Most of All, Love

Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. – (1 Peter 4:8, NLT)

Most of all, love each other steadily and unselfishly, because love makes up for many faults. – (1 Peter 4:8, VOICE)

Most important of all, love each other deeply, because love makes you willing to forgive many sins. – (1 Peter 4:8, ERV)

 

We are called to love one another well; deeply, steadily, unselfishly and as if our life depended on it. Our love is not meant to be dependent on what others do or do not do, but rather because Christ first loved us. If we choose to look through Christ’s filter of love, we are better equipped to forgive and forego the faults of others, just as the Lord has done through His unmerited mercy and grace.

This morning, I am about to enter into the last day of a wonderful women’s retreat with the lovely ladies from my church. It has been a weekend of God utilizing women to make His love and grace tangible, through those whom He has placed around me. Each of these ladies with whom I have had the privilege of conversation, has had a heart that was clearly choosing to love deeply, rather than find faults. Just as we have had the opportunity to care well for one another and to choose to love, so too, do we have the choice to go forth and continue doing likewise in our homes and communities. Imagine what our world would be like if we all chose to love steadily and unselfishly… May we each go forth in love, extending the very same grace that we have been given, to all whom we encounter.

 

Go forth and choose love,Confidence in Christ

Wherever you go;

Steady, unselfish,

So God’s love will show.

When we choose His love,

Our hearts can forgive;

Sin that surrounds us,

Give grace as God gives.

Let us love as if,

Our life does depend;

On reflecting Christ,

So anger finds end.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You do not call us to anything that You have not already done for us, and are not willing to equip and empower us to do. Thank You that You love us so fiercely, that we too, can go forth and love others as we are loved. Forgive us for making our love conditional or limited. Teach us to love steadily and unselfishly, trusting You to show us how and to give us strength to do that which You ask. Lead us to love those who need to know Your love in practical and tangible ways. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we love one another deeply, just as You love each of us. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence. – Acts 2:23

For Freedom, We’ve Been Set Free

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. – (Galatians 5:1)

 

Jesus came and bore the cross in our place so that we would no longer have to live under the weight of a long list of laws and regulations that were impossible to obey in their entirety. His sacrifice set us free from the chains that enslaved us to our sin, and has granted us new life – freedom to follow His ways of loving God and loving people. Because of Christ, we can now do what was impossible before – live unselfishly unto Him, rather than to indulge our every desire. Yes, we will still struggle with our own humanity, but we are no longer ruled nor enslaved by the sins that once bound us. May we stand firm in the freedom we have been afforded through the loving sacrifice of Christ.

 

Freed from the chains,For Freedom

that once held us down;

cleansed from our stains,

by His thorny crown.

Our weighty yoke,

He’s taken away;

given instead,

His strength to obey.

Not a long list,

but two simple things;

love God and man,

is what He’s asking.

Eyes looking out,

to God and to man;

selfishness fades,

in freedom we stand.

No more we’re bound,

to sin’s slavery;

held in Christ’s hands,

beloved and free.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in Christ, we have been set free from the yoke of slavery of our sinfulness. Thank You that in You, we are able to stand firm, and fight the good fight, as You are our Champion and our Strength. Forgive us for taking our eyes off of You, and allowing sin and anything that would try to entangle us to have a foothold. Protect us from the snares that seek to enslave us, and grant us Your wisdom to know where to walk and how to stand firm in You. Teach us to trust You more, so that we remain firm in the freedom we have found in You. May many come to know the freedom that You offer, as we live and love as You call us to do. Be glorified, O God, as we stand firm in the freedom of our faith. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Shout aloud and sing for joy. – Isaiah 12:6