Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

Donald Miller in “Blue Like Jazz” points out that “sinners” outside the church are often more loving than the “saints” inside. Correctly, I believe, he says people will never hear our message if they think we don’t love them; that God loves sinners and so should we by not using our acceptance as currency to purchase desired behavior.

This is a true message, but only half the story written by someone with no children, spouse, or responsibility for anyone but himself. A parent or pastor would most likely have an additional perspective.

The world accepts the quirky because the world is quirky — even religious views are considered by most of the world as just one more quirk. All have quirks bundled in various combinations and God does accept us and love us, quirks and all. But the other half of the story (outside Donald’s book) is that some quirks like profanity, inebriation, immorality, and such, are actually harmful.

Those with responsibility to protect flock or family can’t allow harmful quirks to be unchecked.

Determining which quirks are benign and which are not is where families and churches get their distinctions — and are not always bad.

The role of family and church is not evangelism but protection and nourishment. It is the responsibility of each member to evangelize with the love of Christ for all.

— fritz

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The son said, ‘Look how many years I’ve stayed here serving you, never giving you one moment of grief, but have you ever thrown a party for me and my friends? Then this son of yours who has thrown away your money on whores shows up and you go all out with a feast!’ His father said, ‘Son, you don’t understand.”
— Luke 15:29-31 (Message Bible)

Children have a keen sense of fairness. What parent of more than one child hasn’t heard “You’re not being fair!”

Jesus tells the famous parable of “The Prodigal Son” — a young man who rejected his family, took his inheritance early, and went to live the “good life!”. Life happened and it wasn’t good, he realized the real “good life” was back home. To his and his brother’s surprise the father not only took him back but fully restored him to the family giving the ring, robe, and shoes.

It didn’t seem fair to either. Neither child understood the most important factor of true fairness — LOVE. Learning selfless LOVE enables receiving undeserved forgiveness AND it enables rejoicing, without keeping score, when others receive.

Sound bite: “Love is the missing factor of human fairness.”
Prayer: “Jesus, put the love of God in both my heart and mind so I can understand your actions, forgiveness, and grace. Amen”

— fritz@langgang.com

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Anthony Bloom

Some think it insincere to offer praise to God without the corresponding feelings.

Anthony Bloom (1914 – 2003), Archbishop in the Orthodox Church, has good insight here.

When you live in your family, and you work out of doors and are doing a heavy kind of work, you may come back physically worn out. If at that moment your mother, your sister, your father or whoever else, said ‘Do you love me?’ you would say ‘I do.’

If the other person goes on investigating, ‘Do you really love me at this moment?’ what you could honestly have said is ‘No, I feel nothing but my aching back and worn out body.’ But you are perfectly right in saying ‘I love you’ because you know that underneath all exhaustion, there is a live current of love.
– Beginning to Pray, page 35-36

It is that way with God. For one reason or another we don’t always feel our love for him but there is, still, a live current of love.

Prayer:Father, I thank you there is a live current of love in me for you and yours, even when I don’t always feel it.

Sound Bite: The live current of Love for Christ is deeper than my surface feelings.

– fritz@langgang.com

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>The Fear of God


“Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. – 2nd Corinthians 7:1

We don’t like the word, “fear”. How can we fear God and love him, too? Think of the fear of God like the fear of law.

I am not afraid of the police, I have friends who are police and love them dearly, but I treat them all with the utmost respect realizing they have the authority and ability to make my life very difficult.

Some see the uniform and miss the person; some do that with God, too. Jesus shows the person behind God’s law and He is good, kind, and worthy of our love.

– fritz

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>What Love Gives


After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. – Genesis 15:1

God told Abraham, “I am your reward”.

Love always gives, but what does it give? Itself.

And that is enough.

– fritz

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>Love doesn’t wait for some things


[T]hey watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.

And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. – Mark 3:1,5

Jesus was being judged harshly for healing on the sabbath, something the Pharisees thought was work.

His unanswered question reveals the way love thinks.

To be able to heal, but refuse – to make someone wait even one more day in suffering that could be eliminated – is the equivalent of doing evil and killing.

“As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” – Galatians 6:10


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>The Intended Target


“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'” – Jesus (Matthew 25:41)

In all fairness, one should note the intended target of the supernatural eternal punishment was not mankind, but the devil and his angels.

The fact that people will go there points to the cruelty of the devil who, according to the Bible, tricked mankind into separation from the only source of life. This can’t, honestly, be blamed on God; there are things, on a cosmic level, going on that we are just not privy to.

The fact that God offers a way of restoration, at his great personal sacrifice, to ALL who will accept shows a profound love to our benefit, though we can’t fully comprehend it.

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able … to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge…” Ephesians 3:17-18a, 19

– fritz

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