Friday, June 18, 2010

Food for Thought Friday

Supper last night was great! If you're looking for a little something special to fix for Father's Day, those kabobs would do the trick. They look really nice and tasted even better. I should've thought to take a picture. Tonight's dinner is a simple one. I don't think y'all need the recipes for that.

I feel like all I've been doing lately is talking about food! I do have other things I'd like to talk to y'all about. So, I thought I'd start doing something different on Fridays. And since I do spend so much time on recipes and food, I'd just call this Food for Thought. I had been working on writing a Bible study for ladies to use at our church but had to take a hiatus because of my commitment to another study. I'm going through what I've gotten done so far and it made me think. I'd like to share some with you. Would y'all like that? The Bible study is on the fruits of the Spirit, but what I thought I'd share is a section on the first one, love, and its practical applications. We'll take a look at a different one each week. That'll give you an idea of some things I've got going on besides just stirring a pot. It'll be a mini Bible study for us to do together on Fridays.

Let's take a look at Romans 12:9-21 for the basis of our little study.

"Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;
not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;
rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.
Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.
Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men.
If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.
But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.'
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

Sometimes it seems we can buy into the mindset that the Bible offers general concepts for us to live by but we have to work out the specifics for ourselves. That simply isn't the case! Many times the Bible is very specific on what we should do. There are twenty three instructions given just in the verses I listed above. That's twenty three ways to show your love for those around you. We don't have any excuse for not bearing the fruit of love when we are given this handy growing guide. Let's look at each one more closely each Friday so we can know just how to grow, and love, effectively.

We'll start with the first one today. "Let love be without hypocrisy." Hypocrisy is the opposite of sincerity. We can't fake love. If we're trying to fake it, we aren't really loving at all. And let's face it, when we do try to fake it, the only ones we fool are ourselves. If you think you can't feel love, you need to go to the source of love and work it out. The Bible tells us in I John 4:16 that God is love. Sometimes we come from backgrounds or go through experiences that make loving, or even feeling loved, seem impossible. But what does Matthew 19:26 tell us? "And looking at them Jesus said to them, 'With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'" All things are possible. That includes your ability to love.

So that's your homework for this weekend and the coming week. Love, and do it sincerely. Don't just put on your Sunday morning smile. Really stop and look at the people God has placed around you. They're there for a reason. He put them near you because they need something you have to offer. They are desperately searching for something that is real. Don't give them something fake.

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