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His Unfailing Love

Whew! Christmas has come and gone and other than the sweets sitting on the countertop in my kitchen calling my name and the incomplete gingerbread house that we never got around to doing, I would say it was a good one. This time of year makes me reflect on what the year has held for me. I look back on experiences and reminisce on the good things and there is joy. God has been good to me. I also look at the things that I wish were different if I am being totally honest. I look at failed relationships and maybe conflict that I have encountered. This is not a bad thing. See, one of the things that I desire to do is to make an effort to not take 2017 into 2018. A new year means new beginnings and a fresh start. I don't want excess baggage. It makes the journey difficult. The reality is that some things aren't going away. That annoying co-worker is still going to be there when you go back to work after the holidays. That difficult relationship with a family member or friend is still going to be there when we dust the powdered sugar off of us saunter into the gym to lose that extra padding of good holiday treats. I was reminded today that although these things are ongoing and seem to always be like a nagging voice in your head, we can change how we look at them. Perspective is everything. How we view situations in our life is what gives it power or takes it's power away. You can allow stuff to bog your mind down or you can invite God into the stuff and let him help you with it. A beautiful passage in the Bible that brings all of this together for me is found in 1 John

4 and then the first part of chapter 5. John is talking about the love of God. He shares here that if anyone claims to love God but hates his brother can't possibly love God because if he can't love the one he sees, then how can he possibly love the one he has never seen? This word cuts me because lets just be real. There are some people who make this very difficult. They are not exactly lovable. I find myself falling into thought patterns that are very negative when I read this passage. How can I possibly do this? I realized that the answer was right here in the same passage that caused me to feel like I was going to fail at it. John 5 covers it all.

John 5:1-4

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome for everyone who is born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. BOOM! There it is! The love that John is speaking of is not natural. It is supernatural. It is beyond what the eyes see and the ears hear. It is a love that comes from the father. He loves us with no variation. So if I am his child then He has given me the ability to love others in that same way. It's not easy but John goes on to say in so many words, how you know you are loving people without variation is that God's commands are not burdensome BECAUSE...He has already overcome the world. He has defeated every foe. He has conquered it all. Can we look at this from a faith perspective? Can I look at the ones that I am in broken relationship with and know that whatever the struggle God has already overcome it? As we bring these sensitive and very hurtful things to God and allow him to love us in our struggle to love, he does it. He loves us and the ones we struggle to love. I will put it to you like this, It is hard to bring strife into an environment that is filled with God's love. If you purpose to allow the love of God to lead you into everything you do, strife will have no place. Love will fill that place. People that have given you no reason to love them will have to stop and take notice that you are still here. You should have walked away but, you are still here. I go back tot the text that says, His commands are not burdensome. Ask God for His love to be out front leading you. That the first thing people feel is His love. I feel like I fail at this. I fall flat on my face when trying to love others as He loves. Until I remember that God is within me and I will not fall. If I do, I will fall into the loving arms of the father whose love for me has no variation. It is perfect.

God is within her she will not fail.

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