How to Pray for Your Enemies (Psalm 4)

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Psalm 4

We often hear that we are to love and pray for our enemies. But how does one do that? Psalm 4 gives us an example. Continue reading

The Power of Love (Psalm 33:22)

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Submitted by Andy Mcilvain.

Psalm 33:22

“Maybe we’ve spent too long trying to figure all this out with theory. So listen to me, when I say that love is not something we invented. It’s observable, powerful. It has to mean something. Love is the one thing that transcends time and space.”

Amelia Brand (Ann Hathaway) made this statement in the movie Interstellar. Interstellar is a 2014 science fiction film directed, co-written, and co-produced by Christopher Nolan. The film follows a group of astronauts who travel through a wormhole near Saturn in search of a new home for humanity. Continue reading

The Sad Story of a Duplicitous Lover (1 John 4:19-21)

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1 John 4:19-21

The Apostle John said: “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” (1 John 4:20)

There is a direct correlation between loving God and loving our brothers and sisters in Christ. It is absurd to say that we love God, while holding hatred in our heart toward our brother or sister. Continue reading

We Love Because He First Loved Us (1 John 4:19)

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1 John 4:19

The Apostle John says, “We love because he first loved us (1 John 4:19).” I remember a scene from a movie. I cannot recall the title, nor do I recall the movie being very good. But I do remember a particular scene. The movie is about a daughter who had grown up in a loving family with every opportunity to thrive. But she gets caught up with a friend. The two girls begin sneaking out at night, causing mischief, doing drugs, and many other things that need not mentioning. The mother in the movie watches her sweet, innocent daughter transform. Continue reading

Are You Sure? (1 John 4:13-16)

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1 John 4:13-16

Pastor Alister Begg tells a story about the late playwright George Bernard Shaw. In the days when radio was relatively new in the British Isles, the playwright gave a talk on the peculiarities of the English Language. During his talk, he said there were only two words with the “sh” (s-h) sound but not spelled with a “sh” at the beginning of the word. One listener took it upon herself to write to the playwright and correct him. The only word meeting that criteria was “sugar,” she said. According to the story, Shaw replied with a postcard. Only one sentence was on it: “Madam, are you sure?” Continue reading

I Am Bound to Love (1 John 4:11)

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1 John 4:11

“Beloved, since God loves us in this way, we also ought to love one another,” said the Apostle John (1 John 4:11, author’s translation).

Last week we looked at how lavishly and selflessly God has loved us. He chose to send his one and only Son into the world as an atonement for sin so that we might live (1 John 4:9-10). We long to comprehend and practice this type of love in our lives. Yet, this love does not arise naturally from within us. Continue reading

Love Defined (1 John 4:9-10)

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1 John 4:9-10

Poets write about it. Song-writers sing about it. Actors and actresses portray it. It seems wherever you go people are talking about love. But, though love is talked about, thought about, and sung about, how often is it defined and comprehended. Continue reading

What is Christian Love? (1 John 3:16-18)

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1 John 3:16-18

“From whence comes love?” asked the nineteenth century Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard. If love comes from inside a person, can we find it? Can we go deeper and deeper into his interior and find it somewhere there? Kierkegaard would answer, “no,” because the beginning of human love is God’s love. It is like looking at a stream. Though you may see the stream, you cannot see its source. Though the stream may flow or dry up, the source may remain full. So, it is with God’s love. We cannot fully behold its source, but we can see its outflow. Continue reading

Parental Love from the Pit (1 John 3:1-3)

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1 John 3:1-3

In the 2002 film, John Q, a son with an enlarged heart is denied a heart transplant, because John’s health insurance will not cover the procedure. John, the father, decides to take matters into his own hands and holds the hospital hostage at gun point. When no viable donor heart can be found, John puts the gun up to the temple of his own head and says to the surgeon: “Somebody’s gotta die in order for him to live. I’m his father; it’s me!” Continue reading

Conceiving the Inconceivable

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Ephesians 3:18-19

There is an old illustration from mathematics that goes like this: “The wider the diameter of light, the greater the circumference of darkness.” The more a person knows about something, the more they discover just how much they do not know about it. Continue reading