With His good name and His reputation as our main concern, we walk in His ways and wait for His direction for our day (Isaiah 26:8). This prevents us from thinking about, speaking of, or walking in any unrighteousness at all.

Prayer:
Father God, You chose us to witness of Your love and to serve You. Your counsel and wisdom for us in life are absolutely wonderful (Isaiah 28:29). You are the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end (Isaiah 44:6; Revelation 1:8). You already ordained every day of our life on this earth. Your purpose and pleasure are the only aspects we perform, which will stand for eternity (Isaiah 46:10). When we think about Your mighty works both for Israel and for Your Saints throughout all generations, we realize that You are God and there is no one like You (Isaiah 46:9).

Thought for the Day:
We understand and believe that Jehovah is our Almighty God and that no idol ever comes before Him or will ever come after Him. – Isaiah 43:10