February 14, 2019
Challenge #3: Love the Unlovable
Happy Valentine’s Day! On this day, we celebrate the people in our lives that we love. We shower them with affection, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, etc. All the while, we are surrounded by people who are hurting and lonely, who (sometimes by their own choice even) are isolated, mean, and by the world’s definition “unlovable.”
But to God, they are anything BUT unlovable! In fact, He loved each of us so much that He sent His Son to die for our sins so that we can be reconciled to God and have eternal life. (see John 3:16). God is and forever will be the perfect definition of LOVE!
Anyway, here’s the challenge God laid on my heart to share with each of you today:
Ask God to open your eyes today to the lonely, the broken, the poor, the isolated, the hurting, the mean….ask Him to open your eyes and hearts to the “unlovable” and then love them BOLDY with His love!!! Look for ways to make them feel special and know that they are valued and valuable!
1 Corinthians 13: 1-13 is probably one of the most “familiar” passages in the Bible, as it is read at almost every wedding. Read it afresh today and be reminded what real love looks like and share His love today!!
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!! Love BOLDLY and selflessly today!
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness SO THAT the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
If I told you that there was an instruction book that you could read that would transform you into the best _________ (fill in the blank with your dream job or skill set), wouldn’t you want to dive in and absorb every bit of it? Why is it, then, that we shy away from spending time in the greatest book of all, filled with wisdom and guidance for life’s decisions, beautiful truths about our identity and purpose, and evidence of a Father’s love for us?
In John 15:5, Jesus says, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” The same God who created the universe and everything in it is the same God who desires to speak to you daily and grow a beautiful relationship with you! He is not distant….and He sooooo cares about the details of your life and wants to speak truth, wisdom, and love to you! So here’s your challenge:
- If you don’t already have a dedicated time to spend with God each day, start now. For the next 7 days, commit to spending 15 minutes a day with Him. Try 5 minutes of worship, 5 minutes in His word, and 5 min in prayer.
- If you already have an established time to Abide with God each day, try adding a new element to it. Keeping our time with God fresh is important. Add in worship, prayer, or journaling if you haven’t already. Find some new worship songs that speak to you and create a playlist. Try spending time with God in a new setting (I love outdoors in the Fall!) Remember, you are building a relationship, so it’s not one-way communication. It’s a back and forth, question and answer, and discovery. Sit at His feet and have a conversation:-).
If you want some help or additional tools to use during your abide time with God, don’t hesitate to reach out. I’d be happy to share with you some things that I enjoy in my time with Him. A favorite pastor of mine (Carl Gulley, Antioch Community Church) once said, “If you see the Bible as driving you to guilt, you will never pick it up; if you see it as an invitation to grace, you will never put it down.” Commit to one week of hearing from Him daily, and I promise, you will not want to stop!! It is the most beautiful and rewarding relationship you can ever invest in.
Challenge #1: Time and time again, I am reminded that there is simply no substitute for memorizing scripture! Challenge number one goes with section one of the Idol study. Memorize Mark 12:30-31. I like to write verses on notecards and post them in key places that I will see them often. Sometimes I’ll cover up words or use an app to help me learn them. I also like to read the verse I’m memorizing just before I go to sleep and first thing when I wake up in the morning. Our mind has a great way of learning things even while we sleep! Feel free to share your favorite suggestions for memorizing verses.