You Can’t Love Everyone

“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” – Matthew 22:37-39 To wrap up our discussion on agape love and death to self, I want to encourage you with one final thought: it’s not your job to love everyone! I can almost hear some of you gasp as I write this, but it’s important to know and understand that Jesus never said to go out and love the entire world. Why? Because that’s impossible for us as humans; we are not God and therefore we can’t conceivably love everyone. We can, however, love everyone who’s near us, and that’s what we should do. It’s the Lord’s job to love the world and it’s your job to love your neighbor.

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The Mystery of Time

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” – Ecclesiastes 3:11 There’s something mysterious about the passage of time. As eternal beings in a linear world, it seems we live with a constant awareness that moments are moving by us, and we feel a need to understand where they are leading. Let’s face it — we all want to know the future, because we hope it will help us make sense of the uncertainties we face every day. Even as Christians, though the Bible tells us how it all pans out, we want to know more. This is probably why, for thousands of years, there have been prophecies, theories, and speculations about the end of the world. In fact, long before the year AD 1000, someone had written

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The Community of Jesus

“The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught.” – Mark 6:30 For the last couple of days, we’ve talked about two of the three habits we see Jesus model as we study His life — solitude and Scripture memorization — and today, I want to talk about the third practice He exercised consistently, and that is gathering in community. Our Lord was not a loner. While He enjoyed extended periods of solitude, the purpose of those times was to bring Him back to people. He came to lay down His life for others, and He continually poured Himself out to His followers and gleaned strength from being with friends. His first miracle was performed at a wedding feast, and there He joined in a joyful days-long celebration and partook in all the festivities. He clearly understood the importance of having fun, but He

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Habits Build a Holy Life

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7 I think many of us believe that some big event or triumph has to occur in our lives before we consider ourselves successful. We may think we have to be promoted to manager, start a booming business, write a book, or have a family before we’ve truly “arrived.” However, maintaining this view cheats us out of the victories that happen every day. More than one big moment, success is the sum of small efforts that are repeated time and again until they make us strong on the inside. In fact, we are only as effective as our habits, and that makes time our most precious commodity. Like I’ve said before, “Show me your calendar, and I’ll show you your future.” This is because, although each of us has

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Lead Like Jesus Did

“So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” – Matthew 20:16 One of the hallmarks of this ministry is that we believe that everyone in the Kingdom of God is a leader. You don’t need to hold a title, go to seminary, or be given a formal position in order to influence others — simply living your life before them and sharing your story qualifies you to lead. Having established this, I encourage you to affirm at some point every day — and even say it out loud — “I am a leader!” Once you’ve internalized this truth, ask yourself whether or not you’re leading well. Knowing that both friends and strangers are watching what you do, be intentional in how you model Jesus to those around you, and give priority to imitating His ways. Though the world offers much wisdom and insight on the topic

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