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Choosing Love

Today you read and finished 2 John – let’s go to 3 John next. It’s only one chapter also so you can finish the entire book in one day!


2 John 1

SCRIPTURE

2 John 1:6, “Love means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to love one another, just as you heard from the beginning.” (NLT)

OBSERVATION

Love means doing what God has commanded.

That’s an interesting idea. Most of the time we think of love as a feeling, a condition, something we stumble into or fall out of, but that’s not what God says. God says love is a choice. God looks to you and says, “I love you.” He chooses you. When he talks about the kind of love he wants in return he’s thinking of a similar choice. He wants you to willfully and deliberately choose him.

He want us to choose each other as well, to choose to show grace and mercy like he has shown us, to show favor that’s underserved and kindness in spite of circumstance.

At the end of this chapter he explains that some people try to love without him. They try to deny the truth that Jesus Christ is real or that they need him at all in order to experience real love. Without Christ we can express and experience something that looks and feels a lot like love, but it will never be the abiding love that comes from the deliberate choice of one empowered with a strength of commitment whose source is everlasting.

APPLICATION

Another passage of Scripture says, “Don’t just say you love people, really love them.” Today, I choose love. I choose to demonstrate the grace, mercy and lovingkindness of God to others.

PRAYER

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for loving me with an everlasting love. Thank you for giving me the capacity for real love. Help me love people the way you do.

I love you, in Jesus name –
Chad

Getting from Here to There

Great relationships. Financial success. Effective leadership. Overwhelming happiness. Biblical godliness.

All of these words have one thing in common. I wish it were something exciting or sexy. I would love to inspire you in 140 characters or less so you could tweet and retweet the answer all around the world. Or maybe I could write a book about it. Go on a speaking tour. Market the newest self improvement formula to give you a life worth living. You might read or listen and come to that deep ‘aha-moment’ that inspires you to action. What if we could bottle success, brew happiness or bake up the cookies of effective leadership? I’m certain everyone would buy in.

But that’s not how life works. The answer is so much more mundane and so much simpler than all of that. Great relationships, financial success, effective leadership, overwhelming happiness, Biblical godliness – all of these things are achieved by getting from here to there.

It’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon. It’s not an instant transformation. It’s a purposeful path. It’s knowing where you are, where you’re going and how you intend to get there. It can easily be summed up like this:

You are who you are today because of the choices you made yesterday. Who you are tomorrow is determined by the choices you make today.

Do you have great relationships? Congratulations. Yesterday (and many of the days before) you made wise choices that led you down the path to healthy relationships. How are your finances? Are you in debt up to your eyeballs, living pay check to pay check? Do you control your money or does your money control you? Whatever the condition of your finances, it didn’t happen overnight. Will you be financially healthy in the future? Certainly there are unexpected twists and turns. But getting from here to there is about putting one foot in front of another. It’s about choosing a path and taking it. What choices will you make today that will bring a healthy financial future?

And the same is true for effective leadership, overwhelming happiness and Biblical godliness.

You are who you are today because of the choices you made yesterday. Who you are tomorrow is determined by the choices you make today.

Whatever you’re looking for – I’m guessing you’ll find it. Discovery is a question of how you get from here to there.

“Choose you this day whom you will serve…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

A Healthy Marriage | I Choose You

The most difficult and most significant thing you will ever learn is how to have healthy relationships.

Marriage is the truest test of that statement. Two people meet, fall in love, have a wedding, and start building a life together. Why do some marriages thrive while others fail? As a Christ-follower you might be tempted to answer ‘faith’, but the divorce rate among religious people is virtually identical to the rest of the world. As a romantic you might be tempted to say ‘love’, but I’ve met people who tell me they love one another, they just can’t live with one another. So what it is it? How can two, clearly flawed individuals come together and stay together?

The answer isn’t complicated, but it is hard. You understand the difference, right? Losing weight isn’t complicated. Eat fewer calories than you burn and you’ll lose weight. Not complicated, but definitely hard. Like staying out of debt. Spend less than you make and you’ll be debt free. Not complicated, but clearly hard. The key to a healthy marriage is the same. It’s about choice.

In healthy marriages both the husband and wife have made a clear choice. Spoken or unspoken they’ve looked at one another and said:

  • I choose you – above all others.
  • I choose you – above myself.
  • I choose you – above my children.
  • I choose you – above my career.
  • I choose you – regardless of income.
  • I choose you – in spite of your weirdness.
  • I choose you – in spite of my quirkiness.
  • I choose you – so I will forgive when you’re wrong.
  • I choose you – so I will repent when I’m wrong.
  • I choose you – so I will give you the benefit of the doubt.
  • I choose you – even when I think you’re stupid.
  • I choose you – even when you treat me like I’m stupid.
  • I choose you – when we’re in debt.
  • I choose you – when we have more than we ever dreamed possible.
  • I choose you – when you succeed.
  • I choose you – when you fail.
  • I choose you – when you’re nice.
  • I choose you – when you’re not so nice.
  • I choose you – when you’re beautiful.
  • I choose you – when you’re messy.
  • I choose  you – when you’re healthy.
  • I choose you – when you’re hurting.
  • I choose you – when we agree.
  • I choose you – when we disagree.
  • I choose you – when all’s right with the world.
  • I choose you – when everything falls apart.
  • I choose you – when life is busy and we don’t get to see each other.
  • I choose you – in those quiet moments that it’s just the two of us.
  • I choose you – your dreams, desires, & hopes.
  • I choose you – your hurts, habits & hang ups.
  • I choose you – your family, yes, even your mother.
  • I choose you – above my own rights or opinions. This is mutual submission out of mutual respect.
  • In light of every other possibility  – I choose you.

If you’re married, it’s because you and your spouse made a choice. If you’re not, it’s because you or your spouse made a choice.

Your marriage can improve. Let your spouse know. I choose you.

Colossians 3:18-19, “Wives, submit to your husbands…Husbands, love your wives.”