"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize?...Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly;" 2 Cor 9:24-26

Showing Love

Posted by Emma on October 31, 2010 | Filed under: Christianity,Love

“Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.” John 12:1-3

I was recently reading John 12 and these verses stood out to me, especially verses 2 and 3. Lazarus, Martha, and Mary are mentioned several times throughout the Gospels. They were friends of the Master and loved Him very much. The event told in these verses happens not long after Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead and I think that the things recounted in them are the results of Mary, Martha and Lazarus’ hearts overflowing with love and thanks for the Master.

People are quick to note Mary’s act of love and devotion in this event, yet you rarely hear of Martha or Lazarus’ part. If you have read the gospels you know something of the personalities of each of the characters in this event. Each one is showing love to the Master in his or her way. Martha is a server. She is serving the Master to show her love and thanks. Lazarus is spending time with the Master to show his love and gratitude. Mary gives of a precious ointment and wipes Jesus feet with her hair. She is close, personal, and gives a lot in her expression of love and thanks. For those reasons it stands out to us the most.

We should take notice of Mary’s act, but I don’t think we should lose sight of the others. We all serve the Master in a way that expresses who we are. Every person is different and everyone shows love differently. We should show love to the Master from a sincere heart and the way that love is shown is going to reflect who we are. If we really love Him, I think we will. This does not give us the liberty to decide by what rules we follow the Master. No, God has already set the rules. Those are found in the Bible and we must obey God’s commands and not invent our own for the service of the Master. As soon as we invent our own, we no longer are showing love to the Master but contempt for Him. Yet within the rules set by God, there is room to show love to the Master and others in your way. Be who God made you to be and love the Master from pure heart!

Pictures for the Days

Posted by Emma on April 19, 2010 | Filed under: Analogies,Christianity,Daily Thought,Life's Race,Picture Perfect,Strength

“Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.” 1 Cor 9:24

Often we will be the odd one out. The orange in a world of silver and green. We, as Christians, should expect to be different from the world. We are called to be the orange in a world of silver and green, to be righteous in a world of wickedness, to be godly in a world of ungodliness. We should stand out. Live in God’s will and stand out. Be different than the world.

What Kind of Tricks to Play

Posted by Emma on April 1, 2010 | Filed under: Character,Daily Thought

April Fool’s Day: A day when lots of people play pranks without thinking about what they are doing.

I got to thinking about April Fool’s Day as it is here. Our family never did anything for it. I do not mind that. Most of the pranks that are played end up hurting someone somehow. I am not against tricks and pranks, but I am against them if they will hurt someone. As I thought about April Fool’s Day, I remembered a story I once read. This is the type of trick we should be playing on April Fool’s or any other day.

A young man, a student in one of the universities, was one day taking a walk with a professor, who was commonly called the students’ friend for his kindness to those who waited on his instructions.

As they went along, they saw lying in the path a pair of old shoes, which were supposed to belong to a poor man who was working in a field close by, and who had nearly finished his day’s work.

Student turned to the professor, saying: “Let us play the man a trick: We will hide his shoes, and hide ourselves behind those bushes, and wait to see his perplexity when he cannot find them .”

“My young friend,” answered the professor, “We should never amuse ourselves at the expense of the poor. But you are rich, and may give yourself a much greater pleasure by means of this poor man. Put a coin in each shoe, and then we will hide ourselves and watch how this affects him.” The student did so and they both placed themselves behind the bushes close by. The poor man soon finished his work, and came across the field to the path where he had left his coat and shoes.

While putting on his coat he slipped his foot into one of his shoes, but feeling something hard, he stooped down to feel what it was, and found the coin. Astonishment and wonder were seen upon his countenance.

He gazed upon the coin, turned it around and looked at it again and again.

He then looked around him on all sides, but no person was to be seen. He now put the money into his pocket, and proceeded to put on the other shoe; but his surprise was doubled on finding the other coin.

His feelings overcame him. He fell upon his knees, looked up to heaven and uttered aloud a fervent thanksgiving in which he spoke of his wife, sick and helpless, and his children without bread, whom this timely bounty, from some unknown hand, would save from perishing.

The student stood there deeply affected, and his eyes filled with tears. “Now,” said the professor, are you not much better pleased than if you had played your intended trick?”

The youth replied, “You have taught me a lesson which I will never forget. I feel now the truth of these words, which I never understood before: “It’s more blessed to give than to receive.”

If you want happiness, for a lifetime – help someone.

Being In Control

Posted by Emma on March 28, 2010 | Filed under: Character,Daily Thought

Self-control is a very important character trait for Christians to have. Sadly, it is lacking in most Christian young people today. I was reminded of that fact this morning. Our choir, which is mostly young people, was singing at church, we were lined up waiting to go into the sanctuary. The choir members were suppose to be quiet listening to what was going on in the sanctuary. This however did not happen. A fair number of choir members were whispering back and forth. As the time that we had to wait lengthened, more whispering happened. It was sad to see that those Christian young people did not have enough self-control to be able to stand quietly for that length of time. Likely, none of them thought about it in those terms but it does not change the fact that they were not demonstrating self-control.

What is self-control? Webster defines self-control as control of one’s self; restraint exercised over one’s self. It is to be able to contain yourself and your desires. Self-control is being absolutely in control of who you are and what you do. It is being able to refrain yourself when you need to or push yourself to do something when you need to. If you have self-control, you do what you need to do and do not give in to temptations and distractions.

The Bible mentions self-control several times. Proverbs 25:28 says, “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” (ESV). “Do not deprive one another, expect perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” 1 Corinthians 7:5 (ESV). 1 Corinthians 9:25-27 (ESV), “Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV). “For God  gave us a spirit not to fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (ESV) “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,” 2 Tim 3:1-4 (ESV). “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, ad brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:5-8 (ESV)

It is clear that self-control is important for us to have. Work to be able to control yourself in the little areas of life and you will find that you will be able to in the big areas. In these days less and less people have self-control, the same is true of the last days. As Christians we must be different than the world, we must demonstration self-control. Support your faith with self-control and do not fall into temptation. Live for the Lord and control yourself!

Love Others Always

Posted by Emma on January 26, 2010 | Filed under: Christianity,Daily Thought,Love

“Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have I forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.” -2 Cor 5:5-11 ESV

“Love someone when they least deserve it, because that’s when they really need it.” -Unknown

“He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.” -1 John 2:9-10 KJV

“For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. …We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.” -1 John 3:11, 14.

“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” -1 John 3:16

“My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” -1 John 3:18

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might love through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” -1 John 4:7-11

“And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” -1 John 4:21

These verses have been floating through my mind the past few days. We do not deserve God’s love. He loved us and sent His Son to die for us while we were sinners, doing what was displeasing to Him. In no way did I deserve that love. But God in His mercy loved me and allowed me to enter into His love and be forgiven. If I have been loved so much should I not love others even when they do not deserve it?

When we love others, who do not deserve it, we show that we really do love them. It communicates a sincere love when you love someone in deed and truth even when the world says you shouldn’t love them, they do not deserve it. Few things show us to be truer disciples of the Master than loving everyone and forgiving those who have wronged us. We can love everyone by letting Christ’s love flow through us. That is the only way to genuinely love others, always.

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