Monday, February 22, 2016

A Definiton of Love...

Love is… 

After four years of raising my mini-me, God blessed me with another boy! Pray for my wife now. There is a lot of testosterone and unbridled flatulence. Ha!

Although the boys are in the majority, she still runs things.

Somehow I figured that since I was such a pro at raising the first child, the second would be a cakewalk.

Not so much.

One evening, the baby was giving the fat lady at the opera a run for her money. Despite my best efforts, I could not get the curtain to close and that ear-piercing cry to end. Then, I relaxed, got up from the couch, and held him closer to me while lapping our living room.

It worked! It was as if all he needed was to be held more securely and carried from his place of discomfort.

Love is easy to say yet difficult to define. Trying to hold an absolute definition is challenging. It’s like grabbing a fist full of sand and attempting to not lose a granule.

Love is worth the effort.

There is a story of a young boy that asked his father, “Is it more beneficial to love or to be loved?” The father thought for a second then replied, “Ask a bird.” The boy gave his dad a bewildered look. The dad added, “Ask the bird, which of its wings is more beneficial.”

1 John 4:7-12 The Message (MSG)

God Is Love
7-10 My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.

11-12 My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!

As we near the end of the month dedicated to love…here are my thoughts:

1.     Love is action
In love, we should always work to refine and build on what we love. Whether your love is for an individual or an activity, if you love it, you will constantly work on it.  It likes a ship. Ships are made to move and take you places. If your relationSHIP, friendSHIP, companionSHIP, has stagnated – you may need to abandon ship or at least take a second look at the propeller. What is driving your love?

2.     Love is honesty
Feelings fade… If you can love them or it when no one else notices, you probably have a good thing going.

3.     Love is obedience
There are rules to love. Those rules come with examples of how to love properly. 
1 John 4:19 New Living Translation (NLT)
19 We love each other[a] because he loved us first.

God will not ask you to do MORE for someone else than He has done for YOU!

4.     Love is sacrifice.
God gave His son. Jesus gave His Life. What are you willing to give? Great Love requires great work. We must be able to give as much as we want to receive.


Remember that God loves you in any state that you are in. His love is not predicated on your actions. You had him before you could say hello. Nevertheless, it is your responsibility to cultivate that love. Spend time with Him. Learn how to love through Him. Then, like jumper cables, connect Him to what matters in your life and turn the key!


Monday, February 1, 2016

Empty and Needy...


John 4:1-29

Have you ever been thirsty? Not just, “Oh…I could go for a drink.” I’m talking about cottonmouth, middle of a marathon, outside chasing the kids in the summer, end of a hot yoga class, two-a-day football practice thirty!

Now imagine being at that place of extreme thirst and only receiving enough water to partially sustain you. 

We often expend extreme amounts of energy not only building thirst but also looking for ways to cure that thirst. Whatever our particular thirst may be, our efforts typically yield temporary pleasure for our unrelenting need… 

Imagine this particular time, your desire returns at the same intensity but now someone asks you to share from your private source of sustenance. 


The bible tells a story of a nameless woman who made a solo trip in the middle of the day. Her simple mission was to retrieve water and momentarily escape her reality. Yet someone meets her there!

We can escape everything but the presence of Jesus Christ...

Through her conversation with Christ we discover that she is mentally, emotionally, and physically empty. 

Women in that time gathered water in groups, she chose to travel alone at an unusual time.

She has had several husbands. Despite the circumstance of her multiple marriages – that’s a lot of love given away…

She is carrying an empty water pot. There is assumedly nothing left in her home.

At this dry place, Jesus says share. 

How do you share from an empty vessel…

Jesus says I know who you are and I understand how you feel – your temporary was convenient but with me it's forever. I am the “more than enough” you need.

She could have ignored the words of Christ, but something clicked .

A vessel perpendicular to the source cannot get filled - in order for that vessel to receive anything - it has to be lowered/humbled...

Take note of your down days. You are being positioned to receive! 

“The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?””
John 4:28-29 NKJV

I believe that the woman's encounter with Christ changed the rest of her life and the lives of countless others. Now she could share without fear of running empty. 

If you are in an empty, dry, or lonely place I know a man. He is sitting at a well ready to replenish and restore you. Put down your source for gaining temporary joy and receive from a well that won't dry. God can give you an inner fulfillment that supersedes your needs!