Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

There is no problem with talking with someone about the ball game, movie or the weather. However, it is far easier for “trivia” to become our middle or first name in another’s mind, if that’s what we focus on.

When we truly love someone, our conversation will necessarily include what serious matters we are passionate about. Our thought provoking ideas, vision or dreams become a consistent part of our vocabulary. When was the last time you told someone about an ache in your heart?

Check out how much Jesus loves us in Matthew 26:36-46.

WHAT THIS MEANS: What keeps you from sharing your heart with others? Tell someone this week something you have never shared with anyone. Be a person who deeply loves others.

It’s possible to have many encouraging and  challenging conversations with someone. But after you leave the coffee shop, other than listening and talking about important and not too important things that do show you care, what are the real tests that prove you love them? It’s too easy to say “see you next week” and head off not only in different directions but in different aspects of life that really expose the desperate need for up close love.

What’s going on in their family or your family that if exposed would provide an opportunity for more sacrificial love than the talk over coffee? When someone asks you a tough question is it easier to deflect the question or only share part of the answer? That does not get love out of the starting blocks. Or what about if they ask if you could do them a favor? And after they tell you the favor, you realize you’re late for whatever and have to leave.

One stormy and rainy night I got a call from a guy I had helped in personal discipleship and he wondered if I could come and get him, his wife and kid and tow them back into town. I quickly said yes and then he told me where he was. His truck broke down 140 miles away in the middle of nowhere. It really was near the middle of Wyoming. I had a choice that would either tell him love has limits or it is this real.

If you dare, memorize John 15:12-14 and Romans 16:3 and 4. But don’t stop there. Get in your truck and go tow someone in from wherever. Bring them some coffee and dinner.

5 1/2 hours after the phone call I received, I finally got to bed and my relationship with this man became like a brother. And just seeing the face of his wife and little girl when I arrived made the trip worth it.

English: Lightning over St-Laurent River by a ...

English: Lightning over St-Laurent River by a stormy night in Quebec. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Learning by Doing

Learning by Doing (Photo credit: BrianCSmith)

You’ve tried over and over to get it to work but it just isn’t adding up. You go over your problem again, but nothing seems to be getting through. “Maybe I should consider majoring in General Studies rather than Math” you think. What makes something not add up anyway? Could be not having all the right information, or maybe having limited information or maybe the formula is wrong. Maybe the guy who wrote this book woke up after being out with friends till 4 AM and then started working on it.

We hear many wrong solutions regarding making life work as God intended. They often come from people who really do care, but for whatever reason they just don’t connect with where we live most  of our lives. The information sounds good but really it’s quickly forgotten after the meeting is done. But you think “I will go back again and maybe next week it will make sense.” But you begin to conclude that Christianity sounds great but it just doesn’t work for you.

The emphasis in our meetings should be about learning rather than teaching. We need teaching but how do we learn? A friend somewhere in my life told me “telling isn’t teaching any more than listening is learning.” One way we can learn is to have what is taught modeled. Dawson Trotman (Navigator founder) said  “tell them why, show them how, get them started, keep them going and check up on them. This is a lost art of discipling and learning. It is the essence of love-caring enough about someone that we can help them learn. If all we do is teach, at the best we probably are pouring our life down a rat hole but at the worst, do we really love them?

Check out John 13:1-17 especially verse 17 and James 1:22-25

What do you think of when you hear something like You crossed the line bro.”? You might think someone just said something they are going to regret later and if not, it is definitely going to keep two people from traveling together in a car across the country.

But wait…maybe the comment wasn’t offensive but alarmingly honest. Maybe the person making the comment was way more real than the other person expected. What if it was a question no one had dared to ask before?

Think about Proverbs 27:17…Does someone have your best interest in mind and are willing to risk everything to help you become all that God wants for you? Or, John 13:34,35…If someone really loves you they will sometimes show it with questions or statements that not only make you think but also cause you to want to change or correct something in your life.

Every statement Jesus made always had the other person’s best interest in mind even though it might hurt to hear. He was willing to cross the line and not settle for a shallow relationship.

Who do you have in your life willing to ask you hard questions or risk telling you the truth? Make it easy for them to cross the line. Are you willing to let someone be so real that you can’t play your “which shell is the pea under” game with them anymore?