The words, “I love you” make an incredible impact, especially when they’re authentic. There’s nothing shallow about authentic love. Real love has staying power. It always opts for working through. It’s resilient.
Jesus told His disciples to love one another “as I have loved you” (John 13:34). That wouldn’t be so hard if the love Jesus displayed was primarily the write-a-cheque or call-once-a-month kind of love. But Jesus set the bar immeasurably high. Jesus’s kind of love touched the skin of a leper and washed the feet of a soon-to-be betrayer. He didn’t mind interruption by another’s demands, even those of a person all others disdained. Jesus had the uncanny ability to look straight into a person’s soul to see the deepest need there.
Is that an impossible example to follow? You bet it is! That’s why God sent the Holy Spirit to live inside us and empower us with His supernatural love. Only when “plugged in” to that power will His followers stand out in their treatment of others and of one another. Then people will take notice and say, “My, how they love one another!” Let these resources set you on the path of loving with the Saviour’s love.
Nazareth isn’t some holy hamlet. It’s a rugged and dirty place, always has been. But it was there, in that lonely town, Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel and told she would bear the Messiah, the Saviour of the world.
It’s one thing to be apathetic towards people. We’re often indifferent to politics and social justice—trusting others to take care and do what’s right. As serious as apathy is, apathy towards God is even more critical. When we open our hearts to God He replaces apathy with passion... and that’s when our lives are changed.
When self-esteem is missing from our lives we erect defences, wear masks, or become clowns. But when we have self-esteem we are able to love, give of ourselves, and pull the best out of others.
The popular notion of God, as if He were a benign, aging grandfather, sitting passively in heaven—affable, lenient, permissive, and devoid of any real displeasure over sin because He loves us—cheapens God's love. It doesn't uphold the value of His love. In truth, looking into God's heart to discover His love is to discover His other attributes as well.
One of the benefits of having a married partner in life is you have someone who will rescue you. Not to enable one another, but a genuine and wise rescue, where if you didn’t have your partner to take you in another direction, you would deeply regret your actions.
Tears have a language all their own. In some mysterious way, our bodies know their verbal limitations and then the tears come.
One of the most significant contributions the legacy of a woman leaves upon the world is an unguarded tenderness. This softens our spirits and our souls. Don’t stop. The world is hard—don’t pick up on that. Stay tender.
Think of all the ways you act in faith every day: you trust pharmacists to fill your prescription correctly, you trust pilots to get you safely to your destination, and you trust contractors to build properly. The funny thing is, when it comes to having faith in the Creator, people are often amazed at the thought of believing in a God we can’t see.
We have always been fascinated with stories—especially the ones beginning with those same four words “Once upon a time…” and ending with “And they all lived happily ever after.” Oh, that it were true! Living happily ever after only happens in fairy tales. Wish instead for a full life, one that's satisfied, godly, balanced…and reasonably sweet.
When attitudes need to be put in check, tough love is required. Parenting is challenging, but it’s also the most rewarding and gratifying job you’ll ever have.