Be Christ-Like.

“This is my command: Love each other. 
(John 15:17 NIV)

            We commemorate on Easter Sunday the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  I asked myself what does it take to be Christ-Like?

            Christ emphasized the need that we love each other.  This must be our goal if we want to be Christ-Like.  We will never become like Christ but must strive towards being Christ-Like.  Heide and I have traveled many times to the Hawaiian Islands .  From the ALOHA Spirit we learned what true love means.  I have explored the different attributes of love.  This may shock you, to love each other cannot be achieve by reading and studying the bible.  I do not say you should not read the bible and study it.  To become Christ-Like we must do what the Word says.

            "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? … But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.  Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.  Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:32, 35-36 NIV)

1. - Love means Acceptance.  

           Acceptance means to overcome differences.  These differences come in many forms.  People are different.  They have different opinions and come from different backgrounds.  Their heritage gives them a molded image.  When Paul came to Jerusalem and tried to join the disciples, his old reputation came with him.  Only after Barnabas took him to the apostles and told them “how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.  So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem , speaking boldly in the name of the Lord”.  (Acts 9:27:28 NIV)  

            In later years Paul wrote a in his letter to the church in Roman and reminded them to

“… accept each other
just as Christ has accepted you;
then God will be glorified”.

(Romans 15:7 NLT)  

           Earlier Paul had talked in his letter that all people are sinners.  Are some people better than others are?  Certainly not!  We all fall under the curse of sin.  The following quote sounds harsh.  Take a moment and meditate on it.  

"No one is good -- not even one.
No one has real understanding; no one is seeking God.
All have turned away from God;
       all have gone wrong.  No one does good, not even one."

"Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. 
Their speech is filled with lies."
"The poison of a deadly snake drips from their lips."
"Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness."

"They are quick to commit murder.
Wherever they go, destruction and misery follow them.
They do not know what true peace is."

"They have no fear of God to restrain them."
(Romans 3:10-18 NLT)

Let us remind ourselves that
“… righteousness from God comes
through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.  
There is no difference,
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
and are justified freely by His grace
through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 
(Romans 3:22-24 NIV)

Let us put aside our pity differences.
Let us accept each other as God has created us.
God loves each one of His children equally.

Let us put aside rivalry and jealousy.
Let love shine in us.
Let us accept each brother and sister
with open arms.

2. - Love means Affection.

            Affection is a state of feeling.  Doctors call it a mental or emotional state.  These feelings can be good or bad; they can be warm or cold and influence our attitude and behavior.  I find an excellent description what affection means to a Christian in Paul’s letter to the Philippians. “It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God's grace with me.  God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.  And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ--to the glory and praise of God.”  (Philippians 1:7-11 NIV)  

            We must not be afraid to show our feelings toward our brothers and sisters in Christ.  The Apostle Paul was a great correspondent, expressed his joy, and commended the early churches for their Christian fellowship.  Where needed he lectured on stewardship.  Many times we confuse affection and affectation.  Pretending to like someone is an artificial behavior meant to impress others.  I want to share with you from Paul’s letter to the Colossians.  

            “ … as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to live in obedience to him.  Let your roots grow down into Him and draw up nourishment from Him, so you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught.  Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all He has done.  Don't let anyone lead you astray with empty philosophy and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the evil powers of this world, and not from Christ.  For in Christ the fullness of God lives in a human body, and you are complete through your union with Christ.  He is the Lord over every ruler and authority in the universe.” (Colossians 2:6-10 NLT)  

Let love shine in us.
We all have sinned
 and disobeyed God’s Commandments.
By His grace, we are forgiven.
With open arms He embraces us.
Let Love and Affection guides us.
May we all become Christ-Like
and bring glory to God.

3. - Love means Care.  

            Heide and I have the great privilege and joy to be part of the Love and Caring Ministry of the Langley Traditional Protestant Worship service.  What does it mean to care?  

As GOD’s people,
we will do His work and build-up His Church, the Body of Christ.

(Inspired by Ephesians 4:12)

            GOD, who called us into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.  (1 Corinthians 1: 9)  We must ensure that whatever we do, leads people into the fellowship of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  We must stay focused on this.  

            All members of our congregation are invited to join The Love and Caring Ministry.  We share a single goal to reach out and love our neighbors.  We believe that the Holy Spirit wants us to:  

·        care and display a spirit of love to all members of our congregation focusing on those that are ill; sad; do not know GOD and are spiritually lost; hospitalized; or unable to attend church services, but wish to.

·        send or take cards, flowers or other small caring gifts to remind members of Christ’s love for them and the love of the other members of our congregation.

·        visit members in their homes, hospital or anywhere, to remind them of Christ’s love, mercy, forgiveness, understanding, and compassion for the glory of GOD.

·        invite others into fellowship with the Lord and to let the Holy Spirit guide their life and thoughts.

·        help our brothers and sisters to trust the Lord and increase their faith in our GOD.

·        encourage further personal spiritual growth so that GOD can make Himself known to all.  

Do you have a Love and Caring Ministry?  

·        Jesus loves each and everyone of us.

·        Jesus is the head of the Church and Chief Cornerstone. (Ephesians 2:19-22)

·        The Church is the body of Jesus.

·        All parts function to unite the body for the glory of GOD.

·        The body of Christ (the Church) must grow from the functioning of its parts according to the Will of GOD.

·        Believers are Saints of the Church and compose the body of the Church, who are filled with the love of and for Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

·        Believers serve Jesus according to His Will for the glory of God.  They are saved by the grace of GOD for they are His workmanship and are His sons and daughters.

·        As believers and members of the body, we must minister to our neighbors leading them into fellowship with Jesus for the glory of GOD and growth of the Church according to His Will.  

The sole mission of our Love and Caring Ministry is to:  

·        Bring glory to GOD and growth to His Body, the Church.  

·        We must do this according to His Will as stated
in the Holy Bible and guided by the Holy Spirit.

“Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;
for He is our God and we are the people
of His pasture, the flock under His care.”

(Psalm 95:6-7 NIV)

You are forgiving and good, O Lord,
abounding in love to all who call to You.
Hear my prayer, O LORD;
listen to my cry for mercy.
In the day of my trouble I will call to You,
for You will answer me.

Among the gods there is none like You, O Lord;
no deeds can compare with Yours.
All the nations You have made
will come and worship before You, O Lord;
they will bring glory to Your name.
For You are great and do marvelous deeds;
You alone are God.”
(Psalm 86:5-10 NIV)

4.- Love means Compassion.

“The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”
(James 5:11 NIV)  

            Compassion is an urge to help   Many times Jesus showed His compassion and healed the sick and crippled that came to Him.  If we want to be Christ-Like we must show compassion, have a desire to help and comfort those in need.  

            “…  as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”  (Colossians 3:12 NIV)  

            In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, we find more help and support to show our compassion.  “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose”.  (Philippians 2:1-2 NIV)  

            Nothing explains it better than the story of the Lost Son as told by Jesus.  Here we see a father seeing his son coming home in remorse.  The father is eager to help him.  His love is so great that he forgets what lies in the past.  "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him”.  (Luke 15:20 NIV)  

            We live in a world today where compassion is used lightly and associated with pity.  We are proud of our accomplishments and pity those that suffer from loneliness and despair.  Wickedness and corruption are widespread and similar as in the days of Malachi.  The name Malachi means messenger.  I believe it is a message from God that warns us even today to love our neighbors and show compassion.

            “You have said, `It is futile to serve God.  What did we gain by carrying out His requirements and going about like mourners before the LORD Almighty?  But now we call the arrogant blessed.  Certainly the evildoers prosper, and even those who challenge God escape.'

            Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard.  A scroll of remembrance was written in His presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored His name.

          "They will be mine," says the LORD Almighty, "in the day when I make up my treasured possession.  I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him.”  (Malachi 3:14-17 NIV)  

”Have mercy on me, O God,
according to Your unfailing love;
according to Your great

blot out my transgressions.

Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.

Against You, You only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in Your sight,
so that You are proved right when You speak
and justified when You judge.”
 (Psalm 51:1-4 NIV)

5. - Love means Consideration.

           Consideration is the thoughtful or sympathetic regard for others.  This is a very powerful statement.  What does the word sympathetic mean?  I want to pick a few adjectives from the English Thesaurus: understanding, kind, sensitive, supportive, approving, agreeing, friendly and pleasant.   

            The Apostle Peter lectures Christians to be considerate.  There is no better example and clarification for consideration than we find in his letter.  Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.  Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.  Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing." (1 Peter 3:7-9 NIV)  

            As we approach Mother’s Day this Sunday, a day set aside to honor our mothers and wives, I remember an email that I received a while back.  I want to share it with you.  If you are a mother, I send it to you especially in honor of your role as mother.  Your consideration for the family well-being shows your love.  If you are a beloved husband or child, give this letter to your mother or wife in appreciation for all she does.  


         Mom and Dad were watching TV when Mom said, "I'm tired, and it's getting late.  I think I'll go to bed."

          She went to the kitchen to make sandwiches for the next day's lunches.

          Rinsed out the popcorn bowls, took meat out of the freezer for supper the following evening, checked the cereal box levels, filled the sugar container, put spoons and bowls on the table and started the coffee pot for brewing the next morning.

          She then put some wet clothes in the dryer, put a load of clothes into the washer, ironed a shirt and secured a loose button.

          She picked up the game pieces left on the table, put the phone back on the charger and put the telephone book into the drawer.

          She watered the plants, emptied a wastebasket and hung up a towel to dry.

          She yawned, stretched, and headed for the bedroom.  She stopped by the desk and wrote a note to the teacher, counted out some cash for the field trip, and pulled a textbook out from hiding under the chair.

          She signed a birthday card for a friend, addressed and stamped the envelope and wrote a quick note for the grocery store.  She put both near her purse.

          Mom then washed her face with 3 in 1 cleanser, put on her Night solution & age fighting moisturizer, brushed and flossed her teeth and filed her nails.

          Dad called out, "I thought you were going to bed."

          "I'm on my way," she said.

          She put some water into the dog's dish and put the cat outside, then made sure the doors were locked and the patio light was on.

          She looked in on each of the kids and turned out their bedside lamps and TV's, hung up a shirt, threw some dirty socks into the hamper, and had a brief conversation with the one up still doing homework.

          In her own room, she set the alarm; laid out clothing for the next day, straightened up the shoe rack.  She added three things to her 6 most important things to do list.  She said her prayers, and visualized the accomplishment of her goals.

          About that time, Dad turned off the TV and announced to no one in particular.  "I'm going to bed."

 We acknowledge God’s almighty power.
He is the ruler of the universe
and all things are according to His will.
We thank God for His blessings
 that He bestows upon us each day.
We thank Him for the love of our mothers and wives.
They hold families together and nurture loved-ones.

Lord, we ask that You bless and strengthen all families.
May the institution of a Christian family prosper.
As we go through our daily routines let love
 and consideration be part of it.

6. - Love means Empathy.

           To understand the true meaning of the word empathy, I want to share with you the German translation of Einfühlung.  Einfühlung means the projection of one's own personality into the personality of another in order to understand the person better; ability to share in another's emotions, thoughts, or feelings. (Excerpted from Compton ’s Interactive Bible NIV)  If you love someone and want to express the other person’s feeling, you must put aside your own feelings.  This is what Einfühlung means.  

            When Job's three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him.

            When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads.  Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights.  No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.” (Job 2:11-13 NIV)  

            Job’s three friends loved him to the point where they wanted to be part of his suffering.  They wanted to understand what Job was feeling and comfort him by being with him.  They gave up the comfort of their own home to be with their friend.  

            “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.  If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.  And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.  (2 Corinthians 1:3-7 NIV)  

If you want to be Christ-Like, you must adopt and abide by the scripture for your Christian Living.

“Keep on loving each other as brothers.
Do not forget to entertain strangers,
for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.
Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”
(Hebrews 13:1-3 NIV)

God loves us and blesses us each day.
God watches over us and comforts us.
We thank Him for His goodness and grace.
We ask that He gives us the courage and endurance to comfort others with

7. - Love means Forbearance.

            Forbearance means to me to do without or hold back, refraining from enforcing something.  In many situations, we are inclined to respond in anger.  We have been hurt or are in danger; our pride has been insulted or a questionable opportunity has presented itself, forbearance is a wise choice.  Forbearance is an important attribute of love, hold back unkindly remarks.  

            God presented Him (Jesus) as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood.  He did this to demonstrate His justice, because in His forbearance He had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished-- He did it to demonstrate His justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.” (Romans 3:25-26 NIV)  

            God has every right to punish us for our unrighteousness.  By His Grace and Love, He forgoes punishment for those who believe that His Son Jesus Christ died on the Cross.  The blood of Christ washed us clean.  

            “… for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:23-24 NIV)  

            All people are justly destined for eternal punishment.  Faith in His blood looks to Jesus Christ for His sacrificial death for us.  

            “You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away.  Then God made you alive with Christ.  He forgave all our sins. He canceled the record that contained the charges against us.  He took it and destroyed it by nailing it to Christ's cross.” (Colossians 2:13-14 NLT)  

You must make allowance for each other's faults
and forgive the person who offends you.
Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love.
Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony.
And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.
For as members of one body you are all called to live in peace.
And always be thankful”.
(Colossians 3:13-15 NLT)

God is compassionate and gracious.
He is slow to anger, abounding in love.
He does not harbor anger
nor treats us as our sins deserve.
As high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is His love for us.
May Your love shine in us.
May we hold back judgment
and forgive those who have done us wrong.

8. - Love means Forgiveness.

           Let us visualize for a moment.  What is forgiveness?  Someone has done you wrong.  To show your love, you take the guilt upon yourself.  You forgive and wash the slate clean.  This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26:20 NIV)  

            If Jesus can forgive our sins, what wrong can there be that we cannot forgive?  Jesus forgave murderers and thieves.  He forgave prostitutes and liars.  He forgave you and me.  Can you do the same?  

“…, my brothers, I want you to know
that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins
is proclaimed to you.”
(Acts 13:38 NIV)  

I urge you to forgive -unconditionally-
those who have done you wrong.

            Let me share with you God’s Word as written by the Apostle Paul to the Colossians.  “… as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

            Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

            Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.  And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:12-17 NLT)  

You must make allowance for each other's faults
and forgive the person who offends you.
Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
And the most important piece of clothing you must wear is love.
Love is what binds us all together in perfect harmony.
And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.
For as members of one body you are all called to live in peace.
And always be thankful”.
(Colossians 3:13-15 NLT)

Dear GOD,
“Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
O Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.  
If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins,
O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness;
therefore you are feared.  
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,

more than watchmen wait for the morning.”
(Psalm 130 1:6 NIV)

9. - Love means Friendship.

            As I was meditating on the meaning of Friendship, I realized that it is one of those universal words.  We assume that friends build friendship.  James, the brother of Jesus, speaks harsh when he cautions us: You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God?  Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.  Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit He caused to live in us envies intensely?  But He gives us more grace.  That is why Scripture says:  

"God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." 

            Oswald Chambers states “Friendship means identity in thought and heart and spirit.  It is rare here on earth.  The discipline of life is to enable us to enter into this closest relationship with Jesus Christ.”  

            Self-surrender is a difficult thing to do.  “…not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39 NIV)  While Jesus was among us in human form, he also struggled with self-surrender.  In His glory, He overcame this struggle and took our sins upon Himself.  “It is finished.”  (John 19:30 NIV)  I believe it was a joyful expression to have completed what God the Father had given His Son to do.  

            Oswald Chamber calls it The Fruitfulness of Friendship.  (My Utmost for His Highest 8/25)

            “Our Lord is our example in the life of self-sacrifice – ‘I delight to do Thy will, O my God.’  He went on with His sacrifice with exuberant joy.  Have I ever yielded in absolute submission to Jesus Christ?  If Jesus Christ is not the lodestar there is no benefit in the sacrifice; but when the sacrifice is made with the eyes on Him, slowly and surely the molding influence begins to tell.”  

“He is the one who invited you into this wonderful Friendship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
(1 Corinthians 1:9 NLT)

The Friendship we found in Jesus Christ
must be part of our Christian love.  

Love your brother, your sister, your neighbor
in thought and heart and spirit.  


Friends always show their love.
What are brothers for if not to share troubles?
Proverbs 17:17

"A friend is one to whom one may pour out all the contents of one's heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away."
 Arabian Proverb

"A friend in need is a friend indeed."
Latin Proverb

"To have a friend, be a friend."

"There are many types of ships. 
There are wooden ships, plastic ships, and metal ships.
But the best and most important types of ships are friendships."
 Old Irish Quote

"The only unsinkable ship is FRIENDSHIP."

"A friend is one who strengthens you with prayers,
blesses you with love and encourages you with hope."

"Friends in Christ are friends forever"

"Those who live in the Lord never see each other for the last time."  

Dear GOD,

We thank You for the Friendship
that You granted us.
We have sinned and neglected Your Commandments.
Humbly we come before You and ask for forgiveness.
May our journey here on earth bring glory to You.
May each day bring us opportunities
to form new friendships.
May the friendship that we form be sincere
and from our heart.

10. - Love means Generosity.

            Each day we all find in our mailboxes numerous requests for a generous contribution from charitable organizations and faith ministries.  These organizations rely heavily on our contributions and I am sure each one of you contributes as the Spirit guides you.  I want to share with you a different form of generosity.  Giving your time and giving your love in fellowship.  We all are very busy in this hectic world and gladly share a portion of our earnings.  True Christian Love means to me that I also give generously my time to Christ for His glory.  Make available time for Christian fellowship.  

            This is an excerpt from Compton 's Interactive Bible NIV. Dictionary
(Copyright (c) 1994, 1995, 1996 SoftKey Multimedia Inc.)

                        generosity: the quality of being magnanimity.

                        magnanimity: the quality or state of being magnanimous.

                        magnanimous: noble in mind; esp., generous in overlooking injury or insult; rising above pettiness or meanness.  

            This gives a very different meaning to generosity.  Please take a moment and meditate what it means to you.  Love means Generosity.  

God’s Generosity

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

For he chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.  In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will-- to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.  In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.
(Ephesians 1:3-8 NIV)

            “Generosity” reminds me of a story titled Potato Chips.  A child’s love is uncomplicated and simple.  A child’s love comes from the heart.  Please listen to your heart and love generously.

Potato Chips  

                A little boy wanted to meet God.  He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with a bag of potato chips and a six-pack of root beer and started his journey.

          When he had gone about three blocks, he met an old woman. She was sitting in the park, just staring at some pigeons.  The boy sat down next to her and opened his suitcase.  He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the old lady looked hungry, so he offered her some chips.  She gratefully accepted it and smiled at him.

          Her smile was so pretty that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered her a root beer.  Again, she smiled at him.  The boy was delighted!  They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word.

          As twilight approached, the boy realized how tired he was and he got up to leave; but before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned around, ran back to the old woman, and gave her a hug.  She gave him her biggest smile ever.

          When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face.  She asked him, "What did you do today that made you so happy?" He replied, "I had lunch with God."  But before his mother could respond, he added, "You know what?  She's got the most beautiful smile I've ever seen!"

          Meanwhile, the old woman, also radiant with joy, returned to her home.  Her son was stunned by the look of peace on her face and he asked, "Mother, what did you do today that made you so happy?"  She replied!  "I ate potato chips in the park with God."  However, before her son responded, she added, "You know, he's much younger than I expected."

          Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.  People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime!  Embrace all equally!

Have lunch with God....... bring chips.


Dear GOD,

We thank You for Generosity.
I ask You to bless my Christian brothers and sisters.
Show them a new revelation of Your love and power.
I the Holy Spirit to speak to their hearts at this very moment.  Where there is pain, give them Your peace and mercy. Where there is self-doubt, release a renewed confidence through Your grace.
Bless their homes and families.

11. - Love means Gentleness.

“… as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility,
gentleness and patience.
Bear with each other and forgive
whatever grievances you may have against one another.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
And over all these virtues put on love,
which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed,
do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

(Colossians 3:12- NIV)

“Let your gentleness be evident to all.
The Lord is near.”
(Philippians 4:5 NIV)  

“… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness and self-control.”
(Galatians 5:22-23 NIV)  

“… man of God, … pursue …gentleness. 
Fight the good fight of the faith!”
(1 Timothy 6:11-12 NIV)

Dear GOD,

We acknowledge You as the Almighty God.
You bless us each day
and give us guidance to become like Christ.
We ask that You deal with us gently
when we are ignorant and go astray.
As one Body and one Spirit in Jesus Christ,
may our heart be gentle, be patient and be humble, bearing with one another in love.

12. - Love means Interdependence.

            Interdependence may sound like a complicated word.  It is not.  Interdependence describes the function of both the human body and the spiritual body in Christ.  Our human body cannot function properly without eyes, mouth, arms, feet or any of the many other parts.  The same goes for our spiritual body in Christ, which is called church.  The church cannot function properly without a pastor, elders, ushers, greeters, a choir or any of the other members performing vital functions.  Interdependency describes something that happens between individuals, something that is shared among them.  

            To love someone requires at least one other person, unless you love yourself.  To love someone means that you share with the other person something.  There is an interaction between two or more persons.  They must participate in an active or passive form.  To experience love, you must allow the other person to love you.  That is passive love.  You will experience great joy if you return the love you have received.  That is active love and means interdependence.  

            When you feel God’s love in your heart, He will be pleased when you acknowledge Him and love Him.  There will be great joy in heaven when you share His love with others.  His love brings joy and happiness.  Think how much joy it brings when a little child comes to the parents and says, “Daddy or Mommy, I love you!”  Your Heavenly Father loves to hear from you.  

            "… he returned home to his father.  While he was still a long distance away, his father saw him coming.  Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.”  (Luke 15:19-21 NIV -in context)  

Are you coming home?  

            I want to share with you a story told by Rev. Dr. Robert M. Bowman, Presiding Bishop, United Catholic Church.  The title of his sermon was "Different Members, But One Body: A Call To Interdependence."  

            The Apostle Paul writes in his letter to the Corinthians that a church should function as a human body where no part is self-sufficient.  (1 Corinthians 12:12-30)  Each part contributes equally to the function of the body and is dependent upon the body.  They are truly interdependent.  There are parts of the body Paul does not discuss — elbows.  Have you ever considered what life would be like without them?  Rev. Bowman uses elbows to illustrate the difference between heaven and hell.  

            A noted theologian died and went to the pearly gates, where St. Peter welcomed him warmly.  The theologian said that he was anxious to enter heaven, but he said, "Before I go in, there’s one thing I’m curious about.  I know once I enter heaven, there is no coming back out.  And as a theologian, I have often speculated on the essential difference between heaven and hell.  Before I go in, could I have a glimpse of hell, just to satisfy my curiosity?"

            "Of course," said St. Peter, "Your dedication to the Lord has earned you that.  Come, I’ll show you myself."

            So St. Peter took the theologian to a great banquet hall.  Washbasins and grooming supplies were located around the perimeter.  And in the center was a banquet table loaded with the finest in food and drink.  But the people milling around the great hall were naked, dirty, unshaven, and emaciated.  They were clearly starving.

            Shocked, the theologian asked, "What’s wrong with these people?  Why are they like this?”    Easy," said St. Peter, "they have no elbows.  They can grab the food, but they cannot get it to their mouth.  Neither can they wash, dress themselves, cut or comb their hair, shave, or scratch where it itches.  Just try to do any of those things without bending your arms."

            "Horrible!" the theologian exclaimed.  "Now show me what heaven is like.”  Whereupon St. Peter whisked him to another banquet hall just like the first.  The facilities were the same, the food was the same, even the decorations were the same.  But the people were gaily dressed, immaculately groomed, and obviously well fed and happy.  The sounds of singing, conversation, and laughter filled the room.

            "I see," said the theologian, "this incredible difference in the people is because here in heaven they have elbows."

            "No," said St. Peter, "they don’t have elbows here either.  There are no elbows in the afterlife.  The difference is that here the people take care of each other.  They wash each other, dress each other, and feed each other.  And they scratch each other where it itches.  You don’t need elbows in heaven.  The people that come here have learned to accept their interdependence.  You have often heard it said that people can go to hell all by themselves, but they never go to heaven alone, but as a community.  Now you know why."

            The theologian thought about this, then said, "But why are there no elbows in the afterlife?”  "Ah," explained St. Peter, "elbows were never part of God’s master plan for humanity.  They were given to us while on earth so we could survive the selfishness around us.  But we were supposed to outgrow it.  We were certainly given the example in our parents.  They washed us, clothed us, fed us.  Babies do not need elbows ... except for sucking their thumbs.  That is a little selfish indulgence we are allowed.  But we are supposed to outgrow it.

            "The people in hell are trapped in their selfishness and their pride in their independence.  They never learned to care for others and to let others care for them.  But the people here have the antidote to that.  It is called ‘love.’  They have learned to give it and accept it."

Are you ready for paradise?  Have you accepted your interdependence on those around you?

            God carefully and lovingly designed us to be dependent on one another and incomplete by ourselves.  The ultimate example of this is a man and a woman coming together to create new life.

            Parents and children share a different kind of interdependence.  At first, the dependence is all one way.  Then it becomes mutual.  And in the end, it is often reversed, with the parent totally dependent on the child.  It is the way God designed us.  He planned it that way.  He did not have to.  It is a great blessing he has used to teach us love and to prepare us for eternity.             

Let us pray.

Lord, we recognize that we do not belong to ourselves. We belong to you.  We are your members, your hands,
your voice in this world.  We acknowledge our dependence on you.  And we acknowledge your dependence on us.  Never let us forget our place in your divine plan.  Use us, Lord, we are yours. 


13. - Love means Kindness.

            Kindness does not mean pity.  In a spiritual sense, I believe that feeling sorry is a different attribute from showing kindness.  Kindness shows feeling with respect.  Let me explain it with two events from the scripture where God showed kindness.  

            “Your servant has found favor in Your eyes, and You have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life.”  Lot, Abraham’s nephew, hesitated to leave Sodom and pleaded with God.  ”But I can't flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I'll die.  Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small.  Let me flee to it--it is very small, isn't it?  Then my life will be spared."  God was not angry with Lot , He understood his feelings.  ”He said to him, "Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of.  But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it.”  (Genesis 19:19-22 NIV)  

            “… Paul and some other prisoners were handed over to a centurion named Julius, who belonged to the Imperial Regiment.  We boarded a ship from Adramyttium about to sail for ports along the coast of the province of Asia , and we put out to sea. … The next day we landed at Sidon ; and Julius, in kindness to Paul, allowed him to go to his friends so they might provide for his needs.”  (Acts 27: NIV)  Julius, a powerful and trusted centurion of the Imperial Regiment understood Paul’s need for fellowship with other Christians.  

            These are two examples of kindness that show feelings toward the other person’s point of view.  There is no pity; there is kindness.   God understands our sinful nature.  He loves us and in His kindness forgives our unrighteousness.  If we want to love our neighbors, we must show kindness.  We must try to understand their point of view and act accordingly.  Love they neighbor, show kindness and help where needed.  

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith …
brotherly kindness;
and to brotherly kindness, love.
For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ”.

(2 Peter 1:5-8 NIV)

Nuggets of Theology

“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures.  We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.  But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy.  He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.  This is a trustworthy saying.  And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. (Titus 3:3-8 NIV)  

Dear GOD,

You have shown love and kindness toward us.
You have forgiven our sins and blessed us in many ways.
May Your love shine in us.
May we show kindness to our neighbors.
May we bring glory to Your name.
May the world get to know You as the Prince of Peace.

14. - Love means Patience.

            For the past months, we have looked at the many elements of love.  I pray that each of you has meditated on love and its meaning.  Patience requires training and inner strength.  We must be patient and wait for God to choose the right moment.   May God give us the strength and wisdom to be patient and wait for Him.   

“Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,

when they carry out their wicked schemes.

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret--it leads only to evil.”

(Psalms 37:7-8 NIV)  

“A patient man has great understanding,
but a quick-tempered man displays folly.”

(Proverbs 14:29 NIV)

            In his letter to the church in Corinth , the Apostle Paul describes love and patience in a very bold statement.

“Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”

(1 Corinthians 13:4-5 NIV)  

            In his letter to the church in Ephesus , while he was in prison in Rome , the Apostle Paul brings up the same subject of love and patience.  He gives this directive to members of church:

“Be completely humble and gentle;
patient, bearing with one another in love

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit
through the bond of peace.
(Ephesians 4:2-3 NIV)  

God loves us, His children.  --  He has patience with us.

Love means Patience.


Endless patience, selfless love.

By Mandy Navasero

Posted: 11:22 PM (Manila Time) | May 09, 2003
Inquirer News Service


ONE DAY, my oldest daughter blurted out to me: "Mom, you have endless patience!"  Well, if I have that, millions of "real" mothers all over the world have it, too.

Because, if little girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice, I think mothers are made of patience.  If at the beginning all mothers can think of is a child's "age of terrible twos," that episode pales when your child reaches ‘teenhood’.  Because all at once, only the most dire and the most sublime events seem to happen during this phase in a child's life.

Try first kiss, first dance, first love letter, first date, first cigarette, first break-up, first time to get drunk, and on to many more firsts! Some events can be more than just memorable, they can be downright tragic, and no matter what a mom does, she can never make it right for her little boy or girl ever again.

What carries a mother through all the high and lows of her child's life, no matter how many children she has?  Endless patience.  A mother's other name may well be masochist.  Mothers just go through these pains, eyes wide open.

When her child is bullied in school and called ugly names, when her child fails a big exam, or goes through a major upheaval, a mother simply grits her teeth and summons up all the comforting words she knows.  She then rolls up her sleeves to tackle her child's problem, taxing her ingenuity to come up with solutions, minor or major, but solutions nonetheless.  Sometimes they work.

And if a mother has four children like I do, and they are girls and boys, just like mine, then she has to be creative times four-or more.

Some mothers can be saints, even unorthodox and non-traditional ones like me.  I simply try my best to bring up my children the best way I know how.

I know I won't earn any gold medals for my efforts and I may not even stand up to scrutiny.  I have been told many times that I am not doing things right, that I may be out of the norm.  But in my own get-up-and-go and gung-ho way, I love my children and I only want the best for them. I hope I can make the major hurts in their lives go away, and I hope that I can always give them the best in life.

Sometimes, I ponder on what my life would be without them.  Very different, of course. I needn't scrimp and save and slave to death for tuition fees and uniforms, and a host of other concerns.  I could be summering in Boracay or gadding about in New York in autumn.  I could be anywhere, living the good life.

But probably not with a lot of meaning in my life.  Because, despite what mothers complain about all the time-losing their identity, not having enough time for themselves, not enough sleep, no time for the beauty parlor, not having money to spare for their own personal needs, not being able to go on private getaways-in the end, we love our children because they and their myriad concerns effect a connection to the real world, keep us anchored, sane in a way, level-headed, practical.  Children keep us real!  

Dear GOD,

You love each of us dearly.
You show patience and forgive our trespasses.
May Your love shine in us.
May we have patience and forgive others
as You forgive us.
May we grow in wisdom and our faith be strengthen.
May Your love protect us.

May all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You.
May those who love Your salvation always say,
"The LORD be exalted!"

15. - Love means Sharing.

            As I meditated on the meaning of sharing, the Holy Spirit guided me to Paul’s letter to Philemon.  “… be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.” (Philemon 6 NIV)  Sharing resources and other possessions is also of great importance in a Christian life.  I will focus on the meaning of sharing your faith.  

            To understand and welcome the opportunity to share your faith, I want to set the scene of what had taken place.  Who is Philemon and why is Paul writing this letter?  

            Paul wrote this letter to Philemon, a believer in Colosse who, along with others, was a slave owner.  One of his slaves, Onesimus, had apparently stolen from him and then run away, which under Roman law was punishable by death.  Onesimus met Paul in Rome and through his ministry became a Christian.  Now he was willing to return to his master Philemon.  Paul writes his personal appeal to Philemon and asks that he accepts him as a Christian brother.  

            Letter to a Slave Owner 

A slave's life hangs in the balance.

Onesimus was a runaway slave, a hunted fugitive whose life was in constant danger.  He had two options.  He could spend his days hiding in the dark, grimy alleys of a Roman city, dodging soldiers and bounty hunters.  Or, he could do the unthinkable and return to his master.  The laws of the empire were harsh.  If Onesimus did return, his master Philemon had the legal power to sentence him to immediate execution.  If Philemon mercifully decided to let him live, Onesimus would have the letter F (for Fugitivus) seared on his forehead with a branding iron, marking him for life.  

Paul defends a runaway.

Onesimus conversion to Christ through Paul's ministry greatly complicated the decision of the runaway slave.  He knew he could not keep running all his life.  He had wronged his legal owner, and, painful as it seemed, he needed to make amends.  Paul agreed to use his full influence on Philemon.  Onesimus's life hung in the balance.  This 468-word letter to the slave owner masterfully brings together Paul's skills of persuasion and diplomacy.  Every phrase is crafted to produce the best possible effect.  Paul appeals to Philemon's friendship, his status as a Christian leader, his sense of love and compassion.  He doesn't outright order Philemon to consent, yet he applies blatant pressure.  Addressing the letter to Philemon's church increases the pressure, as does Paul's promise of a personal visit.  

Christ can overcome any social relationship.

Onesimus, a runaway, decided to turn himself in.  Paul asks for a second miracle.  He pleads with the owner to "welcome him as you would welcome me" (verse 17).  Such an attitude, in that culture, was social dynamite.  

How to Learn from  Philemon?

Paul had a close relationship with both the slave Onesimus and his owner Philemon.  Some scholars believe that Onesimus first heard about Christ when he shared a jail cell with the apostle.  As you read Philemon, think of awkward social situations you know about: two estranged friends or a parent-child conflict, for example. Notice the kind of persuasion used by Paul, and try to apply it to your own circumstances.  

(Excerpted from Compton 's Interactive Bible NIV)

·      Love means Sharing.

            I always thank God when I pray for you, Philemon, because I keep hearing of your trust in the Lord Jesus and your love for all of God's people.  You are generous because of your faith.  And I am praying that you will really put your generosity to work, for in so doing you will come to an understanding of all the good things we can do for Christ.  I myself have gained much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because your kindness has so often refreshed the hearts of God's people.

            That is why I am boldly asking a favor of you.  I could demand it in the name of Christ because it is the right thing for you to do, but because of our love, I prefer just to ask you.  So take this as a request from your friend Paul, an old man, now in prison for the sake of Christ Jesus.

            My plea is that you show kindness to Onesimus.  I think of him as my own son because he became a believer as a result of my ministry here in prison.  Onesimus hasn't been of much use to you in the past, but now he is very useful to both of us.  I am sending him back to you, and with him comes my own heart.

            I really wanted to keep him here with me while I am in these chains for preaching the Good News, and he would have helped me on your behalf.  But I didn't want to do anything without your consent.  And I didn't want you to help because you were forced to do it but because you wanted to.  Perhaps you could think of it this way: Onesimus ran away for a little while so you could have him back forever.  He is no longer just a slave; he is a beloved brother, especially to me. Now he will mean much more to you, both as a slave and as a brother in the Lord.

            So if you consider me your partner, give him the same welcome you would give me if I were coming.  If he has harmed you in any way or stolen anything from you, charge me for it.  I, Paul, write this in my own handwriting: "I will repay it."  And I won't mention that you owe me your very soul!

            Yes, dear brother, please do me this favor for the Lord's sake.  Give me this encouragement in Christ.  I am confident as I write this letter that you will do what I ask and even more.”  (Philemon 4-20 NLT)  

Love means Sharing.

Sharing means Participating.


This implies to take part in an activity.

Let us all share the joy and participate in the burden.  

.  “… be active in sharing your faith …”  

Dear GOD,

Heavenly Father, Lord Almighty,
we come before You and acknowledge our sins.
We ask for forgiveness and restoration.
We thank You for Your love and caring.
Let us set aside our selfish ways and share Your love.
Let us be active participants in Your church.
May we be a living sacrifice to Your glory.

16. - Love means Sympathy.

            My first inclination of sympathy means pity.  Love does not mean pity.  From its Latin translation sympathy means sameness of feeling.  Here is another modern interpretation from the science of Physics:  a relation or harmony between bodies of such a nature that vibrations in one cause sympathetic vibrations in the other or others.  ( Compton 's Interactive Bible NIV.)  I believe this is what Job’s friends had in mind to experience when they joined him in his sickness and misery.  “When Job's three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him.”  (Job 2:11 NIV)  

            The Apostle Peter gave this instruction to all of us.  “… live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.”  (1 Peter 3:8 NIV)  Love does not mean pity.  Love means sharing of feelings.  

            Fellowship in Christ with our Christian brothers and sisters creates a feeling of togetherness.  We become one in the church body.  Love bonds us together.  We share each other’s joy and difficulties.  We have one common center, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  

            If you have not experienced this fellowship, ask the Lord to bring you into His family.  Through fellowship in Christ, we grow and strengthen each other in our faith.  Sympathy is a feeling of coming together and sharing with each other.  Love means sympathy.  May God bless you this moment.  

            “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.”  (1 John 1:7 NIV)  

            “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:1-5 NIV)

Dear GOD,

Lord Almighty, we acknowledge Your sovereign power.
We thank You for Your goodness and blessings.
We ask that You guide us and give us wisdom.
As another hurricane threatens us,
may leaders take proper precautions.
May the devastation be limited in scope.
May this Nation be united in its response.
May all things be according to Your will.

17. - Love means Thoughtfulness.

            Thoughtfulness shows that one thinks of the well-being or comfort of others, thereby anticipating their needs or wishes.  The book of Ruth describes her unswerving and selfless devotions.  Boaz was a wealthy man and had noticed Ruth.  He had a warm heart and a thoughtful mind.  After Ruth got up from her meal with Boaz, she got up to continue collecting the remaining grain from the previously harvested fields.  Boaz showed his thoughtfulness by giving the following order to his men.  "Even if she gathers among the sheaves, don't embarrass her.  Rather, pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don't rebuke her."  (Ruth 2:15-16 NIV)  

            “So Ruth gleaned in the field until evening.  Then she threshed the barley she had gathered, and it amounted to about an ephah.  (This equals about 3/5 bushel.)  She carried it back to town, and her mother-in-law saw how much she had gathered.  Ruth also brought out and gave her what she had left over after she had eaten enough.”  (Ruth 2:17-18 NIV)  

            Children show love by being thoughtful.  They think of well-being and comfort for their loved ones.  This reminds me of a little girl named Tess.  She loved her family very much and thought of a plan to help.  I understand this is a true story.           

The Miracle

            Tess was a precocious eight year old when she heard her Mom and Dad talking about her little brother, Andrew.  All she knew was that he was very sick and they were completely out of money.  They were moving to an apartment complex next month because Daddy didn't have the money for the doctor's bills and our house.  Only a very costly surgery could save him now and it was looking like there was no-one to loan them the money.

            She heard Daddy say to her tearful Mother with whispered desperation, "Only a miracle can save him now."

            Tess went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet.  She poured all the change out on the floor and counted it carefully.  Three times, even.  The total had to be exactly perfect.  No chance here for mistakes.  Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way six blocks to Rexall's Drug Store with the big red Indian Chief sign above the door.

            She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention but he was too busy at this moment.  Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise.  Nothing.  She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster.  No good.  Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter.  That did it!

            "And what do you want?", the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice,  "I'm talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven't seen in ages.",he said without waiting for a reply to his question.

            "Well, I want to talk to you about my brother.", Tess answered back in the same annoyed tone.  "He's really, really sick and I want to buy a miracle."

            "I beg your pardon?" said the pharmacist.

            "His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now.  So how much does a miracle cost?"

            "We don't sell miracles here, little girl.  I'm sorry but I can't help you, the pharmacist said, softening a little.

            "Listen, I have the money to pay for it.  If it isn't enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs."

            The pharmacist's brother was a well dressed man.  He stooped down and asked the little girl, "What kind of a miracle does your brother need?"

            "I don't know," Tess replied with her eyes welling up.  "I just know he's really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation.  But my Daddy can't pay for it, so I want to use my money".

            "How much do you have?" asked the man from Chicago .

            "One dollar and eleven cents", Tess answered barely audibly," and it's all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to."

            "Well, what a coincidence," smiled the man. "a dollar and eleven cents-the exact price of a miracle for little brothers."

            He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her mitten and said, "Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let's see if I have the kind of miracle you need."

            That well dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specializing in neuro-surgery.  The operation was completed without charge and it wasn't long until Andrew was home again and doing well.  Mom and Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place.

            "That surgery", her Mom whispered, "was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost?"

            Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost dollar and eleven cents the faith of a little child.  A miracle is not the suspension of natural law, but the operation of a higher law. ....

Dear GOD,

“To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul;
in You I trust, O my God.

Do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.

No one whose hope is in You
will ever be put to shame,
but they will be put to shame
who are treacherous without excuse.”
(Psalm 25:1-3 NIV)

I thank You for the opportunity to serve You.
I thank You for Your Son Jesus Christ.
May my heart be filled with love and compassion.
May my ears hear Your voice and follow Your will.
May my actions bring glory to You.

18. - Love means Tolerance.


·                    "It takes one to know one."

·                    "The pot calls the kettle black."

·                    "The donkey calls the pig 'long ears.’  "  (Spanish proverb)  

            "You may be saying, "What terrible people you have been talking about!"  But you are just as bad, and you have no excuse!  When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you do these very same things.  And we know that God, in His justice, will punish anyone who does such things.  Do you think that God will judge and condemn others for doing them and not judge you when you do them, too?  Don't you realize how kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you?  Or don't you care?  Can't you see how kind He has been in giving you time to turn from your sin?”  (Romans 2:1-4 NLT)  

            Tolerance means freedom from bigotry or prejudice.  What is bigotry or prejudice?  It is a narrow-minded opinion that leads to hypocritical judgment.  Prejudice describes a preconceived and unreasonable judgment or opinion that usually is unfavorable and marked by suspicion, fear, or hate.  

            Jesus condemned bigotry and prejudice.  In His Sermon on the Mountain, Jesus lectures us to show tolerance.  "Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.  Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, `Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye”.  (Matthew 7:1-5 NIV)  

            In Luke, we find another example where Jesus lectures on hypocritical judgment.  It is the Story of the Pharisee and Tax Collector.  Then Jesus told this story to some who had great self-confidence and scorned everyone else: ‘Two men went to the Temple to pray.  One was a Pharisee, and the other was a dishonest tax collector.  The proud Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: “I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else, especially like that tax collector over there! For I never cheat, I don't sin, I don't commit adultery, I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.”  But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed.  Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, “O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.”  I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God.  For the proud will be humbled, but the humble will be honored."  (Luke 18:9-14 NLT)  

            Love means Tolerance.  

            Let me share with you portions from Paul’s letter to the church in Rome .  There is great danger in criticism.  Accept Christians who are weak in faith, and don't argue with them about what they think is right or wrong.  For instance, one person believes it is all right to eat anything.  But another believer who has a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables.  Those who think it is all right to eat anything must not look down on those who won't.  And those who won't eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them.  Who are you to condemn God's servants?  They are responsible to the Lord, so let Him tell them whether they are right or wrong.  The Lord's power will help them do as they should.

            In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike.  Each person should have a personal conviction about this matter.  Those who have a special day for worshiping the Lord are trying to honor Him.  Those who eat all kinds of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating.  And those who won't eat everything also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God.  For we are not our own masters when we live or when we die.  While we live, we live to please the Lord.  And when we die, we go to be with the Lord.  So in life and in death, we belong to the Lord.  Christ died and rose again for this very purpose, so that He might be Lord of those who are alive and of those who have died.

            So why do you condemn another Christian?  Why do you look down on another Christian?  Remember, each of us will stand personally before the judgment seat of God.  For the Scriptures say,

‘As surely as I live,' says the Lord, `every knee will bow to me
and every tongue will confess allegiance to God.'

            Yes, each of us will have to give a personal account to God.  So don't condemn each other anymore.  Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not put an obstacle in another Christian's path.

            I know and am perfectly sure on the authority of the Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat.  But if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong.  And if another Christian is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it.  Don't let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died.  Then you will not be condemned for doing something you know is all right.

            For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God.  And other people will approve of you, too.  So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.

            Don't tear apart the work of God over what you eat.  Remember, there is nothing wrong with these things in themselves.  But it is wrong to eat anything if it makes another person stumble.  Don't eat meat or drink wine or do anything else if it might cause another Christian to stumble.  You may have the faith to believe that there is nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it between yourself and God.  Blessed are those who do not condemn themselves by doing something they know is all right.  But if people have doubts about whether they should eat something, they shouldn't eat it.  They would be condemned for not acting in faith before God.  If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.  (Romans 14 NLT)  

Be tolerant to each other.  

Dear GOD,

May I be tolerant to the view-points of others.
I thank You for the opportunities placed before me.
May I have the courage to show Your love
and proclaim Your heavenly glory.
May our ears listen to Your words for guidance.
May our hearts be warm and reach out to our neighbors.

19. - Love means Unselfishness.  

Philosophers and theologians have debated the meaning of unselfishness many times.  Let me give you two examples from the life of two different men of faith.

(1)  Abraham and Lot moved from Egypt and came to Bethel .  They need more room and decided to separate.  In an act of unselfishness, Abraham gave Lot a choice.  Lot chose the rich Jordan plain for himself.  God rewarded Abraham for his unselfishness and renewed His promise to make him into a great nation.  (Genesis 13)

(2)  The Apostle Paul was in prison in Rome and writes to the church in Philippi.  He opens his letter with Thanksgiving and Prayer.  Paul does not complain about his situation.  Instead, he explains his ministry and encourages the Philippians to live in Christ and Imitate Christ’s Humility.  (Philippians 1)

Unselfishness puts the happiness and well-being of others ahead of your own without seeking a reward of any kind or feeling good about your accomplishments.

   One thing impressed my mind most peculiarly when the Lord was first opening my eyes - I never found Christ doing a single thing for Himself. Here is an immense principle. There was not one act in all Christ's life done to serve or please Himself.  An unbroken stream of blessed, perfect, unfailing love flowed from Him, no matter what the contradiction of sinners - one amazing and unwavering testimony of love, and sympathy, and help; but it was ever others, and not Himself, that were comforted, and nothing could weary it, nothing turn it aside.”
(J. N. Darby, STEM Publishing: The writings of J. N. Darby:
Unselfishness.- Christian Friend vol. 16, 1889, p. 51 (

… the quality of not putting yourself first but being willing
to give your time or money or effort etc. for others;
"rural people show more devotion and unselfishness
than do their urban cousins"

(Copyright © 2005

 "Love must be sincere.  Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.  Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.  Honor one another above yourselves.  Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”  (Romans 12:9-13 NIV)

"We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.  Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.  For even Christ did not please Himself but, as it is written: "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me."  (Romans 15:1-3 NIV)

"Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.”  (1 Corinthians 10:24 NIV)

"Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”.  (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV)

Dear GOD,

May I be unselfish in my actions.
May I have courage to forsake my own desires.
O God, my Lord, each day brings new challenges.
May I take the opportunities You give me
and bring glory to You.


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Your brother in Christ
Wulf Berg

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