The Truth About Love Is Actions

“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

The truth about what and who we love comes forth through our actions and behaviors.  Love is so much more than feelings.  We can say what we love, yet it is what we do that tells the story.  With who and where we choose to spend our time shows what we value most.  Take time to reflect on your daily life and see what your actions and behaviors tell you about what you love.  No matter what you find, pray about it and ask God to lead and guide…after all His Actions and the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for us on the Cross confirms how much He loves you.

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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)

Developing Who We Are

But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.[b] And we are confident in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we commanded you. May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.”

2 Thessalonians 3:3-5 NLT

The faith journey takes us on a road of self-awareness and growth.  As we read God’s Word and the teachings of Jesus, we hear messages about our attitudes, our behaviors, our words and our actions.  These are all things that we can control in our everyday life.  Instead of wasting our time worrying and wringing our hands about what other people are doing, thinking or saying we would do well to focus that effort on developing the Fruit of the Spirit in our own lives and relationships.  After all, we have the most control over one thing more than any other…how we choose to respond.  May we strive to grow the Fruit of the Spirit in who we are in the world.  Amen.

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“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.”

Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 at Sapphire Point near Dillon, Colorado)

Character

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”

2 Peter 1:3-4 NIV

Personality…nature…disposition…temperament…mentality…essence…identity…spirit.  Our character is defined by who we are, how we relate and interact with others.  This is at the core of who we are as a person.  For some, their true character is only revealed to a few other people as they have fear and a lack of trust in others due to previous wounds and painful past experiences.  The other reason fear exists in revealing our true character is our concern regarding acceptance.  With the proliferation of social media sites, judgement or what is know as ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ has inappropriately become the measuring stick of defining who someone is…talk about judging a book by its cover!

We can begin to get knowledge and a better understanding of our character by spending time with Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord and by accepting who we are according to God.  Additionally, we can encourage and help build up others by taking time to listen and discuss the things that make us different.  I pray we all examine who we are more than what we do and we lay our fears and worries at the foot of the cross.  Amen.

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“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.”

2 Peter 1:5-7 NIV

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Glacier National Park in Montana)

Attitudes And Behaviors

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

Attitude

by Charles Swindoll

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.  Attitude, to me, is more important than facts.  It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do.  It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill.  It will make or break a company…a church…a home.  The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.  We cannot change our past…we cannot change that people will act a certain way.  We cannot change the inevitable.  The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude…I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it.  And so it is with you…we are in charge of our Attitudes.”

Different by Micah Tyler

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Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:15-17 NIV

(This photo was taken in May of 2014 at a lake place in central Minnesota)

Fruit Of The Spirit…Goodness

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
    blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”

Psalm 34:8 NIV

Goodness Of God by Jenn Johnson

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“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

James 1:17 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 at a park near Bayfield, Wisconsin)

Fruit Of The Spirit…Joy

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

Joy is not something that will come from our worldly circumstances or pleasures…joy and peace will come from our relationship with Jesus.  Even in the worst of times this relationship will bring you through and comfort you.

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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 May of 2020 at Palisade Head along the North Shore of Lake Superior)

Fruit Of The Spirit…Peace

But the fruit the Holy Spirit produces is love, joy and peace. It is being patient, kind and good. It is being faithful 23 and gentle and having control of oneself. There is no law against things of that kind.

Galatians 5:22-23 NIRV

Peace comes only from God and from spending time with God.  The human race cannot create peace without God.  We try to fill our lives with so many things that we think will bring us peace and turn to God as a last resort.  Put your relationship with Jesus Christ first in your life and allow the Holy Spirit to bear good fruit in your life…it is there you will find peace.

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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.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

Colossians 3:12-15 NIV

(This photo was taken in May of 2020 at a park along the North Shore of Lake Superior)

The Holy Spirit

“If you love me, obey my commands. 16 I will ask the Father. And he will give you another friend to help you and to be with you forever. 17 That friend is the Spirit of truth. The world can’t accept him. That’s because the world does not see him or know him. But you know him. He lives with you, and he will be in you.”

John 14:15-17 NIRV

“But the Father will send the Friend in my name to help you. The Friend is the Holy Spirit. He will teach you all things. He will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

John 14:26 NIRV

With God all things are possible and all people can be redeemed…that is what Jesus Christ did for us.  Not only that, God’s plan goes on by sending us the Holy Spirit to live in us and lead us and guide us.  It is up to us to believe, to admit we are broken and in need and surrender our way for His way.

Holy Spirit by Francesca Battistelli

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“May the God who gives hope fill you with great joy. May you have perfect peace as you trust in him. May the power of the Holy Spirit fill you with hope.”

Romans 15:13 NIRV

(This photo was taken in May of 2014 at a lake in central Minnesota)

Living In God’s Will

And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?”

Deuteronomy 10:12-13 NIV

How we treat each other in our everyday lives says a great deal about our hearts.  Whether we are talking about family members, friends or complete strangers we encounter during a day…each interaction is an opportunity to live in God’s will…even when, especially when others don’t meet our expectations.  We are all human and we are all broken…remember every person you meet may be fighting a battle you know nothing about…just like you are fighting battles others don’t know about.  God knows and He wants to help us, all of us…it is up to us to choose Him and His way…let us set aside our selfish and pride filled ways and choose to live according this His will.  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.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Colossians 3:12-17 NIV

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

Character

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

Living life by faith is about who we are more than what we do.  Our behaviors, how we treat others and our interactions with others say more about us than our job or career path.  The world honors worldly things like wealth, awards, job titles and other self-oriented pursuits…these things are not considered to be wrong or bad…the issue is these things have become more important than God.  When self-satisfaction is more important than our relationship with God, we are going off course…to be clear we are all guilty of this sin, it is human nature in a fallen world.  The first step in repentance is awareness of the behavior and the next step is confessing to God and seeking to turn away from our sins, with God’s help.  As humans we all suffer from the same types of trouble…how we choose to respond is up to us.  May the peace of the Lord be with you. Amen.

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Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

Romans 5:3-5 NIV

(This photo was taken in October of 2018 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)