Transformational Truths

DO THESE FOUR THINGS TO LOVE WELL

Have you ever thought about love being an action? Usually we think of love as a feeling, emotion, and affection. 1 Corinthians 13 is known as the “love chapter” in the Bible. An excerpt from the passage says “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

Jesus said “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.Matthew 22:37-39 

It is important that we get the act of love right. There is an easy to remember, four-step action we can use to put love in action in our life toward God and toward others. The four steps are L-O-V-E to Listen, to Observe, to Value, and to Enjoy. If we act out these four things in our thoughts, attitudes, and actions with God and others, we will fulfill the greatest and the second greatest commandments.

Listening is almost a lost art. Our lives are so distracted and multi-tasked, we barely have time to hear ourselves think. We have far less time and attention to listen to what others are saying.

Listening begins with time, continues with attention, and concludes with processing what is being said.

Have you ever looked someone straight in the face when they’re talking and not heard a word they were saying? Have you gestured to their inflection, but were unaware of the actual point the communicator had just voiced?

To love someone well, take the time to listen with attention to detail of what is being said and thoughtfully process the words being communicated.

Loving well through observation can be acted out by looking for body language and preferences. Observe not just the words that are being said, but the attitude with which they are being communicated. Notice how the arms are folded, head is turned, eye contact is avoided, or how the stair is piercing. This will allow you to interpret how the person communicating really feels about the words being said. Additionally, remember what other’s prefer. Observe what makes others happy, remember details about what they like or don’t like, and attempt to see things from their perspective.

Study the person you are attempting to love. Examine the words they are saying, the means they are using to communicate, and the importance of the words to the individual speaking. If it is important to them, it should be important to you . . . if you want to love the other person well.

Rate others more important than yourself. Value the other person, whether it be God or others as more important than yourself. It has been said like this, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4

Valuing others begins with placing a higher price on them than you place on yourself. It is taking the lower rung, the lower position in priority. It is being humble which has been defined as not to think less of yourself, but to think of yourself less.

The cost of valuing someone else above yourself is the price that must be paid to love well.

The final part in loving well is enjoyment. The enjoyment of others must be acted out to truly love others. Be thrilled when you spend time with others. We are living in a world of isolation. There are a lot of people who would rather be by themselves and have their own space than to take the time to invite others in and find pleasure in getting to know them.

How many of us, when alone, would answer “I’m good” when invited to spend time one-on-one with someone either by phone or in person? Love is actively displayed when we take pleasure in sharing life’s ups and downs with others.

Psalm 16:11 says of God ‘Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy.” Enjoying God and others begins with sharing the path of life.

In conclusion, LOVE is absolutely an action. It can be summarized as follows: Listen attentively giving time and thought to the communication of God and others as they speak to you. Observe the thoughts and actions of God and others respecting them and their preferences. Value God and others as more important than yourself, catering to their wishes and time schedules. Enjoy the presence of God and others as you walk the path of life together.

LISTEN ~ OBSERVE ~ VALUE ~ ENJOY

Transformational Truths

HOW TO SEEK GOD AND FIND HIM

We go after something with a hope it can be obtained. We circle the parking lot trying to find the spot nearest the door. We train for a marathon to cross the finish line. We go after things that we think are able to be found.

The quest for God is embarked by those who believe there is a God. Unless we believe there is a God, we would not seek Him. (Psalm 14) We would not go after, continually resort to, or look for God unless we thought He could be found.

Following are 26 scriptures describing for us a biblical perspective of how to seek God. We’ll call these the ABCs of Seeking God.

View Post

A – ALWAYS
All of one’s life, forever, and continually seek the Lord.
“Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!” Psalm 105:4

B – BOLDLY
Courageously and daringly go after God, His presence, and His answers to your deepest concerns.
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

C – CALLING OUT
Speak out loud to God, calling out to know Him, to honor Him, and to understand Him. He will in no wise leave you out but will reveal Himself to you.
“If you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding
Proverbs 2:3-6

D – DILIGENTLY
Attentive, persistent looking for and hastening after God will have an end result of finding Him.
“I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.” Proverbs 8:17

E – EARNESTLY
Having a sense of serious importance is essential in our quest for God. Searching for God is as serious as looking for water in the desert when your water container is empty. It is the next absolutely necessary activity on the “to do” list.
“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1

F – FIRST
Another way to consider “first” is in respect to priority. God, His way of doing things, and His approval should be the dominate factor in all our pursuits. We should search out God’s ways first and foremost.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33

G – GLADLY
Delight in the journey of seeking after God. Know that God is the only One who can truly make your heart sing. Consider the search for God a pleasure with each step of the way.
“But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, ‘Great is the Lord!'” Psalm 40:16

H – HUMBLY
God gives His benevolent care and help to those who look for Him because they need Him. God doesn’t want anyone to come to Him who presents themselves as self-sufficient. God wants everyone to come to Him because they need His help, provision, and eternal care. God is looking for those on His doorstep who are there because they want to do things His way . . .not because they have everything figured out for themselves.
“Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, who do his just commands; seek righteousness; seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the anger of the Lord.Zephaniah 2:3

I – INQUISITIVELY
Eagerly go after God in a chase to track Him down. Don’t let Him get out of your sight. Ask at every point possible where He can be found. Then go there to find Him. Don’t waste any time, don’t delay, go immediately to investigate His exact whereabouts.
“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near.Isaiah 55:6

J – JOYFULLY
Knowing abundance of joy is your destination creates happy anticipation as you trek every possible terrain on this journey. Keeping the search going in joyful expectation of the glorious moment when prevailing joy is reality. Understanding the path’s ups and downs is required as the way to God is revealed step by step.
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.Psalm 16:11

K – KEENLY
Strongly go after God. When you ask for Him, look for Him, and persist in finding Him; you will locate Him. Use great mental strain and effort to pinpoint God’s presence.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.Matthew 7:7

L – LIVELY
Robustly go after God and His ways. Vigorously search for God so that you will not be faint or without hope or help. Know God will stimulate you and refresh your spirit.
“When the humble see it they will be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive.Psalm 69:32

M – MEEKLY
Another word for “afflicted” is meek or lowly. It is the one who knows their need and seeks the One who can meet their need that will be content and happy. The needy bless the Lord and are happy in the God who meets their needs.
“The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the Lord! May your hearts live forever!Psalm 22:26

N – NAMELY
Identify yourself with the name of God. Be known in “oneness” with the reputation of the Lord. Go after God by being conformed to Him and His image.
“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.2 Chronicles 7:14

O – OPENLY
Make room to receive God. Give yourself “white space” in your life to be open to God, listening for Him, following after Him, and allowing Him to fill you with His fullness.
“Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.Hosea 10:12

P – PURPOSEFULLY
Determine to search for God in a purposeful way. Know God desires for you to find Him and go after Him because He has a specific purpose for you. Choose to go after Him with a hearing of the call He has sent out for your good.
“We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.Romans 8:28

Q – QUESTFULLY
Search for God in a manner that requires attainment of Him. Do not slack up on the determination to go after God. Know He will be found by you as you endeavor after Him with all your might.
“But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.Deuteronomy 4:29

R – REGULARLY
Frequently and faithfully go after God. Look for His presence and power in every area of your life. Do nothing in your own strength or power. Instead routinely look for God’s presence to strengthen you.
“Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!Psalm 105:4

S – SEARCHINGLY
Hunt and pursue God as much as a you look for a valuable item that is lost. Do all you can, put in the extra effort, turn on the light, and explore thoroughly until you find Him. Don’t quit until He’s found by you.
“What woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it?Luke 15:8

T – TRUSTFULLY
Be confident God will make Himself available for you to find Him. Trust Him and His reputation to reveal Himself to you. Expect He will be near to you.
“And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.Psalm 9:10

U – UNDERSTANDINGLY
Accept God for who He is. Do not expect God to change to your liking. Perceive God’s character, commands, and ways in order to conform to His standard.
“Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand it completely.Proverbs 28:5

V – VALIANTLY
Be fearless in your quest for God. His protection will surround you. You have nothing to be anxious about when you seek the Lord. God will rescue you from all your fears.
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.Psalm 34:4

W – WHOLEHEARTEDLY
With no hesitation or division, go after God. He will make Himself available to you, visible to you, and able to be known by you when you are undivided in your pursuit of Him.
“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.Jeremiah 29:13

X – (E)XUBERANTLY
Enthusiastically go after God with a knowledge He will meet all your needs. Anything good you need will be provided to you. This gives a fantastic reason to seek God with all the energy you can muster.
“The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.Psalm 34:10

Y – YIELDED
Allow yourself to be found by God. Go after Him, know He’s looking for you to come to Him. He wants you to need His way of Salvation. Yield to God to save you because you need to be saved.
“The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.Luke 19:10

Z – ZEALOUSLY
Passionately go after the Lord. Know He wants you. Know He wants to bless you. Know He wants to provide for you abundantly. Know He invites you to come to Him and His presence.
“You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.Psalm 27:8

Transformational Truths

7 RULES FOR EATING GOD’S WAY

Do All to the Glory of God “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.  Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.  . . . If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks? So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
I Corinthians 10:23-31

Rule One – Eat To The Glory Of God

Take food in and nourishment for your body with a view of God’s great value, praise, and honor in mind.

Rule Two – Eat To The Advantage of Many

Consider if some of the food you have, or the money you spend on food, could be shared with someone else for their advantage.

Rule Three – Eat With God’s Eternal Favor In Mind

John 4 provides a circumstance where Jesus was too “weary” to go in to town and waited at the well for the disciples to come back with food. When the disciples got back, Jesus did not eat. His conclusion was his fulfilment was doing the will of God. Jesus was more concerned about God’s eternal favor than his own temporal fulfilment.

Rule Four – Eat To Help

The Bible speaks of many foods people ate such as fruit of trees, animals, milk, honey, locusts, figs, grain, bread, etc. God wants the food we eat to help us, add value, and promote the health of our body.

Rule Five – Eat To Build Up

The food and drink you take in should build up. God desires you to treat your body as His Temple. He doesn’t want you to destroy your temple or to eat foods that tear you down.

Rule Six – Eat To Benefit Others

Others are watching what you eat and how much you eat. Consider eating to benefit others. This translates into “example”. Eat to be an example to others. Eat in a manner that God would have others to eat.

Rule Seven – Eat With Thankfulness

When eating, always acknowledge God’s grace. God has favorably leaned towards us to provide what our bodies need to live and move. It is because of God’s “leaning towards us” which provides us the food and nourishment our body needs.

~EATING LAWS TO LIVE BY ~
~RULES TO HAVE IN PLACE FOR EATING~

Transformational Truths

A WORD ABOUT SERVICE

Greatness is determined by humility in God’s Kingdom.  Humility has been described as not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.  Service is more about a mindset than actions performed.  Philippians 2 provides an excellent way to think about service .  Three steps are involved in service.  Jesus Christ displayed each of these.  

It is not about what you “do for God”.   Jesus taught in Matthew 7:22 many would think their wonderful acts of service would get them a spot in Heaven.  However, Jesus said they would be turned away.  Service is not great and wonderful acts.  Service is a state of mind.

This mindset begins with emptying oneself.  Recognizing you have great value and worth.  However, you willingly lay all that aside to be of help to someone else.  You in no way deny your value.  Instead, you choose not to exercise it for your own advantage.   Jesus  displayed  this perfectly.  He understood himself to be the Son of God.  He knew God was His Father.  He had a perfect union with God and knew the Father would do anything He asked of Him.  He did not use that for his own advantage, but he emptied himself of that privilege.   

Next, service is determining to represent yourself as a servant to everyone.  You think of yourself as someone hired to work in another’s household.  You are willing to do the little tasks to ensure the lives of others run successfully.  Doing what needs to be done to get the job done is a motto for service.  Jesus’ popular example of washing the disciples’ feet (John 13) was doing something for his disciples that needed to be done.  He saw something that needed doing, and he did it.  Service is displayed in this way.

Finally, service for others is a deep desire to take the other person’s place to the greatest extent possible.  Paul had a service mentality in Romans 9:3. He would have been willing to have been cursed so that others could be saved.  Though that was not possible, Paul had a state of mind that would have acted upon that desire if given the opportunity.  Jesus had the ultimate servant’s mindset for his desire to take our place and die in our place.  Jesus not only had the willingness to take another’s place, he did it.  Jesus’ death on the cross is the ultimate example of service.

Service is a mindset of humility. 
Let us serve by thinking of ourselves less.

Transformational Truths

Message: How To Live in a Crocked and Perverse Generation

John MacArthur provided this message to his congregation and others that listen online. In this message he says the answer to this “how to” question is to live with

  • Humility

  • Holiness

  • Faithful Testimony

  • Joyfulness

MacArthur says the above 4 things are important but THE MAIN POINT is “do all things without grumbling or complaining.”

He concludes this message with 2 passages of scripture. One from David in the Old Testament and one from Peter in the New Testament. He calls these passages “Divine Revelation”. These passages encourage us to continue to live godly in today’s world.

Take some time and listen. Be encouraged. Truly, we live right now in a crocked and perverse generation. We shine like lights. This message shows us “how” to do just that!