Dec 30, 2015

Are you ready for this?

SHINE Reading Plan [begins January 1st]:Go Here.
Receive SHINE by email: Go Here.

Anyone else need a fresh start this year? Yeah, me too.

I don't just want to be more conscious of my eating, I want to be more intentional about my spiritual food. The Bread of God's Word. It will fill us up to overflowing with the nutrients we need desperately to survive. But, only if we eat it.

Of course, as with the ending of an old year and the beginning of a new year, I have some goals I want to work on.

This year I want to love audaciously.

Not just love, but love audaciously.

This word has been in my vocabulary for the last several months. I even shared it with several close friends.

Then, for Christmas, my friend Erin gives me Beth Moore's newest book...guess what it is called?

Audacious.

Yep, no kidding.

Think God is trying to tell me something?

This year I want to love better. Love like Christ. Love bigger. Love more.

Love audaciously. 

However, if I am to love others audaciously, I must love Jesus this way first. It is not possible for my flesh to love others well unless I am filled with the Love of Christ. Trust me, it just won't work.

Our love tank will always be low and sitting on empty if we are not filled up with the Love of Christ. Y'all know what I am talking about, don't you? It's that running on fumes kind of love. The kind that is short on patience, and long on irritability. Yep, that's the one.

Oh, but if we want to shine the Light of Christ into the darkness of this world, we MUST...we MUST...

Love others audaciously. 

How else will others tell us apart from the world?

How else will others see, really see, Jesus Christ?

We cannot love the world running on fumes. We just cannot.

If we are too dang tired to even love our very own people well, we definitely won't be loving the world well.

We get tired when we don't get spiritual nourishment.

We get tired when we listen to the demands of the world instead of the Gentle Voice of our Father.

We get tired when we follow the way of our flesh instead of the way of Christ.

Weariness leads to worldliness.

We must refuel.

We must.

Daily.

As much as we possibly can.

This world is getting darker by the minute. We cannot waste another precious day running on fumes and sitting on empty.

Someone in your path needs to be shown some audacious love.

Loving audaciously means loving the fire out of people that don' t even like you. Or, don't even notice you.

Whew. Did I strike a nerve? I think I may have struck my own funny bone. Ouch.

Loving audaciously means loving those that do not deserve an ounce of our love. Isn't that how Christ loves us?

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

Friend, we can know every scripture in the Word of God, quote every Billy Graham sermon, listen to Jesus music in our cars all the live long day. However, without LOVE, audacious LOVE, we won't make one inch of a mark on this world. Not a single solitary inch.

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 1 Corinthians 13:1

We can read all the Christian books at Lifeway, go to church every single Sunday and serve on all the committees. But, if we are not loving people, we have gone desperately wrong. We may as well hang up our church clothes and stay at home.

Jesus was asked a question by a Pharisee one day as he was being grilled by the religious leaders. This particular Pharisee was an expert of the law. He wanted to trip Jesus up. He wanted Jesus to hang himself on his words. So, the Pharisee asked Jesus this, "Teacher, what is the greatest commandment of the Law?" Matthew 22:34-36

I can almost see the smirk on the Pharisee's face. Surely, he believed that whatever Jesus said would send the crowd into an uproar. He knew these people magnified certain laws above others, so whatever answer Jesus gave would mar the wisdom and validity of Jesus.

Hear the Words from a Man that could only be the Son of God...." Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.” Matthew 22:37-40

Let me sum this up for us:

Love God audaciously.

Love others audaciously. 

The end.

In order to love God audaciously, we must know Him.

How can we get to know Him?

In His Word.

We are beginning a new reading plan starting January 1st .

It is a two year bible reading plan, which you can print out, download, bookmark on your phone...whatever is easiest for you.

Be intentional, friend.

Make a plan to love.

Love Him audaciously.

Love others audaciously.

Let's set this world on FIRE with LOVE.

Audacious love.



lighting the match,


jill