As we grow daily in God, we must realize that it is important to take a look within. We often need to do a check up on the quality of our fruit regarding how we are relating to other people. When we genuinely turn the focus from how others treat us to how we treat others growth can will take place.
For example, am I showing love and kindness to others or am I worried about them being kind to me? Am I exhibiting joy, peace and goodness to them regardless of the circumstances?
Or, at the end of the day do I find that I retaliated and used harsh words toward the one who didn’t treat me or my family well? Or perhaps I appeared kind on the outside, but inside I was not thinking the best thoughts toward the person.
First Corinthians 13:7, the Amplified Classic version reminds us, “Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].
We should make a daily choice to be ready to believe the best in others. If God cared enough to tell us we need to do this, then that tells us that there may be opportunity when believing the worst is a viable option. So, as we are checking the quality of our fruit, we have to be ready…ready to believe the best …ready to walk in God’s love.
Of course, it is easy to believe the best in others when they reciprocate. For example, when others are kind, generous, complimentary and loving toward us, the challenge of loving them is usually non-existent. However, when others are challenging, mean, cut-throat, and selfish, we may find our love walk difficult, especially when we know we will have more interaction with them. Therefore, God tells us to be ready to believe the best. We must choose not to expect the worst.
And then if they happen to be mean and ugly, God adds more direction for us in Matthew 5:44, “Pray for those who despitefully use you…” The Message translation says, “When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer”.
As we genuinely pray for another person, we should pray what the Word says about them, instead of a fleshly prayer of, “God, they treated me wrong. Strike them down”.
“Thank you God for So-and-So. I know you sent Jesus to die for them. I know your Word says they are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). I know You think good thoughts toward them (Jeremiah 29:11). I ask you to bless them, God. I thank you that you meet all their needs according to your riches in glory. I thank you that……”
When we pray the Word for our enemies we are renewing our mind toward them. We are preparing ourselves daily to be ready to believe the best of even the most challenging person in our lives. We are truly walking in the love of God toward others.
As our love walk matures, we can look in the mirror and see Jesus. He is our example to follow. We are to treat others the way He does.
Today I choose to be ready to believe the best of others. I choose to pray for those that don’t treat me right. I thank you God that you see each of us through the lens of your love. Help me to be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, and gentle with others. Thank you, God, for helping me see others as You do. I will not rehearse bad thoughts about others in my mind, but rather set myself to be ready to love by believing the best of them.
Meditate on the following Scriptures this week as you think about loving others.
I Corinthians 13:4-8 AMPC
“4 Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.
5 It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].
6 It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
7 Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].
8 Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. As for prophecy ([d]the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth].”
Jeremiah 29:11 HCSB
“For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
Psalm 139:14 AMP
“I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.”
Matthew 5:44 TPT
“However, I say to you, love your enemy, bless the one who curses you, do something wonderful for the one who hates you, and respond to the very ones who persecute you by praying for them.”
If these thoughts helped you please share them with your friends & family!
One aspect of the Christian life is loving what God loves. Most Christians can tell you that God is love; but, they have problems remembering that there is one recipient of His love that motivates all His works in the earth.
What does God love? God loves people! I know it seems simplistic, but it is a revolutionary concept to accept. When you begin to love what God loves, it forever changes how you view life and ministry. And when your view of life and ministry changes, the way you live and minister changes as well.
A life and ministry that loves what God loves is a life and ministry that serves people. So, if you want to get in on what God is doing, then start serving people. How do you know which people to serve? The ones that God sent His only begotten Son to die for - all people.
We have all heard that we need to walk in love. Yet, it seems as if it is the hardest thing Christians have ever attempted. I believe the reason for the difficulty is that so many Christians are not truly convinced that God loves them. Do you believe that no matter what you do God will never stop loving you? When you are truly convinced of God’s love, you can accomplish anything. There is no limit to what you can do, when failure is not an option. God is love and love never fails - that is love never comes to an end or becomes obsolete.
In I John 4:18-19, The Living Bible gives a great amount of insight into the proper attitude we are to have concerning God’s love for us,
“18 We need have no fear of someone who loves us perfectly; his perfect love for us eliminates all dread of what he might do to us. If we are afraid, it is for fear of what he might do to us and shows that we are not fully convinced that he really loves us. 19 So, you see, our love for him comes as a result of his loving us first.”
When you realize that God is not going to punish you for your mistakes you can live the life of faith that all Christians are called to because of freedom from any fear. You can fulfill the ministry of serving people when there is an absence of fear! This comes from being fully convinced that He really loves you. Develop your faith in the love of God for you and then you can love what He loves!
Romans 8:35-39 gives us some of the best scripture on how we should view God’s love.
“35 Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or anguish or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: Because of You, we are being put to death all day long; we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered. 37 No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that not even death or life, angels or rulers, things present or things to come, hostile powers, 39 height or depth, or any other created thing will have the power to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!
Make it personal!
Say this, “No one can separate me from the love of Christ. In every circumstance I am more than a conqueror. And nothing is able to separate me from the love of God, because I am in Christ Jesus.”
Another great scripture to meditate on is John 17:23-24 (NLT) which says,
“I am in them and You are in Me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that You sent Me and that You love them as much as You love Me. (24) Father, I want these whom You have given Me to be with Me where I am. Then they can see all the glory You gave Me because You loved Me even before the world began!”
Based on this, say this, “God loves me as much as He loves Jesus. He loved Jesus before the world began, so He loved me before the world began. Therefore, He loves me because He made the decision to love me. There is nothing I can do to make God begin to love me or stop Him from loving me. God loves me!”
As you begin to meditate on God’s love for you, the natural response will be you loving others.
“For you will love your neighbor as yourself.”
If these thoughts helped you please leave a like, comment, & share this with anyone and everyone.
“Did you know that we have between 30,000 and 70,000 thoughts that go through our heads in a day? Many studies show that the majority of these thoughts are negative. And according to experience the majority of those thoughts are limiting, destructive, and simply untrue.”
Everyday there are thousands of opportunities to think. We were created to use our minds and imagine & meditate. Meditation is not just some eastern religious practice, it is something you and I do everyday.
Meditation is simply when we think on, ponder on, imagine, rehearse it, and replay something in our minds until we have the emotions that makes it feel real to us.
When we take things that people say, things people have done, bad experiences, relationships, pain, sickness, or any problem, and think on it, ponder, imagine, rehearse and replay it they start to feel real to us.
The real destruction doesn’t come from what happened. The real destruction comes because we take it on as our realities and we start questioning ourselves. When the problem or experience becomes what we replay and rehearse we begin to attach emotions to that, and that is where the real damage is done.
That is why constantly throughout scripture we are told to meditate on the truth.
“So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always.
When we think on, ponder, rehearse and imagine the truth of what God says about us, the truth of our created value in Christ, the truth about our dignity and worth, we begin to attach emotions to those things, and they begin to feel real to us, not just something we have read or heard. You actually begin to believe you are what the Bible says you are. The best part is that when we do this, God's super abundant more than enough grace (His very ability) comes and makes us actually live in that identity.
The thought or experience will always come and try to tear down your created value, and tell you that you are less than “because of this this and this”. Do not meditate on these things! Once you let one word, or feeling keep racing in your mind you will let it stir to the point you begin to attach emotions to it.
Anxiety and depression are so real to us because we have let our emotions attach to thoughts of worry, lack and insecurity.
I know myself, I have to catch my thoughts. I lived a year and a half after something bad happened in my life still experiencing the wrong emotions that came with it. The effects of the problem were my reality because I let my mind meditate on those things more than the truth of who I am. Because I was so self critical, the blame that I had for the problem became who I was, instead of just something that happened that God could redeem and restore in my life.
God tells us to check our thoughts, because what we think about begins to affect our emotions. And when we have the wrong emotions, we lose our hope. Hope deferred makes the heart sick. We can not afford to let anything make our heart sick. It all comes back to what we think on, ponder, rehearse and imagine daily.
"What you think about affects your emotions. Your thoughts matter"
“We are demolishing arguments and ideas, every high-and-mighty philosophy that pits itself against the knowledge of the one true God. We are taking prisoners of every thought, every emotion, and subduing them into obedience to the Anointed One.
2 Corinthians 10:5”
Every experience, thought or emotion we have has to be decided by Jesus. Jesus didn’t come and die so that we would continue to live in pain and agony over experiences in our lives. He didn’t come and die so that we would experience anxiety. He came and showed us how to live victorious over them all. Never said we won’t have opportunities experience them, but they do not have to have any power over us. They don’t decide who I am and how I am doing.
As I bring that thought or experience or emotion to the obedience of Christ, I am literally in my mind deciding does this come in line with who Jesus is, and what He gives? Jesus only gives life (John 10:10). If it doesn’t add to, build up, encourage, grow or edify me I do not need to think on, ponder rehearse or imagine it! Yeah that may have been an experience in my life but that is not who I am! When I meditate on it I give my attention to it. I give my emotions to it. And I dig myself a rut.
I have traveled to many churches, youth groups, and bible schools all around the world, and it is incredible the number of people IN CHURCH who are dealing with thoughts of suicide, depression, anxiety. Every church I minister at I could do an altar call for these things and people would respond. This epidemic stems from a lot of things in our society, but the root cause is wrong thinking.
Many times people just want prayer over these thinking issues. They know they aren’t thinking the way they should, they think they need a miracle to overcome.
They want to pray and pray for God to get them out of this emotional hell, this depression, this stress. I am not saying God will not help you, I am saying you can look to Jesus and His life and look at how he remodeled his thoughts to come inline with who God made him to be!
"All those negative thoughts and experiences are doing are trying to tear down you God given identity."
You can beat depression, you can get over what somebody said about you, you can get over being bullied, you can get over that breakup, you can get over insecurity. Look to Jesus, see how He renewed His mind. See how when his identity was questioned he responded. The same thoughts came to question Jesus's identity that come to question ours. We can respond and overcome by the Grace of God. (Example Luke 4:1-13)
When you choose to see the good things in you because of God, instead of the thought or experience you let God’s grace help you in this situation.
You are not alone. You do not have to strain and fight to make it right. You can rest in God’s grace to help you. He will help you change your thoughts. He will help you see the things you specifically need to meditate on. He will show you what you need to think on, ponder, imagine and rehearse in order to overcome your problems and experiences and live in your God given created value.
Please share this message if it helped you.
- Tanner Gregurich