Keep The Fire of Love Burning Bright
Would you agree that in order to keep love going it takes a certain amount of effort to be put forth? Would you also agree with me that it takes two? That if one person is making all the effort and the other person is not, the relationship is only one sided?
Now, take that thought and think just how much have you invested, on a daily basis into going beyond what you hear from the pulpit on Sunday’s or Wednesday’s and how much of what you read on your own, are you allowing to be filtered in, and lived out? What exactly does this thing called:
“Having A Personal Relationship With CHRIST” look like to *GOD*? Think about the song: ♪♫I can see clearly now the rain has gone I can see all obstacles in my way. Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind. It’s gonna be a bright, bright sunshinin day.♪♫
Is that sort of how it has looked in your life lately. Put those words on a different plane. Think about: I can see clearly now, the SON has come. He’s helped me to all obstacles in my way. Gone are the dark days of sin that had me blind. It’s going to be a bright, bright, SON shine on me day.
Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”
First Love… probably what I’m about to share won’t be what most people think it’s going to be. People who know me, even for a short time, will know Who my first love is. I’m happy about that. For some it keeps them at a distance, or affords them the ability to mock me. The first concerns me, but then again, it does not. I’m only concerned in the fact that someone moved away from knowing more about what makes me tick.
First Things First
My first love wasn’t always Who it is today. I’ve been through a lot to get here. Sadly, that is a very true statement. Sadly because it didn’t have to be that way. Some people will tell you that living and learning is the only way. This is true, but only to a degree. You don’t have to experience all the ugly to know what is beautiful in life.
My first loves looked all about what was going to make me happy. Only when I went looking for love, because my idea of what love looked like was nothing at all what love was, it was messed up too. So skewed was my view of love from things that happened in my past, I had no real clear view of real love.
If only I’d learned, and I mean really learned in all those so called religion classes about what really mattered. If only I was taught more about Who Love looked like, instead of all the rhetoric and goings on behind a religion. If only I was first introduced to Love in the form of the Savior. Love is the opposite of hate. Hate is a word we’ve come to misuse in this world as well. Hate isn’t a bad word. Hating something isn’t even bad. Hating someone, is.
~What Ugly Looks Like To *GOD* Should Look Ugly To Us As Well~
I’ve been listening for sometime now to someone who says quite often: “God doesn’t like ugly.” I’m pretty sure He doesn’t like ugly. But really, what do you think ugly looks like to *GOD*? Therein lies the problem. We ask each other, and we ask ourselves, our opinion. What is most important, isn’t what we think, unless the thinking that we do comes from *GOD*. Now of course I’m not speaking of what’s the best brand of this or that. I’m not talking about serious issues in life, and some, issues that are serious, but we’ve squeegeed on over them and left some film on the windows of our life.
Some Ugly Has Gotten On Our Window
Ugly looks the opposite of: wholesome, good, authentic, true, noble, reputable, gracious, beauty. Ugly looks the opposite of godly behavior. Ugly looks the opposite of being a man or woman, who seeks to find favor with *GOD*. Ugly comes in all sorts of forms, and has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with the worlds perverted and twisted meaning of ugly.
Need a wee little example of ugly?
You are stranded. You have no ride home from work. Someone comes along and out of the kindness of their pea picking little good ♥, they offer up a ride home. Ride accepted, passenger safe and sound at home. Next day, the stranded person, instead of showing a grateful heart, shares how dumpy the car was of the person who showed them a kindness. Yes ma’am that is ugly on the inside out.
Yes, *GOD* does not like ugly, and neither should we. Here is a bit of another:
Six Things *GOD* Hates…
no, wait for it… 😉
Seven Things *GOD* Hates:
Here are six things God hates, and one more that He loathes with a passion: eyes that are arrogant, a tongue that lies, hands that murder the innocent, a heart that hatches evil plots, feet that race down a wicked track, a mouth that lies under oath, a troublemaker in the family.
6-7Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
8-9Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
It’s Time For Some Housekeeping
We step inside completely, and submit fully because we know that only in Christ Jesus are we ever going to be able to turn ourselves around.
“It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this I-know-better-than-you mentality again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your own part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.
Ugly On The Inside
There are many people who aren’t one of the pretty people. I in fact, am one. No, really. The saying, “Even a little paint on the barn makes it look presentable.” is a perfect statement for me. If I don’t wear some, even a small amount of make-up, I often get asked, “Jeannie are you feeling okay?” This doesn’t happen if I get my Florida tan going, but if not, yes, I do get asked if I’m okay. I know people don’t mean to offend me. The truth is they might not realize I’m not wearing make up. They never get that close to me to tell. Plus, it’s sort of a compliment, because I don’t over do make up. I just wear enough not to look like the walking dead. =)
These are however not the things *GOD* looks at. He’s more concerned about what we each look like on the inside. Maybe you are one of those people who asked Jesus into your heart, but sort of told Him to take a backseat when it comes to your life. Really, that can’t be done. No, it cannot! Let me try to explain in a very simple way. In a way I use to explain to children when I shared about accepting Jesus and what it means if they do.
The Hokey Pokey
Would you faint if I told you some news. No, I’m not going to quote some bumper sticker, “What if the hokey pokey isn’t what it’s all about?” Although I do think that’s a good thought. It’s even truer than you know though. I hope you are sitting down for some startling and very revealing news. This however might not be new news if you are from the U.K.
You’re sitting, yes? Okay, the Hokey Pokey isn’t what it’s all about. The song actually began as… wait for it…
The Hokey Cokey! No, I’m not kidding. Wiki tells me so. After all so many of you think Wiki to the be the earthly equivalent of the gospel truth. Another saying that has gotten taken out of context… way, way out.
The Hokey Pokey as you and I know it didn’t come along after copyright was granted to Ram Trio to record it here in the states. At this point, and only at this point we’re they allowed to put their whole selves into it. =)
Oh yes, and Hokey Pokey is also an ice cream brand. Like I don’t have a problem with any sort of offering of ice cream, but if you are looking to put your whole self in, it best be to the real thing. If you came looking for the Hokey Pokey, and you find the Hokey Cokey or some ice cream, it might look like the real deal in name, but is it so? I don’t think so!!!
I say all this because it’s that way with accepting Jesus.
You put your whole self in, live it all about, that’s what it’s all about, being a CHRISTian. If you decide to take your whole self out, that means you never were all in to begin with. Either you didn’t understand what you once said you did. Or, you are back sliding, which in CHRISTian speak, is not a popular dance move, but one performed at the risk of serious injury.
Okay, so I don’t explain it exactly like that to children. What I say is that doing the hokey pokey means you have to at some point in the movement, be willing to put your whole self in. You put your whole self into it because you want to. You whole-♥edly desire to do it because this is how it is done. This is the correct means to the end of the song.
What if we only…
♪♫You put your [right leg] in,
You put your [right leg] out;
You put your [right leg] in,
And you shake it all about.
You do the hokey pokey,
And you turn yourself around.
That’s what it’s all about!♪♫
It’s Not Hokey To Be All In
How many a wedding floors would be graced with that fun dance move? I’m thinking not so many. How many children would want to stand up and do the Hokey Cokey, or Pokey if that’s what it really was all about? When the sun comes up today, will you bring glory to the Lord? Or, will you choose to be a pokey and live a little hokey life of only putting your legs in the pew on Sunday or Wednesday?
The CHRISTian Life: Will He recognize us when He comes? There is a reason we can’t afford to fake it. Read this passage and truly ask yourself… am I settling or am I Living for Christ?
Jesus Hokey Pokey (no I’m not kidding) =)
You put your whole self in!
A Kernel of Faith
1-2He said to his disciples, “Hard trials and temptations are bound to come, but too bad for whoever brings them on! Better to wear a millstone necklace and take a swim in the deep blue sea than give even one of these dear little ones a hard time! 3-4“Be alert. If you see your friend going wrong, correct him. If he responds, forgive him. Even if it’s personal against you and repeated seven times through the day, and seven times he says, ‘I’m sorry, I won’t do it again,’ forgive him.”
5The apostles came up and said to the Master, “Give us more faith.”
6But the Master said, “You don’t need more faith. There is no ‘more’ or ‘less’ in faith. If you have a bare kernel of faith, say the size of a poppy seed, you could say to this sycamore tree, ‘Go jump in the lake,’ and it would do it.
7-10“Suppose one of you has a servant who comes in from plowing the field or tending the sheep. Would you take his coat, set the table, and say, ‘Sit down and eat’? Wouldn’t you be more likely to say, ‘Prepare dinner; change your clothes and wait table for me until I’ve finished my coffee; then go to the kitchen and have your supper’? Does the servant get special thanks for doing what’s expected of him? It’s the same with you. When you’ve done everything expected of you, be matter-of-fact and say, ‘The work is done. What we were told to do, we did.'”
11-13It happened that as he made his way toward Jerusalem, he crossed over the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten men, all lepers, met him. They kept their distance but raised their voices, calling out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
14-16Taking a good look at them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.”
They went, and while still on their way, became clean. One of them, when he realized that he was healed, turned around and came back, shouting his gratitude, glorifying God. He kneeled at Jesus’ feet, so grateful. He couldn’t thank him enough—and he was a Samaritan.
17-19Jesus said, “Were not ten healed? Where are the nine? Can none be found to come back and give glory to God except this outsider?” Then he said to him, “Get up. On your way. Your faith has healed and saved you.”
When the Son of Man Arrives
20-21Jesus, grilled by the Pharisees on when the kingdom of God would come, answered, “The kingdom of God doesn’t come by counting the days on the calendar. Nor when someone says, ‘Look here!’ or, ‘There it is!’ And why? Because God’s kingdom is already among you.” 22-24He went on to say to his disciples, “The days are coming when you are going to be desperately homesick for just a glimpse of one of the days of the Son of Man, and you won’t see a thing. And they’ll say to you, ‘Look over there!’ or, ‘Look here!’ Don’t fall for any of that nonsense. The arrival of the Son of Man is not something you go out to see. He simply comes.
24-25“You know how the whole sky lights up from a single flash of lightning? That’s how it will be on the Day of the Son of Man. But first it’s necessary that he suffer many things and be turned down by the people of today.
26-27“The time of the Son of Man will be just like the time of Noah— everyone carrying on as usual, having a good time right up to the day Noah boarded the ship. They suspected nothing until the flood hit and swept everything away.
28-30“It was the same in the time of Lot—the people carrying on, having a good time, business as usual right up to the day Lot walked out of Sodom and a firestorm swept down and burned everything to a crisp. That’s how it will be—sudden, total—when the Son of Man is revealed.
31-33“When the Day arrives and you’re out working in the yard, don’t run into the house to get anything. And if you’re out in the field, don’t go back and get your coat. Remember what happened to Lot’s wife! If you grasp and cling to life on your terms, you’ll lose it, but if you let that life go, you’ll get life on God’s terms.
34-35“On that Day, two men will be in the same boat fishing—one taken, the other left. Two women will be working in the same kitchen—one taken, the other left.”
37Trying to take all this in, the disciples said, “Master, where?”
He told them, “Watch for the circling of the vultures. They’ll spot the corpse first. The action will begin around my dead body.”
It’s all about our first love. The question today to ask yourself is, will the world around you see that your movements in life show that we are keeping the fire of our First Love burning bright so that none might perish.
Jeremy Horn: First Love
Until all have heard of, and know His Love,