Maybe I am way wrong here, and if so, please feel free to tell me, but I think we ALL need to be loved. We require love to flourish, to grow, to achieve, to become...well, to live!
But therein lies a real potential roadblock.
HOW do we know which of those around us truly love us, want the best for us, nurture us, encourage us?
I know we all have had those around us and/or in our circle that we thought were real friends, but time showed us differently.
Let's come back to that in just a moment.
First, let's start with what is perhaps the best known verse in the Bible:
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
Indeed, that is our standard for what is love. But, that's only part of the story. Do you know what John 3:17 says?
"For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him." John 3:17
To me, that means we are supposed to receive and give love in order to nourish and feed those around us.
Just maybe, we are supposed to be a spotlight on the ones we love highlighting all that is good and kind and loving and generous. NOT on all their faults and weaknesses, dents and ding, bruises and wounds.
Know what I mean?
Here are two scenarios:
Finding someone who always has good things to say to or about you. One who shines such a bright light on you that you actually glow. Someone who is determined to build you up, wipe away your tears, dress your wounds, and hug away bad memories.
2. Finding someone who always has negative words for or about you. Someone who casts a shadow on you or blocks your light. One who is determined to make you crumble inside, bring out your worst fears, mentally, if not physically, bruise you. Remind you of times you desperately need to forget.
Alright, which of those two situations would you prefer?
If you said the second one, give yourself a Jethro Gibbs head slap!
We have just celebrated Christmas 2020. I truly hope that you and your family spent time in Abba's Word reading THE Christmas story together. For in it, Abba tells us just how much He love us, YOU and ME. He loves us so much that He sent His Son to earth to live amongst us and then climb up on a cross and die under the burdens of our sins.
He arranged to wipe the slate clean for us. He allowed us THE do-over of all time!
The big question for each of us is this: What did or will we do with that do-over?
And, do we only have one shot at it?
Well, that is the kicker.
Abba, Father God, love us (YOU and ME) SO much, that He will forgive us anything if we bring it and lay it at His feet. What's more, He will do this as many times as we crawl to Him to leave our sins there.
It doesn't end there, my friend. Oh no!
Abba created us to spend eternity with Him. But, He can't force it on us. We need to make a conscious decision to give our burdens, our sins to Him and leave them there.
He won't walk away from us when we stumble or fall. Never.
Still, He won't force His Presence or His Presents on us. We must be willing to reach out to them and accept them.
How many times?
As many as it takes.
There is NO LIMIT to Abba's love for us. There are no boundaries. None. There is not an end to His Love for us.
We, however, can walk away from it. Why in the world we would, I don't get. But we do. Over. And over. And over, again.
Fortunately, our Abba is patient.
Did you know the difference between Grace and Mercy?
Grace is when Abba gives us what we do NOT deserve.
Mercy is when Abba keeps from us what we DO deserve.
To prove this, Abba sent Jesus to earth in the form of a baby. That baby grew up on earth with all the perils, joy, pain, sorrows, and joy that we each experience.
However, that baby grew into a man, the Son of God, in the flesh while on earth.
At the end of His appointed time here, He willingly climbed up on that Cross to be nailed to it. Those nails were OUR sins, NOT His.
He took the weight of OUR choices to bathe us from ALL of our sins and offer us the chance at eternity in the midst of such love.
While, none of our earthly friends can or will ever love us that much, put up with as much, share as much with us, or be willing to die for us, He does put people in our path to help guide us, to nurture us, to build us up, and to celebrate life with every day.
So, why do we often find ourselves surrounded by the wrong crowd?
Why do we settle on the wrong friend(s)?
What are we doing wrong?
Everyone who enters our lives, is there for a reason.
They each bring us or teach us a lesson. It may be a lesson for the good, or perhaps a lesson on what is not good.
We do need to know what is not good in order to recognize good, right?
No one every guaranteed us that life will not be filled with bumps, holes in the roads, wrong turns, painful experiences or unending success right?
So, we must look to our guidebook, our roadmap - the Word our Abba gave to us.
Many of those in our lives will become living Bibles for us. Some will not. It's up to us to discern the difference.
At the same time, WE will be a Bible for others. We will also be roadblocks to some. So, don't ever forget WHO you are or WHOSE you are.
We don't just need to be surrounded by the right friends, we need to BE the right friend.
Can we agree to work on that together?
I promise to fully support you and would ask the same in return. Agreed?
Life is full of choices and options. Those choices are ours to make. So please, choose wisely. Even more, pray before making those choices.
We are about to embark on a brand new year together. Welcome 2021! We are SO happy you are here.
Now, let's make this the best year ever!