High beam life

 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another… – 1 John 1:7

There is a special connection for me when I gather with a group of folks that are like-minded in Christ. They are on a Jesus journey like I am. That bonding comes to life every time we gather. I make an intentional choice to be with these people for they bless me as I hope I bless them. I recently made a 2 ½ hour trip to attend the funeral of a friend’s husband. I had never met the husband, but the connection of the friend made it a choice I really didn’t have to think about. I was not the only one who thought like this. Many from that same group traveled just as far if not further to attend. That’s the family of Christ in action.

Walking in the light of Christ doesn’t mean just wearing a Christian nametag. It means being active in your relationship with Christ. This naturally spills over to those who walk in the same light. Whenever those who walk in light gather, the high beams are on for Jesus. Those not walking in the light take notice. They desire something like that for themselves. They are being drawn to Jesus with the light.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the people of light that I walk with in this journey. I pray that the light you show through me will draw others closer to you. Amen

Faith Tip: Live life with the high beams on.

All together now

West Michigan Word Weavers Writers Retreat

My dear children, let’s not just talk about love; let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God‘s reality. It’s also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves. – 1 John 3:18-20 The Message

Writers know and understand the hopes and fears of other writers. That’s why it is great to be part of a writer’s group. We can share our struggles in the craft and know others have experienced the same thing. Writers can share their hopes and dreams and together, we can work towards those goals. Traveling the journey together is the important part. If we are alone in the journey, the focus becomes us. In a group, even though we may fall short in the business one way or another, we don’t need to only focus on that. We can help and encourage others, which in turn, helps ourselves.

The Christian journey is the same in that although we fall short of God’s glory, we don’t need to focus on that and become locked up in moving forward. In walking together and sharing our lives with one another, truly living in community, we can focus on the love of God given to us in abundance and experienced through his people. This is truly living.

Prayer: Jesus, thank you for the community you have put me in. I pray that I show them love and help them to your glory and honor. Amen

Faith Tip: Who is in your community? Share in the blessings of traveling the journey of life together. It may start with a cup of coffee.

Love Perfected in Action

My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.

My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love! – 1 John 4:7-12 The Message

She didn’t know her neighbor, Nancy, very well, but Marge felt the urge to bring her a brownie baked in a mug after hearing she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The mug had an encouraging message printed on it to keep going and never give up.

When Nancy opened the door and saw the gift, her eyes filled with tears. “You are so sweet and encouraging to me. Thank you so much for the love you show me.”

Marge’s actions spoke louder than words. So did Jesus’.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the perfect love you have shown me throughout my life. I pray that your love is reflected in me today as I come in contact with people. Amen

Faith Tip: Let your actions speak louder than your words of love.


Giving It All!

Veteran

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. – 1 John 2:15-16

Being a servant means to serve with all the gifts given to us in response to God’s love for us. God’s love is shown in so many ways, but the most prominent, of course, being the sacrificing of his Son on the cross. There was victory in that sacrifice, but it was painful.

Millions of vets today gave of themselves in our history and continue to do so. They are serving a bigger cause than themselves and that is very Christ-like. No man or woman gives more than laying down their lives for others. It is a service that those who have not experienced it can never really know the pain as well as the victory of the gift.

Prayer: Jesus, I thank you for the heart you have given so many to serve. I pray that I will not take what they have given for granted and be encouraged to give to others sacrificially. Amen

Faith Tip: What sacrifice could you give of yourself today? Pray for direction and discernment.

Are You Saved?

Raise your hands 

No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. – 1 John 4:12-13

I remember being in a group of people where the presenter asked if people knew for certain that they were saved and going to heaven to please raise their hand. I remember wondering if this was a trick question for I never anticipated that less than half the hands in the place went up. How could that be? If a person is saved, they are saved for that’s one of the great promises of the Bible. As I continued thinking about this and through the responses of the people that felt that way, I found that people who felt they were not good enough or acted in just the right way would not make it to heaven. They were relying on their own works rather than Gods.

In our society, we want evidence of truth. God has given us evidence in the love he has bestowed upon us. In response, we love God and others. Do we do this perfectly? No. That’s why grace is such an important part. His Spirit lets us know that God is there, he is working and he loves us so much to give us his grace wherever and whenever needed.

Prayer: Almighty God, today I thank you for the grace and love you have showered over me. I know I don’t deserve it, but you do it anyways. I pray that I can show your love and grace to others today. Amen

Faith Tip: Live out today the love and grace God has for you.

Living with Love

The Sun, as seen from the surface of Earth thr...

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Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. – 1 John 4:15-16

There are many people in the world who believe the lie that they are alone and unloved. Believing a lie causes a lot of damage to people. The results are suicide, abuse, addictions, violence and more. Lies form darkness in our minds and souls and keep the light of truth out. It is a choice.

To abide means to dwell or to have your home. When we choose to make our home with God, God also makes his home in us. We can believe that this home we have chosen is full of love. God’s perfect love washes out the darkness of lies from our inner being for he will not cohabitate with the Prince of Lies.

Open yourself up to God’s love and allow his healing light of truth to clean out the darkness you’ve held on to for too long.

Prayer: Lord of Light, I praise you for your great love. Thank you for shining light on the areas of my life that needed cleaning out. I pray that I seek your truth in maintaining a clean house. Amen

Faith Tip: Is there a lie you have been holding on to? Shine God’s light on it to power wash it out of your mind and soul.

Lavish love

Big Hug

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See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. – 1 John 3:1

My friend who is a grandmother who does a lot of fun things with her grandkids told me today that when she took care of a neighbor’s four children, she took her eight year old grandson with her. After they left from babysitting the children, her grandson said, “Grandma, those kids loved on me so much, I felt like their father.”

God desires us to love on him. When we do, we realize that he is our father. Is there someone in your life that you have loved on? What was the reason for that? With love, there usually isn’t any other reason than the love. It feels so good to show love to someone, especially when you know they will return the love. God guarantees that his love will never fail (Psalm 89:28). He promises that nothing will separate us from his love (Romans 8:38-39). It is abundant. Bask in his love as the child of God that you are.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for your abundant love for me. I pray that I take time daily in all I do the great love I have for you. Amen

Faith Tip: Brainstorm on ways you can love on God.