What does Real Love Look Like?

What does Real Love Look Like-

“We just have to show them love. That’s all we’re supposed to do…love one another.” 

That’s all I seem to see or hear anymore. The “Love Gospel” seems to be a very popular topic to be praught in churches as of late. 

And, I mean, why not? After all, our countries are so broken up and everyone seems to be fighting each other… People just need to love each other… right?

Yes, the Bible does say that the greatest commandment is to “Love your neighbor as your self.” 

However, I think…no…wait… I know that the “cotton candy, sugar coated, squishy-feely” kind of love that is so often talked about isn’t the kind of love that the Bible talks about.

“What do you mean, Kristen? Love is…love…”

Just stay with me and let me explain.

Culture has taught us so much that to reprimand someone for their wrong behavior isn’t love, instead it’s intolerance. That just because it’s wrong for you, doesn’t make it wrong for me. Society has told us that to really love someone is to accept everything they do… The worst part? This is something that even many churches are buying into.

But this is completely opposite of what the Bible says;

“Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.”                  2 Timothy 4:2

“Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path…” Galatians 6:1

Yes, it does say that we are to correct each other with gentleness, but we are to correct each other nonetheless.

Why do you think we have the Bible? To read stories of many victories to feel good? 

On the contrary.

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” 2 Timothy 3:16 (Emphasis Added)

For so long, we have heard that to reprimand is to hate. And even worse, we have accepted it. 

Rather than going to the Bible to find out what it says, we’ve allowed what culture and society have said seep into our churches and into our hearts and accepted it as truth…despite the fact that it is so, obviously not the truth.

Here’s a hard pill to swallow straight from the Bible:

To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction.” Proverbs 12:1 (Emphasis Added)

Another Translation puts the same verse this way;

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.” (Emphasis Added)

Without correction, we are ignorant and don’t actually know the truth about anything.

Correction is necessary for physical, mental and spiritual growth.

Without correction quote

Society is full of people who hate being corrected. When they are, they become angry and lash out. Unfortunately, these last couple of years, we are seeing this occur more and more.

Whether it’s politics, economics, major league sports (and/or their players), there are so many groups of people lashing out in anger-including in the church.

I think that it’s time that Christians need to really dig deep and relearn what real love is and what exactly it’s supposed to look like.

 

Until Next Week!

Signiture

How Far are You Willing to Go to See Jesus?

How Far to See Jesus-

“He tries to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going that way.” -Luke 19:3-4

The story of Zacchaeus is one of the better known Bible stories. It’s one that we are taught right from childhood. Shoot, there was even a song we sang about him. I can still remember it to this day;

“Zacchaeus was a wee little man, a wee little man was he. He climbed up in a sycamore tree, for the Lord he wanted to see…”

As I was recently reading this story in my Bible study time, it struck me in a way that it really hasn’t done before.

Zacchaeus, was desperate to see Jesus. Not just the regular kind of desperate, but the “I’ll do anything” kind of desperate…

So desperate that he, not only climbed a tree, but he “ran ahead of the crowd and then climbed a tree so that he could see Jesus.

Never mind talking to him, Zacchaeus was desperate just to lay his eyes upon this man called Jesus. He expected nothing more and would accept nothing less.

As I was reading this, a thought struck me, “How far am I willing to go just to look at Jesus. Forget talking to him…Am I willing to get out of my comfort zone and make a spectacle of myself just to look at him for a moment?”

I can only imagine the crowd he had to push through, the eyes watching him in puzzlement as he sprinted to the tree ahead of everyone and then proceeding to climb it. I’m sure there were at least a few whispers about his unusual behavior.

And yet, I think that it was because of the dedication and desperation he showed that made Jesus notice him and decide that he “must be a guest” in his home. (Luke 19:5)

How far are we, as Christians, willing to go to see Jesus with no expectation of anything else? Not only that, but how far are we willing to go so that others would get to see him?

How far are Christians, willing to go to see Jesus

People in the North American Church have become so complacent and apathetic and would rather just sit in comfort rather than get out of their comfort zones and make what others might call a “spectacle”. 

I believe that North America has come to the point where a spectacle might be the only thing that catches the eyes of people. 

Why?

Because culture has become so enamored with literally parading around their immorality and sin and putting it on display for all the world to see.

We need to be like Zacchaeus and be willing to get out of our comfort zone and run ahead of the crowd and climb the proverbial tree so that Jesus’ love and grace will be put on display-which is exactly what happened when he spoke to Zacchaeus.

Zacchaeus was a tax collector, and tax collectors had the reputation or being dishonest and being thieves, yet he-the lowest of the low in  society’s eyes- was the one whom Jesus singled out. Which, in turn, put His love on display for all to see.

So, I ask you this, how far are you willing to go to see Jesus? And how far are you willing to go so that others can see his love through your pursuit of seeking him?

XoXo,

~Kristen~

 

 

 

 

Is God Really Enough? Where Christianity and Consumerism Collide

Is God Really Enough

It’s all around us. Television, radio, social media and the stores we shop in. People and products yelling at us to “buy this!” or “you need that!”

You go to your instagram account and up pops an image of someone telling you about the latest, greatest hair product or makeup brand or clothing store. 

We’re being told that buying it will fulfill our happiness. 

But then, when we buy it, while we’re happy for a fleeting moment, that feeling of emptiness always seems to come back. So, what do we do? We go out and buy something else that we’re told will fulfill us.

The millennial generation has become addicted to the high we get when we purchase something new. 

You go onto YouTube and see vlogs of people telling you about their latest “haul” of stuff they bought. And after a watching a few of those, you’re convinced that you absolutely have to have that stuff!

I know, I’ve been there myself. I used to watch one vlogger in particular, but eventually had to quit because I would start becoming dissatisfied with the my life and what I had. 

“Then he said, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.” ” Luke 12:15

When we start to think that the only way we’ll be happy is if we are buying something new, we are basically saying that God isn’t enough to satisfy and fulfill us. Yes, it might give you a temporary feeling of happiness, but here’s the thing happiness is based solely off of happenings. 

buying something new,

What we really want is joy-because joy isn’t that fleeting. Joy is that hope inside you that flickers when you are at a rough spot in your journey It’s that thing that tells you to “just look up” because the dawn is on its way. It’s that thing that tells you to keep holding on, because God’s got this-even though you might not understand what “this” is.

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.”

Matthew 6:19-20

Ladies, we are called to live a higher standard. 

The sin isn’t in desiring something-whether it’s a new body lotion, makeup, or maybe even a relationship, the sin is when we obsess over it so much that we believe that it is the only thing that will fulfill our heart’s and joy.

“Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” Hebrews 13:5

I want to challenge, next time you see something that you really want, pray about it. Surrender it to God. 

It could be as simple as saying “Lord, you know how much I want this (fill in the blank). I give this desire to you. Help me trust that you know what I need and don’t need. And help me remember, that you are always with me and that you have only the very best for me in mind. Amen.” 

So, Is God Really Enough? YES!

“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

XoXo,

~Kristen~

 

Does Your Social Media Testify that You’re Set Apart for God?

Does Your Social Media Testify that God Had Set Apart-

I have a love/hate relationship with social media. It has helped my keep in touch with far off family and friends, but it is also one of the biggest anxiety makers as well.

Recently, I’ve been noticing something that has, to be quite frank, disturbed me.

And, unfortunately, it’s something I’ve witnessed countless numbers of times over the last coupe of years. You see, I watch as people profess to being a Christian and then turn around and quite willingly cuss-some even cuss in the same post as they profess Christ’s goodness, or writing (more like bragging, actually) about how they got (or are currently) incredibly drunk.

Before you start indignantly saying, “Um…except nobody’s perfect,” hear me out.

I’m not talking about new Christians who are still in the early stages of learning these things, I’m talking about people who, for many years, have been professing to be a set apart young person.

I believe that one of the biggest difficulties of modern society is that, in an effort to try to stay relevant, we are forgetting that God has called us to live set apart. To live, speak and act different from the rest of the world.

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2 (NLT)

While it is important to stay up-to-date so you can relate to people, it’s also necessary to remember that if you act so much like non-Christians, it’s inevitable that eventually, people will end up looking at how you’re acting and start to question and think “why do I need to “get saved” if they act the same way I do now?”

Here’s a bit about what the Bible says:

“With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity. But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.”

Ephesians 4:17-24 (NLT) (Emphasis Added)

It burdens my heart to watch young people say one thing and then act the other. How are you speaking? Are the words you’re using-and the topics speaking of-going to bring honor and glory to God and be a testament that he has transformed you and set you apart, or are they going to confuse people who see you write one thing one moment, but then say or be something completely the next?

“You must be holy because I, the LORD, am holy. I have set you apart from all other people to be my very own.” Leviticus 20:26

“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”

Ephesians 4:29 (NLT)

Let me present this thought to you; Speaking encouragement isn’t just about speaking kind words to uplift someone. Speaking encouragement is also about speaking in such a manner that it encourages unbelievers to desire to know what it is that makes you want to speak in such a pure way.

Speaking encouragement

I want to challenge you to take a few minutes and prayerfully go through your social media-whether it be  Facebook, Instagram, a Blog you have, Twitter, Tumblr, Snap Chat…etc… and let God convict you of the things that could be/are causing harm to your testament of Faith and belief in Christ; the things (words, statements, actions…etc) that make people wonder if what you say about believing in Jesus is really real.

No, people aren’t perfect, but, as Christians, we need to let God transform us. We need to heed his word so that when we testify about our faith, people won’t question it.

So, let God transform you from the inside out. Remember, that is where Unfading Beauty originates in our spirit, heart and mind. For, what is in the heart, will flow out into every aspect of our lives-so let Christ and his word be what you are putting into your heart, it’s the best thing that a person could ever do-for them self, for others and most importantly, so that the Glory of God will be seen in and through you!

XoXo

~Kristen~