Tag Archives: Love each other

❤️Love At First Sight…Village – 15 Years On!!!

 This week i’m celebrating 15 years since i met my lovely wife Sarah at “Sight Village, Birmingham, UK” 

This is a major Sight Village show in Birmingham which is held in July each year. Exhibitors throughout the world take part and welcome many thousands of visitors, including people who are blind or partially sighted, professionals, business people and family members.

I was there (from Derby) working for a charity called LOOK and Sarah was there (from Surrey) working for RNIB. She came to my table as she had a magazine which she had just published an article about LOOK and wanted to show me. Sarah opened the magazine and said here are the pictures and the article, i said “Wow, fantastic, it all looks great” which made Sarah quite proud of her work. I then said while laughing “you know i didn’t see any of what you’ve just shown me, as i’m blind!”. Then as always, a brief pause as Sarah checks out my eyes to see if i’m joking, then Sarah laughed and said “No way, me too!”. We both approach blindness in a similar way and love blossomed from that point. 🙂

Photos Throughout The Years….

Sarah  i 2005

 ⇧ 2005 ⇧ 

Sarah  i 2006

Me Sarah  Bruce 2006

 ⇧ 2006 ⇧ 

Sarah  I Wedding photo

 ⇧ 2007 ⇧ 

Me Sarah  Bruce 2009

⇧ 2008 ⇧ 

Sarah  i 2009

⇧ 2009 ⇧   

Valentines heart

 ⇧ 2010 ⇧ 

Steve sarah at friday street1

⇧ 2011 ⇧  

Sarah  i 2012

Me  Sarah in Church

 ⇧ 2012 ⇧  

Sarah  i holding hands 2014

 ⇧ 2013 ⇧ 

Sarah & i stood in front of the barbados sunset

IMG 3598

MIL 6290

Me  Sarah

📖 Bible Verse

Ephesians 5:25 Easy-to-Read Version

Husbands, love your wives the same as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it.

🤔 My Thoughts… 

This is one of my favourite Bible verses that i try desperately  each day to live up to. As soon as i first read this verse it convicted me straight away and i knew i wanted to be a husband like that!

🙏 Prayer

Holy Spirit, thanks for being a constant guiding presence in my life. Give me the faith to take practical and radical action to keep in step with You, so that You can love my spouse through me in a way that will sustain a fun, loving & trusting relationship. Amen.

Christian Love Part 4 Of 4 By J. C. Ryle

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IV. Let me show, lastly–why love is called the “greatest” of the graces.

The words of Paul, on this subject, are distinct and unmistakable. He winds up his wonderful chapter on love in the following manner: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love!” 1 Corinthians 13:13 

This expression is very remarkable. Of all the writers in the New Testament, none, certainly, exalts “faith” so highly as Paul. The Epistles to the Romans and Galatians abound in sentences showing its vast importance. By faith, the sinner lays hold on Christ and is saved. Through faith, we are justified, and have peace with God. Yet here the same Paul speaks of something which is even greater than faith! He puts before us the three leading Christian graces, and pronounces the following judgment on them, “The greatest is love!” Such a sentence from such a writer demands special attention. What are we to understand, when we hear of love being greater than faith and hope?

We are not to suppose, for a moment, that love can atone for our sins, or make our peace with God. Nothing can do that for us, but the blood of Christ; and nothing can give us a saving interest in Christ’s blood, but faith. It is Scriptural ignorance not to know this. The office of justifying and joining the soul to Christ, belongs to faith alone. Our love, and all our other graces, are all more or less imperfect, and could not stand the severity of God’s judgment. When we have done all–we are “unprofitable servants.” (Luke 17:10.)

We are not to suppose that Christian love can exist independently of faith. Paul did not intend to set up one grace in rivalry to the other. He did not mean that one man might have faith, another hope, and another love–and that the best of these, was the man who had love. The three graces are inseparably joined together. Where there is faith, there will always be love; and where there is love, there will be faith. Sun and light, fire and heat, ice and cold, are not more intimately united than faith and love!

The reasons why love is called the greatest of the three graces, appear to me plain and simple. Let me show what they are.

(a) Love is called the greatest of graces, because it is the one in which there is some likeness between the believer and his God. God has no need of faith. He is dependent on no one. There is none superior to Him in whom He must trust. God has no need of hope. To Him all things are certain, whether past, present, or to come. But “God is love” and the more love His people have–the more similar they are to their Father in Heaven.

(b) Love, for another thing, is called the greatest of the graces, because it is most useful to others. Faith and hope, beyond doubt, however precious, have special reference to a believer’s own private individual benefit. Faith unites the soul to Christ, brings peace with God, and opens the way to Heaven. Hope fills the soul with cheerful expectation of things to come, and, amid the many discouragements of things seen, comforts with visions of the things unseen. 

But love is pre-eminently the grace which makes a man useful. It is the spring of good works and kindnesses. It is the root of missions, schools, and hospitals. Love made apostles spend and be spent for souls. Love raises up workers for Christ, and keeps them working. Love smooths quarrels, and stops strife–and in this sense, “covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8.) Love adorns Christianity, and recommends it to the world. A man may have real faith, and feel it–and yet his faith may be invisible to others. But a man’s love cannot be hidden.

(c) Love, in the last place, is the greatest of the graces, because it is the one which endures the longest. In fact, it will never die. Faith will one day be swallowed up in sight–and hope in certainty. Their office will be useless in the morning of the resurrection; and, like old almanacs, they will be laid aside. But love will live on through the endless ages of eternity! Heaven will be the abode of love. The inhabitants of Heaven will be full of love. One common feeling will be in all their hearts, and that will be love.

I leave this part of my subject here, and pass on to a CONCLUSION. On each of the three points of comparison I have just named, between love and the other graces, it would be easy to enlarge. But time and space both forbid me to do so. If I have said enough to guard men against mistakes about the right meaning, of the greatness of love–I am content. Love, be it ever remembered, cannot justify and put away our sins. It is neither Christ, nor faith. 
But love makes us somewhat like God. 
Love is of mighty use to the world. 
Love will live and flourish when faith’s work is done. 
Surely, in these points of view–love well deserves the crown!

(1) And now let me ask every one into whose hands this paper may come a simple question. Let me press home on your conscience the whole subject of this paper. Do you know anything of the grace of which I have been speaking? Do you have Christian love?

The strong language of the Apostle Paul must surely convince you that the inquiry is not one that ought to be lightly put aside. The grace, without which that holy man could say, “I am nothing,” the grace which the Lord Jesus says expressly is the great mark of being His disciple–such a grace as this, demands the serious consideration of every one who is in earnest about the salvation of his soul. It should set him thinking, “How does this affect me? Do I have Christian love?”

You have some knowledge, it may be, of religion. You know the difference between true and false doctrine. You can, perhaps, even quote texts, and defend the opinions you hold. But, remember the knowledge which is barren of practical results in life and temper–is a useless possession! The words of the Apostle are very plain: “If I can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge–but have not love, I am nothing!” (1 Corinthians 13:3.)

You think you have faith, perhaps. You trust you are one of God’s elect, and rest in that. But surely you should remember that there is a faith of devils, which is utterly unprofitable–and that the faith of God’s elect is a “faith which works by love.” It was when Paul remembered the “love” of the Thessalonians, as well as their faith and hope, that he said, “I know your election of God.” (1 Thessalonians 1:4.)

Look at your own daily life, both at home and abroad, and consider what place Christian love has in it. What is your temper? What are your ways of behaving toward all around you in your own family? What is your manner of speaking, especially in seasons of vexation and provocation? Where is your good-nature, your courtesy, your patience, your meekness, your gentleness, your forbearance? Where are your practical actions of love in your dealing with others? What do you know of the mind of Him who “went about doing good”–who loved all, though specially His disciples–who returned good for evil, and kindness for hatred, and had a heart wide enough to feel for all?

What would you do in Heaven, I wonder, if you got there without love? What comfort could you have in an abode where love was the law, and selfishness and ill-nature completely shut out? Alas! I fear that Heaven would be no place for an uncharitable and ill-tempered man! A little boy said, “If grandfather goes to Heaven–I hope my brother and I will not go there.” “Why do you say that?” he was asked. He replied, “If he sees us there, I am sure he will say, as he does now–‘What are these boys doing here? Get them get out of the way!’ He does not like to see us on earth, and I suppose he would not like to see us in Heaven!”

Give yourself no rest, until you know something by experience of real Christian love. Go and learn of Him who is meek and lowly of heart, and ask Him to teach you how to love. Ask the Lord Jesus to put His Spirit within you, to take away the old heart, to give you a new nature, to make you know something of His mind. Cry to Him night and day for grace, and give Him no rest until you feel something of what I have been describing in this paper. Happy indeed will your life be, when you really understand “walking in love.”

(2) But I do not forget that I am writing to some who are not ignorant of the love of Scripture, and who long to feel more of it every year. I will give you two simple words of exhortation. They are these:

Practice love diligently. It is one of those graces, above all, which grow by constant exercise. Strive more and more to carry it into every little detail of daily life. Watch over your own tongue and temper throughout every hour of the day, and especially in your dealings with children and spouse. Remember the character of the excellent woman: “In her tongue is the law of kindness.” (Proverbs 31:26.) 

Remember the words of Paul: “Let ALL your things be done with love.” (1 Corinthians 16:14.) Love should be seen in little things, as well as in great ones. 

Remember, not least, the words of Peter: “Have fervent love among yourselves;” not a love which just keeps alight, but a burning shining fire, which all around can see! (1 Peter 4:8.) It may cost pains and trouble to keep these things in mind. There may be little encouragement from the example of others. But persevere. Love like this brings its own reward!

Finally, teach love to others. Press it continually on your children. Tell them the great duty of kindness, helpfulness, and considerateness, one for another. Remind them constantly that kindness, good nature, and good temper, are among the first evidences which Christ requires in children. If they cannot know much, or explain doctrines–they can understand love. A child’s religion is worth very little if it only consists in repeating texts and hymns. As useful as they are, they are often . . .
learned without thought, 
remembered without feeling, 
repeated without consideration of their meaning, 
and forgotten when childhood is gone!

By all means let children be taught texts and hymns; but let not such teaching be made everything in their religion. Teach them to keep their tempers, to be kind one to another, to be unselfish, good-natured, obliging, patient, gentle, forgiving. Tell them never to forget to their dying day, if they live as long as Methuselah, that without love, the Holy Spirit says, “we are nothing.” Tell them “above all things–to put on love, which is the bond of perfectness.” (Colos. 3:14.)

Christian Love Part 2 Of 4 By J. C. Ryle

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II. Let me show, secondly, WHAT the love of the Bible really is.

I think it of great importance to have clear views on this point. It is precisely here that mistakes about love begin. Thousands delude themselves with the idea that they have “love,” when they have not, from downright ignorance of Scripture. Their love is not the love described in the Bible.

(a) The love of the Bible does not consist in giving to the poor. It is a common delusion to suppose that it does. Yet Paul tells us plainly, that a man may “bestow all his goods to feed the poor “(1 Corinthians 13:8)–and not have love! That a charitable man will “remember the poor,” there can be no question. (Galatians 2:10.) That he will do all he can to assist them, relieve them, and lighten their burdens–I do not for a moment deny. All I say is, that this does not make up “love.” It is easy to spend a fortune in giving away money, and soup, and milk, and and bread, and coals, and blankets, and clothing–and yet to be utterly destitute of Bible love!

(b) The love of the Bible does not consist in never disapproving anybody’s conduct. Here is another very common delusion! Thousands pride themselves on never condemning others, or calling them wrong, whatever they may do. They convert the precept of our Lord, “do not judge,” into an excuse for having no unfavorable opinion at all of anybody! They pervert His prohibition of rash and censorious judgments, into a prohibition of all judgment whatever. 

Your neighbor may be a drunkard, a liar, and a violent man. Never mind! “It is not love,” they tell you, “to pronounce him, wrong!” You are to believe that he has a good heart at the bottom! This idea of love is, unhappily, a very common one. It is full of mischief. To throw a veil over sin, and to refuse to call things by their right names, to talk of “hearts” being good, when “lives” are flatly wrong, to shut our eyes against wickedness, and say smooth things of immorality–this is not Scriptural love!

(c) The love of the Bible does not consist in never disapproving anybody’s religious opinions. Here is another most serious and growing delusion. There are many who pride themselves on never pronouncing others mistaken, whatever views they may hold. Your neighbor may be an Atheist, or a Buddhist, or a Roman Catholic, or a Mormonite, a Deist, or a Skeptic, a mere Formalist, or a thorough Antinomian. But the “love” of many says that you have no right to think him wrong! “If he is sincere, it is uncharitable to think unfavorably of his spiritual condition!”

From such love–may I ever be delivered!

At this rate, the Apostles were wrong in going out to preach to the Gentiles!

At this rate, there is no use in missions!

At this rate, we had better close our Bibles, and shut up our churches!

At this rate, everybody is right–and nobody is wrong!

At this rate, everybody is going to Heaven–and nobody is going to Hell! 

Such love is a monstrous caricature! To say that all are equally right in their opinions–though their opinions flatly contradict one another; to say that all are equally in the way to Heaven–though their doctrinal sentiments are as opposite as black and white–this is not Scriptural love. Love like this, pours contempt on the Bible, and talks as if God had not given us a written standard of truth. Love like this, confuses all our notions of Heaven, and would fill it with a discordant inharmonious rabble. True love does not think everybody right in doctrine. True love cries, “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world!” 1 John 4:1. “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him!” 2 John 1:10 

I leave the negative side of the question here. I have dwelt upon it at some length because of the days in which we live and the strange notions which abound. Let me now turn to the positive side. Having shown what love is not, let me now show what it is.

Christian love is that “love,” which Paul places first among those fruits which the Spirit causes to be brought forth in the heart of a believer. “The fruit of the Spirit is love.” (Galatians 5:22.) 

Love to God, such as Adam had before the fall, is its first feature. He who has love, desires to love God with heart, and soul and mind, and strength. 

Love to man is its second feature. He who has Christian love, desires to love his neighbor as himself.

Christian love will show itself in a believer’s doings. It will make him ready to do kind acts to everyone within his reach, “both to their bodies and souls. It will not let him be content with soft words and kind wishes. It will make him diligent in doing all that lies in his power to lessen the sorrow and increase the happiness of others. Like his Master, he will care more for ministering than for being ministered to, and will look for nothing in return. Like his Master’s great apostle, he will very willingly “spend and be spent” for others, even though they repay him with hatred, and not with love. True love does not want wages. Its work is its reward. 

Christian love will show itself in a believer’s readiness to bear evil as well as to do good. It will make him . . .
patient under provocation, 
forgiving when injured, 
meek when unjustly attacked, 
quiet when slandered. 

It will make him bear much and forbear much, put up with much and look over much, submit often and deny himself often–all for the sake of peace. It will make him put a strong bit on his temper, and a strong bridle on his tongue.

True love is not always asking, “What are my rights? Am treated as I deserve?” but, “How can I best promote peace? How can I do that which is most edifying to others?”

Christian love will show itself in the general spirit and demeanor of a believer. It will make him kind, unselfish, good-natured, good-tempered, and considerate for others. It will make him gentle, affable, and courteous, in all the daily relations of private life. It will make him thoughtful for others’ comfort, tender for others’ feelings, and more anxious to give pleasure than to receive. 

True love never envies others when they prosper, nor rejoices in the calamities of others when they are in trouble. At all times, it will believe, and hope, and try to put a good construction on others’ actions. And even at the worst, it will be full of pity, mercy, and compassion.

Would we like to know where the true Pattern of love like this can be found? We have only to look at the life of our Lord Jesus Christ, as described in the Gospels, and we shall see it perfectly exemplified. Love shone forth in all His doings. His daily life was an incessant “going about” doing good. Love shone forth in all His bearing. He was continually hated, persecuted, slandered, misrepresented. But He patiently endured it all. No angry word ever fell from His lips. No ill-temper ever appeared in His demeanor. “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats.” (1 Peter 2:23.) Love shone forth in all His spirit anddeportment. The law of kindness was ever on His lips. Among weak and ignorant disciples, among sick and sorrowful petitioners for help and relief, among publicans and sinners, among Pharisees and Sadducees–He was always one and the same–kind and patient to all.

And yet, be it remembered, our blessed Master never flattered sinners, or connived at sin. He never shrank from exposing wickedness in its true colors, or from rebuking those who would cleave to it. He never hesitated to denounce false doctrine, by whoever it might be held, or to exhibit false practice in its true colors, and the certain end to which it tends. He called things by their right names. He spoke as freely of Hell and the fire that is never quenched, as of Heaven and the kingdom of glory. He has left on record an everlasting proof that perfect love does not require us to approve everybody’s life or opinions, and that it is quite possible to condemn false doctrine and wicked practice–and yet to be full of love at the same time.

I have now set before my readers the true nature of Christian love. I have given a slight and very brief account of what it is not, and what it is. I cannot pass on without suggesting two practical thoughts, which press home on my mind with weighty force, and I hope may press home on others.

Think, for a moment, how deplorably little love there is upon earth! How w conspicuous is the absence of true love among professing Christians! I speak not of heathen now, I speak of professing Christians! What angry tempers, what passions, what selfishness, what bitter tongues–are to be found in private families! What strifes, what quarrels, what spitefulness, what malice, what revenge, what envy between neighbors and fellow-parishioners! What jealousies and contentions between Churchmen and Dissenters, Calvinists and Arminians, High Churchmen and Low Churchmen! “Where is love?” we may well ask, “Where is love? Where is the mind of Christ?”–when we look at the spirit which reigns in the world. No wonder that Christ’s cause stands still, and infidelity abounds–when men’s hearts know so little of love! Surely, we may well say, “When the Son of man comes, shall He find love upon earth?”

Think, for another thing, what a happy world this would be–if there was more love. It is the lack of love which causes half the misery which there is upon earth. Sickness, and death, and poverty, will not account for more than half the sorrows. The rest come from ill- temper, ill-nature, strifes, quarrels, lawsuits, malice, envy, revenge, frauds, violence, wars, and the like. It would be one great step towards doubling the happiness of mankind, and halving their sorrows–if all men and women were full of Scriptural love.

Christian liberty


Grace logoChristian liberty

(J.R. Miller)

We should keep watch over our words and deeds, not only in their intent and purpose — but also in their possible influence over others. There may be liberties which lead to no danger for us — but which to others with less stable character, and less wholesome environments — would be full of peril. It is part of our duty to think of these weaker ones, and of the influence of our example upon them. We may not do anything in our liberty, which might possibly harm others. We must be willing to sacrifice our liberty — if by its exercise, we endanger another’s soul. This is the teaching of holy Scripture:

“Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.” Romans 14:19 

“Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.” Romans 14:20-21 

“Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, won’t he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience — you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.” 1 Corinthians 8:9-13 

“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.” 1 Corinthians 10:23-24

🎄 The Glorious Incarnation #19 ~ The Advent Virus

The Advent Virus

Anonymous via email

WARNING……WARNING: ADVENT VIRUS

Be on the alert for symptoms of inner Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. The hearts of a great many have already been exposed to this virus and it is possible that people everywhere could come down with it in epidemic proportions. This could pose a serious threat to what has, up to now, been a fairly stable condition of conflict in the world.

Some signs and symptoms of The Advent Virus:

  1. A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experiences.
  2. An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.
  3. A loss of interest in judging other people.
  4. A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.
  5. A loss of interest in conflict.
  6. A loss of the ability to worry. (This is a very serious symptom.)
  7. Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation.
  8. Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.
  9. Frequent attacks of smiling.
  10. An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.
  11. An increased susceptibility to the love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.

Please send this warning out to all your friends. This virus can and has affected many systems. Some systems have been completely cleaned out because of it.

What Is Love?

What is love?

LOVE IS… being willing to have your life complicated by the needs and struggles of others without impatience or anger.

LOVE IS… actively fighting the temptation to be critical and judgmental toward another while looking for ways to encourage and praise.

LOVE IS… making a daily commitment to resist the needless moments of conflict that come from pointing out and responding to minor offenses.

LOVE IS… being lovingly honest and humbly approachable in times of misunderstanding.

LOVE IS… being more committed to unity and understanding than you are to winning, accusing, or being right.

LOVE IS… a making a daily commitment to admit your sin, weakness, and failure and to resist the temptation to offer an excuse or shift the blame.

LOVE IS… being willing, when confronted by another, to examine your heart rather than rising to your defense or shifting the focus.

LOVE IS… making a daily commitment to grow in love so that the love you offer to another is increasingly selfless, mature, and patient.

LOVE IS… being unwilling to do what is wrong when you have been wronged, but looking for concrete and specific ways to overcome evil with good.

LOVE IS… being a good student of another, looking for their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs so that in some way you can remove the burden, support them as they carry it, or encourage them along the way.

LOVE IS… being willing to invest the time necessary to discuss, examine, and understand the relational problems you face, staying on task until the problem is removed or you have agreed upon a strategy of response.

LOVE IS… being willing to always ask for forgiveness and always being committed to grant forgiveness when it is requested.

LOVE IS… recognizing the high value of trust in a relationship and being faithful to your promises and true to your word.

LOVE IS… speaking kindly and gently, even in moments of disagreement, refusing to attack the other person’s character or assault their intelligence.

LOVE IS… being unwilling to flatter, lie, manipulate, or deceive in any way in order to coerce the other person into giving you what you want or doing something your way.

LOVE IS… the willingness to have less free time, less sleep, and a busier schedule in order to be faithful to what God has called you to be and to do as a spouse, parent, neighbor, etc.

LOVE IS… a commitment to say no to selfish instincts and to do everything that is within your ability to promote real unity, functional understanding, and active love in your relationships.

LOVE IS… staying faithful to your commitment to treat another with appreciation, respect, and grace, even in moments when the other person doesn’t seem deserving or is unwilling to reciprocate.

LOVE IS… the willingness to make regular and costly sacrifices for the sake of a relationship without asking for anything in return or using your sacrifices to place the other person in your debt.

LOVE IS… being unwilling to make any personal decision or choice that would harm a relationship, hurt the other person, or weaken the bond of trust between you.

LOVE IS… refusing to be self-focused or demanding, but instead looking for specific ways to serve, support, and encourage, even when you are busy or tired.

LOVE IS… daily admitting to yourself, the other person, and God that you are unable to be driven by a cruciform love without God’s protecting, providing, forgiving, rescuing, and delivering grace.

[By Paul Tripp.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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!” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

A truly thoughtful person.

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Some people seem to have a genius for making others miserable! They are continually touching sensitive hearts, so as to cause pain. They are always saying things which sting and irritate. If you have any bodily defect, they never see you without in some crude way, making you conscious of it. If any relative or friend of yours has done some dishonorable thing, they seem to take a cruel delight in constantly referring to it when speaking with you. They lack all delicacy of feeling, having no eye for the sensitive things in others, which demand gentleness of treatment.

Thoughtfulness is the reverse of all this. It simply does not do the things which thoughtlessness does. It avoids the painful subject. It never alludes to a man’s clubfoot or humpback, nor ever casts an eye at the defect, nor does anything to direct attention to it or to make the man conscious of it. It respects your sorrow–and refrains from harshly touching your wound. It has the utmost kindliness of feeling and expression. A truly thoughtful person, is one who never needlessly gives pain to another.

Thoughtfulness does not merely keep one from doing thoughtless things; it also leads to continued acts of kindness and good will. It ever watches for opportunities to give pleasure and happiness. It does not wait to be asked for sympathy or help–but has eyes of its own, and sees every need, and supplies it unsolicited. When a friend is in sorrow, the thoughtful man is ready with his offer of comfort. He does not come the next day, when the need is past–but is prompt with his kindness, when kindness means something.

Thoughtfulness is always doing little kindnesses. It has an instinct for seeing the little things that need to be done, and then for doing them!

There are some rare Christians who seem born for thoughtfulness. They have a genius for sympathy. Instinctively they seem to understand the experiences of pain in others, and from their heart, there flows a blessing of tenderness which is full of healing. This is the highest and holiest ministry of love. It is not softness nor weakness; it is strength–but strength enriched by divine gentleness.

Thoughtfulness is one of the truest and best tests of a noble Christian character. It is love working in all delicate ways. It is unselfishness which forgets self, and thinks only of others. It is love which demands not to be served, to be honored, to be helped–but thinks continually of serving and honoring others. He who has a truly gentle heart, cannot but be thoughtful. Love is always thoughtful.

(J. R. Miller, “The Grace of Thoughtfulness” 1896)

Love flowing out in little gentlenesses.

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“I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in My name because you belong to Christ — will certainly not lose his reward!” Mark 9:41

It seems indeed astonishing — that God should keep note of such a little thing, as the giving of a cup of water to a thirsty Christian. It shows how dear to Him His people are — since the smallest things done to one of them — He accepts, remembers, and rewards.

The mention here of the giving of a cup of water suggests that this promise is for little, commonplace acts — rather than for great showy deeds. We are too stingy with our helpfulness. God has put His gifts of love into our hearts — not to be kept locked up and useless — but to be given out.

We would call a man selfish — who would refuse a cup of water to one who was thirsty; yet many of us do this continually. It is the heart which ‘thirsts’ — and the ‘water’ we refuse to give, is human kindness.

Kindness is just the word for these small acts. Kindness is simply love flowing out in little gentlenesses. We ought to live our lives — so that they will be perpetual blessings wherever we go. All that we need for such a ministry — is a heart full of love for Christ; for if we truly love Christ — we shall also love our fellow-men; and love will always find ways of helping. A heart filled with gentleness — cannot be miserly of its blessings.

J.R. Miller, “Daily Bible Readings in the Life of Christ” 1890)

Tongues Like Thrusting Swords

Hi all, wanted to post a seemingly random encouragement this morning! 😀 

Sarah & i have just returned from a hospital appointment(don’t panic it was only a scan, lol) where i was flooded with Bible verses when leaving the waiting room. It was the quickest we have ever been seen and we’re still shocked now we’re back home.

We entered the waiting room and i was trying to navigate to a seat without stepping on anyones feet(that i couldn’t see) which is quite an adventure for me! 😀 And just as we sat down…Sarah’s name was called. Sarah said “Wow that’s amazingly quick, i’ve never been called that quickly before”. We got straight back up and started towards the door when i heard “That’s not fair” from a lady on my right, then “No, that’s not fair” from a lady on my left, then a few people said “No, that’s not fair they’ve just arrived”.

Jesus cautions in Matthew 12:34, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” When evil resides in the heart, it will be exposed in speech,

Before you crucify me, i’m not saying anything about the salvation of the people in the waiting room, only God knows that, it was a shocking reminder for us to take every thought captive before we show our selfishness in speech.Our tongues are like thrusting swords and we were being hacked to death without them even knowing us, or our situation.

As i was leaving through the door of shame, more Bible verses were filling my mind and i couldn’t help but be reminded of how i(and every Brother & Sister in Christ) was chosen while they were selfish sinners, and born again into the Kingdom of God to put off the old man and put on the new. The heart of stone replaced with a heart of flesh.

The unbelievers will always follow the pattern of this world. But we are called to be set apart and offer ourselves as a living sacrifice, Holy and pleasing to God. 

When first reading the verses below as a new babe in Christ, i’d never found anything that described me inside and out with such clarity. We can easily forget what we were before being saved and this terrible(yet hope filled) list is one i always return to when i need encouragement. My hope is that you’ll also be encouraged and thankful to our merciful and Loving Saviour.

Ephesians 4:17-25 Amplified Bible (AMP)

The Christian’s Walk

17 So this I say, and solemnly affirm together with the Lord [as in His presence], that you must no longer live as the [unbelieving] Gentiles live, in the futility of their minds [and in the foolishness and emptiness of their souls], 18 for their [moral] understanding is darkened and their reasoning is clouded; [they are] alienated and self-banished from the life of God [with no share in it; this is] because of the [willful] ignorance and spiritual blindness that is [deep-seated] within them, because of the hardness and insensitivity of their heart. 19 And they, [the ungodly in their spiritual apathy], having become callous and unfeeling, have given themselves over [as prey] to unbridled sensuality, eagerly craving the practice of every kind of impurity [that their desires may demand]. 20 But you did not learn Christ in this way! 21 If in fact you have [really] heard Him and have been taught by Him, just as truth is in Jesus [revealed in His life and personified in Him], 22 that, regarding your previous way of life, you put off your old self [completely discard your former nature], which is being corrupted through deceitful desires, 23 and be continually renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh, untarnished mental and spiritual attitude], 24 and put on the new self [the regenerated and renewed nature], created in God’s image, [godlike] in the righteousness and holiness of the truth [living in a way that expresses to God your gratitude for your salvation].

25 Therefore, rejecting all falsehood [whether lying, defrauding, telling half-truths, spreading rumors, any such as these], speak truth each one with his neighbor, for we are all parts of one another [and we are all parts of the body of Christ].

Please be encouraged and season your speech with Grace and speak Truth in Love so we can build up others and not hack them down. God bless you all. 😀


Proverbs 12:18 Amplified Bible (AMP)

There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword,
But the tongue of the wise brings healing.

✞ Music “Broken Man” by Unspoken

I’ve heard it said that music heals the soul
But I have sung a thousand songs and they never made me whole
Until I joined the holy chorus that started long ago
Though it carried me a while, still so many miles to go.

Help this broken man when the road is long
Write in me a melody so I can sing redemption’s song
‘Cause when push comes to shove never be enough to make it on my own
Help this broken man’s soul, help this broken man’s soul.

Now I’ve sung these words so many times before
But I never felt anything see I wanted something more
Then it came like rushing waters to these old dry and dusty bones
You’re life-giving words pick me up and take me home

So, help this broken man when the road is long
Write in me a melody so I can sing redemption’s song
‘Cause when push comes to shove never be enough to make it on my own
Help this broken man’s soul, help this broken man’s soul.

So, help this broken man when the road is long
Write in me a melody so I can sing redemption’s song
‘Cause when push comes to shove never be enough to make it on my own
Help this broken man’s soul, help this broken man’s soul.
‘Cause when push comes to shove never be enough to make it on my own
Help this broken man’s soul, help this broken man’s soul.

The Holiness Of God & The Love Of God

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“To be really Bible-believing Christians we need to practice, simultaneously, at each step of the way, two biblical principles.

One principle is that of the purity of the visible church. Scripture commands that we must do more than just talk about the purity of the visible church; we must actually practice it, even when it is costly.

The second principle is that of an observable love among all true Christians. In the flesh we can stress purity without love, or we can stess love without purity; we cannot stress both simultaneously. To do so we must look moment by moment to the work of Christ and to the Holy Spirit. Without that, a stress on purity becomes hard, proud, and legalistic; likewise without it a stress on love becomes sheer compromise.

Spiritually begins to have real meaning in our lives as we begin to exhibit simultaneously the holiness of God and the love of God. We never do this perfectly, but we must look to the living Christ to help us do it truly.”

Francis A. Schaeffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster

Hands & Hearts

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God’s providence is not in baskets lowered from the sky, but through the hands and hearts of those who love Him.  The lad without food and without shoes made the proper answer to the cruel minded woman who asked, “But if God loved you wouldn’t He send you food and shoes?”  The boy replied, “God told someone, but he forgot.”

George A. Buttrick

Love Each Other

Prayer Logo

Lord, some people in my life are difficult to love. I am tempted not even to try to care. But You showed love to me even when I was Your enemy. Please direct me to love in the way that’s acceptable to you, with Your power and grace, Amen.

The Simple Way

A couple of weeks ago, Paul (one of our preachers) asked if i’d like to share a song that’s on my heart before his sermon (which was yesterday). It’s not a full band song, but one where i accompany a single singer, a prayerful and reflective song. My first thoughts were “Oh yeah i’d love to go up to the front and terrify myself while i share some words and try to play a song”. So i said “Yes i’d love too”. He said “Great, the theme is unity”. 

As i went away i said “Wow, thank you Lord” as for nearly 2 months now i’ve been doing a personal daily expositional bible study on Ephesians 4 & 5, which is all about unity. Verses suddenly flooded my mind about unity in the Spirit through the bond of peace, unity in the faith, unity in the body and on and on they came. I started getting excited and thought instead of sharing a song, i’d share all of the things i’d been learning for about 6 hours instead! lol. 🙂

Then the more sobering verses and thoughts came along…

“If we are not growing in the knowledge and understanding of Christ, if Jesus isn’t the head, and if He is not leading the way, then unity is impossible!” Jesus who is The Way, The Truth and The Life, simply said “FOLLOW ME!”. 

✞ Song “The Simple Way” by Sara Sargent

I then went to ask my loving sister in Christ Sara if she would bless us with her beautiful voice while i accompany her on acoustic guitar, and to maybe show me some of the songs she had written but kept quiet. So last week Sara came and showed me “The Simple Way”, wow! 🙂

This is a short section of the song which i recorded on my iPhone as i was learning the guitar chords. The quality isn’t brilliant, but i hope you too are blessed by Sara’s beautiful voice. 

After the service people were saying that we should record it. I’d love to go to the local recording studio and record this song (and maybe a few others) What do you think?

Your Time Is Your Life

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“Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can’t make more time. When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.

It is not enough to just say relationships are important; we must prove it by investing time in them. Words alone are worthless. “My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.” Relationships take time and effort, and the best way to spell love is “T-I-M-E.”

Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?

The World’s Value System Or The Truth Of God’s Word

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“What most of us do not realize is that we are being transformed in our thinking all the time—either by the world’s value system or by the truth of God’s Word. The world’s values bombard us daily with thousands of messages on billboards, in movies, songs, video games, and television programs that all reinforce a worldview that tells me life is about “me.” Life is about what I can get, what I can achieve, who I can impress, what I can possess, where I live, what I drive, how much education I have, how much money I make, who knows my name, and how successful I am . . . and the list goes on. By contrast, God uses His Spirit, His Word, nature, great books, and the authentic community of fellow believers to remind us that life is about “Him.” And life in Christ is all about what I can give, who I can love, how God can use me, how significant and accepted I am regardless of what I make, where I live, what I drive, or who knows my name.”

Chip Ingram, True Spirituality: Becoming a Romans 12 Christian

✞ Music “Love Me” by JJ Heller

Love Me

He cries in the corner where nobody sees
He’s the kid with the story no one would believe
He prays every night, “Dear God won’t you please
Could you send someone here who will love me?”

Who will love me for me
Not for what I have done or what I will become
Who will love me for me
‘Cause nobody has shown me what love
What love really means

Her office is shrinking a little each day
She’s the woman whose husband has run away
She’ll go to the gym after working today
Maybe if she was thinner
Then he would’ve stayed
And she says:

Who will love me for me?
Not for what I have done or what I will become
Who will love me for me?
‘Cause nobody has shown me what love, what love really means

He’s waiting to die as he sits all alone
He’s a man in a cell who regrets what he’s done
He utters a cry from the depths of his soul
“Oh Lord, forgive me, I want to go home”

Then he heard a voice somewhere deep inside
And it said
“I know you’ve murdered and I know you’ve lied
I have watched you suffer all of your life
And now that you’ll listen, I’ll tell you that I…”

I will love you for you
Not for what you have done or what you will become
I will love you for you
I will give you the love
The love that you never knew.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Humanity

Interpret the theme humanity.

A photo of my tattoo of a inhuman ripping out of the skin

For this weeks photo challenge, I asked Sarah to take a photo of a tattoo i have on the lower half of my left leg. I had this done aged 21, unsaved yet fully sighted and thought it would add to my seriously bad attitude and reputation as i played football at the local 5 a side arena (where i’m band for life for being too aggressive, fighting etc, but that’s another story).

Little did i know that it was an image of my very own nature that was separating me from God. I had no idea that God would now use this tattoo as a conversation starter for me to share a little of how God saved me, and is now working through me in my new life….

All of humanity has a sin nature. This is a nature that is disobedient to God. At the same time, we do have a free choice to be good or bad. God gave all humans free will. We can choose to be good. We can choose to follow the Holy Spirit. We can choose to accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. He gave us choice. We are not just driven by our instincts or our environment. Neither are we puppets of God. We choose to be either servants of God or servants of sin.

Sin Nature

Humans have a sin nature. A sin nature is basically a nature that is disobedient to God. We were all born with a sin nature that can be traced back through our ancestors all the way back to Adam and Eve. This tendency for us to disobey God, our sin nature, continues today in that it was passed down from our forefathers.

Romans 5:12 advises us how sin has entered into all of mankind.

The Holy Spirit In Us…

Our human nature does not need to end in corruption and death that sin brings to our lives. If we choose to follow the spirit of God, we can have eternal life and not live in sin.

Galatians 6:8advises us that we can choose the Holy Spirit over our flesh.

Sanctification

Our human nature at it’s best is set aside for God. This is where we put God first. This is where we are willing vessels that purify ourselves to be set aside for God’s purpose.

1 John 3:3 and 2 Peter 1:6 advises us that humans can be pure and take on God’s divine nature.

More of my Weekly Photo Challenges

The Preacher

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The story is told of a church that secured a new preacher, and the word spread around town about how well he preached.  The church members were abuzz about what an improvement he was over their former preacher, and how much more attention they gave to his sermons.  When the town cynic asked what made this new preacher so much better than his predecessor, he was told, “The old preacher told us that we’re all sinners, and that if we didn’t repent, we’d burn in hell forever!”  This cynic then asked, “And what does this new one say?”  The answer was, “That we’re all sinners, and that if we don’t repent, we’ll burn in hell forever!”  When the cynic responded that he didn’t see any difference between the two of them, he was told, “This new preacher says it with tears in his eyes.”

Tony Campolo

New Beginnings

 

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“You win over people just like you win over a dog. You see a dog passing down the street with an old bone in his mouth. You don’t grab the bone from him and tell him it’s not good for him. He’ll growl at you. It’s the only thing he has. But you throw a big fat lamb chop in front of him, and he’s going to drop that bone and pick up the lamb chop, his tail wagging to beat the band. And you’ve got a friend. Instead of going around grabbing bones from people… I’m going to throw them some lamb chops. Something with real meat and life in it. I’m going to tell them about New Beginnings.”

David Wilkerson, The Cross and the Switchblade

The Peace Of God & The Blessing Of The Church Family

Sunday was especially blessed for me, as not only did i get to drum with the worship team, but i was asked to play a reflective song on guitar with my lovely wife Sarah on flute & Sara (the voice) singing. I chose the song “In Your Hands” by Unspoken (see video below) and shared a little about worry, and how we need to trustGod and  have more confidence in this promise to let his peace, the peace that’s beyond all understanding to guard our hearts and minds, as we offer everything (not some things) in prayer. 

After the service a group of us went down to the coast at Littlehampton and had a great day walking along the beach after eating chips then doughnuts! It was fantastic spending time with sisters & brothers and i felt truly blessed! 🙂 

A group photo of us in front of the beach and sea

⇧ From left: Ben, Hope, Mary, Sally, Sara & Me at front ⇧ 

Group photo in front of the beach and sea

⇧ From left: Ben, Sarah, Hope, Mary, Sally & Sara ⇧ 

close up of the groups shot

⇧ From left: Ben, Sarah, Hope, Mary, Sally & Sara ⇧

Me  Sarah

⇧ Me & Sarah ⇧ 

Sarah  Sara

⇧ Sarah & Sara ⇧

Hope  Sarah 3

⇧ Hope & Sarah ⇧

Sara  Hope

⇧ Mary & Hope ⇧ 

Sally  Sara

⇧ Sally & Mary ⇧

Ben  Me

⇧ Ben & Me ⇧ 

Little Hampton 1

⇧ From left: Sally, Mary, Hope, Sarah & Ben ⇧ 

 

In Your Hands Lyrics

The dawn is breaking and I can hear Your whisper in the breeze
The world is waking and I am here to meet You on my knees
When I’m with You my soul finds rest
Cause I can leave it in Your hands


The day keeps coming pulling me a different million ways
I’m always running but never seem to catch the things I chase
When I’m with You my soul finds rest
Cause I can leave it in Your hands


(Chorus)
 Every sorrow, I leave it in Your hands
Every sickness, I leave it in Your hands
All my failures, I leave them in Your hands
Amen, I leave it in Your hands



So I am laying the weight of all these burdens at Your feet
No more waiting, cause You’ve already won my victories
In Jesus my soul finds rest
Cause I can leave it in Your hands


(Chorus 2)
 Every promise, I leave it in Your hands
Every healing, I leave it in Your hands
And my future, I leave it in Your hands
Amen, I can leave it in Your hands


(Bridge )
It’s Your hands that form the mountains
Your hands set boundaries for the seas
And in Your hands You hold tomorrow
The same hands that took the nails for me


(Chorus 1)
(Chorus 2)

Love At First Sight Village! (10 Years On!!!)

 Today i’m celebrating 10 years since i met my lovely wife Sarah at “Sight Village, Birmingham” 

This is a major Sight Village show in Birmingham which is held in July each year. Exhibitors from throughout the world take part and they welcome many thousands of visitors, including people who are blind or partially sighted, professionals, business people and family members.

I was there (from Derby) working for a charity called LOOK and Sarah was there (from Surrey) working for RNIB. She came to my table as she had a magazine which she had just published an article about LOOK and wanted to show me. Sarah opened the magazine and said here are the pictures and the article, i said “Wow, fantastic, it all looks great” which made Sarah quite proud of her work. I then said while laughing “you know i didn’t see any of what you’ve just shown me, as i’m blind!”. Then as always, a brief pause as Sarah checks out my eyes to see if i’m joking, then Sarah laughed and said “No way, me too!”. We both approach blindness in a similar way and love blossomed from that point. 🙂

Sarah  i 2005

 ⇧ 2005 ⇧ 

Sarah  i 2006

Me Sarah  Bruce 2006

 ⇧ 2006 ⇧ 

Sarah  I Wedding photo

 ⇧ 2007 ⇧ 

Me Sarah  Bruce 2009

⇧ 2008 ⇧ 

Sarah  i 2009

⇧ 2009 ⇧   

Valentines heart

 ⇧ 2010 ⇧ 

Steve sarah at friday street1

⇧ 2011 ⇧  

Sarah  i 2012

Me  Sarah in Church

 ⇧ 2012 ⇧  

Sarah  i holding hands 2014

 ⇧ 2013 ⇧ 

Sarah  i

 ⇧ Last Week ⇧

Ephesians 5:25 Easy-to-Read Version

Husbands, love your wives the same as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it.

My Thoughts 💭

This is one of my favourite Bible verses that i try desperately  each day to live up to. As soon as i first read this verse it convicted me straight away and i knew i wanted to be a husband like that!

🙏 Prayer

Spirit, thanks for being a constant guiding presence in my life. Give me the faith to take practical and radical action to keep in step with You, so that You can love my spouse through me in a way that will sustain a fun, loving & trusting relationship. Amen.

Building Memories

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“I remember the time an older man asked me when I was young, “Do you know what you are doing now?” I thought it was some kind of trick question.
Tell me,” I said.
You are building your memories,” he replied, “so make them good ones.”

Ravi Zacharias

Church Family

Sarah & i had another lovely weekend with our brothers & sisters (church family). It’s fantastic as we live on the other side of the country to both our families which we miss! We had Vini on our 3rd Saturday sleep over in a row. We watched the Brazil match, played playStation & ate burgers!! 🙂 Also Phil, Sara & Hope came round and we played & sang music!

God has given us another blessed weekend! 🙂

photo of Vini laughing!

Vini after a near miss

Vini looking content

Romans 12:10 Amplified Bible

Love one another with brotherly affection [as members of one family], giving precedence and showing honor to one another.

I Wouldn’t Do That For A Million Dollars!

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An American tourist in India stood by in awe as he watched Mother Teresa lovingly clean the infected wounds of a horribly disfigured leper, “Sister,” he commented, “I wouldn’t do that for a million dollars!” Her response, “Neither would I, brother. Neither would I.”

Mother Teresa

The Way You Should Live

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Ephesians 4:17-32 Easy-to-Read Version

The Way You Should Live

17 I have something from the Lord to tell you. I warn you: Don’t continue living like those who don’t believe. Their thoughts are worth nothing. 18 They have no understanding, and they know nothing because they refuse to listen. So they cannot have the life that God gives. 19 They have lost their feeling of shame and use their lives to do what is morally wrong. More and more they want to do all kinds of evil. 20 But that way of life is nothing like what you learned when you came to know Christ. 21 I know that you heard about him, and in him you were taught the truth. Yes, the truth is in Jesus. 22 You were taught to leave your old self. This means that you must stop living the evil way you lived before. That old self gets worse and worse, because people are fooled by the evil they want to do. 23 You must be made new in your hearts and in your thinking. 24 Be that new person who was made to be like God, truly good and pleasing to him.

25 So you must stop telling lies. “You must always speak the truth to each other,”[a] because we all belong to each other in the same body. 26 “When you are angry, don’t let that anger make you sin,”[b] and don’t stay angry all day. 27 Don’t give the devil a way to defeat you. 28 Whoever has been stealing must stop it and start working. They must use their hands for doing something good. Then they will have something to share with those who are poor.

29 When you talk, don’t say anything bad. But say the good things that people need—whatever will help them grow stronger. Then what you say will be a blessing to those who hear you. 30 And don’t make the Holy Spirit sad. God gave you his Spirit as proof that you belong to him and that he will keep you safe until the day he makes you free. 31 Never be bitter, angry, or mad. Never shout angrily or say things to hurt others. Never do anything evil. 32 Be kind and loving to each other. Forgive each other the same as God forgave you through Christ.

Are You Dying To Love?

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Galatians 2:20 The Voice

I have been crucified with the Anointed One—I am no longer alive—but the Anointed is living in me; and whatever life I have left in this failing body I live by the faithfulness of God’s Son, the One who loves me and gave His body on the cross for me.

1 Corinthians 12:31 The Voice 

Pursue the greater gifts, and let me tell you of a more excellent way—love.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

It’s a loving God who birthed creation and now pursues a broken people in the most spectacular way. That same love must guide believers.

Love is patient; love is kind. Love isn’t envious, doesn’t boast, brag, or strut about. There’s no arrogance in love; it’s never rude, crude, or indecent—it’s not self-absorbed. Love isn’t easily upset. Love doesn’t tally wrongs or celebrate injustice; but truth—yes, truth—is love’s delight! Love puts up with anything and everything that comes along; it trusts, hopes, and endures no matter what.

Matthew 10:38 The Voice

If you refuse to take up your cross and follow Me on the narrow road, then you are not worthy of Me.

♥ Love ♥

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Ephesians 5:25 Easy-to-Read Version

Husbands, love your wives the same as Christ loved the church and gave his life for it.

My Thoughts 💭

This is one of my favourite Bible verses that i try desperately  each day to live up to. As soon as i first read this verse it convicted me straight away and i knew i wanted to be a husband like that!

🙏 Prayer

Spirit, thanks for being a constant guiding presence in my life. Give me the faith to take practical and radical action to keep in step with You, so that You can love my spouse through me in a way that will sustain a fun, loving & trusting relationship. Amen.

Judging Out Of Evil Motives

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James 2:1-7 The Voice

My brothers and sisters, I know you’ve heard this before, but stop playing favorites! Do not try to blend the genuine faith of our glorious Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, with your silly pretentiousness. If an affluent gentleman enters your gathering wearing the finest clothes and priceless jewelry, don’t trip over each other trying to welcome him. And if a penniless bum crawls in with his shabby clothes and a stench fills the room, don’t look away or pretend you didn’t notice—offer him a seat up front, next to you. If you tell the wealthy man, “Come sit by me; there’s plenty of room,” but tell the vagrant, “Oh, these seats are saved. Go over there,” then you’ll be judging God’s children out of evil motives.

My dear brothers and sisters, listen: God has picked the poor of this world to become unfathomably rich in faith and ultimately to inherit the Kingdom, which He has pledged to those who love Him. By favoring the rich, you have mocked the poor. And, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it the rich who step on you while climbing the ladder of success? And isn’t it the rich who take advantage of you and drag you into court? Aren’t they the ones mocking the noble name of our God, the One calling us?

We are often mesmerized by the rich, powerful, and beautiful people of the world. We dream of associating with them; but when we focus our attention on the fashionable people of this world, it is often at the expense of those who need it the most.

Ignoring the needy and favoring the wealthy is completely contrary to the example Jesus modeled for us while walking on earth. God often chooses those who are the poorest materially to be the richest spiritually. We should welcome everyone equally into God’s kingdom, even if it means upsetting boundaries like class and race. The rule is simple: we should treat others in the same way we want to be treated. God does not play favorites, and neither should we.

How Better We Can Love

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Is life not full of opportunities for learning love? Every man and woman every day has a thousand of them. The world is not a playground; it is a schoolroom. Life is not a holiday, but an education. And the one eternal lesson for us all is how better we can love.

Henry Drummond

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