Love Thy Neighbor

Love Thy Neighbor

It doesn’t take a whole lot to notice that people are hurting. Some more than others. Everywhere I go people are facing trials, difficulties, disappointments, discouragements, challenges, personal sicknesses, or death of a loved one. Sadly, I think everyone I know is either facing some type of cancer or has a loved one who is facing cancer or another life-threatening illness or disease…The world is in a very complex mode.

For the past several days I had noticed a huge amount of traffic in and out of my neighbor’s home. Knowing that her elderly parents lived in the house, I was concerned that one or both of them had taken ill. And, that’s exactly what had happened. As I was leaving this morning, my neighbor walked over to tell me the sad news that her father had been diagnosed with Leukemia and was now on hospice care; it was just a matter of time. She wanted to apologize for all of the cars that had been parked along both sides of the road for the past few days. But, I assured her that was absolutely not a problem for me. To me, the cars symbolized those who loved her and her family well enough to be there with her at such a sad and difficult time.

As I continued to drive out of the neighborhood, I looked at the different houses wondering who lived in them…Even though my husband and I have lived in our neighborhood for the past eleven years, I can only testify to knowing two or perhaps three of the families. Being older and retired, we have no children living in our home to help us be more interactive with the other families. And, besides that, people are just more fragmented and isolated more than they were when I was a child growing up. But, the Bible clearly states that we are to “Love Our Neighbor.” How can we love them if we never meet or know them? Is it possible that God is telling us, as Christians, to be more “pro-active” in our efforts to know and acquaint ourselves with our neighbors? You decide.

Nevertheless, I am deciding what covered-dish (a Southern thing!) to take over to my neighbor’s house to show our “neighborness.” They actually only moved into the neighborhood a couple of months ago, so I may be the only neighbor they have met so far. I think it would be nice if we all thought like “neighbors” more and remembered God’s command to “Love Thy Neighbor.” Perhaps, if we did people would find comfort in our efforts and not feel so all alone.

Look around you today…Who do you see hurting or going through a difficult time in their lives? Maybe, a card; a letter; a covered-dish; or a phone call might help to brighten their day…Even a message on FB can help to show our concern; after all we are living in a “technology-ran” world! So, use all the resources provided to help, “Love Thy Neighbor.”

Remember, God Loves You!
Lin T Rollins, Author

Advertisements

Adversity/Conflict

Adversity/Conflict

6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. (I Corinthians 12:6 KJV)

I sometimes stand in absolute amazement (not in a good way) at all of the adversity and conflict that exists among God’s people; good believing people.  Don’t get me wrong. There are absolute truths in God’s word that cannot, should not, and  must not be left to man’s own interpretion…God said it…That settles it…I’m not talking about that type of adversity/conflict…At least, on that one principle all Bible-believing Christians should stand united…God said it…That settles it.

But, what about the many diversities (differences of opinion and natures) of mankind?…Unfortunately, like many others, I have experienced and seen insurmountable amounts of adversity/conflict in my own life from differences of opinions and different biological make-ups of individuals. As a child, I witnessed my paternal grandfather and step-grandmother have major upheavals. I think the entire family lost count of the number of times they separated, divorced, and remarried before my grandfather died at 67 years old.  Sadly, my maternal grandparents also had major differences of opinions.  Actually, when you think about it what married couple doesn’t have adversity/conflicts to deal with and handle; some more than others? What family? What Company? What Nation?  What Race?  We all do…(Adversities and Diversities…of operations…)

Oh, how I wish we could all get alone with peace, kindness, and compassionate acts of love. But, we are too much like snowflakes…we are all different with many diversities within and without…I wonder sometimes how God has so patiently handled and put up with all of the adversities and conflicts He has witnessed since the creation of mankind…It has to be overbearing, overwhelming, and something that we, as humans, can never grasp or fully understand.  But, God is NOT human man…He is Superior…What is overbearing, overwhelming, and too big to grasp for mankind is well within His reach!  God sits on the Throne…He is NOT troubled one bit…That’s why He is God who worketh “all” in “all.”

Yet; while we were “yet” sinners God gave his son, Jesus Christ to die for us.  That is probably one of the most profound Biblical truths found in the Bible…Christ did not die for us because we were or ever will be totally good, pleasant, agreeable, easy-going, kind, or lovely…He died for us because we were sinning sinners filled with sinful thoughts and sinful ways…Because of who He is…is why we can sing, “Amazing Grace…” “Great is Thy Faithfulness…” and  “Praise be unto Thy name…”  Let’s face it, no ordinary “human” would sacrifice with such great love and acceptance…No one…Not one…None…Only Christ Jesus…

We live in a fallen world filled with fallen people struggling to make sense of it all…We want goodness; but badness sneaks right into our hearts and minds.  We want peace; yet war and strife fill our lives.  We want to do good; but bad just seems to come naturally…For by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world

Is there a solution?  Is there an answer?  “Yep;” as we often say in the South…There is an answer…We can fully Trust in the grace and mercy of Christ Jesus, put our faith in His righteousness, dust the dirt off of our knees, hands, and faces…and walk in the newness of life…A new, faith-filled day-to-day walk that includes falling down many times along the way…But, knowing, by faith, that when we give up…God holds on…When we want to throw in the towel..God brings us a canopy…When we feel defeated…God reminds us of Calvary…When we cry…God wipes away the tears…

Adversity/Conflict…I think they will always be with us in one way or another until we die or the Lord returns…But, how we handle adversity and conflict should be one major goal of the Christian life.  Do we let it take us farther away from God’s truths or move us closer?  God is wanting to build a one-on-one relationship with us so that when we face adversities we may know for certain that God remains and will always remain by our side…No matter the outcome…

In this life, I may be hated, not loved, misunderstood, despised, betrayed, and rejected by friends, family, peers, and loved-ones…Yet, it will NOT separate me from the Love of God….because God died for me while I was yet a sinner; not someone who was, is, or ever will be perfect…  It is the same God that worketh in us all…How? in diversities of operation!  We all simply act, think, and behave somewhat differently…no two are alike…Even in the Body of Christ…We are different and should accept those differences to help make us stronger and actually more united!

Today, you may be facing adversity/conflict like we all do…It hurts, deeply hurts, there’s no doubt about it…But, while chosing to face it with Faith is a challenge, it is also worth the choice…and the outcome…For in doing so, we are moving closer to God; not farther away…Amen…May you move closer to God today!

Mercy…God’s Love and Mercy

Mercy…God’s Love and Mercy…

 “O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.”

1 Chronicles 16:34

I am not sure if reflecting upon ALL of God’s mercies bestowed upon mankind is something we think about more often as we get older and wiser, or do we think about God’s mercies more often as we become better enlightened and acutely aware of the mercies He has bestowed upon our own individual life?  Perhaps, it is a combination of both; being aware of the two…God has bestowed abundant mercies upon all of mankind, and he has bestowed abundant mercies upon my life.  And, the older I get the more aware I become of this fact!

The opposite of “mercy” can be found in harshness, unforgivness, penalty, and a complete lack of pity, kindness, and compassion; especially from a position of “authority.”  Example:  “The judge took NO pity upon him and gave him the maximum penalty.”   However, each day, our God, the Supreme Judge and Omnipotent Source of Authority in both Heaven and Earth grants countless acts of mercy and kindness from his all-powerful throne room on high!  Daily, His mercies renew….Praise be unto God!! Can you even imagine what life would be like without God’s mercies!!!

What if God was harsh, unforgiving, unkind, and showed no pity or compassion upon our lives and the innumerable accounts of violations we commit against His Holiness each day?  Oh, I would hate to live in a world without God’s mercy.

But, how often do we fail to show mercy and demonstrate kindness and forgiveness towards others?  I know that I am certainly guilty of such.  What if God did unto us what we did unto Him?  Scary; isn’t it?  As being humans, we only know Mercy because of God, the Mercy-Giver.  God’s very first act of kindness and mercy was demonstrated in the Garden of Eden at the fall of mankind….Ever since that moment in time, God has been demonstrating continual acts of kindness and mercy towards his children…Those who believe in Him and seek out His kindness and mercies.

When I was a child growing up, I did not go to my neighbor’s house to ask forgiveness and mercy when I did something wrong that day in school.  I went to my own father and sought his forgiveness…Why?  Because I didn’t BELONG to my neighbor…I belonged to my father; I was his child!  For those of us who are God’s children through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, we, too, can seek our Father’s forgiveness and mercy when we have transgressed (sinned)…Oh, how wonderful it is to have a personal relationship with God the Father through God the Son!

This morning, you may be in need of kindness and mercy; someone in authority who will show and demonstrate compassion and sympathy unto you…Your heart longs for this type of love….I would like to suggest that you take your “case” to God the Father.  His mercies endure from generation unto generation and they renew daily.   God is rich in mercy….Oh, what an abundant source of Love and Grace we can find in God’s mercies.

Mercy…Mercy…God’s Love and Mercy has saved both you…you and me…If we had gotten justice we’d surely be lost, but we found mercy when we knelt at the Cross!  (I love this old hymn.)

Remember, God Loves You!

Lin T. Rollins, Author

“A Little Kindness Will Do…”

“A Little Kindness Will Do…”

“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering” (Colossians 3:12 KJV)

Today’s blog has three points…Times when we need a little kindness in our life from others …Times when we are the one who gives kindness to others…and possessing the knowledge that Jesus is always our supreme “Kindness Giver.”

Have you ever just needed a little kindness in your rather busy day or schedule?  Just someone who comes along and sincerely asks,  “How are you?” And, takes the time to actually listen!  Perhaps, a phone call from an old friend who shows interest in your life?  A minute in time when someone  is NOT wanting or needing anything in return; just a warm-hearted person offering a kind, gentle smile or words of encouragement?  Of course, the answer is “Yes,” with a capital “Y!”  We all need these special moments in our lives.

But, what happens when we DON’T have that special “someone” who calls us out of the blue or shows a particular interest in our well-being?  What happens when we are going through a tough time, or feeling lonely, or over-whelmed with activities, or misunderstood and no one around us seems to “pick-up” on our “drowning” signals?  Those more difficult times in our life when we seek out “kindness,” but instead receive a cold-uncaring shoulder of negativity… Ouch!!  Well, anchor down my friend…because these times do come into ALL of our lives….I call them my “Garden of  Gethsemane” moments.  Times when only “closet-prayer” with Jesus can help.

When we study the life of Jesus Christ, we learn that at the most difficult, sorrowful, and harshest time in his earthly life, he was left alone.  His closest friends and disciples “slept” while he agonized in prayer to His Heavenly Father for strength and endurance.  Triumphantly, God answered Jesus’ “Garden of Gethsemane” prayers as He was empowered to complete and fulfill the “purpose” of His coming to earth; to redeem the loss and dying world through his victorious life, death, burial, and grand resurrection.  Just like Jesus, we can find strength and empowerment to make it through our tough and “lonely” times as well.

It is true….God created us to interact one with another…As the old adage says, “No man is an island unto himself.”  We all need to show and to receive kindness…Even “A LITTLE KINDNESS WILL DO” at times.  But, there are times when we will find ourselves alone and facing things on our own…Today, you may be in need of a friend who will show you kindness, support, and mercy.  You need not look any further than your “Garden of Gethsemane” prayer-closet.  God will meet you there.  You are NOT alone.  He always has the time to give you a warm and friendly spiritual hug.  His mercies “renew” every morning and He is just waiting to share them with you….

On the other hand, you could be that one person put in a position to show and demonstrate kindness to another in need…On yesterday, while shopping at the grocery store, I noticed a lady having difficulties bending down to pick up an item from a lower shelf.  Having been a back-surgery patient myself, I could relate.  So, I walked over and offered to assist.  She was very grateful.  She shared with me that she was in the midst of making a decision on whether or not to have surgery on the lumbar region of her back.  I quickly told her how happy and relieved I was after my back-surgery and would highly recommend it if she had confidence in her surgeon.  After exchanging a few details, she asked for the name of my doctor to make an appointment with him for a second opinion.  She seemed sincerely grateful for our “chance” meeting.  Knowing that my orthopedic doctor is a devout Christian man and a very gifted, skilled surgeon, I know she will be in good hands.  My “little act of kindness” may bring future relief and recovery to a complete stranger…We just never know!  Even though our brief encounter may have been “unplanned” and taken up some of my time, showing a little kindness is something our society needs a whole lot more!!

I hope you will receive a little “kindness” in your busy life today from someone, or you may be the one who shows kindness.  Either way, “A Little Kindness Will Do.”  Whether you “give” or “receive” kindness…you should feel a little better!

However, don’t dismay if you find yourself alone today.  Kindness is still on your horizon… God is a prayer-beat away.  Take a moment to create your own “Garden of Gethsemane” prayer-closet where you can meet one-on-one with God and pour out your heart’s hidden secrets unto him…He is a KIND friend who loves 24/7 and is always willing to show “Kindness” to his children.  Amen.

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies…kindness.

Remember, God Loves You!

Lin T. Rollins, Author