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

Advertisements

Rejecting God’s Truth

One problem with human beings is that we put way too much emphasis on understanding everything. If we cannot comprehend it with our human reasoning, we reject it.

We are the created beings; and God is the Creator. His ways are higher than our ways. His thoughts are far beyond our ability to comprehend Him from our human perspective (Isaiah 55:8-9).

God’s love for us, regardless of our religion, nationality, color and gender is unconditional. Yet, so many refuse to surrender their life to His loving kindness and grace.

It is through the riches of God’s grace that we receive forgiveness for our sins. There is nothing we can do to buy, earn or to obtain His forgiveness (Ephesians 2:8-9).

We simply humble our self and receive forgiveness as a gift through faith in Christ (John 3:16-18). We also receive a place in God’s family and we are co-heirs with Christ for eternity (Romans 8:17).

As Christians, God calls us to submit to and pray for our governing authorities so that it may be well with us (1 Peter 2:18-21); 1 Timothy 2:1-4). We truly prosper in this world, not by our hard work, but by our submission to God’s Spirit.

We do not evaluate our self by the world’s standards, nor do we live according to the example of those on this earth. We gain our self-esteem from God’s Word and Christ in us.

Prayer:
Father God, we ask You to grant us the wisdom to accept Your Word as our standard for our faith and our lifestyle. Work a submissive attitude into our soul, so that we can accept Your Truth at face value, rather than having to understand it before we accept it.

Teach us what it means to live a life of faith in Your faithfulness. Thank You so much for the sacrifice of Christ for us all. Give us a grateful heart and a new song on our lips (Psalm 40:3), so that we can praise You all the days of our life.

Thought for the Day:
If we truly want God’s blessings in our life, we can submit to the principles of His Kingdom and receive His righteousness, peace and joy in return. – Romans 14:17

No Higher Honor

Have you ever met a “control freak”? They attempt to subjugate the people and events around them. Some of them desire to wield power. Others are insecure and endeavor to control their environment to ensure their safety. A third type of control freak was oppressed as a child; and, as an adult, vowed never to allow that to happen again.

The greatest problem with control freaks is that they are rebellious to God’s authority in their life. They do not seek His will, but they make their own plans and move mountains to attain them. Some of them manipulate, demand, steal and finagle to get their own way. Their motivation is to preserve their concept of their own self-worth, because their value comes from their achievements (Colossians 2:8).

Control freaks actually believe that God let them down; therefore, they must make their own way in life. Satan reinforces this confusion by using commercials, billboards, social media, office politics, family expectations and a host of other worldly standards to force the unwitting to base their value on earthly concepts.

The problem is that even the richest, most powerful, successful and beautiful people in the world never really believe they have attained the pinnacle of acceptance they so crave. The devil convinces them that they are actually unlovable and unacceptable in order to keep them on the rungs of that illusive ladder of success.

They even perceive rejection from others when it is not there. A muddle of inferiority, hopelessness, insignificance and self-criticism overwhelms them. It is only in the very center of God’s will that we find our true joy and contentment (Philippians 4:11-13). He redeemed us from our sinful lifestyle and adopted us into His very own family (1 John 3:1). There is no honor in life higher than this.

Prayer:
Father God, thank You for creating us with Your purpose in mind (Psalm 139:13; Ephesians 2:10). You gave each of us gifts and talents, which we need in order to accomplish Your will for our life (Romans 12:6). There is no need for us to strive to achieve success that is out of Your will for us. Even when we accomplish our goals, they will ring empty and hollow. Thank You for adopting us as Your children. Help us to find our worth only in our relationship with You.

Thought for the Day:
God’s Biblical principles are our standard and give us wisdom for living; apart from Him we are nothing. – John 15:5

A New Life in Christ

In this world, people are very touchy about what we say to them. They think that we are trying to proselytize them, if we even mention anything about God or Christ. We are simply living out who we are, and they accuse us of judging them. Of course, if they would join us, they would understand that Jesus is not our hobby or our crutch. Christ is our very life (Colossians 3:4).

We are not trying to impose our beliefs on anyone. We are just living out the truth of God’s Word. We do not condemn their behavior or their person, but offer them the opportunity to trust Christ and to enjoy the wondrous life He provides for His children (Ephesians 4:13). When we repent and believe in Christ (Mark 1:15), we no longer live as part of this world, even though we still live in it (John 17:16).

We no longer attempt to earn His acceptance by our performance to His standards. We are already accepted in His beloved family, by faith and not by works (Ephesians 1:6, 2:8-10). God placed the weight of the vilest sin upon His own shoulders and He paid our penalty for us. We accept Christ’s atoning work for our salvation, and then choose to live in total surrender to God’s will.

Jesus freed us from deprivation, degradation and devastation in this life. He allows us to walk in a new life in Him (Romans 6:4). His anointing in us and through us breaks the yoke of bondage to sin and deception (Isaiah 10:27). His Spirit enables us to obey God’s will, by living in and through us (Galatians 2:20). Let us seek His direction for our life and not allow earthly concerns to sway us from His ways (Luke 9:57-62, 14:26-33).

Prayer:
Father God, true surrender to You always supercedes our natural devotion to job, family or friends. We forsake all for you (Luke 14:33). We know without a doubt that You will meet the needs of our family and friends as we focus on Your will for our life. Keep us from failing to totally surrender to You, and enable us to experience the fullness of Your love for us.

Thought for the Day:
God listens to and understands our prayers and knows exactly how to answer them.

In Times of Trouble

In this life full of trials and tribulation, we often adopt an angry attitude and walk around with a huge chip on our shoulder. We had noble and worthy expectations coming out of high school; plans and dreams and aspirations of health, wealth and success. How dare life stand in our way? We often blame God for our failures, never realizing the magnitude of blessings He actually, already provided for us.

We struggle on, hoping that tomorrow will be different; that we get our bonus, raise or promotion soon. We pray for a baby; and when God answers, we wish He’d take it back – sleepless nights and a mountain of dirty diapers were not in our original bargain. Humans are never satisfied, always upset and rarely ever happy. We take out our disappointment on those we love, expecting them to forgive us.

God’s antidote for this poisonous existence is for us to search for Him and His strength, to seek Him in every area of our life (1 Chronicles 16:11). He allows us to struggle and to attempt to succeed on our own. However, He patiently waits for us to call out to Him in our times of trouble. He is anticipating that we will need Him to rescue us. When He comes, we are filled with praise and we give Him all the glory (Psalm 50:15).

There are so many people in other countries that are not reaping the blessings provided for them, which our ancestors guaranteed for us in America (Exodus 20:6). If you think that your life is poor and miserable, take a trip to a third world country. I guarantee that you will return with the high praises of God on your lips. Remember, in the times of blessings in your life, that many people need your help in theirs.

Prayer:
Father God, You reign forever. You established Your throne and You judge the world by Your righteous standards. You govern us with justice and mercy and provide for all of our needs. You are a refuge for the abused and neglected. You are a fortress and you protect us in our times of trouble. Anyone who knows You will put their trust in You, because You have never, ever, not one single time, by no means at all, forsaken those who seek Your will for their life (Psalm 9:7-10).

Thought for the Day:
The Bible has the answers for us, if we only take the time to ferret them out.