Monday, December 31, 2012

Love Speaks - Endures Hardship Imposed by the Actions of Another.

The psychologist’s reports are in and according to them, the generation born between 1984 and 2002 are in danger of being one of the worst generations ever.  According to their research, they will be lazy, uninvolved and self-absorbed. The study goes on to say their ability to see and feel what others do is lacking as well as their ability to stay committed and complete a goal. 

Reading their report about this generation is worst that being in Texas and listening to the weather man’s report of icy rains, which have many bridges and overpass’s iced over.  If you are from Texas, you know what that mean.  People will test the limits and drive fast over the ice which ultimately ends up in a spin out, and if you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time you will become involved in a wreck due to their insolent behavior.

It seems to me as though the psychologist said the same thing about the generations up to 1984.  They have rearranged the words, but the essence is the same.  The generation is helpless and hopeless. The good news is this is not news at all, God said it first.  In the garden of Eden after Adam sinned God began His plan of redemption.  His plan of redemption involved every generation and is still available today.  It covered Moses’ generation, Noah’s generation, Ruth’s generation, David’s generation, Jesus’ generation and your generation. 

The all-mighty God could have erased mankind from the earth and began a fresh, but He decided to redeem them instead.  His son Jesus came as our redeemer and died as our remedy and rose victoriously as our restorer.  His love endured all things so that we can have the grace of God active in our lives again.

Love speaks grace while enduring hardship imposed by the actions of another.

That is what Jesus did when He encountered Martha as He entered the city after the death of Lazarus.  He spoke grace to the bystanders through His tears because of their unbelief.  Jesus spoke grace to the woman caught in adultery.  His love spoke grace to Zaccheaus when He called him down from the tree.  His enduring love spoke grace to His disciples each time their doubts, pettiness and fear overcame them.  Jesus’ enduring love speaks grace to us each time we think we do not deserve it.  His grace agrees we do not deserve it but He gives it to us based on His love for us.  That’s enduring grace.

His greatest expression of an enduring love has been placed in your hands.  You are his heart of love, His hands of love and His feet of love.  You embody His love to His people of the world.  His love speaks in how you treat your neighbor. His love speaks in your salute to your spouse. His love speaks in the way you discipline your children.  His love speaks in the manner in which you treat the waitress.  His love speaks in your smile, your wave, your hello to a stranger.  His enduring love speaks through you.

Endurance takes patience, tolerance and adversity.  Psychologist may have the right hypothesis, but Christians have the final proof. The generation is exactly what God had in mind. Although the adversary wants to control them, we are positioned to endure with patience until the end. 

We dare to hold out with unyielding commitment to this generation.  With God as our guide and love speaking through our actions we “Win.”

13 Day Love Challenge

Day 12

Write a love letter to someone who would never expect to receive 
it from you explaining all the things you thank God for in them. 

Love Speaks - The Audacity of Hope

After waking this morning my husband asked me how I was feeling.  I responded with the usual report of getting hot in the night and praying for a cool breeze which inevitably led to a headache.  He then said, “I thought you would have a headache after that beating the Dallas Cowboys took last night.”  You see he is a 49er’s fan, and I am a die heart Dallas Cowboys fan. 

Everything was on the line for the Cowboys.  This game meant they would either become the division champs or the end of the season.  I knew going in the quarterback did not handle pressure well, he was known to play his worst in games that meant so much, yet I along with many fans hoped they would pull this off.  We had the audacity to believe the Cowboys would pull together and win the game.  The truth is most of us held on even when the opponent was 10 points ahead and there was only a minute left on the clock.

More than that, the players held on to hope as well.  They played harder in the last minute than they had played most of the game.  In the end, the clock ran out and the Cowboys’ season is over. The players, coach, staff, owner and fans have another season ended with defeat and critics to face this morning.

Hope is the driving force in all successes.  It motivates a person against all odds to keep fighting, keep trying, to keep believing.  Hope is the reason many suffer through chemotherapy.  It provides consolation during the times of nausea, sickness, hair loss and diarrhea.  Hope for a better future hidden in another country has motivated many to cross the border, illegally.  Take menial jobs and begin a family.  The audacity of hope is buried in each of us and rises to the occasion when everything and everyone else is in opposition.

Hope looks forward to a desired outcome and believes that what is wanted can be had.  It looks beyond obstacles, turns the corner of defeat, and stares down hindrances.  Hope’s audacity lies in its ability to believe in something greater than itself.  The Christian’s hope is founded in Christ. 

Christ is the chief cornerstone in the lives of believers.  He speaks to the very soul of the believer that a particular thing can be accomplished and in turn the believer acts out of hope in the Lord.  Jesus Christ is our hope.

In hope, love speaks to a marriage on the verge of divorce, that they can make it.  In hope, love speaks to a dying patient to fight on and deny death another day.  In hope, love speaks to a mother whose child is incarcerated that they will return to the family better than when they left.  In hope, love speaks to a teacher in the inner city that all children can learn.

Love speaks hope in the bleakest places in life and turns darkness into rays of sunshine.

In hope, love speaks through Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. each time we read this portion of his speech, “I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. However, I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!”
Love speaks over the mountaintop which separates you from the hope that is inside, word that conquer fear, apprehension and delay.  The audacity to hope speaks, “I can, and I will.  With Christ all things are possible.”

The hope of love speaks possible to the impossible.

The Cowboys lost this season but next season they are going all the way.  Super Bowl Champs 2014 – The Dallas Cowboys.  One can hope, right?

13 Day Love Challenge

Day 11     

Take time this day to stop by the hospital, day care center, 
school or any other institution and pray.  Offer to help in any 
way you can that will renew your hope in the institution.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Love Speaks - Hold Up Under Pressure

From the beginning, it seemed it would be an easy win for the Dallas Mavericks.  They held a double-digit lead and were consistently making good shots.  Everyone was playing their “A” game.  Something happened in the fourth quarter that cannot be explained.  Their opponent began to gain momentum, and the lead was dwindled down to two points.  In the middle of the fourth quarter the opponent was ahead and the Mavericks began to lose the game. The Mavericks controlled the ball with three seconds on the clock.  They had time for one last chance to win the game.  The score was 98 to 95.  The Mavericks needed to make a three-point basket in order to take the game into overtime.  It seemed impossible but the players believed they could make it happen.  The ball was tossed in; the player caught it and turned and shot the ball at the basket.  The buzzard sounded after the ball was in the air.  The three-point basket was good.  The player made the basket under so much pressure.  Now the game goes into overtime.

Love that bears all things is like the Maverick players in the scenario.  To bear something is to hold up under pressure.  Even when the pressure seems to be unbearable love does as the player did, it makes the basket. 

Love from God expects a favorable outcome.  It embraces the inevitable with a strong desire to display the power of God in all situations. 

Everyday love is tested.  Some tests come early in the day, and other tests come at the end of the day just when it is time to rest.  Love holds up under pressure.

Pressure is when a child is sick, and you have tried all you could to make them feel better.  You are tired 
the child is cranky, and nothing is alleviating the pain.  Love speaks through the pressure in that it continues to hold up until the pain subsides without blowing its top.

Pressure is being on a thankless, pointless, demeaning job.  The job market is soft, and you remember how hard it was to get this job.  Love speaks when you speak in the morning to people who like you don’t want to be there.  Love speaks in the afternoon in the way you speak about your leaders at your break.  Love speaks in the evening when you return home to your family and remember why you took the job in the first place.

Love Speaks in the pressure of life of the plan of God to make all things work for His children.

13 Day Love Challenge

Day 10

Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time due to an argument or disagreement.