Living Free - Dec. 5, 2014

  

Today's Scriptures

"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. 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]. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. 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]." - Galatians 5:26 AMP

Thoughts for Today . . . 

What a beautiful - and challenging - description of love. God's kind of love.

Jesus said the world would know we are Christians by our love. Measuring ourselves by the standard here, do they know us? Do they know you?

This model of love should be our goal. Not a new year's resolution, but a lifetime goal. But we need to remember we can't manufacture this kind of love in our lives. It comes from God, not from inside us. This kind of love is in God's very nature. As we become more like him, our love will grow.

My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 NLT)

When we commit fully to Christ, we become dead to ourselves, but Christ becomes alive in us and loves others through us. Only through his love can we love the unlovable.

Consider this  

As we commit ourselves to knowing God better through his Word, through prayer, and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will grow in his love. We can't do it on our own. Godly love is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. - (Galatians 5:22-23 NAS)

Seek him . . . and walk in love.

Prayer

Father, guide me into a closer relationship with you. As I seek you through your Word and in prayer and allow the Holy Spirit to guide me, may I grow in love. May I live in such a way that others will know I am Christ's disciple by my love. In Jesus' name 

These thoughts were drawn from

Understanding Depression: Overcoming Despair through Christ by Donald G. Miles, Ed.D. This study deals with depression, a condition common throughout the world, and is suggested for use in support groups and Christian counseling.

  • Understanding what depression is and how it affects relationships
  • Understanding the relationship between depression and spiritual warfare
  • Ways to fight depression with scripture, prayer and mutual support
  • Understanding the special prayer needs of depressed persons
  • How to pray for healing and what to expect
  • Serves as a powerful evangelistic tool by providing a way to minister to people's felt needs and then lead them to Christ

Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.

 

 

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