Love Everyone Always

Luke 10:25-28 “And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”

Willow Creek Community Church has promoted a series called Love Everyone Always.

It asks “What does it mean to live out the teachings of Jesus?” then answers “We kept coming back to the commandment where Jesus tells us to love our neighbor.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

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Love, Joy, and Peace

Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness”

This devotional comes from Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship.

The future is something we all should be thinking about, because we need to plan ahead. Not only do we need to think about what we will do in this life, but also what we will do for all eternity.

An extensive survey conducted in the United States by a leading polling agency distributed questionnaires to people of various ages and occupations, asking, “What are you looking for most in life?” When the results were compiled, the analysts were surprised. Most expected those who were polled to say they wanted to achieve certain materialistic goals. But the top three things that people wanted in life were love, joy, and peace—in that order.

Galatians 5:22 tells us the fruits of the Spirit include love, joy, and peace. Thus, the very things people are looking for today can be found in a relationship with God. Yet some have given up on these things. They say, “Love, joy, and peace? That’s a pipe dream of flower children. Give me a break. You are not going to find love, joy, and peace in this world . . . not in the real world I live in.”

Would that describe how you feel right now? That isn’t the way life ought to be. In a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, we are promised not only life beyond the grave, but a life that is full and rich and worth living on this earth. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Jesus gives us life with purpose and, of course, life with the hope of Heaven.

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Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

Thanksgiving Proclamation

Issued by President George Washington, at the request of Congress, on October 3, 1789

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other trangressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go. Washington

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Reasons for Thanksgiving

Psalm 107:1-6 “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble
and gathered in from the lands,
Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to a city to dwell in;
hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.”

More Reasons to be Thankful from Al Bryant

  1. We thank God for life and health. These we share together. When plague strikes a city, terror reigns. Thank God for conscious well-being and supply of daily needs.
  2. We are thankful for the benefits of civilization, for ordered government, for scientific improvements, for education, good streets, institutions of benevolence, industry, and art. America has done much to improve the lot of the common men and women like ourselves. We must share it with the world.
  3. We are thankful for a Christian environment where temperance and goodwill are encouraged, and fellowship with kindly folk is possible for us all. What would we be without the church, the open Bible, and the Gospel of Christ? These are values beyond man’s power to estimate.
  4. We are thankful for faith in the midst of tragedy. There is a God who understands and cares. Dark and mysterious is our life, but His way is good and true. Our trust is in our salvation.
  5. We are grateful for the vision of better things to be, for the promise of Christ’s kingdom and universal brotherhood in Him. It is our highway from despair, cynicism, and degeneracy.
  6. We thank God for the hope eternal. This life is but the seed of a life that will blossom into unimaginable glory according to the promise of God.

Five orange pumpkins sit in a row in front of a distressed, wooden background.

Journey vs Destination

Titus 3:8I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.

Paul isn’t telling us that good works saves us, as he clears that up earlier in Titus 3:4-5. He does, however, reminds us that since we are part of the human race living along side of each other, working both in and for God’s Kingdom, we ought to be “already” mindset’ed. That is to say focusing attention on people around us (Paul calls this “excellent and profitable”) instead of solely “not yet” mindset’ed, focusing on the heavenly reward.

You have heard it said that “it’s not about the destination but the journey”. What are we doing today to make the journey for others a better place?

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Facing Giants

DAG1 Samuel 17:37 “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”

We all will face giants at one time or another in our lives. We try to defeat these giants. It could be a giant of fear. It might be a giant of some type of personal sin that you fall into again and again. It might be the sin of pride, envy, lust or something else. Your giant might be one of addiction, something that has a grip on your life.

How do we deal with giants? The answer is in the Old Testament account of David and Goliath.

David boldly defeated the giant Goliath, armed only with a slingshot and five stones. The will of the Philistines was broken. The Israelites were reinvigorated. And it was all because a shepherd boy answered the call of God and cut down the giant.

What can we learn from this story about facing off with our own giants in life?

First, recognize that we all have giants. We all face severe hardships, seemingly insurmountable obstacles. We all have problems.

Second, realize that the battle belongs to the Lord. David told Goliath, “For the battle is the Lord‘s, and he will give you into our hand.” (1 Samuel 17:47). That is why giants defeat us again and again, because we face them in our own strength and we lose. We need to realize this is the Lord’s battle.

Finally, trust in the Lord. Don’t look at God in the light of your giant. Instead, look at your giant in the light of God.

Bad News

Seems like all we see is bad news, either in the news or social media. God gives us hope and peace when we feel hopeless or distressed.  bad news

John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”