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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, comfort

Do You Know God’s Greatest Gift?

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

Scripture reference: 1 John 4:8 (ESV)

Today, I am thinking about how there is no greater comfort than the gift of eternal life.

We’ve been talking a lot about all of the ways God comforts us. We talked about how in some instances, He will promptly respond to a situation or will turn a dire situation around. He will also take extra care in choosing certain life scenarios that will teach us.

However, there is no greater comfort than the gift of eternal life, which God taught us when Jesus gave his sermon on the mount. In that sermon, Jesus revealed that how we love God and how we love others is most important to him. Jesus also taught about the Pharisees to demonstrate how not to behave.

When we look at the Pharisees, we see that they paid their tithes religiously. They even gave away a tenth of the herbs they had stored in their homes, and they practiced fasting regularly. It would be easy to believe that during those days, that was a spiritual greatness that would be rewarded with eternal life.

Yet Jesus explained to the contrary. He taught that outwardly, the Pharisees portrayed an exemplary image of holiness. Yet inwardly, where only God could see, they were like whitewashed tombs.

Jesus revealed that although we should not do away with the outer zeal, we must couple it with an inner zeal. That is reflected in how we love God and how we love others. That is the real path to eternal life. As we think about that, let us remember these words: “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8 (ESV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, know that there is no greater comfort than eternal life.

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, gracefully

Make an Effort to Love Gracefully

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)

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 is well aware 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 do that,” or “I need you to share my vision about this the same way that I do.” 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: “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 gracefully by saying “I love you and…” and releasing “I love you, but…”

B Moments, endures

God’s Love Endures Despite Our Actions

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)

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

Recently, I was talking 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 the 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 who they said he was. Peter said that he was the Messiah, the son of the living God. Jesus told Peter that he was blessed because 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 another woman other than a prostitute, but He chose Rahab.

God’s love and grace are sufficient to endure despite our actions. Let us remember this as we are 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, let’s let God’s love empower us to love and to extend kindness to others.

B Moment, work

God Is at Work in Your Life

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 (NIV)

Today, I am thinking about how God is always at work in our lives. Despite what sometimes goes on around us, or even within us, we should cling to this thought.

This point was reinforced with me as I read about the story of Samson. Samson was chosen by God to rescue the Israelites from the Philistines. One day, Samson came home to his parents and said that he wanted to marry a Philistine woman, which his parents really objected to.

To put this in perspective, Samson’s mother could not conceive, but the angel of the Lord appeared before her and she ultimately gave birth to Samson. Therefore, Samson was their only child, and to see him marry a woman who was a pagan in their eyes was earth-shattering.

However, what they didn’t realize was that God was at work in Samson’s life the entire time. He even caused Samson to fall in love with the Philistine woman.

Sometimes, we don’t see God’s hand up close, so we forget that His hands are always at work. Therefore, when we are confronted with a situation in our own lives that seems out of order, we have to gently remind ourselves that even though something seems out of order, God is not; He is still at work.

The words I use to remind myself of this are: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NIV)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So today, despite the circumstances, know that God is at work in your life.

B Moments, abundant

Make Room for God’s Abundant Blessings

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

Scripture reference: 2 Corinthians 9:8 (NLT)

Today, I have a question: are you making room for God’s extra?

This holiday season I’ve been talking about the importance of giving—not as much commercially, but giving on a more spiritual level. Giving the gift of love and compassion to a person in need, giving the invitation to Christ, and above all, remembering to give God the glory are the best ways to give this season. Trust me, when you put God first and give to others from the depths of your heart, you will be able to begin to make room for God’s abundant blessings.

When I look to the Scriptures, both in the Old Testament and in the New, I see that God has a pattern of blessing His people abundantly. For example, look at the Feeding of the Five Thousand and the Feeding of the Four Thousand. These events both occurred at the last minute, yet there was enough food to feed everyone. In fact, there were leftovers in both instances.

Look at the case of Hannah that we often discuss. Hannah only prayed for one son, yet God blessed her with multiple children, both sons and daughters. So through these instances, we see that it is the natural inclination of God to want to bless His children abundantly. The words I use to remind myself of this are: “And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.” 2 Corinthians 9:8 (NLT)

Please share this reflection as others desire to be inspired.

So this holiday season, begin to make room for God’s abundant blessings.