United in Love

I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no division among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. – (1 Corinthians 1:10, NIV) 

Brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, I beg all of you to agree with each other. You should not be divided into different groups. Be completely joined together again with the same kind of thinking and the same purpose. – (1 Corinthians 1:10, ERV) 

I have a serious concern to bring up with you, my friends, using the authority of Jesus, our Master. I’ll put it as urgently as I can: You must get along with each other. You must learn to be considerate of one another, cultivating a life in common. – (1 Corinthians 1:10, MSG) 

This, this is my heart every single day, as I watch the ongoing debates on social media about the current state of our nation and our world. We are currently a nation divided. My heart breaks a little more each day, as I observe people whom I love and care for, deeply, arguing about the validity of our lockdowns, and questioning the severity of this virus. Is it reasonable to ask questions? Absolutely! Is it right to end up arguing in such a way that it becomes personal, rather than simply a discussion of information that exists? As far as I know, when people begin to bash one another for who they are, rather than civilly discuss, or agree to disagree, there is no love involved in the interaction. I do not have all of the answers, nor do I know what is best for the nation or the world, but I do know that we are called to love. Love does not name-call nor make horrible accusations of a person’s character, simply for having a different opinion. Love listens and learns and is willing to seek to understand the “why” behind each individual’s thought process. If our purpose is to love God and love people, how might we do that best, even others see things differently, or have opinions that delineate from our own, or from that which is most widely accepted? In as much as I can understand; love anyway. If our united purpose is love, then please, let us love well. Love takes the high road, turns the other cheek, and loves thy neighbor as thyself. Where can we love better? May we seek the Lord and His wisdom, so that we might get along, being considerate of one another, and cultivate lives intent on loving well. 

When differing views, 

Start to cause dissent; 

One has to question, 

What is the intent? 

If love’s our purpose, 

Then let us unite; 

Choose listen and learn, 

In love, take delight. 

Each of us crafted, 

Uniquely designed; 

Created to love, 

With purpose in mind. 

Brothers and sisters, 

Let us find a way; 

To love each other, 

And mind what we say. 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we are each created with the purpose to be united in love. Thank You that we are uniquely gifted and crafted, yet each have something significant to offer the whole. Forgive us for the times that we have allowed differing views, perspectives, or opinions to get in the way of unity. Teach us how to listen and learn from one another, be okay with not always seeing eye-to-eye, and above all, how to choose to love people first. Show us how to love those around us best. Help us know when to engage in conversations that can be productive, and when to remain silent and choose to love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we love You and seek You to lead us to be united in love with those around us. Amen.  

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

My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ. – Colossians 2:2

Encourage, Love and Do Good

AdventurousToday began in an unexpected and unusually early fashion. One of my sweet sons came into my room at 2am to inform me that he was having difficulty breathing. For the past two days, he has been fighting a fever and cough, which have exacerbated his asthma. Unfortunately, the virus seemed to be gaining the upper hand, and I knew an ER visit would be in order. The wonderful staff at our local children’s hospital took excellent care of Adventurous, and his body responded to the treatments well. Thankfully, we were on our way home by 6:30am. Upon our return, I had just enough time to eat a quick bite of breakfast, change, and pack my running bag for a 10k race that I was registered to run. If ever there was a day when I did not feel equipped for the task, today was the day.

 

We should think about each other to see how we can encourage each other to show love and do good works. – (Hebrews 10:24, ERV)

 

Both my running bestie and a dear friend from afar, filled my heart and mind with encouraging words, as they showed His love to me. Though running may not necessarily be His “good works“, it is a space where I feel His pleasure. Every step I take, I am grateful for a healthy body, a beautiful place to live, and the people He has placed in my life through this sport that I love. As we ran, we too, were able to offer words of encouragement along the route to other runners that appeared to be growing weary, and in the end, had accomplished even more than we had hoped to for our race goal time.

 

God provided all that I needed to overcome potential exhaustion. He healed my precious progeny under the care of a kind medical staff, and after all was said and done, I had the remainder of this day to rest.

 

May we look for every opportunity to encourage each other, to show love, and to do good works.

 

Let our eyes extend,Christmas Rush

outside of ourselves;

to encourage well,

unseen by themselves.

May we each show love,

with words that we say;

and may our good works,

show Christ is the way.

All who are weary,

trust Him who knows best;

in awe, you shall find,

He will grant You rest.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are loving and kind, and that You use us to encourage one another in love and in good works. Thank You that You refresh us when we are weary, and You carry us when we are weak. Thank You that You are present, regardless of what is before us. Forgive us for allowing our circumstances to determine our course of action, rather than trusting in You. Teach us to trust You more, and help us to be available to be used by You to encourage and love well, all whom we encounter. May we go forth doing good works as You call us to, and may many come to know the saving grace that is available through a relationship in You. Be glorified O God, as we encourage each other, showing love and doing good works. Amen.

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

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad. – 1 Chronicles 16:31