Love In Action

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 14 Do everything in love.”

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NIV

Who we are, our character…how we treat each other…what we do to help one another…how we behave in our relationships…that is love in action.  God gave us the best example of love in action when He sent His Son to earth to die for you and me, so that our relationship with the Father could be restored.

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“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV

(This photo was taken in April of 2020 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)

Teach Me Your Ways

Show me your ways, Lord,
    teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
    for you are God my Savior,
    and my hope is in you all day long.”

Psalm 25:4-5 NIV

God invites us into a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ.  It is up to us to respond to that invitation.  If we ignore God’s call and go our own way we will bring about more pain and suffering without God’s presence and guidance.  We need to be willing to open ourselves up to God’s way and His plan that happens on His timing.  It is a willingness and an ability to surrender our self-centered ways to Him…God is faithful and will guide you and lead you if you are willing to put your faith and trust in Him.

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I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
    I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

Psalm 32:8 NIV

(This photo was taken in May of 2020 along the North Shore of Lake Superior in northern Minnesota)

Love Others

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

1 John 3:16-18 NIV

As stated earlier this week, love is action.  Do whatever you can for whoever you can whenever you can wherever you are…show the love of Christ that is in you to others in your life.  Serve one another out of love.

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“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

John 15:11-13 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2021 at The Northern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cementary)

Advent – Love

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV

Jesus stated the most important commandments are to love God and love one another (Matthew 22:37-40).  So, what is love?  Love is action…it is not what the world defines as a feeling…the apostle Paul describes it for us in 1 Corinthians 13.  It is about our character and what we do when it comes to relationships.  So, when Jesus states it is the most important commandment…we should think about how to do we love God?  How do we love one another?  Love is God’s to define and to give and He makes it available to all of us by how He has acted towards us.  It is up to us to accept His love and to share it with Him and others.

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Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”

1 John 4:7-12 NIV

(This photo was taken in October of 2014 at the Nakalele Blowhole on the island of Maui, Hawaii)

Peace From God’s Word

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:4-7 NIV

The Bible is God’s Word written down and given to us to lead us, teach us and encourage us in our lives.  It is an instruction manual for life.  Teaching us about how God wants us to live and have a personal relationship with His Son Jesus Christ.  It has been translated in to languages for people all over the world and it is continuing so that one day every person from any walk of life can connect to God through His Word.  We can do our part by learning about what is says and putting it into action.  Read God’s Word…Do what it says…and you will enjoy God’s peace.  Amen.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Philippians 4:8-9 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2021 at Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado)

Sharing God’s Gift Of Peace With One Another

“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace,…”

Ephesians 2:13-15 NIV

God has given us the gift of peace through the blood of Jesus shed on the Cross.  He gives us free will to decide whether or not we want to receive this gift and then share it with others in the world.  Many have chosen to ignore or reject God and His gift of peace…for anyone who seeks Him and choses to accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, God instructs us to share the gift on peace with one another, by how we live and treat each other…every day all the time.

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

Ephesians 4:2-3 NIV

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Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Ephesians 4:29-32 NIV

(This photo was taken in February of 2013 in a neighborhood near Plymouth, Minnesota)

Living Hope Perspective

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…”

1 Peter 1:3 NIV

Hope in this world mostly gets aligned with wishful thinking in general conversations.  This hope is not sure, not firm and is not based on belief.  The hope talked about in the Bible is hope that believes and knows God’s promises for good things.  This hope is supported by actions and behaviors.  The hope we receive from Christ is a hope that knows and believes that Christ lives and that God is for us and working for our good, even when, especially when the visible evidence is against it. The hope from God’s Word tells us to not give up or surrender to sin and doubt, rather know that God is with you and you can trust in Him…not for the things you believe you should have but for the things God knows that you need.  May the God of all hope be present in your daily life. Amen.

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“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Romans 15:13 NIV

(This photo was taken in September of 2016 on a lake in central Minnesota)

Hope With Humility

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

Ephesians 4:1-6 NIV

Character and attitude…how we treat each other in our daily lives.  These are the things that show that we believe.  Love is action.  Learn from the example that Jesus provided in His life, death and resurrection.  Amen.

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Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

Colossians 3:12-14 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 while traveling in northern Colorado)

Change Lives With Prayer

Trust in him at all times, you people;
    pour out your hearts to him,
    for God is our refuge.”

Psalm 62:8 NIV

Opening your heart in honest, sincere transparency with God in a quiet time with Him is true prayer…an on-going conversation where you spend as much time listening as you do speaking on a daily basis is kind of prayer life that can change lives.  Amen.

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”

Colossians 4:2 NIV

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Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

(This photo was taken in October of 2014 on the island of Maui, Hawaii)

Do What It Says

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”

Matthew 7:24 NIV

It is one thing to read or listen to the Word of God…it is the next step in your faith journey to do what it says.  We can go our whole lives reading the bible and listening to God’s word in church and if we never put it into practice in our lives…what have we accomplished?  The bible is filled with Action words and many of them came directly out of the mouth of Jesus Christ.  We are to go and do what He commands us to do.  May His peace go with you.  Amen.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

John 13:34-35 NIV

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Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”

James 1:22-25 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 on Beartooth Pass in Montana)