Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Plan of Love

When I was in college, I had a sign on the wall of my dorm room that said, "Love your enemies. It drives them crazy." The Bible says, "If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this you will heap burning coals on his head and the Lord will reward you" (Prov. 25:21-22).  Entertaining thoughts, for sure--can't you just imagine your villainous enemy roasting on a spit over those burning coals, while God, Himself, pats you on the back and congratulates you for your acts of humility and self-sacrifice? Delightful! But then . . .

The Lord also tells us to, "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on the cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect payment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners expecting to be paid in full. 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 knd to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful" (Luke 6:27-36).

Ouch! I'd feel a lot better if those words weren't written in red in my Bible. I mean, if Paul or John had written them, well, maybe they just exaggerated a little or something. But there they are in red, the words of Christ. He calls us to right motivation, to be loving toward others, just as our Father is kind to the ungrateful and wicked--me. He urges us to be more like Him, to treat others as He treated us, to really love those who are created in His image. And don't be fooled--that enemy of yours has worth; and what is his worth?--the life of a God! It is not His will that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

We will have enemies in this world, but the Bible reminds us that "our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, authorities, and powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12). So while it is probably true that we won't like everyone, we are commanded to love everyone.

There are two plans made for us in this life. One plan is from God, the other plan is from the devil. I choose God's plan, so I will try to love others as He has loved me. I will fail often, but He will search my heart, and because I give my weaknesses and failures to Him, His plan will overcome.

bh

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Yes!

"Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart" (I Samuel 16:7).

If one might make a list of top 10 favorite Bible verses, this verse would definitely be on my list! Just imagine--would you have chosen David to face Goliath? Would you have chosen Gideon to lead an army? Would you have chosen Esther to rescue a nation from annihilation? What about a carpenter to save the world? Hmmmm . . . me either.

God always makes the right choice because He's lookin' at the inside. He sees things like "potential," "gifts," "intentions," and "purpose." He is not overly impressed by physique, clothing, hairstyle, or academic degree. I'm so glad He doesn't sum up my worth by what people can see. We used to sing a song that went like this: "Yes, Lord, yes, to Your will and to Your way. Yes, Lord, yes, I will trust You and obey. When the Spirit speaks to me, with my whole heart I'll agree, and my answer will be 'yes, Lord, yes.'"

When He calls on you, remember, He knows what He's doing. Will you answer, "yes"?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Weapons of Our Warfare

David told Goliath, ‎"You come against me with a sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel" ( I Sam. 17:45). David chose stones and a sling to slay Goliath, but do you really think his choice of weapons in the natural made a difference? Of course he had learned how to use the stones and sling to protect his flock, but it was on his knees that David really learned to fight; it was singing praise to God that prepared his voice for a battle cry. 


Sometimes, whether we like it or not, we just find ourselves in a spiritual battle. Our preparation in prayer and praise makes all the difference. David wrote: "It is God Who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You give me Your shield of victory, and Your Right Hand sustains me; You stoop down to make me great. You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn" (Psalm 18:32-36).


 "The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds" (I Cor. 10:4). It worked for David--it works for us! Amen!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Congratulations Seniors!

Well, we finally have the website off the ground. I'm looking forward to http://www.cornerstoneweaver.com/ becoming a great ministry tool for advancing the Kingdom of Christ in Weaver and wherever else it may take us! It may take a while for all of the bells and whistles to be added, but I am confident that we have a devoted and capable team put together, and they will continue to work until they are satisfied with the results.

Congratulations to all of our graduates this year. Sam Massey, Torrance Williams, Haley Welch, Whitney Mitchell, Drew Dunn, Kristin Murphy, Matt Crook, Jasmine Dunkle, Jacob D'Acquisto, and Brandy Cheatwood. I know that many of you are aware of the rather grim statistics when it comes to the percentage of High School seniors who stay in church and committed to the cause of Christ after graduation. I stand with Pastor Marcus who believes that this group will defy those odds and become Godly men and women in our community. Seniors, we believe in you, but even more we believe in the power of Jesus to complete this good work that He has started.

Until next time,
CornerStone