Archive for love

Reminder, Saved By Grace… Christine McDonald

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , , , on March 22, 2019 by paulthepoke

Everyone be blessed!

JUDGING OUTSIDERS IS UN-CHRISTIAN
Paul told us to stop judging people outside the church. Jesus said God will judge us by the same standard with which we judge others. Paul also reminds us to drop the uppity-attitude; that none of us were saved by the good we did but by grace.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

So what can you do?
1. STOP JUDGING NON-CHRISTIANS. START LOVING THEM.
Very few people have been judged into life-change. Many have been loved into it.

Mark 12:30-31 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

2. EMPATHIZE WITH NON-CHRISTIANS
Ask yourself, “If I wasn’t a Christian, what would I be doing?” Chances are, you might be doing exactly what the non-Christians in your neighborhood are doing. Understanding that and empathizing with that completely changes how you see people. And they can tell how you see them.

Colossians 3:12-14 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

3. HANG OUT WITH NON-CHRISTIANS
Jesus did. And caught plenty of disapproval for it.

Mark 2:15-16 And it happened that He was reclining at the table in his house, and many tax collectors and sinners were dining with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many of them, and they were following Him. When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they said to His disciples, “Why is He eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners?”

4. PRAY FOR UNCHURCHED PEOPLE
How many unchurched people do you pray for daily? How many people you disagree with do you pray for daily? It is impossible to hate someone you genuinely pray for daily.

Luke 8:1-2 Soon afterwards, He began going around from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God. The twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out…

5. LIVE OUT YOUR FAITH AUTHENTICALLY
Your actions carry weight. Humility is far more attractive than pride. When a non-Christian sees integrity, it’s compelling. I just have a feeling if we in the church loved the world the way Jesus did, the world might come running to Christ. And then the change we long to see might actually begin to happen.

James 1:22-24 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.

https://www.gofundme.com/crypurplemovie

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

https://crypurplemovie.com/

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Created to Crave Community… Christine McDonald

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald with tags , , , , , on February 8, 2019 by paulthepoke

Every single day, our lives are filled with opportunities to connect with others in meaningful ways. In times gone by, neighbors were friends who chatted over the backyard fence, played board games on Saturdays, mowed each other’s lawns, and borrowed sugar and eggs. Today we are surrounded by people all the time, yet we exist in a world where we share a mutual unspoken expectation to keep to ourselves. We have separated ourselves from our fellow humans into a world of isolation and superficial contact. Yet we are commanded to love our brother as ourselves.

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What would happen if we defied that isolating expectation and began to notice those we interact with? What could happen if you looked the cashier at the grocery store in the eyes with a smile and asked, with genuine care, how his or her day was going?

God has hardwired us to need one another, to respond in kindness, and to crave community. Somewhere along the line, the church seems to have lost that concept, or at least the fullness of the concept. Paul says in Romans 12:4-5, “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” We are to be as one. Yes, we are hardwired by God to crave community!

Look around. Who have you trained your eyes to ignore out of discomfort, or even because of things deemed too painful to consider? Those who are different from us (this may include those who are homeless, those who are prostituted, those with disabilities, or those from a different ethnic or socioeconomic background) are sometimes the ones we are most comfortable blinding ourselves to. Yet they are the ones most in need of being seen.

God has promised that His grace is sufficient. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) He has equipped us to see even those we may be afraid to notice. But they need you. And believe it or not, you need them.

Lord, open our eyes to see those you’ve called us to see today. Help us to step out of our comfort zone and look beyond ourselves. Help us to see your passionate love for others in such a way that we are compelled to love in the same way you have loved us.

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

https://crypurplemovie.com/

MLK Day, 2019

Posted in Culture, Our Daily Bread with tags , , , , on January 20, 2019 by paulthepoke

Featuring Paul Beverly

I’m 100% for equality! Treat everyone the same, with love. However, I do not believe in entitlement. I am not entitled to anything because of who my dad may have been or for any reason. Do not live feeling you’re entitled. Live feeling everyone should be equal & with love.

How you treat others says everything about you. Your race, religion, sexual preference, looks, or whatever won’t define you really compared to if you’re a kind & caring person. Choose kindness.

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Luke 6:31 And as you wish others would do to you, do so to them.

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Romans 2:11 For God shows no partiality.

Have an equal loving Martin Luther King Jr Day my friends!!!

We All Wear Masks… Christine McDonald

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , on December 9, 2018 by paulthepoke

MasqueradeWe all wear masks, a façade we can control and manage that tells the world who we are—or at least who we want them to think we are. Yet deep down, our greatest longing is to be known for who we truly are. We want to be seen and accepted for who we are, unfiltered.

As children, we show our true selves with unadulterated abandon. We are full of life, hope, dreams, and open arms. We imagine ourselves as fighter pilots, princesses, doctors, lawyers, nurses, astronauts, or anything else our imaginations can dream up. As we grow older, experiences teach us to show people only the parts of us they can’t hurt, even if they try. Life and growing cynicism stamp out the sky–high dreams we once held. No child says, “I want to be a prostitute, homeless, raped, or addicted when I grow up.”

The most special moments, though, are when we meet someone who truly sees us in spite of our efforts to put up an impenetrable wall. As scary as those moments are, they are the most freeing, too. To have another person validate our uniqueness among humanity breathes value all over our soul. It is as if, in that moment, our Creator whispers through that person, saying, “I still see you and I know you. No matter where you are, you are mine and you are loved.” When David wrote, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalm 139:14, NIV), he took a moment to see himself as God sees him. He recognized that he was a marvelous creation of a marvelous God.

Christine McDonald

Each person you come into contact with is a marvelous creation of a marvelous God. He or she is dearly and deeply loved by a God who knows us each intimately, even down to the numbers of hairs on our head.

Luke 12:7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

Take a moment today to “see” someone. Loving others is that simple.

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

 

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Precious in HIS Sight

Posted in Christine "Clarity" McDonald, Culture with tags , , , , , , , on November 16, 2018 by paulthepoke

Christine McDonaldChristine has assisted in writing Federal legislation for block grant dollars to states for Substance Abuse.

Our culture ascribes value to people based on a million things that are never listed or mentioned in the Bible as qualifiers for God’s grace and love. We can have compassion for all of the hurting we encounter. I pray that we are challenged to look, not at the behaviors of the moment, but at the people beneath. I hope we dig a little deeper and begin to fight for people.

Instead of passing judgment on the spot, what if we simply asked, “How did this individual get here, right here at this moment in time?” Then we could ask, “God, what would you have me see and do for this individual, right here at this moment in time?”

To be like Christ, we must look beyond the shell; then we will see a hurting individual and not just a label. Labeling can be just as damning as the objectification practiced by the buyers of sex. Let me reiterate: We are as guilty of objectification and commodifying people as the buyers of sex are when we accept and view people according to labels: “prostitute”, “addict”, “disturbed”, “criminal”, etc. I could continue the list, but I think you get the picture here.

homeless eyes

We must look past the classification to the created person. God knows each one of us so well that He knows the numbers of hairs on our head (Matthew 10:30), so don’t you think He probably knows that guy on the street by name and not as “the addict?”

How do we look beyond the shell? How do we see beneath the surface of those we have a heart for? We have to be intentional, asking God to reveal this to us. We have to be humbled and willing to be uncomfortable.

What can we do? How can we change this? We have to get educated! We have to ask the right questions! And we, as a community, have to shift our views from criminal to hurting individuals for these populations!

Let’s hope eyes will be opened to see these individuals through new eyes, so that together we can make a real difference.

“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald

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Jude: Love

Posted in Jude with tags , , , , , on October 28, 2018 by paulthepoke

Jude 1:2 May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

This is the second time the word αγαπαο/agapao or “love” is used by Jude. For what it’s worth, scholars argue whether the term is used three or four times by Jude.

This is αγαπαο/agapao. This is God’s “love” for us. Defined as love, affection, good will, benevolence, to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly. This love is the nature of God.

Get the flutter out of your stomach and the tingle out of your senses. This love is purposeful with selection. God chooses us despite our issues.

God is love. He is αγαπαο/agapao.

1 John 4:8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

1 John 4:16 And we have come to know and believe the love that God has for us. God is love; whoever abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

God demonstrated His αγαπαο/agapao for broken humanity by sending His Son.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

hand-1910143_960_720 pixabay

In response to God’s love, we are called to αγαπαο/agapao. We are called to love with all of our being and all that we have to offer; heart, soul, mind, and strength. In the verses below from Mark 12, the original language communicates this love is a future action. Jesus is telling us how and who to love.

Which begs the questions, do we put God first in our lives? Order matters to Jesus. He put God above others. Have we made personal sacrifices for God? Do we love God with intensity and passion? Do we sacrifice ourselves on behalf of others? Do we love our neighbors with the same gusto as we love ourselves?

Mark 12:29-31 Jesus answered, “The most important is, Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”

 

Jude places the focus on the concepts of mercy and peace and love. May these ideals be multiplied and lavished. May an abundance be heaped upon you, the believer in Jesus Christ.

 

Jude: Called, Loved, & Kept

Posted in Jude, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 9, 2018 by paulthepoke

Jude 1:1b To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:

…those who are called… In the original Greek, the word for “those” is the definite article τοῖς. It is the plural form of what would be translated as “the”. Definite articles are a big deal in the Greek language. The koine Greek of the New Testament has no indefinite articles like we do in English. There are no “a” or “an” in the language. A definite article is a point of emphasis.

God the Father describes “those” as called or κλετοσ/kletos. The idea is called, invited (to a banquet); invited (by God in the proclamation of the Gospel) to obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom through Christ; called to (the discharge of) some office; divinely selected and appointed.

Everybody is ultimately invited to the call of Jesus Christ. Salvation is for all of humanity.

1 Timothy 2:3-4 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit…

…beloved… “Those” are “loved”. This is αγαπαο/agapao. This is God’s love for us. Defined as love, affection, good will, benevolence, to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly. This love is the nature of God.

The concept is God has loved us from the past and His love will never end. His love for us is eternal. It is God who has shown us what love is and how to love.

John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

 

…in God the Father… The verse states “those” are “in” God positionally. As believers in Jesus, this is our place. We are in the body of Christ. Believers are sealed with the Spirit. Jude states we are fixed in the Father. This position is confirmed by John as well as others.

John 10:28-29 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

 

and kept for Jesus Christ: The Father has looked upon “those” and τερεο/tereo or “kept”. Tereo means: to attend to carefully, take care of or to guard. Metaphorically to keep, one in the state in which he is; to observe or to reserve: to undergo something.

The point is God has always “kept” us and He will continue to “keep” us. The Father does not change in the way He views us.

We are “kept” for Jesus Christ. The language is vague. But is there an implication something is coming to “those”???

1 Corinthians 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

 

Definitions provided by Strong’s Concordance.

 

 

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