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Truthful Tuesday…One Nation

We are all one race…human. All made in the image and likeness of God. You want to know how to fix our nation? 

1. Pray for her. Pray for our leaders. Pray for unity for our people. You don’t have to like someone to pray for them. #prayforyourenemies #prayforourleaders

2. Be kind to one another. Accept that not everyone looks, feels, or thinks the same as you do. You don’t have to agree with someone to be kind. #loveiskind #loveyourneighborasyourself

And 3. Stop complaining. Start listening. Stop saying us and them. #2ears1mouth #onenationunderGod

Point to ponder while you wander… “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

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Kindness is Powerful

I started a new job in a new industry about a few months ago. And I’ll be honest, I had no idea what I was doing. The work I was doing had a quick deadline and offered multiple ways for me to screw it up. Luckily for me the team I’m on has people who were willing to teach and help me. Because of that the project I’m working on is tracking to schedule.

There’s one particular man on this team that I am drawn to. His name pops up on my phone or or shows in my inbox and I smile. He walks in the room and I light right up. I couldn’t figure out why this was happening to me.

Was I crushing on him? I hoped not. Work crushes are generally a terrible idea.

Then I realized something as I was describing him to my roommate….He’s kind.  And I am drawn to his kindness.

Don’t misunderstand me- he’s not a “nice guy” or a “good guy” or anything you’d say to describe someone who bends over backwards to make people like them.  He’s not one of those no boundaries so they get walked all over “nice guys.” He’s a man’s man. He’s hard working. He does whatever it takes to get things done on time and on schedule, which I respect and appreciate. But unlike a lot of people I’ve worked with in my life, he does it with kindness.

And I’m drawn to his kindness.

That’s when about 1000 light bulbs suddenly and simultaneously flashed in my head.

Kindness is powerful.  What?

Immediately Jeremiah 31:3 lit up in my brain…”The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” NKJV

Kindness is a choice.  It comes from a position of strength and proper boundaries.  It isn’t wishy washy.  God is kind.  He’s not nice.  Nice has no boundaries.  God loves liberally and unconditionally, but he does not play games.  His love.  His kindness.  All choice.  He is not out there in desperation trying to make you like Him.  He’s like…”Hey.  I love you.  I want a relationship with you.  I’ve allowed My Son to be sacrificed for your shortcomings, failures, and mistakes, so there wouldn’t be anything to prevent you from coming to Me with boldness.  Ball is in your court, kid.  I’ll be here.”

God’s kindness takes us by the hand and says, “Get out of that sin.  You’re hurting yourself and others.”

Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” Romans 2:4 NLT

Thinking about this lead me to today’s Musical Monday song…You are Good…because of the lyric “Your kindness leads me to repentance.”  The song’s been around a while but it’s a good one.  So I’m sharing it today.  Just sit and stew in the goodness and kindness of God on this Monday.  It’s Monday, so you’ll probably need to soak and stew just a little bit longer than usual.

Point to ponder while you wander…Whilst you stew and soak…here are a few verses about the kindness of our God to meditate on.  Hopefully it will draw you to God this Monday…and inspire you to be kind to others.

“Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.  Return to the Lord your God,     for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.” Joel 2:13 NLT

 “You didn’t think, did you, that just by pointing your finger at others you would distract God from seeing all your misdoings and from coming down on you hard? Or did you think that because he’s such a nice God, he’d let you off the hook? Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.” Romans 2:3-4 MSG

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much,  that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)  For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.  So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-7 NLT

 

 

Simple Expectations

We, humans in general, make things so complicated and convoluted. But God keeps things simple. Yes there are 613 laws in the Old Testament, but Jesus Himself says that every law is based in two simple all encompassing things:

Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40 NLT 

Why should you reimburse a neighbor for killing or injuring their livestock? Because it’s the right thing to do based on the law of love.

Why shouldn’t you commit adultery? Because the law of love invites you to do the right thing and honor & respect your spouse. 

Not complicated. Is it?

Paul repeated it in His letter to the Galatians in regards to true freedom…

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.” Galatians 5:13-15 NLT 

Point to ponder while you wander…God does ask us to give things up, and let things go so He can help us grow up and walk with maturity in what He has for us. But He doesn’t require us to literally sacrifice anyone or anything. What He requires is simple and straight forward:

​”Should we offer Him thousands of rams & ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Should we sacrifice our firstborn children to pay for our sins? No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good & this is what He requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:7-8