Love = Time

What makes you feel loved? Does receiving a gift or help make you feel loved? How about hugs and kisses? Maybe you feel loved when someone tells you you look nice or that you did a great job on a project.

For me, the thing that makes me feel most loved is uninterruptable time and undivided attention.

Time is a priceless irreplaceable commodity. To give someone our time and full attention is to say, “You are valuable to me.”

In this busy, overly stimulated, entertainment addicted world, giving others time and attention is an extream rarity. That is why it’s such an amazing way to express our love for one another. Because it actually takes effort.

What might giving someone our time and attention look like?

It may look like actually looking at the person while they are speaking to us instead of a phone or a laptop. Or maybe it looks like turning off the television and actually having a meaningful conversation with someone.

Luke 6:31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Likewise, we can express our love for God by giving Him uninterruptable time and undivided attention. We can turn off our phones, computers, and televisions and talk to Him and listen to Him through His Word and His Spirit.

We will never be able to repay God for all He’s done for us but we can show Him that we love Him and that we are thankful by spending quality time with Him.

King David knew how to express his love for God.

Psalms 63:1,6,8 You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.

We could all learn a thing or two about showing others and God how much we love them.

How about you? How do you express your love for others? Do you give them your uninterruptable time? Do you give them your undivided attention?

Do you make time to spend with God? Do you turn your electronic devices off and just focus on the One who loves you so much that He gave His one and only Son to be sacrificed for your sins so He could be in a relationship with you and spend eternity with you?

Don’t waste your irreplaceable commodity -time- on things that aren’t worth it. Spend it on the ones you love and the One that loves you unconditionally, perfectly, and completely.

Matthew 22:37-39 Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: love your neighbor as yourself.”

~Patrice Maguire

Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will through the power of Your Holy Spirit. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Back to Basics

Sunday I had the privilege of serving my local church by helping at the Fall Festival. It was fun! I was assigned to the face painting table.

Thankfully it was really simple. I didn’t actually have to know how to paint. There were stencils with special crayons to use and the rest was temporary tattoos. Most of the tattoos were emojis. The kids loved them!

Even the adults were getting into the fun, myself included. I searched all of the emoji tattoos at our table to find the perfect one for me. I found the red heart emoji. You know the one.

The funny thing is that there was only one. There were duplicates of all the other emojis but only one heart emoji. Strange!

However, this did not deter me from claiming it for myself and applying it to my hand. What does that say about me? LOL

Later that evening the Lord began to reveal things to me about that whole heart emoji scenario.

The heart is the universal symbol of love. Love is the one most important thing according to God and His word.

1 Corinthinthians 13:13 And now these three remain faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

God is love.

1 John 4:16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

God is love, therefore He can’t help but show love.

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

We are to love others. Even our enemies.

1 Peter 4:8 Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins.

Luke 6:27 “But to you who are listening, I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.”

We are to love ourselves.

Matthew 22:37-39 Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”

You may be thinking, “This is so basic. I already know all about love.” You may be right; you and I may know all that the Lord has to say in his word about love. But the question is, are we doing it?

As I watch the news and scroll through social media, I dare say the answer to that question would probably be a resounding, NO! And I’m not talking about the world, I’m talking about professed followers of Christ.

John 13:35 “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”

Maybe we just need a reminder of how to love God, one another, and ourselves.

John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

So, let’s get back to basics-Jesus’ one new commandment; Love God and love people; including ourselves.

Let’s not just know about love; let’s do it! The world is watching!

~Patrice Maguire

Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will through the power of Your Holy Spirit. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If You Love Me

My husband and I like to take our dog Autumn for walks on our property. We take the leash along just in case she refuses to obey.

If we’re not careful, she’ll wander off and return smelling like the decaying carcass of the animal she rolled around in. Why on earth do dogs do this? Baffling and gross!

When my husband and Autumn returned from a recent walk, he was happy to report that she was very obedient. Actually, he was amazed by her obedience. Needless to say, he made sure Autumn knew he was very pleased with her.

You see, Autumn is usually a fearful, stubborn, rebellious dog (sounds a lot like me at times). So, for one of us to say that she was obedient for an entire 15-acre walk is really saying something.

Autumn’s act of obedience reminds me of scripture. John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands.”

We don’t have to exhaustingly work hard at trying to obey God in order to prove our love for Him. The more we fall in love with the Lord, obedience to Him will come more naturally. We’ll actually desire to be pleasing to Him.

Psalm 119:35 Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.

The more time Autumn spends with my husband, the more she gets to know him and trust him. The more she knows him and trusts him, her love for him grows. Therefore, her obedience to him increases.

It’s the same with God. The more time we spend with Him in prayer, bible study, and experiencing life with Him, the better we will know Him. The better we know Him, the more we will trust Him and what He says.

The more we realize we can trust God and His Word, the deeper and deeper in love we will fall with Him. Resulting in more obedience.

What is the result of more obedience? A more pleasant journey.

Psalm 119:1-2 Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their hearts.

What is the reward of obedience?

Psalm 91:14-16 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him, I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With a long life, I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

Just as my husband made it clear to Autumn that she had done a great job on their walk and that he was very pleased with her obedience, so also the Lord will express His delight in our obedience.

Matthew 25:23 His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! Come and share your master’s happiness!”

I don’t know about you but that’s what I’m looking forward to hearing the Lord say to me at the end of my walk.

~Patrice Maguire

Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will through the power of Your Holy Spirit. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts from a Higher Perspective

 

Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a

new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness (II Peter 3:13).

 

There is no doubt that we live in a stressful world today. Tune in to a local newscast, and virtually every day the top news story will bring us awful news: a fire, a robbery, a murder, perhaps a political scandal.

 

Such headlines can cause despair if we’re not careful to stay focused on our salvation and what lies ahead for us as believers!

 

I have a friend who occasionally wore a T-shirt which said something like this: “Christian work: the pay ain’t much, but the retirement program is out of this world!”

 

So what will we enjoy when we get to heaven?

 

Certain things will NOT be there: no temple, no sun, no moon, no shut gates, no liars or any sin, no curse, no night, no tears, no death, no sorrow, no pain (all these are listed in Revelation 21 and 22)!

 

The Word tells us “the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:4)!

 

There will be sights that will be wonderful: a pure river of water, foundations made of precious stones, the tree of life, pearly gates, renewal of relationships with those who have gone on before us, and—most of all—we “shall see His face” (Revelation 22:4; see also I John 3:2)!

 

These great truths are often pointed out to us, but (as modern advertising often emphasizes) wait, THERE’S MORE!

 

Consider these factors:

 

  1. We will be able to explore the “new heaven.” Think of the power and creativity of God in creating the earth we presently live in; now try to ponder how magnificent an entirely new universe will be! No doubt every star and planet will be beautiful, and be sure that none of them will be exactly alike!

 

  1. It is clear to many that God likes to surprise His children, much like a spouse likes to surprise a mate or a parent likes to surprise a child.

 

Because God is so creative, so powerful, and so loving, try to imagine what lies ahead!

 

In I Corinthians 13:13 we are told: “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” Because love is the greatest and eternally enduring virtue,

I am convinced that God will want to surprise us every hundred million years (hey, heaven is forever!) with a new revelation, a mind-boggling surprise, which reminds us just how much He loves us!

 

And the surprises will never end!

 

These thoughts were presented by John Rataczak, Ph.D.

Check out: www.eleutherosbooks.com

Honor One Another Above Yourselves

I learned a long time ago that if I focus on self-preservation God can’t use me. And as hard as it is to be transparent I know that it is required of me for the greater good of others. If God can turn my mess into a message then so be it. Every day I pray that the Lord will help me to use all that He gives me to glorify His name, build His kingdom and edify His body (the Body of Christ/the Church). That includes revelations about myself. So here it goes.

Those that don’t know me very well may think that I have it all together. Well, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m literally a mess. God is never reluctant to correct me and discipline me. As painful as it may be I know it’s necessary to my spiritual growth. Like any good father, He does it gently and in love. I guess the worst part about the revelation of my sins is the ugliness of them. When He shows them to me I can hardly believe I actually did them and thought they were ok to do at the time. I don’t even recognize it. That’s scary!

Recently I was in Barnes and Noble checking on the sales of my children’s book, ‘The Many Fears of Miela the Cat.’ There was only one left on the shelf. I didn’t like where it was. It was all the way on the left end of the shelf and the side of the bookshelf was casting a shadow over it. I thought it should be in a more prominent position on the shelf. Seems reasonable right? I mean if you want to succeed in life you need to be aggressive right? So I saw no harm in moving my book front and center at eye level. The only problem was I had to move someone else’s book onto the shadowy end of the shelf to get mine where I thought it should be. So I did.

This happened Friday and it wasn’t until Sunday morning, while I was reading my morning scriptures and devotionals, that I realized my sin. Funny how God’s word has a tendency to do that. My sin literally shocked me. I felt like Urkel and found myself saying,  “Did I do that?” I felt so disgusted with myself. I repented right away and managed to not wallow in regret but instead got back up and moved on. That in itself is a testament to the work of the Holy Spirit that I’m so thankful for.

The scripture the Lord used to reveal my sin to me was Romans 12:10. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. I was not honoring, above myself, the other person who had written the book that I moved to a less prominent place on the shelf. I was being greedy and selfish. I was not treating that person the way I wanted to be treated (Matthew 7:12). I was not trusting God with all of my heart. I was leaning on my own understanding. I was not acknowledging Him in all of my ways (Proverbs 3:5-6). I was wrong on so many levels. I cannot tell you enough how thankful I am for the convicting of the Holy Spirit. I don’t want to stay in my sin and misrepresent God. I want to move up and onward.

How about you? Is there something that you do or have done that is justifiable in the eyes of the world but offensive in the eyes of God? Will you confess your sin and ask God to forgive you today? Don’t wallow in regret over it. Get up and move up and onward!

~Patrice Maguire