Tag: love

Jesus Says Make Disciples

Jesus Says Make Disciples

Encouragment, Jesus Says
We end our exploration of Jesus’ commands where we began. We started with Jesus’ final command, often called the Great Commission. In that first article, we examined the command to make disciples, not in the sense of force but in the sense of inviting others to follow Jesus. But in that first look we ended with a question – What are the commands Jesus is instructing His followers to obey and teach? That question launched the journey called “Jesus Says.” To refresh our memories. Jesus said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”” (Matthew 28:19–20, NIV) This simplest way to phr
Jesus Says Don’t-Do-Don’t Be Afraid

Jesus Says Don’t-Do-Don’t Be Afraid

Encouragment, Jesus Says
Let’s say for a moment that we’re trying to find a radio transmitter hidden in a barren desert. We mark one point and gain a general direction. We move to another spot which narrows down the area even more. But to precisely locate the transmitter we need a third point. Then using that information we can triangulate the position of the transmitter. That process of triangulation is illuminating as we consider our next Jesus Says command. Jesus said, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth m
Jesus Says Be Perfect in Love

Jesus Says Be Perfect in Love

Encouragment, Jesus Says
We all have a sense of perfect. We know what we like and what we don’t. Perhaps we can describe our perfect day. Our perfect spouse. How perfect children would behave? The problem is that perfect demands 100% accuracy. Deviate by .00000000000001 and the perfect is only near perfect. But our understanding of perfect is not the Bible’s understanding. Which is both a relief and a challenge. Jesus closes his explanation about love by saying, “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48, NASB95) If “perfect” means 100% accuracy without any deviation, then we’re off the hook. It is literally impossible for us to be perfect like God is perfect. He’s God! All-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving God! We know that Jesus would not give us an impossible task so
Jesus Says Love All

Jesus Says Love All

Encouragment
By Kerry Rohman - As an adult, removing myself from chaos sounds peaceful and relaxing. As a child, however, I thought this time of sitting out was boring, seemed like an eternity, and well, absolutely terrible. Like mother, like daughter.  This week, my five-year-old daughter, Ava, had to experience the ever-dreaded TIME OUT. Her Legos, Barbies, and Shopkins would not magically clean up themselves as she hoped. Moping around and complaining didn’t work either to get her out of her job. Right when I sent Ava to the brown owl beanbag, tears started flowing down her face, and then came the phrase, “You don’t love me anymore!” Whether she was trying to be manipulative is not the point. The point is that I had a choice to make. And, in this moment of childish rebellion and stinging words, I
Our Call of Duty

Our Call of Duty

Encouragment
Sometimes I’m surprised by the meaning of words. Even common everyday words can mean something different than our typical usage of them. I’m not talking about slang terms although there’s always a few surprises there as well. Who would have thought that chill means something other than chill? Take the everyday word “ought.” Most of the time we use it as a kind of suggestion. “You ought to change your oil.” I was surprised to discover that “ought” is more powerful than a simple suggestion. Consider this verse. John said, “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (1 John 3:16, NASB95) In my normal everyday usage, “ought” sounds like a pleasant suggestion. “Yep, we ought to love each other. It would be a really nice
Walking Through 2nd Peter – Peter’s list for Fruitfulness

Walking Through 2nd Peter – Peter’s list for Fruitfulness

Encouragment
The world is filled with lists. Collections of words to remind us what we need to pick up on our next shopping trip. Bullet points of an agenda or presentation. Bucket lists of things we want to do before we die. The Bible has its share of lists as well. The Beatitudes are a kind of list. So is Paul's description of the nine fruit of the Spirit. Lists help us break down the complex into easier to remember bite-sized chunks or remind us of the details contained in a whole. Our next step in our walk through 2nd Peter also presents a list. Peter's List Peter encouraged, "Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your...
ABCs of Faith – Loving Faith

ABCs of Faith – Loving Faith

Encouragment
Have you ever rode a unicycle?  How about a pogo stick?  Or perhaps you have tried hopping around on one leg. All are doable but not the most stable things in the world. It takes great effort and concentration to maintain balance when there is only one point of contact. Faith works like that too. Focusing only on faith is like trying to ride a unicycle. The hard truth is that faith never stands alone. It is one leg of a comfortable and inviting chair. In a chapter that is often reserved for weddings, Paul describes love in 1 Corinthians 13. In those poetic words there is also a warning about faith. “If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:2, NASB9
reThinking48 – Whatever is Lovely

reThinking48 – Whatever is Lovely

Encouragment
It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But is beauty only determined by the one observing or is there more to the story? This is not some strange philosophical pondering. We need to explore this to understand and rethink what Paul meant by dwell on whatever is lovely. Unlike truth, honor, and justice which are highly objective, lovely appears to be in the eye of the beholder. Or is it? Welcome to our reThink48 series as we consider Paul’s instruction to the Philippians. “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” (Philippians 4:8, NASB95) As you’ve seen from above, this entry explores “wh
Like a Goldfish in Water

Like a Goldfish in Water

Encouragment
They say that a goldfish doesn’t notice the water around it. That living in water is so natural and common that they take no thought of it. I wonder sometimes if the same isn’t true for us. Could there be something about our lives that is so common that we don’t take thought of it very often? The direct metaphor between fish and us would be the air around us or the earth beneath our feet. But I think that there is something even more pervasive or even prevalent than those examples. To perceive this “thing” we must for a moment shut off the busyness of life, push aside our preconceptions of the world around us, and lay down our previous experiences. In short, we must look past all the distractions of what we regularly see for just a moment. So often we see the Bible, (no that’s not
Walking Through 1st Peter: Peace to All in Christ

Walking Through 1st Peter: Peace to All in Christ

Encouragment
Twenty-four weeks ago we began a journey. We opened Peter’s first letter to the persecuted believers of Asia Minor and chose to walk through it instead of rushing through it. Along the way, we noticed familiar verses and discovered new vistas.  We watched as Peter returned several times to his main themes of suffering, triumph, and encouragement. Even in these last few closing verses, those same themes reverberate. Peter closed his letter in this way. “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen. Through Silvanus, our faithful brother (for so I regard him), I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that

Walking Through 1st Peter – Good Stewards of God’s Grace

Encouragment
One way or another we all care about something or someone. A child cares for their toys. A student stewards their time and focus. A factory worker sees to their machine. A husband and wife manage the home. Your pastor shepherds souls. A farmer husbands his field, flock, and harvest. We are all stewards of something. Peter reminds us that those who have chosen Jesus and walk with him are called to steward the gifts of God. Welcome to our 19th edition of our Walk Through 1st Peter. Feel free to join in even if this is the first article of this series you’ve seen. Previous articles are on our website – lambchow.com. Peter wrote, “The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another
Walking Through 1st Peter – 16, A Call to Action

Walking Through 1st Peter – 16, A Call to Action

Encouragment
Inherent in just about everything we read, see, or hear is a call to action. Sometimes it’s just a subtle suggestion. An unspoken hint that life would be better or more fun if we owned, say, a particular car. Often the call to action is brash and bold. “But wait there’s more, call now and get two miracle magic whatchamadings for only 19.95 (plus shipping, handling, and whatever else we can tack on).” The call to action may be the adoption of a way of thinking or feeling that is being played out in the novel we’re reading or the show we’re watching. Our next step through 1 Peter also contains a powerful and challenging call to action. Welcome to our sixteenth step of our Walk Through 1st Peter. In the past few articles, Peter has laid out some challenges for his readers regarding the rel