When I first heard a friend talk about the idea that a relationship with Jesus boils down to a chance to live loved, I was hooked.
Two words. So simple. So profound.
Since then, while working with a variety of texts, plots and characters of the Bible I’ve repeatedly come back to those 2 words. Over and over I’ve tried to see how the such a simple idea helps to tell the story of our God.
It was just this morning, however, that I took the time to Google the words “live loved” to see who’s been using them. One of the first things I found was that much loved author, Max Lucado, has a book and a devotional App titled “Live Loved.”
Then I stumbled on a YouTube clip by a young follower of Jesus that expresses how taken he has been since hearing someone talk about such a simple but life changing idea.
by Mart De Haan
People harvest only what they plant.GALATIANS 6:7
Think for a moment of your heart as a greenhouse.… And your heart, like a greenhouse, has to be managed. Consider for a moment your thoughts as seed. Some thoughts become flowers. Others become weeds. Sow seeds of hope and enjoy optimism. Sow seeds of doubt and expect insecurity.…
The proof is everywhere you look. Ever wonder why some people have the Teflon capacity to resist negativism and remain patient, optimistic, and forgiving? Could it be that they have diligently sown seeds of goodness and are enjoying the harvest?
Ever wonder why others have such a sour outlook? Such a gloomy attitude? You would, too, if your heart were a greenhouse of weeds and thorns.
Just Like Jesus
Even Christ’s disciples struggled with doubt and fear in times of trouble or uncertainty. Though they walked closely with the Savior, they were still prone to casting their focus in the wrong direction.
Just before He was about to perform the miracle of feeding the 5,000, Jesus tested Philip by asking him where to buy bread for the crowd. The disciple’s response revealed that he was thinking of solving the dilemma through man’s ideas and worldly means. At the same time, Andrew was busy surveying the multitude to determine how he would approach the situation. Upon finding a young boy with five loaves and two fish, he demonstrated his own limited mindset by asking, “What are these for so many people?” (John 6:9).
As was true for all of His miracles, Jesus performed this amazing feat of compassion and provision to prove who He was and always would be. And the same Christ who fed 5,000 with five loaves and two fish will act on our behalf when situations seem impossible.
In difficult times, when it seems all hope is lost, try not to assess your circumstances from a worldly perspective. Don’t ask, “What am I going to do?” Rather, in a spirit of faith, simply say, “Lord, what are You going to do?” Remember, He tells us to cast all of our cares upon Him because He cares for us (1 Pet. 5:7).
Avoid attempting to engineer your circumstances. The virtues of patience, faith, and waiting upon the Lord will help you to know God’s grace and to experience His love and miraculous touch in your life.
“If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” (John 7:17)
The apostle Paul, in his last epistle, wrote about certain philosophers who would be “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7). In the next verse, Paul makes it clear why such people, no matter how scholarly or well educated they seem to be, are still incapable of accepting real truth. “So do these also resist the truth,” he says (v. 8). They could not learn the truth because they were not willing to believe or obey the truth when they learned it. For example, a very vexing controversy among modern Christians is whether or not the Genesis account of six-day creation can be so interpreted as to accommodate the billion-year, geological-age system of Earth history.
Perhaps the difficulty, in this as well as in other such doctrinal controversies, is a basic unwillingness to believe doctrines plainly revealed in God’s Word when they conflict with doctrines based solely on human reasoning. When the Lord Jesus spoke the words of our text, He was speaking to arrogant religionists who regarded Him as nothing but an itinerant preacher, rejecting His teachings, even though they knew these teachings were fully biblical.
His rebuke of these hypocrites is truly a timeless criterion for recognizing God’s truth and knowing His will. Such a heart does not try to twist God’s Word to accommodate a human philosophy, nor does it try to accommodate one’s personal will by persuading himself that it is God’s will. God’s will is always consistent with God’s Word, which is written to be easily understood by anyone who is willing to believe His Word and do His will. HMM
And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace,which is able to build you up, and to give you an Inheritance among all them that are sanctified.—Acts 20:32.
ONLY the rays of God can cure the heart,
Purge it of evil; there’s no other way
Except to turn with the whole heart to God.
In heavenly sunlight live no shades of fear;
The soul there, busy or at rest, hath peace;
And music floweth from the various world.
BREAK off things, which displease God, and, whatever ye do, do it to please Him. Dedicate, morning by morning, the actions of the day to God; live in His Presence; offer to Him your acts beforehand; recall yourself, if the case admits, into His Presence, in the midst of them; give Him the glory with thy whole heart, if they be well done, since nothing good is our own; if they be amiss, grieve to Him. If we make God our end, He who gave us the grace thus to seek Him, will give us His love; He will increase our longing desire for Him; and whom in all we seek, whom in all we would please, whom in all we would love, Him shall we find, Him possess, here in grace and veiled, hereafter, in glory. EDWARD B. PUSEY.
The Lord Our Righteousness.Jeremiah 23:6
We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.
I will go in the strength of the Lord God: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only. — I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him. — To her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord … that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.
Isaiah 64:6. Psalm 71:16. Isaiah 61:10. Luke 15:22. Revelation 19:8. Philippians 3:8,9.
Whom having not seen, ye love. 1 Peter 1:8
We walk by faith, not by sight. — We love him, because he first loved us. — And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. — In whom ye trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise. — God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. — Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.
2 Corinthians 5:7. 1 John 4:19. 1 John 4:16. Ephesians 1:13. Colossians 1:27. 1 John 4:20. John 20:29.