B Moments, gracefully

Practice Loving More Gracefully This Valentine’s Day

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 (ESV)

Transcription:

This week, love is in the air. Today, I’m thinking about the importance of loving more gracefully.

When we say that we love a person, yet we add a “but” on the end, we’re making our love conditional. I’ve learned to replace “I love you, but…” with “I love you, and…”

Anyone who knows me knows that I dream big. Because of my passion, I went through a period in my life when I felt that those closest to me would support me but didn’t believe in me the way I thought they should believe in me.

In my heart, I would always feel the words “I love you, but…I need you to do this,” or “I need you to feel this way about my vision.” I needed them to see things the way that I wanted them to see it. What started out as a genuine, loving relationship would come to feel like a heavy chain of expectation and duty.

What I have learned from this is that I can release them, but I can also release myself. This is the graceful part about it.

I don’t have to be bound by what someone thinks or doesn’t think of me. I can love and respect people for what they believe. This is embodied in the phrase “I love you, and…” because the conditions are completely taken out of the relationship.

Getting to this place, these few words have really helped me. This is a Scripture I don’t read often enough, but please keep these words on your heart today: “Love is patient and kind…it does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, love more gracefully by releasing “I love you, but…” and saying “I love you, and…”

B Moments, stain

Shame Stains Your Heart

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Romans 8:28 (NLT)

This week, love is in the air, which means we can’t let shame stain our hearts.

Recently, we were talking about how great God’s love is and that it is more than enough to endure our poor decisions. Yet when I think about God’s love for me, I also think about how much I love myself.

I have been pretty open about my struggles with my self-worth, which, in my opinion, is directly linked to one’s ability to love oneself. Some of that comes from struggling with certain aspects of my past, even events that occurred twenty years ago.

What I’ve learned is that a failure to forgive myself can directly impact not only my ability to love myself, but also to love others and to be a good, loving example. In other words, shame from the past can put a stain on the heart.

Therefore, I’ve been working on self love, and I understand now that my past had a purpose. It’s important to embrace the beautiful along with the ugly. When we do that, we understand that it’s all a part of God’s plan for our lives.

This scripture has helped me on this path, so I cling to these words: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 (NLT)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, release any shame that might be staining your heart.

B Moments, love endures

Despite Our Actions, God’s Love Will Endure

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Romans 5:8 (ESV)

Transcription:

This week, love is in the air. So today, I am thinking about how God’s love endures despite our actions.

Recently I talked about how God is in the business of changing hearts. I spoke about Rahab, a prostitute, who chose God above her lifestyle.

What’s important to understand is that God doesn’t just start to love us or believe in us once we have a change of heart or begin to see the light. His love endures while we’re living in dark places and possibly making poor choices.

When I think about this, I think about Peter’s life. One day, Jesus was asking the disciples who people said the son of man was. Some of them replied John the Baptist, and others said Elijah.

Then, Jesus asked the disciples who they said he was. Peter said that Jesus was the Messiah, the son of the living God. Jesus told Peter that he was blessed because only Jesus’ Father in heaven revealed that to him.

The key is that God chose to reveal this to Peter, even when He knew Peter would later deny Him. Similarly, He could have chosen to change the heart of another woman, but He chose Rahab, a prostitute.

Let us appreciate the fact that God’s love and grace are sufficient to endure despite our actions. As we reflect on that, let us be comforted by these words: “But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, know that His love endures.

B Moments, respond

Respond with Love in the Face of Evil

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Matthew 25:40 (ESV)

Transcription:

Today, I am encouraging us to not respond to evil with evil.

Recently we talked about how Jesus asked us to pray for the happiness of those who curse us. Yet it can be very difficult to pray for the happiness of another who is intentionally trying to harm you. If you know this person is jealous of you, it can feel even more difficult.

When I turn to the Scriptures, I think about David’s relationship with Saul. Saul became jealous of David when he realized that God had chosen David to replace him as king. Saul was not only trying to harm David, but he tried to kill him on several occasions. However, David chose not to respond to evil with evil.

After Saul’s death, David inquired about Saul’s surviving family members. During these times, it was common to kill the heirs of former monarchs, so David could have killed all of Saul’s surviving relatives. Yet instead, he chose to invite Saul’s crippled and neglected grandson to live with him in the palace.

The key is that your response to evil is far less about them than it is about Him. As you celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King today, let us celebrate the fact that he was also a man who didn’t respond to evil with evil. I’m sure there were times when he couldn’t take one more ounce of disappointment or pain, yet he demonstrated love and nonviolence toward all those who afflicted him.

As you celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King today, hold onto these words: “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Matthew 25:40 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, don’t repay evil with evil.

B Moments, grace

Rejoice that God’s Grace Is Not Conditional

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Galatians 2:21 (NLT)

Transcription:

Today, I am thinking about how God’s grace isn’t a reward for your good behavior.

Do you think that in order to experience the full breadth of God’s grace, you first need to change certain behaviors or behave well? If so, let me remind you of a few things.

First, let’s go back for a moment to the time before Jesus walked this earth. This was when the Jewish people were under heavy Roman oppression, and they wanted badly to be delivered by a Messiah.

However, they thought their Messiah would only come if they could keep the Sabbath for four consecutive weeks. Their struggle was that the Mosaic law was extraordinarily hard to keep just for a single day, much less four consecutive weeks.

Now, this was how things were before Christ came. Today, we can rejoice that he already came. He came as our redeemer and was sent as a loving gift, not as a reward for good behavior.

So today, if you’re feeling overscheduled and overworked and you’re trying to change certain behaviors but you feel like you keep falling short, first rejoice because you serve a god who sees your efforts. Second remember, His grace is not conditional.

As you shift your thinking, remember these words: “I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no reason for Christ to die.” Galatians 2:21 (NLT)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, rejoice that His grace is not conditional and not a reward.

B Moments, brotherly love

Practice Showing Your Brotherly Love

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Romans 12:10 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about brotherly love.

We’re wrapping up our series on love. We started with the depths of a mother’s love and talked about how some of her sacrifices are obvious while others can go unseen and unspoken. We then discussed how the same is true for God’s love. Sometimes His hand can appear front and center, and other times He shows His love to us behind the scenes.

Now, I am thinking about the term philia, which is the Greek word for brotherly or affectionate love. If we really love God unconditionally, this is how we should show up for His children; we should be sure to show them brotherly love. When I think about this, I think about the dispute between Abraham and his nephew Lot.

Abraham and Lot lived in the same area and were both wealthy men as they had a number of sheep and cattle to manage. In fact, they had so many animals that each outgrew their own pastures, which caused the herdsmen for both men to argue over space.

One day, Abraham went to Lot and told him that they needed to stop arguing because they were family. To that end, he asked Lot to choose whatever portion of land he desired to live on, and Abraham would move his family and cattle to reside somewhere else.

Abraham not only demonstrated brotherly love, but he did it under heated circumstances. Lot, on the other hand, responded in a very selfish way. He chose the most fertile land near the Jordan Valley and made Abraham move to a new area.

Yet in the end, we see that Abraham made the better choice as Lot chose land near Sodom, a city God would ultimately destroy. As we think about brotherly love, let us hold onto these words: “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” Romans 12:10 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, go show some brotherly love.

B Moments, self care

Self Care Is Not Selfish

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about how self care is not selfish.

This week, we’re going into a holiday weekend. Usually I’ll use a long weekend to get ahead. I’ll schedule additional tasks, either work related or around the house. Yet this time, I’m taking a different approach as I am recalling what gospel heavyweight Marvin Sapp shared when I heard him speak earlier this year. He said you can’t be anything to someone else until you are everything to yourself.

This hit me because as much as I want to be of service to God and to be used in His service for others, it’s difficult to serve others when I’m not treating my own body with kindness and respect. For me personally, this can look like too much stress, not enough exercise, and a lack of rest. This is what I call failing to care for ourselves the way Christ would.

What I realized is that when I dishonor my body in that way—whether it’s through food, or stress, or lack of rest—I am damaging one of God’s instruments, and I surely don’t want to do that since I really do want to be used in God’s service.

As I take this weekend to reflect on my own self care, let me encourage you to do the same. Join me in embracing the idea that self care is not selfish. As you do so, remember these words: “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?…So glorify God in your body.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, love yourself the way Christ does.

B Moments, moms

Go the Extra Mile in Celebrating Moms

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Proverbs 31:25-26 (ESV)

Today is Mother’s Day! Happy Mother’s Day, B Moment moms!

Today I am thinking about how a mother’s sacrifice can be between only herself and God. As a young girl I always appreciated my mother’s love. I appreciated her simply for being there when I needed her. But as I grew older, and then especially when I became a mother myself, I understood the depth of the sacrifices she made for me.

Most often, the sacrifices mothers make for their children and for their families are obvious. Yet there are some sacrifices that are unseen and go unspoken. In these situations, only she and the Lord know the extent of what she is sacrificing.

When I think about that ultimate sacrifices like this, I think of Hannah. In First Samuel, we learn that Hannah has a son named Samuel, but that she gave her son back to the Lord.

Each year, Hannah visited the temple to deliver a small coat that she had made for Samuel. Only she and God knew what it must have done to her heart to see her child, give him a gift, and then to be separated from him again.

Hannah’s story reaffirms that only she and God knew the depth of her sacrifice yet she went on to genuinely care for others and to fulfill her life’s purpose. Go the extra mile today to remind a mom of her value with these words: “Strength and dignity are her clothing…she opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” Proverbs 31:25-26 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, go the extra mile in celebrating moms.

B Moments, mother

Celebrate Mother’s Day Early

This is our B moment. Our moment to be still…to be fed by the Word of God…to be grateful.

Scripture reference: Proverbs 31:27-28 (ESV)

Today, as a mom, I am in the spirit of celebrating Mother’s Day a little early. I am specifically thinking about the myriad ways a mother loves her child.

Many times, a mother’s love is on display, but sometimes it is invisible or sacrificial. Other times, a mother’s love may seem tough.

As mothers there are times when we see the need to stretch our children by taking them out of their comfort zones. This is when a loving mother is seen as not so loving.

Nonetheless, she must stand her ground and hold true to her child’s growth and purpose. To the child, it can feel like a season of punishment or a season in the wilderness.

However, if we reflect on nature, we know that a tree in the wilderness will stretch its roots deeper in search of water. That is exactly what moms try to do. We try to stretch our children out of their comfort and into their higher self.

When a mom inspires her child to go deeper in order to reach higher, she’s not only impacting her child’s life, but future generations to come.

What mom do you know who shows many expressions of love? Share a story with her of how she has impacted your life, and at the end of your story, share these words with her: “She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed.” Proverbs 31:27-28 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, kick off mother’s day early, and acknowledge a mom for her love.