Showing posts with label love. Show all posts
Showing posts with label love. Show all posts


Sunday Scripture - Ephesians 4 v 2

Sunday Scripture is just simply a thought or two on a Bible verse that may have struck me afresh or maybe for the first time or has always been special to me.

Today I am looking at Ephesians 4 v 2

 Today's verse talks about





                                                   and love.

Such a lot of virtues to think on and try to put into action.

Can we do this by ourselves?

I don't think so.

I believe we need God's help to provide the lowliness, meekness, longsuffering, and love in our lives because they are not part of our human nature.

With His help we will be able to love others more like He loves them.

With His help we will come to the point where we will be able to

forbear one another in love

because that means to be patient with one another, have self-control in situations with each other, show restraint and tolerance in words and actions which is only possible through truly loving someone.

As always I like to make sure we are taking this verse in context so let's read the first 6 verses of this chapter

I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

From this we can see that the theme here is unity, there should be no strife, no aggression, no impatience, etc. as we walk in the Spirit together and it is all because of love, the love that we all have received and the love which we are called to show to others - His love flowing through us.

It's Holiday time

          and the gardens are blooming

                    so I chose a flower to focus on

                                 when I was making a graphic for today's verse

Have you ever decided to ask God to help you grow these virtues in your life by the work of 
the Holy Spirit?

Have you ever decided to ask God to help you love others as He loves them?

This is an action on our part that God has told us we must do


we really need God's help because we cannot love others without it,

and we certainly cannot stand by them through everything without it.

Let's think on this as we go through this week.

Smile God Loves YOU! 1 John 3:1 - Sunday Scripture

This Sunday's Scripture on God's Love is  

1 John 3:1

John has often been referred to as the "Beloved Disciple" and last month we featured a verse about God's Love from the Gospel written by John -  John 3:16  you can read it HERE

Now this month we are starting with a verse from John's first Epistle another verse about God's Love.

This verse 1 John 3:1 tells us about the type of Love God has for us.

God is referred to here as the Father which immediately makes me think of a fatherly love which would obviously be a love that cares about our well-being and protection.

It also makes me think of a love that looks to the future and not just the present time because we expect our fathers to own the responsibility of always loving us and wanting our futures to be good.

God the Father has given us the greatest love because he has accepted us into His family as sons and daughters so we will experience His unconditional love that only He can give.

Being His son or daughter gives us great hope for the future because of His great love.

Parents are human and not perfect yet can love unconditionally.

God is divine and perfect yet He has chosen to make us His children 
and love us unconditionally and perfectly.

It reminds me of the the title of a hymn by Charles Wesley

"Love divine, all loves excelling"

God's Love excels all other love.
His love is far greater than any other love.

Of course I always like to make sure to take each verse in context as it was written so let's look briefly at 1 John 3:1-3

 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

If we have received His Salvation then we are His children and the world will treat us as it has treated Him but we have the assurance that He will pass on His characteristics to us and yes we have great hope for the future.

Smile God Loves YOU! Romans 5:8 - Sunday Scripture

This Sunday's Scripture on God's Love is Romans 5:8

As I read through this one I thought of the 6 Question Words as I call them when teaching English as a second language.

Who, Where, What, When, Why & How.

So that's how I want to look at this verse today.

Who's Love?        It's God's Love.

Who to?      Us.  Everyone because all have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.

How?       By giving His Son to die in our place.

When?        While we were in our sin.     When we were separated from God.

Why?       There was no other way.      No other substitute would have been good enough.

Where?      On the cross at Calvary.

What does it show?      The perfect Love.    The perfect sacrifice.

Who is it for?         The Imperfect People.

The Perfect for the Imperfect.

The Perfect Father 
because of His Perfect Love 
gave the Perfect Son 
as the sacrifice for the Imperfect People.


Love & Hatred - 31 Days in Acts

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This is Day 24 of our 31 Days in Acts.

We have reached chapter 14  having seen at the end of the previous chapter that Barnabas & Paul had to leave Antioch (in Pisidia) because of the harsh opposition of the Jews

50 But the Jews stirred up the devout and prominent women and the chief men of the city, raised up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. 51 But they shook off the dust from their feet against them, and came to Iconium.

Hence we start now with the two Apostles having arrived in Iconium.

verses 1 - 7

They again followed their previous pattern of going to the synagogue and here they preached to both Jews and Greeks so new believers came from both the Jews and the Gentiles.
The Bible tells us that signs and wonders were experienced as God worked through Barnabas & Paul.

The other Jews were not happy and they turned the other Gentiles against Barnabas & Paul.

Eventually the city was divided in two; those for the Apostles and those against and when the people got so angry that they wanted to stone them they fled to Lystra & Derbe.

Love from some but hatred from others.

The focus should have been on God but here the devil wanted the focus away from the 
preaching of the Word and unto the Apostles.

The focus should always be on God and the preaching of the Word.

verses 8 - 18

In Lystra they saw a man who had been crippled from birth and could not walk and in a similar situation to that of Peter & John in chapter 3 Day 5  What Happened at the Gate?  and as in that previous time God healed the man.

The outcome of this however was not the same as in chapter 3 because here the people decided that Barnabas & Paul were gods and called them Zeus & Hermes.  This leads to an attempt to make sacrifices to the Apostles which they could not allow to happen.  Attempting to explain that they are men and human like all the rest of the city they also had the opportunity to talk about God as the living God and the creator of the world.  Yet again there is the opportunity and the Word of God is preached.

At this point the people of Lystra seemed to love the Apostles.

verses 19 - 20

Going from being treated as gods we now see that the people wanted to kill Paul. 

They dragged him outside the city, stoned him and left him to die.  
The disciples came and helped him and the next day Paul and Barnabas left Lystra to go to Derbe.

But why would that happen?

Simply because of the influence of people who came to Lystra from Iconium to bring hatred into that city. 

verses 21 - 28

We know they stayed in Derbe for a while because they preached the gospel and made disciples.  These were not just converts but people they would have spent time with teaching them more about God and the Christian life.

Now here is where they differ from most of us.  We probably would have said it was too dangerous to go back to the cities where people wanted to kill us but this chapter ends with Paul & Barnabas doing exactly that going back to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch (Pisidia) and encouraging the disciples there by teaching how they must keep faithful even through hard times.  Then spending time in prayer & fasting (setting a good example) and raising up leadership for the churches in these cities by appointing elders.

They eventually returned to Antioch (Syria) from where they had been sent out in chapter 13 Day 23  A Specific Job for the Kingdom but had not bypassed the dangerous places or the difficult circumstances along the way back.

Always encouragers and good examples to the new believers.

We should always be encouragers and good examples to new believers.

Hatred drove people away and will do the same today.

However Love can still prevail and must do today also because as a people of God we should reflect His love and not the evil or hatred that originates with the devil and never with God.

I'm trying to read and write about the Book of Acts for 31 Days so please come back and join me for some notes & some thoughts each day. 

As the month goes on each Day's Link will be added in 

Interested to know more about the Book of Acts?
Then Try these commentaries

Or this Bible Study

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Pondering the Psalms - Psalm 107

Each Sunday I choose a Psalm and write down some brief thoughts on it.

Today I'm looking at Psalm 107 

This Psalm falls into four parts:

V. 1-3
Thanksgiving to God

V. 4-32
We see a pattern repeated four times

  • The Ungodly Man
  • Turning to God & God's Intervention
  • Following God's Way
  • Goodness of God

V. 33-38
God's Good Hand on Nature
God's Good Hand on Man

V. 39-43
God's Justice & Kindness

This Psalm could be summed up simply by verse 1

Though people do not understand or see God's Hand in this world and in their lives that does not change the fact that He is always there in the world and in our lives 
and we would be wise to accept and acknowledge that.

Then we would understand his love and kindness and let Him change our lives.

Pondering the Psalms - Psalm 100

Each Sunday I am going to choose a Psalm and write down some brief thoughts on it.

Today I'm looking at Psalm 100 

This is a Psalm for the Thank Offering.

This Psalm falls into three parts:

V. 1-2

V. 3

V. 4
When & How?

V. 5

What are we required to do for this thank offering?
Be joyful in our Praise unto the Lord and not just us but all the earth.
Serve the Lord not as a duty but gladly.
Enter His presence with a song on our lips.

Who is this thank offering for?
It is for the Lord and He is God.
He is our creator, we belong to Him and he is our Shepherd who cares for us.

How to give a thank offering to God

When is this thank offering to be given?
It is to be presented to the Lord when we are within the gates of His Holy presence.
Then also when we are even further into His presence. with all Praise and Blessing unto Him.

How is this thank offering to be given?
It is to be presented with all Praise and Blessing unto the Lord our God.

Why should we bring this thank offering?
Because the Lord is good, He loves us continually forever and ever and He is a faithful God.

Where is this thank offering to come from?

From our hearts because of the joy and gladness there.

From the knowledge in our minds of how Good the Lord is to us.

From the honour of being invited into His Holy presence.

From the understanding that there is no-one like our Lord.

Pondering the Psalms - Psalm 67

Each Sunday I am going to choose a Psalm and write down some brief thoughts on  it.

Today I'm looking at Psalm 67 

This is another short Psalm

For me this Psalm falls into four parts:

V. 1
A Blessing

V. 2
An Effect

V. 3-6
A Song of Praise

V. 7
A Result

A Blessing.
The mercy of God shown to us is a great blessing.
The kindness and love of God adds to that.
Everything is contained in His Grace to us, blessings to us and His love shining on us
Notice the Selah - so we stop and ponder here on this verse especially.

An Effect.
Blessing others brings the goodness and stability of God's love upon the world.
As He shines on us we will shine to the world so they will see His love through our love for them.

A Song of Praise.
Everyone should Praise God.
How can we not Praise Him when we are thankful for all His Blessings to us.
We should praise Him for all that He is and how He blesses us.
God's Righteous deeds should bring gladness & joy throughout the world.
Through our Praise of God others will come to know Him and Praise Him too.
As people turn to the true God in Praise, His Blessings will flow.

A Result.
Such a blessing to be poured out by God that all the world will know the effects of this and will know that it is the hand of God.

It is important we remember what blessing means.

It is the bestowing of
God's favour and protection upon someone.

What more could we ask for?

What else could we possibly ask for our broken world.


Christian Songs for Kids - Jesus' Love is Very Wonderful

Do you find it hard to get visuals and recordings for different kids songs?

I have always found this a problem so I am now sharing songs that I have used with children providing you with

(Powerpoint or Picture or details of how you can make one) 

(chords also available)

(mp3 or video to learn the song) 

Then if you would like to download the visual of the song there will be a link provided to my creation, or I will direct you to where else you can find it.   

This month I am taking the theme of

The Love of Jesus

The song I have chosen is 

Jesus' Love is Very Wonderful

I think this is another song that I first learnt through Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) which means I have been singing this one for around 40 years.

Kids love to do the actions for this one as it involves clapping and big arm movements.
Another thing we like to do is sing it a few times and then on the last time really speed it up.

Another great teaching tool for explaining to the children that there is nothing that cannot be encompassed by the love of Jesus.


To Download a copy of this visual for printing on  A4 Card  or  Letter size 




Jesus' Love is very wonderful
Jesus' Love is very wonderful
Jesus' Love is very wonderful
Oh Wonderful Love

It's so high you can't get over it
So low you can't get under it
So wide you can't get round it
Oh Wonderful Love

To Download a copy of these words with chords for guitar and piano 



Jesus' love is very wonderful -  clapping in time to the music
Oh Wonderful Love   -  clapping in time to the music

It's so high you can't get over it  -  Point up repeatedly in time to the music with both hands, arms raised high
So low you can't get under it  -  Reach down and use an underneath motion with both hands repeatedly in time to the music
So wide you can't get around it   -  Swing arms out wide repeatedly in time to the music (making sure that the children are apart enough not to hit each other)
Oh Wonderful Love   -  clapping in time to the music




I believe the Words are by H. W. Rattle but the composer is unknown.

It is copyrighted by Scripture Union
More information can be found HERE

I Hope you enjoy the song and this is a help to you.


I don't want to pet a snake - A Dose of Encouragement

"Mummy she wouldn't let us out until we did it"

This was what my daughter told me when she got off the school bus and I could see that she was still very upset.

Linda was only in Kindergarten in a school in Delaware, where we had moved to live for a few years because of my husband's work.

Now we had come from Northern Ireland and  there are no snakes in Northern Ireland (but actually nothing to do with St. Patrick).  So the only time we needed to come into close proximity with one is when we saw one in the Zoo.

I have never liked snakes so even when we would go to the Zoo I quite often would just pass by the area with the snakes and my kids had never really complained about this because they were not keen on snakes either.

Well there we were in Delaware in 1993 knowing that there were snakes in America but hoping that they were confined to the hotter, drier mid & south areas of the country.


One day while we were walking with a friend and her children in a large parkland I saw a snake on a rock.  I didn't say a thing but just hurried on by with all the children.

Philadelphia Zoo had snakes but same as before we just didn't bother to go near them.

But never did I think that my daughter's school would be the place where she was going to be confronted with a snake.

Never did I imagine that in her school she would be forced to touch a snake!

Never did I imagine that her Kindergarten teacher was going to be so nasty as to tell the children that they would not be allowed out of the library until they petted this snake.

It was not even a pet in the school but had been brought in by the librarian.

Who would ever think that they were sending their child off to school one day to be told they would not get out of school to get the school bus home without petting a snake.  A child that age would believe what they are told and would worry about how else they would manage to get home.

Linda was like me she hated the sight of snakes and the thought of a snake being near her but the teacher didn't care about that.

Bullying can be done by teachers as well as by pupils and this was bullying.

Touching the snake did not physically harm Linda but it did emotionally for a while.

Thankfully we are not a family to make something like this grow and fester in a child's mind by going over and over the incident or by showing her how really annoyed we were that this had happened because children do not need to know every feeling we have or action we take over things as a protection for them.

Unfortunately we can all go through forms of this kind of thing where people, through some means of manipulation, pressure us into doing things that we really don't want to do.  That we are really uncomfortable doing.  That is just not a right fit with us.

Those things will not harm us physically but they do harm us emotionally and sometimes spiritually too.

God made us all and He made us each as a unique person.

Our thoughts each day are different from others thoughts.

Our feelings are different from others.

Our needs, our gifts, our physical abilities are all different.

What one person does not mind dealing with, the rest of us may cringe from, like Linda and the snake.

God has not made us as we are to then expect us to do a job for Him that we are not suited to.

Sometimes God will bring us to deal with something we are not so keen on but He is there to help us through that and if He is bringing us to deal with it He will not do it through the bullying tactics of another person.

We do not have to listen to people if they try to claim it is something God wants us to do - if God wants you to do something He will confirm that in your heart.

We do not have to listen to people if they try to persuade you that we need to do it because there is no one else to do it - remember if God wants you to do it He may use someone to cause you to know of an opportunity, but He will still confirm it in your heart.

I want to

Learn to seek God for wisdom to know when to say Yes and when to say No

As Linda grew up she learned to say No when something was not right for her, to stand up against the manipulation of others.

However we also cannot take the "say No" idea to mean that we don't have to do anything and that we can just say No to God as He stirs us toward His service.

We can learn to say No 

when it is a man-made opportunity and Yes when it is a God made opportunity.

We can learn to say No

when people think they know best and Yes when we know that God knows best.

We can learn to say No

when others try to manipulate us into the wrong road for us.


We can learn to say YES 

when God confirms in our hearts that this is something He is preparing us for.

I want to

Learn to stand up and say Yes when it is a God made opportunity

I don't want to pet a snake, do you?

Please Do not Tell Me What To Do! - A Dose of Encouragement

Throughout his career my husband has travelled a lot all over the world but I have very seldom travelled with him.

Most people who know that he travels will at some time or another ask me why I don't go with him or presume I have gone several times or they tell me I should go.

Over and over I find myself explaining that I do not like spending so much time alone in strange places because not only will I be on my own during the day while he is working but also there are evening work dinners and other meetings out of the "normal" hours for discussion or report writing etc.

Most people then proceed to advise me or tell me what I should do when I go with him; how I should go shopping in these different places or how I should go about finding out the best places to go sightseeing.  Some will even find out things for me and tell me where to go and later expect me to have done this.  Leaving me feeling as if I need to make excuses when I don't go.

Firstly, shopping is ok for a day for me but not for days on end but also I find that most places now have the same shops in similar shopping centres wherever you travel to.  If I can find somewhere with unique little shops then I will enjoy browsing round for a short time but I am not a great shopper, or one who delights in spending extortionate amounts of money on anything.

Secondly, I am not fond of going sightseeing on my own so it would have to be something spectacular or something that was of great interest to me to make me do that and even then I would prefer to share that experience with Fred or someone else.  Making memories are much nicer when they include others.

If you have read my previous post on Top 10 Things that make a Good Hotel Room then you will know that last month I did travel with Fred for a couple of reasons and during those two trips we stayed in 6 hotels - the problem was we were only away for 8 nights.

Checking out of a hotel by 11am or noon practically every day of your trip gets to be rather annoying not just boring and people who have not experienced these types of trips just do not understand how I feel.

Photo credit:  Pixabay

But then there are many, many things that other people have experienced that I never have and so I will not understand how they feel in those circumstances.  I have to accept that and not presume to offer them advice or tell them what they should do in those cases because I don't have the right knowledge or understanding of their feelings.

There are also times when people want to give me advice or detailed information on things that because they are interested in they assume I will be too.

If you have read this far then I am sure that you are nodding in agreement because you have experienced similar "well intentioned" advice and can understand how it feels.

Having experienced this all of my life perhaps partly because I may be described as an introvert and then people believe I need their help; I have learnt from my feelings so that I hope I do not do the same thing to others.

How should we treat others?

In Love, before we even open our mouths to say anything we should pray about it and make sure we know enough about the person to know that what we say will be edifying, helpful and relevant to them.

In Love, accepting that none of us are perfect but that each deserves from the other the respect and care that God shows to us.

This is not always easy because our normal attitudes are to completely think of ourselves and hence see each situation as to how it affects us.

But everything involving more than one person will ultimately affect more than one person.

Each conversation will affect both people in that conversation.

And we can be the one to make the difference in that conversation.

Everything involving more than one person will ultimately affect more than one person.

The two verses quoted above are commands.

If God has told us to do this then we should do it and it must be possible to do this, even through all the events of our everyday lives because God does not expect us to do things in our own strength.
 He wants us to rely on His.

If this then is possible we have the opportunity to see people as God sees them and to treat them as God would treat them.

The two verses quoted above are commands.

If God has told us to do this then we should do it and it must be possible to do this, even through all the events of our everyday lives because God does not expect us to do things in our own strength.
 He wants us to rely on His.

If this then is possible we have the opportunity to see people as God sees them and to treat them as God would treat them.