pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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The Two Are Connected

At our church we have been emphasizing the ideas of “love God, love neighbor” for the last couple months.  For both parts of this statement, I have come to two realizations.  First, “more” is or needs to be implied because we will never love God or neighbor enough.  Second, how we love God and love neighbor is best shown through how we treat them.

Romans 12 is full of ‘how’ statements about how we are to love neighbor.  Love must be sincere.  Honor others over self.  Live in harmony.  Bless those who curse you.  Give food and drink to the needy – especially those who are your ‘enemy’.  Overcome evil with good.  This list is not complete, of course, but it is a good start.

The things on this list are also part of how we ‘show’ that we love God.  Our works are born out of that love.  The two cannot be separated.  We also connect to God through worship, prayer, devotions, reading the Bible, fellowship.  Through these practices we come to love God more.  Through these we also come to understand how to love neighbor more.  The two are connected.

Scripture reference: Romans 12: 9-21


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Faithful and True

We are called to spread God’s word and love.  Jesus compared the discipling of others to seeds and yeast.  In Matthew 13 the small mustard seed grows into a large plant that is home to many birds.  The ‘yeast’ that we work into the ‘dough’ spreads out and causes all of the dough to rise to new heights.  As we spread God to those in our worlds, we help them to grow in their faith.  It is neat to watch another grow in their faith.

But sometimes we have to wait.  The seed does not sprout overnight and the yeast takes time to work.  Sometimes it is hard to wait.  Although we can see and feel other ways God’s kingdom is being built, at times we can hone in on one person or one situation in our life.   It then becomes hard to see big picture that God is painting.

We must learn to wait patiently and to continue in our labors.  We are only the labors – God and the Holy Spirit are what cause the seed to sprout.  We know that the Father is faithful and true.  He is our hope and our strength.  In Hebrews 10 we find encouragement: “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how we may spur on another on toward love and good deeds”.

Scripture reference: Matthew 13: 31-33