I wrote this post back in February of 2012 as a new blogger. I decided today would be a good day to revive and update it, because it is as pertinent today (maybe even more pertinent) as it was eight years ago!
Work at Loving!
Like you, I want to be more kind, more loving, more at peace. In giving, we receive. Kindness is reciprocal. Peace of mind is a gift to those who live in the fullness of LOVE. But, in a world full of hate and devisiveness, illnesses like depression and the current Corona Virus, we have to work at loving and finding peace!
Very few of us have the privilege of finding a spot like this one where we can sit quietly at the top of a peaceful place and just breathe the clear air slowly.
Where can we find peace in the midst of our bustling real world?
Work to Find Time to Know Him
I schedule TIME each morning to be with the Holy Spirit. In my quiet meditation time that morning back in 2012, I stumbled upon 2Peter 1:2-7. The question that starts that scripture caught my heart. “Do you want more and more of God’s kindness and peace?”
I was reading the Living Bible, paraphrased – a large print copy that used to belong to my father-in-law. Gratefully, I inherited it when he passed on to his eternal home. This passage was underlined. Grandpa Beekman had double-underlined the next sentence, “Then learn to know Him better and better.”
Meditation and Study Time
My sanctuary time each morning is all aboutgetting to know Him better, and listening for His still small voice. As I study God’s Word, and get to know Him better, there are many benefits. The rest of this passage spells them out – and I easily connected the idea of “increased faith” with the reality of “increased love.” But there is a long pathway that leads to increased love (which equates to more of God’s kindness and peace). It takes plain old good, hard work!
2Peter 1:3 “For as you know Him better, He will give you, through His great power, everything you need for living a truly good life: He even shares His own glory and His own goodness with us!”
Study to Know His Goodness and His Promises
I have added the capitals to “His.” The Bible doesn’t capitalize it. For me, the word requires a capital case letter when the him/his is not just any old him or his, but the One HIM, our Lord and Savior, God. So, when I share in His glory and goodness, it is special indeed! The scripture doesn’t stop there, though.
2Peter 1, Verse 4- “And by that same mighty power, He has given us all the other rich and wonderful blessings He promised; for instance, the promise to save us from the lust and rottenness all around us, and to give us His own character.”
Wow! What a promise!! How can I attain such blessings? Some would say it is totally by His grace. I don’t have to DO anything. Just because I BELIEVE I am His “chosen,” I will receive all these blessings. Well, not according to 2Peter 1: 5-7. Read on!
Work at Increased Faith
“BUT, to obtain these gifts, you need more than faith; you must also work hard to be good, and even that is not enough. For then you must learn to know God better and discover what He wants you to do.”
(That’s always a trick to discern what He wants me to do!)
With Patience, Put Aside Your Own Desires
“Next, learn to put aside your own desires so that you will become patient and godly, gladly letting God have His way with you.”
I am reminded of my oldest grandson, Mikey. He’s now 28, but when he was barely able to pull himself up by his mother’s apron strings and stand knee-high next to her, he would tug on that apron as she warmed his bottle in hot water on the stove. Sure he was starving to death, he would cry, “Paaaay-shuns! Paaaay-shuns!”
(Ah yes, we long for paaay-shuns even as we are barely able to verbalize a sentence!)
Walk the Path to Grow in the Capacity to Love
“This will make possible the next step, which is for you to enjoy other people and to like them, and finally you will grow to love them deeply.”
Grow to love. Grow in faith. Work at it.
Take the path that has “exercise stops” along the way.
Exercise your goodness first – the goodness Christ has given you.
Then stop to exercise wisdom – the knowledge we gain as we study God’s Word and practice being more and more like Christ.
Next, exercise selflessness and self-control, the fruits that the Holy Spirit has planted in you.
Practice patience and gentleness.
Your next stop on the exercise trail is labeled “Gratitude.” It is there that you learn to be grateful for the gifts you have been given while you focus on the gifts in others.
Put On Your Jesus Glasses
When you put on your Jesus glasses, you see the goodness, compassion, and faithfulness of others as God sees them. When you put on your Jesus glasses and appreciate all that is unique and wonderful about others, you see them as God’s creations. You have exercised enough now to love them.
Love Takes Effort!
Love is a gift worth working for. Thank God, He has freely loved us long before we knew how to love Him back. But now we do! We are getting to know God better and better. Praise the Lord!
The Bottom Line
Yes, the bottom line is the key:
Love One Another.
What will you do today to demonstrate your love for others? Tell me about it!
My child, you are worrying too much. remember who I am there is nothing too hard for me. You may not see it, but I have everything planned out for you.
Verse of the Day:
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” -Proverbs 3:5-6
Each morning I begin my day sitting in this old rocking chair that Bob’s great-grandpa built. It’s up in the corner of my favorite room in the house – my sanctuary.
You can see Mornings with Jesus, my #1 devotional, on the chair in front of my “All Things Grow with Love” pillow. The picture above the photo of room is today’s page. My bookmark reminds me daily of my 2020 resolution: “Walk the Talk.”
Prov. 3:5-6 is the verse on that card. It’s one of my favorite scriptures. With it tucked firmly under my belt and in my heart each morning, I read the daily devo and write in large, fat letters the 2 to 6 words that are my “take away” for the day. You can see “SIMPLY TRUST HIM” is today’s message.
At the top of my devo page I write my plan for the day … the part of it that God directs to my angelic perch from His heavenly Holy Spirit’s leading. It helps me to “Walk the Talk” when I put my trust in what He has “up His sleeve.”
What are your plans for this beautiful Sunday? I hope you take time to pray. The Faith Step that’s partly covered by my bookmark in the devo picture says, “Recall the times when Jesus answered your prayers in ways you didn’t expect. If you’re praying for something right now, don’t keep Him in a box. Expect Him to answer beyond your expectations.”
Go ahead. Listen for His leading. Step out confidently today with plans God sets before you.
Jesus responded, “ Didn’t I tell you that you would seeGod’s glory if you believe?”
Pray with me, “Thank You, Jesus, for praying with us and for us. Thank You for Your presence in our lives. Now, as we walk the talk, guide our feet where You want us to go today. Help us meet who You want us to meet. Whisper what You want us to say. Help us be who we were made to be. Show us what You want us to do as we walk in Your will. Amen”
The coldness of this Montana winter inspired our Rev. Steve Hundley to pray to our Lord using snow and ice as metaphors that grabbed my attention last Sunday at our church.
I asked Steve for permission to share his Pastoral Prayer with you. I think it is so poetically and beautifully written, I hope you will appreciate it as much as I do.
“We come to You, O Lord, at a time when much of our valley has been gripped by snow and cold – when roads have been clogged and winds have been strong and some have struggled to keep warm.
Let the coldness of this season raise the question of our own spiritual temperatures.
Has our relationship to You been frozen and stiff?
Are the ways of our hearts clogged by snowdrifts of apathy and indifference?
Do the lines of communication between us sag and break beneath the iciness of neglect or doubt?
Send now a warming trend into our lives. Let there be a melting of our hearts, and a surrender to Your will and Your Way. Grant that the icicles of pride and loneliness may fall from our hearts, and that the heat of Your love and grace may break up the ice floes that have kept us apart.
Transform us into centers of warmth that will radiate Your presence into the cold-hearted world around us. Show us how to be Your light, like the warmth of the sun, warming the earth.
Grant peace to those who are anxious and renewal to those who are tired. Instill in our nation a longing and a desire for the common good. Let Christ come and touch us now so that all our problems may be small ones, dwarfed in the magnitude and beauty of His presence.
For in Christ there is no coldness, but eternal springtime.”
This is a prayer that I will read each morning during these cold, winter months … and pray to our Lord that indeed He will “transform [me] into a center of warmth that … radiates [God’s] presence into the cold-hearted world around us.”
I found this “Japanese Wisdom” on Facebook. People had commented about it and clicked their “likes” and “loves” and “sad” … and that one person who was “sad” was probably the one who wrote an irate comment denouncing the title.
Oh my, how sad that someone would see this and be incensed that the Japanese took ownership! Hey, I don’t care who thought it up first, I just love it. And I think it is more than true: “If you don’t know, shut up!”
There is no reason to be offended by something as clever and universal as this. Just embrace it!
I am headed to have breakfast and go to church. I will pray for that caustic person who was offended to have a peace-filled day. “If it’s not nice, don’t say or write it!”
We ALL want to make a positive difference in this world – right?
One way to make a difference is simply to be kind and helpful! But there is no “simply” about that.
It takes a concerted effort sometimes to respond with kindness. Our natural, almost automatic, first response when someone is being mean or unkind to us is to snap back… at least that’s the way it used to be with me.
It has taken me 80 years of living to learn to guard my tongue! And sometimes, even now it gets the best of me. But I usually am quick to realize it when that happens, and I am never reluctant to ask for forgiveness.
The problem is sometimes I am too self-centered to even realize I have hurt someone with my words!! That never happen to you, does it?
I guess I’m not perfect yet.
Another way to make a difference is simply to plant love. But there is no “simply” about that either.
Sometimes the seeds of adversity and division get the best of me.
I watch something on TV or I read something in a magazine or newspaper that is hateful or just plain false and deceptive. And I let that simmer in my soul. I want to lash out at the TV person or rip up the newspaper.
But surely that never happens to you!
Just Love One Another
It’s easy to say, but ever so hard to do! But if we want to make a positive difference in this world, it has to be all about LOVE first and foremost!
Be Forgivingof Yourself
Even when we try hard, we may not always be the loving person God intended us to be.
But we can make a difference if we learn to forgive ourselves for those mistakes of character. Others see and are encouraged by our ability to overcome!
Be Forgiving of Others
Another way to make a difference in this world is simply to be forgiving of others. But there is no “simply about that either.
Sometimes I want to use a “mad” icon. “Sad” just doesn’t do it. It’s not enough.
I want to show the world that what was said or done just makes me angry.
But anger never solved any of this world’s problems. It only exacerbates them, ya know?
Forgive the ones who anger you, Pray for your understanding of their position. Try to figure out where they’re coming from. Forgive their ignorance (hah!)!
Disagree without being disagreeable!
Be a PeaceMaker
And yet another way to make a positive difference in this world is to be a PEACEMAKER!
Pray daily for the wisdom,
obedience to God,
and the humility
that it takes to be a peacemaker, and to make a positive difference in this world.
It’s not a task for the Lone Ranger, the Lone Stranger, or the Lone YOU! It takes the LOVE of the HOLY SPIRIT working in you.
Know that God is your heart… so Pay attention to His Leading!
He will always lead you to Love, Peace, and Making a Positive Difference!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
I’m headed off to TOPS. (Those are my friends who help me keep the weight off. They make a difference in my life!)