To Listen is to Love

The right word at the right time

    is like a custom-made piece of jewelry,

And a wise friend’s timely reprimand

    is like a gold ring slipped on your finger.

Proverbs 25:12 (The Message)

God speaks to us through various means. As we hear or read HIS Word, the Holy Spirit may illuminate a portion of Scripture which becomes applicable to our recent prayer request. At other times, while in conversation with a family member or friends, words are spoken which likewise pertains to something that has been troubling us. As I grow older, I find myself more and more listening to others as they speak. Why? Because God may be speaking through them.

Knowing this, I find myself caring more for the person who is speaking. And by caring, I am listening intently to the person’s words, attitude, and actions. I find myself actually forgetting the self for a moment, and turning full attention toward the person. In hindsight, the person becomes my one-minute love interest.

The person could be a close friend or a total stranger. But as I listen, the person unconsciously becomes aware that someone else cares for them. In that minute, they experience the love of being a child of God and capture the value and worth of simply being human. Not because of their societal position, economic status, or public fame, but only because someone without selfish intent truly wants to hear and understand the person.

When someone in conversation hears the right word at the right time is like receiving a piece of fine jewelry as a gift. It comes as a total surprise. Yet its impact is a memory that lasts forever.

You may be that person who God speaks through for another. Or you may be the person who receives a needed word in a time of distress. Either way, when you learn to truly listen from a heart of love, you are sharing God’s love in the process. Just as God listens in love to our prayers, HE allows us to share in the same experience with others. To listen with love is a good way of sharing God’s heart with others.  

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Author of e-Books

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Sin Trap

James 1:15

Then (carnal) desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

Sin is the Biblical definition of destructive conduct within relationships. The conduct includes behavior, thought, and attitude. The relationship is with the entire human race and the Triune God. It covers everyone and holds each of us personally responsible and accountable.

Initially God gave the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20) through Moses for the people of Israel. These commandments outline the standards when broken will lead to destructive outcomes – Sin. The first four Commandments highlight our behavior toward God and the remaining six Commandments toward people.

Jesus summarized and expounded on the Ten Commandments with one new standard which is really the backbone of the Ten; that is to love one another as He loved us (John 15:12). His command expanded the Ten Commandments from not only behavior but how we think toward one another.

The basis of conduct within the Western world has been built upon these principles. Yet as people forget God and discard the Bible as an ancient book with no current relevancy, today’s culture is discovering the pain of sin.

The Sin Trap that we all have to avoid is thinking it doesn’t apply to us. We take hold of our pride and believe we have a better way of living out life which doesn’t include God nor the Bible. We fall into the false illusion that we can manage and control all our relationships. Or we falsely believe we are accountable to no one but ourselves.

If there is no God, then yes go and abuse yourself and everyone around you. However, if there is a God, then we all have a problem. A big problem. Since this is then HIS HOUSE, He makes the rules. If we don’t like those rules, he will gladly show us the way out. However, since he is a very generous host, we can be thankful he exercises patience with us.

Sin may be an old fashion Biblical term, but its negative impact is still real today. For those of us who understand and avoid their temptations, we have seen the joy and life’s fulfillment in the process. We have likewise when weak fallen into the trap felt the pain and destruction of our decision. When one seen both sides of the outcome, one is more bent on erroring on the side of love with its consequences rather than ignoring known destructive paths.

Sin is real. We witness the outcome everyday through our actions and the actions of others. When we think we are above such behavior, life has a way to bring us down. Yet, God has also given us a way out. His name is Jesus Christ.

When you look at the evidence of HIS life, everything HE did for you and I, you will call him LORD, GOD, and Savior. He provided the means to restore humanity’s relationship with our heavenly Father, and the means to live am abundant life surrounded by destructive, sinful behavior. He is God’s solution to sin.

The culture around you may throw sin in your face, and provide you with crazy solutions which only lead to more destructive behavior, but in your wisdom, you will note that two wrongs don’t make a right. Instead, as we mature in the faith, we come to realize Jesus has already provide us the means to avoid the Sin trap and live life to your full potential.      

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Author of e-Books

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Copyright 2013-2021 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

The Core of All Relationships

John 15:1-8

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

We all have spiritual roots leading to Jesus Christ. He died for ALL mankind. And in his life, death, and resurrection, he restored what collapsed in the Garden of Eden. He redeemed mankind from the death trap solicited by Satan and again has given humanity direct contact with the Almighty.

Today, some may know Him better as a Friend, others as an Elder Brother, and others still as their Lord. Generally, most are originally introduced to Him as their Savior. And yet for many unbelievers, he is simply another historical figure with a few quips to live by.

Yet history and experience show when one accepts Him as He claimed to be, one begins to experience a richness of life that includes knowing God. With this understanding when one meets a stranger, one has a better understanding that Jesus Christ also died for this person; which means they also have direct contact with the Almighty but have either built walls to keep Him away or are simply ignorant of their relationship with the Creator of the Universe.

In other words, Jesus Christ directly involved Himself into every single person’s life whether or not they ask for his assistance, or even heard about him. And now he reiterates to his disciples the principle of mutual cooperation. He has already fulfilled his part. He now reminds us we need to complete our part.

Our part is to abide in him. To submit to Him. To allow Him to have access into our heart and mind. To follow Him wherever He goes. In the process we will become more like him in attitude and character. His Spirit will begin to transform us into His image. We will eventually spiritually morph from a caterpillar to butterfly. In the end, Jesus’ Father will be glorified.

So, the next time you meet a stranger, remind yourself Jesus has already committed Himself to help this person become more like Him. We are simply the conduit that may provide the hands, feet, words, or ear for them to learn more about who they are in Christ. They are already included in the circle of the Triune God. But like many, they are totally ignorant of the richness and quality of life that awaits them by engaging into the Man from Galilee who paid the supreme price for their benefit.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved