Are You Nothing?

My co-worker was questioning how someone could not give a particular race respect. Even think they are stupid animals.  As the conversation continued we came to one conclusion.  This attitude toward others can only be a result of “hate”.  Unfortunately, “hate” doesn’t just stop with people groups, but can actually be focused on coworkers, friends, and oh my goodness, family.  Wait, did I just say family?  Yes.  I did.  And what will surprise you the most is, this “hate” can even come from those who consider themselves Christian.  Guess what, going to church does not make one a Christian.  And we wonder why some people don’t like Christians.

1 Corinthians chapter 13:4-8 tells us what pure love is, but I have realized it also shows us what pure hate looks like:

Hate gives up.
Hate cares more for self than others.
Hate wants what it doesn’t have.
Hate struts, has a swelled head,
Forces itself on others.
Is always “me first.”
Flies off the handle.
Keeps score of the sins of others,
Revels when others grovel.
Takes pleasure in spreading lies,
Doesn’t put up with anything.
Never trusts God.
Never looks for the best.
Always looks back.
Hate always kills.

1Co 13:1-3   If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m not lovenothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.  If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.  If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. (MSG)

The bottom line is this:  If you “hate” anyone for any reason you are nothing!  Choose to love, and they might just choose to love you back.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Would You?

Dying for someone elseHow far would you go for someone else?  Would you take a bullet for someone, like the secret service men who protect our president?  Would you volunteer to be put to death so someone else could live?  The answer to these questions probably matter on who the one escaping death is, and how much they mean to you.

What if the one going to die was your spouse, parent, or your child?  Would you die for them?  What if it was more than just dying?  What if you were asked to die and then to spend eternity in hell on behalf of the one you choose to take their place of?  Would you do that?  Knowing hell is a place of utter darkness where individuals are tormented constantly.  That makes the decision a lot harder.

I had a situation this past week come up where some people close to me hurt me very bad.  First I had to use a lot of “Satan Spray” (see last week’s post) and then I started earnestly praying for those individuals.  I prayed they would come back to living a life pleasing to God and not the devil.  Then I had the thought, if they don’t change their lifestyles they could very well wind up in hell!  I wasn’t judging them, I was only comparing their lives to the word of God.  I began to pray for them even harder, and a new thought hit me.  I said, “God, I don’t want to see them die and go to hell.  I love them so much.  Could I take their place?”  Now tears flowing.  I know I can’t take their place, because everyone will be judged on their own.

Then I was reminded, this is exactly what Jesus did.  He loves us so much he told his Father he would die for us and go to hell on our behalf.  So that those who choose to believe in him and ask him to be their Lord would be saved from eternal death.  The difference is Jesus had the power to break through the utter darkness.  His light overcame Satan, and now there was a way for those who believe and accept him to live.  WOW!  What love!

Joh 3:16  “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. (MSG)

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

What more do you want?

Earth

Bible

Mary 2

Cross

Heaven

I created a beautiful place for you to live.
I wrote instructions, on how to live.
I gave you my Son who lived perfectly,
I allowed him to die, as a sacrifice, for your wrong doing.
I prepared a place for you……..to live eternally.

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

That’s All I Wanted

Holding His people

I just wanted people to love me first.  To make that choice, and live by it.  I gave them free will, and I always hoped they would use theirs to put nothing else as a god before me.  Was that asking too much?  In turn, I would be their God.  I would lead, guide, protect, and bless them if they served me, and kept my commandments.

You know, I came up with those 10 things, believe it or not, to make life easier, not harder.  But that free will thing gets in the way and it sometimes gets people hurt.  It’s the only way this whole God and the people I made relationship would really work, and have true meaning to it.

I made these people, and then gave them free will.  Well, as you know, it didn’t take long for them to screw it up, so I taught them how to offer up a sacrifice for their sins, and it needed perfecting.  Yes, that is when I gave my people my Son.  Perfection.  His death bought back the people that belonged to me in the first place, because I made them.  It was out of pure love I gave them their free will again.  All I wanted was their perfect love given back to me freely of their own will.

 

What do you do with your free will?

 

Copyright © 2017 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

To: You

jesus-gift-tagMy child, know that on this Christmas morning, I have given you my greatest gift.  It may not be what you wanted, but I know, it is what you need.  I have given my all to you.  I have not held back anything for myself.

Oh how I desire that you could see, or measure how much I love you, but even infinity is not big enough to contain it.  My hope is that you will accept my gift.  Please don’t put it away and forget about it, or never read the instruction book that I provided, and please don’t try to return it!

Know that if you accept my gift then we can be together forever.  Also know that everything required to be with me for eternity I have provided.  There is nothing you need to do, or can do.  No rules to follow, no level of goodness required, and it doesn’t matter what you have done in the past.  I made you.  I know you.  I want more than anything to have a relationship with you, and I can, if you will simply unwrap the gift I have given you and accept it.

What is this gift?  My son.  My only son.  It’s the gift that reads, “To: you    From: God”

Copyright © 2016 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

The Greatest Plan…Ever!

gods-planThe greatest love story.  The greatest gift.  The greatest promise…kept.

Who, but God could have come up with a plan to place his son Jesus, in a young virgin.  Very few looked there.  The politicians didn’t, the religious leaders didn’t, and most of the people didn’t either.

God, through his word, told what He was planning on doing, so it wasn’t a secret, but people have a tendency of not knowing God, or his word.  This causes them to take God’s plans and play them out as they understand, or worse, want.

How all of this life on earth ends is also part of God’s plan.  It’s not a secret, or mystery.  Yet people still do not get to know God, and believe how they want to.  Read God’s word.  All of it.  Even Revelation.  Though you may not understand, believe it will happen…according to God’s plan.  So far, God’s plan has worked out perfectly.  Remember this, “faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.” (Heb. 11:1)  Faith…use it.

 

Copyright © 2016 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

Close Gifts

red-crossMary held him close enough to hear him breath.  To feel his chest move in and out.  To see every radiant color of his eyes.  Her heart melted when he smiled.  Just think what an honor it must have been to be that close to God.  To hold God in your hands.

Jesus said, “For the Father and I are one.” (John 10:30)  Mary held God.  Today, God can hold you.

When it hurts, when you’re scared, when you’re confused, run into God’s arms.  Because God gave us His son, His son gave us God.

 

Copyright © 2016 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

“You missed Christmas, Jack”

empty-mangerYou know it’s the season, you feel the rush.  You’re reminded the clock is ticking, but you say, “Hush.”  So much to get done, so many people to see.  Only a few days till Christmas, can it really be?  There’s family and friends, and co-workers too, so many to buy for, what do you do?

One way or another December 25th will arrive.  One way or another you will survive.  This Christmas will come and go, but at what cost?  This Christmas may go by, but what will be lost?  Will you take time to pause, or sit?  Or will your heart take a huge hit?

Will you unwrap the greatest gift that has ever been given?  The gift from God, the gift from heaven?  The gift of his son to set free your heart?  The forgiveness of sin on Jesus’ part?  Enjoy your friends, and family too, but don’t miss the real reason for Christmas, so here’s what you do.  Stop the craziness, resist the pressure, take in Jesus, He is a permanent treasure. Don’t be like Jack from the movie, “The Family Man”.  Enjoy this Christmas by having a Jesus plan.

Copyright © 2016 Mark Brady, All rights reserved

To Know

To know unconditional love;
is to know God.
To know real forgiveness;
is to know Jesus.
To know perfect direction;
is to know the Holy Spirit.

To know pure laughter;
is to know true friends.
To know great joy;
is to know a child.
To know time;
is to know an elderly person.

To know gratitude;
is to feed the hungry.
To know security;
is to clothe the naked.
To know health;
is to visit the sick.

To know peace;
is to know contentment.
To know lasting hope;
is to know faith.
To know wisdom;
is to know the Word of God.

Joy = Love + Laughter

by  guest blogger Lydia Floren

laughterEveryone loves to laugh.  Why is that?

  • Laughter is infectious.  If you are around someone who is bent over laughing (and also maybe about to pee their pants if they are a certain age), you immediately smile.  And if they keep on laughing, even if they don’t say a word, you start to laugh with them, and try to get their attention to find out what is so funny, so you can share the joke.
  • Laughter, like a good cry, is soul cleansing –but unlike tears, laughter doesn’t usually leave you exhausted or melancholy.  On the contrary, it is invigorating.
  • Laughter is bright. Not in an ethereal-luminous-sort of way, but in a blinding-flash-of-light kind of way.  In fact, you could say

Laughter is audible sunshine. 

Laughter is refreshing, especially when someone is laughing at themselves.  It reminds you not to take yourself too seriously.

  • Laughter is a game changer.When your sense of humor is tickled, and you start to laugh, whatever foul mood, or pity party, you might be experiencing tends to evaporate.
  • Laughter is a gift from God.  Think about it: God invented laughter, just as He did everything else we know and experience.  He programmed us each with our funny-o-meter. And here’s an interesting concept: God laughs.

God laughs?  Of course He does. In fact, I bet He laughs a lot.  No one could create some of the amazing quirky creatures in our world without a lively sense of humor.   He surely chuckles, as any loving parent would, at the many funny things we say and do.  And He must certainly laugh – in that deep satisfied way – when his children step into joy.

You will make known to me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

                Psalm 16:11  NASB

Joy is the hallmark of a person who lives in God’s presence.  Such a person loves. And smiles. And laughs.    

 You might say

Joy = Love + Laughter.

 

Copyright © 2016 belovedlove, All rights reserved.

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