Don't even ask about it. No, I didn't get much sleep. It was after 4:00 am when I finally got to sleep. Around 8:00 am, I looked at the clock; I had already been awake for a while, just wishing I could drift off once again. No such luck!
A fellow realtor friend of mine, who used to live in Brampton, but now lives in downtown Toronto, asked me on Facebook (FB) how I was. My reply was that although I know I am not garbage, I feel like garbage. Truly, I've had about all the stress I can handle. Grief upon grief, upon family problems, loneliness, health problems. I've had it! I know...this too shall pass...
Today was another one of those days when I dreaded having to go out, because I knew I was going to be feeling happy, yet stressed, once again. On my way to sing at the wedding, I went to Gordon's grave. Due to construction traffic tie-ups, I really only was able to stay a few minutes.
Yesterday, was another 'first', attending a wedding shower; today, was once again another 'first'. Not just attending a wedding, but singing at it. The first since Gordon's death. Be still my heart.
Once I arrived where the wedding was taking place, I felt much better. I was able to keep my feelings in check, wear a happy face and truly wish the couple a happy lifetime, together. Praise God! Thank You, Jesus...for helping me, today. In case you are interested, I sang You Raise Me Up, but with one of my little twists, that honours Jesus; acapella, of course!
I would like to discuss more about love. Not the kind of love one feels when a person is in love, but the kind of love God expects us to have.
Before I begin, I would like to say that what I would like to discuss is not directed towards any one person or group, so please don't take personal offense to any issues discussed. In addition, while I may not be as educated as some, I believe that my many years of learning/Bible study, has given me a good grasp of God's Word and what He expects from me, you and indeed, anyone who claims to belong to Him.
Love. Everyone wants it. Everyone needs it. God gives it to those who belong to Him. However, God expects us to love Him.
In John 14:15 Jesus tells us, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." God expects that we will obey what He has asked of us, if we love Him.
Similarly, 1John chapter 2 is a great chapter to read, to better understand how we know if we belong to Him. Verse 3-4 tells us, "Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says 'I know Him', and does not keep his commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him." In this chapter, we are also told to not hate our brother. Verses 15-17 say, "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life - is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it, but he who does the will of God abides forever." God's Word finishes the chapter by saying, "And now little children, abide in Him, that when He appears we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him."
Something else God expects of us is found in James 1:22, "But be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves."
In Mark 16:15-16 we are told, "and He (Jesus) said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature'. He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned."
Matthew chapter 7 is another great chapter. Jesus tells us, "Judge not that you be not judged." The judgement discussed is sometimes confused by some. While we are not to judge, God did tell us to discern. On GRACE TO YOU website, a simple definition of discernment is quoted, "In its simplest definition, discernment is nothing more than the ability to decide between truth and error, right and wrong. Discernment is the process of making careful distinctions about our thinking about truth. In other words, the ability to think with discernment is synonymous with an ability to think Biblically." One example of discernment is 1Thessalonians 5:21-22, "Test all things. Hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil."
Matthew 7:12 tells us that Jesus said, "Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them..."
In verses 14-16, Jesus said, "Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits."
Jesus gives more insight, in verses 21-23, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And I will declare to them, I never knew you, depart from me, you who practice lawlessness."
So, to recap, God said:
* If we love Him, we'll keep His commandments; if we don't, we are liars and the Truth is not in us.
* We are told to not hate our brother.
* We are not to love the world or the things of the world.
* We are to practice righteousness.
* We are to be doers of the Word and not hearers, only.
* We are to preach the gospel to every creature of the world.
* We are to not judge, but are to discern between truth and error, right and wrong, testing all things.
* We are to abstain from evil.
* We are to do to others as we would have them do to us.
* We are to beware of false prophets, recognizing that we will know them by their fruits. In order to do this, we must know God's Word.
* When all is said and done, when we stand before the Lord in judgement, He can still tell us that even though we did things for Him, He never knew us and order us to depart from Him.
All...in the name of Love.
Where am I going with this? Well, there's too much to discuss in this entry, so I just wanted to lay the groundwork for tomorrow's discussion.
Thank you for reading and for your patience. Be blessed.
Until next time...
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