Relational Growth: Are You Loving Others? Do You Feel Loved | Written By Carol Clemans
John 13:35, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” Love is an action word. How do we know that God is love? Because He was willing to come in flesh and die on the cross for the payment of our sins.
In the busyness of our lives, it is easy to say, “I love you.” God told us if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. Love demonstrated is what we all need and is what we all should do as unto the Lord!
Hurting, lonely people are all around us, even in the church. Singles, divorced, widows/ers, people without families, people with painful families, feeling unloved and unwanted. Oh, yes, they are saved, but hurting because of life’s events. Do we pay attention to those needing unconditional love, or are we too selfishly busy to show real love?
God tells us to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. Most only feel comfortable in the rejoicing. I’m writing from the heart of a counselor and the heart of aloneness that can seem overwhelming at times.
Many times in life I have imagined what it would be like when others became widows, or other family members have died, etc.; then, I stepped forward, showing love through phone calls, notes, visits, invitations, small gifts, etc. I had not ‘walked their road’ before, but I was willing to walk with them and just be there and listen to their stories long after the event. Sometimes family members are not willing to show/give unconditional love because it is too inconvenient!
1 Cor. 13:4, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
We are the Body of Christ. We are to show His love by loving others through action, especially our own family! I pray when you love others, you will reap what you sow
What Is, Does Not Have to Be | Written By Vickie Hodge
There are so many times when life’s circumstances and situations get entirely out of hand. Unbelief creeps in and begins to laugh at God’s Word. These are the times we need to lay hold of every ounce of faith that is within us and declare that we will walk by faith and not by sight. It does not matter what our eyes see. It does not matter what it is or what it looks like. “What is, does not have to be.”
First, what miracle do we encounter in Gadara in Mark 5:1-20? We see a demoniac who is 1) living among the tombs; 2) tormented by thousands of demons; and 3) uncontrollable as well as unrestrainable. What happens to this demon-possessed man? Jesus casts out the demons and this demoniac maniac becomes a missionary. “What is, does not have to be!”
Next, we witness a woman touching the hem of Jesus’ garment in Mark 5:25-34. We know this woman is 1) sick with an incurable hemorrhage; 2) penniless because she has spent all her earnings on physicians; and 3) restricted from her religious and social life due to her unclean condition. What happens to this woman? She receives an instant physical as well as spiritual healing in her body. So, you see, “what is, does not have to be!”
Last, we find Jairus asking Jesus to heal his daughter in Mark 5:21-24; 35-43. Jairus is 1) a ruler of a Galilee synagogue; 2) a father who just receives news that his twelve-year-old daughter is dead; and 3) is desperate for Jesus to heal his daughter. When Jairus hears the news that his daughter is already dead, we can only imagine how his faith must have plummeted to the ground. But Jesus encourages Jairus to keep on believing! Then, Jesus heals Jairus’s daughter and instructs them to give her something to eat. “What is, does not have to be!”
Hold on to your faith and trust in God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. Then, when those turbulent circumstances of life arise, we can give a resounding shout and remind ourselves that “what is, does not have to be!
Responding to False Accusations | Written By Daniel Sirstad
Have you ever been accused incorrectly? Of course, you have. It started early on in life when your parents accused you of making a mess. In reality, it was your sibling, a neighborhood friend, or the family pet. But you were accused, and you had to clean it up. Do you remember how you responded?
Getting accused falsely happens throughout life. It is doubtful that anyone is immune to false accusations. From the beginning of time, people have been pointing fingers at each other. How should we respond when we are wrongfully accused?
Let’s consider Hannah as an example. Eli was the High Priest in Israel. He was the “General Superintendent” of the day. Hannah was the wife of a “certain man” whose name was Elkanah. They were average, faithful “churchgoers,” it seems.
Hannah, for years, was distressed about being barren. She did not know that the Lord had caused her barrenness. We know that, but she didn’t. Year after year, Hannah wept before God in the house of the Lord.
One time, the preacher was watching her pray in great agony. Then, Eli accused her of being drunk and told her to stop drinking. You can read her complete response in 1 Samuel 1:15-16. Hannah was respectful. She explained what the actual situation was. Hannah did not get up and stomp out of the church house. She did not get her husband to defend her honor. Hannah did not get defensive. Hannah humbled herself before God and man.
The result was Samuel. I believe Hannah would never have had Samuel if she had responded to the false accusation any other way. She would not have received her miracle if she had replied with anger or in kind.
How many times do we miss our blessing by responding to incorrect allegations incorrectly? Whether it’s the preacher, a spouse, a family member, a friend, or someone you admire. Next time you get wrongfully accused of something, remember Hannah.
Eli never did apologize, either. And, years later, Hannah blessed Eli with her blessing. Amazing
Are You Protected Written By Delano Sherley
Despite the interruptions to business as usual over the last eighteen months, it is still critical that churches maintain policies and procedures that assure a proper level of control over church assets, especially cash. Proper controls protect both the church from theft and the staff and volunteers from any false allegations of wrongdoing. It is not a matter of IF someone would violate the church’s trust and embezzle funds, but COULD they do so as the result of weak internal controls? Here are some basic guidelines:
1. Lock all collections in a fire-proof safe until two or three unrelated people can count the money together.
2. Collections should not be taken off-site to be counted.
3. All cash (both loose and in envelopes) should be recorded on a “Receipts Record,” and each counter should sign the form to indicate that they agree to the amount counted.
4. The deposit should be taken to the bank as soon as possible.
5. Verify that the deposit and the “receipts records” match, thus verifying that all monies counted equals the amount of the weekly deposit.