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

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Pleasing Our Father

As parents we often have unrealistic goals for all of our children. We want each one of them to succeed in scholarship, sports, social status and personal relationships.

We may want them to succeed in an area in which we failed or were not allowed to participate. This activity may not even interest them by any stretch of the imagination; however, we push them to excel where we could not.

However, no two people are ever alike. God created each of us with our own bent toward the gifts and talents, which He equipped us with in order to walk in His will (Ephesians 2:10).

To force our child to play ball rather than to follow the desire to read, to read and listen to classical music in place of playing in a rock band, or to sculpt and draw instead of butting heads with a quarterback is thwarting God’s purpose for their life.

We may have an ancestral home or family business that we cannot wait to share with our progeny, when in reality God is calling them to the far reaches of the world as missionaries.

Our dream may include our child studying as a doctor or lawyer, in order to have the financial means for their family that we were not able to provide for ours.

However, our children are just on loan to us from our Heavenly Father and His will for them is much better than our desires for them will ever be.

God does call us as faithful stewards over our children’s lives, to train them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4), to give them a solid foundation in God’s Word (Deuteronomy 11:19) and to teach them by our example to walk in God’s Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).

Prayer:
Father God, You do not care about how much we do for You, because You desire that we walk in Your Spirit. You do not want us to depend on our good works to earn a place in heaven, because You already reserved a place for us through Christ’s sacrifice.

In order to please You, all we need to do is have faith in Your faithfulness (Hebrews 11:6). You created us with a purpose and desire for nothing more from us or our children than to walk in Your will for our life.

Thought for the Day:
As children of our Father God, we please Him by obeying His Word in total surrender to His will for our life.

The Greatest Gift of All

When we judge our self according to the scale, which the world uses to measure popularity and success, we may come up lacking. Life seems unfair, because other people have greater advantages than we do when we consider the temporal blessing they may receive. Yet, no matter how many possession we acquire, they never satisfy us.

Spiritually, the children of God have the richest of all blessings. We have Christ in us, who is both our hope and our greatest gift (Colossians 1:27). God is the hope of all people, from the ends of the earth and to the farthest seas (Psalm 65:6). He gives us more than this world could ever offer us (Psalm77:11-15). He gives us Himself (Psalm 89:1-2, 5-8).

We may fear giving up control of our life to God, because He may require things from us, which would further tarnish our earthly popularity and reputation. However, if we actually gain our personal identity and status for success from Christ in us, rather from our personal talents and achievements, we realize that our real worth is based on the love of Christ (John 3:16-17; Romans 8:35-39).

God’s greatest gift to us is His sacrifice of His own Son (Revelation 13:8). Jesus paid the price of our redemption and freed us from a worthless life of sin, giving us His free gift of salvation (Romans 6:23; Psalm 2:4). Those who dwell in the shelter of the Most High God will rest in Him. He is our refuge and our strength in whom we can always trust (Psalm 91:1-2).

Prayer:
Father God, because we love You, You will deliver us. You protect us as we acknowledge You. You answer us when we call on You. You deliver us from trouble and honor us. You satisfy us with a long life of salvation (Psalm 91:14-16). We give You thanks for Your loving kindness, which endures forever. Your unfailing love produces wonderful blessings for us. You satisfy our thirsty soul and You fill our hungry soul with many good things (Psalm 107:1, 8-9).

Thought for the Day:
God gives us the greatest gifts of all; never forget His benefits and bless His holy name. – Psalm 103:1

The Gift of God’s Presence

A shooting star, a sale at the store on the exact item you need, a flower growing in the sidewalk crack, a simple solution for a giant problem, and so many more examples are all revelations of God’s goodness – a special kiss from Him just for us. He even uses a quick glance at a clock, with a special arrangement of the numerical order, to give me special hugs throughout the day.
( http://carm.org/what-biblical-numerology )

We do not need to earn the gift of salvation, because it is a free gift through Jesus Christ (Romans 6:23). However, the gift of God’s presence entails our obedience and love for Him. Walking in God’s Spirit allows us to maintain this constant communion with Him (Galatians 5:16-25). We walk in fulfillment and find joy in the simplest revelation of His goodness.

We must guard against allowing the good activities, which we are invited to participate in, from becoming the enemy of God’s best for us. The frantic pace of our world thwarts us from enjoying a contented life in God’s presence. The good people and events, which demand our attention, are robbing us of quality time with God, His Word and His perfect will.

Our hectic lifestyle prevents us from entering into the rest of God’s presence (Hebrews 13:5). It is only as we love the Lord with our entire heart, having no idols in His place and ordering our steps to seek Him throughout the day, that He will provide His guidance and protection while showering us with His peace and love (Proverbs 3:5-6; Psalm 62:5-8).

Prayer:
Father God, what you desire from us more than anything else is for us to love You with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30). Remind us to walk in Your Spirit’s filling, which is new every day, and to live in the center of Your will. Help us not to forget that only one thing is needed in this life, and Mary made the better choice. Thank You for promising never to take away from us our intimacy with You (Luke 10:42).

Thought for the Day:
At times, we cannot hear God’s voice, due to the roar of people’s expectations requiring our time and talents.

Purpose for Our Life

God fearfully and wonderfully made each one of us and knit our body together in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:14). Most people forget that we are actually made from the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7). People rise from the dust and take many shapes and sizes. But like the mountains, our destiny is to rise into the Heavenlies.

God made each of us with various personalities, gifts, talents, assets and peculiarities. However, we all have one thing in common: we need Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. God has a plan for each of our lives, and once we come to Christ, He reveals it to us one moment at a time (Ephesians 2:10).

When they hear the Good News of the Gospel, some people indifferently walk away, others vehemently reject the message and sometimes even the messenger, then a few actually accept the sacrifice Christ made for all of us on Calvary’s cross. Aligning our life with the will of God brings us fulfilling love, peace and joy.

We live a more positive life, successful in all the areas that matter with family, friends and the necessities of life provided. We are able to share these blessings with those less fortunate than we are. We share with them the source of our faith too and encourage them to trust in Jesus completely for their present and future life.

Prayer:
Father God, reveal Your purpose for our life in such a way that we cannot possibly misunderstand or walk away from it. Give us Your wisdom and help us to follow Your Spirit when we have decisions to make. We seek You and Your strength, we seek Your presence continually (Psalm 105:4).

Thought for the Day:
Even Creation, which God made for mankind to enjoy, constantly honors the Lord and eagerly waits for the revealing of the Sons of God. – Revelation 4:11; Romans 8:19