Live in Love

Live in Love

About 6 weeks ago, after some prompting from the Holy Spirit I made the decision to give up alcohol. Now there is a lot more to that decision, but we’ll save it for another time.

This past weekend I attended a wedding. Weddings are a time of celebration, they include professions of love, fellowship, and dancing. And in the weddings I attend… alcohol. So, this weekend was a bit of a challenge for me. Prior to even attending the wedding I was anxious- What am I going to say? - The Holy Spirit prompted me? Ha! That would get me some looks. Then there was the act of abstaining from alcohol itself. For years, it has been a constant comfort. It helps me let lose, let down barriers, and dull concerns. Well, with the support of my pastor, family, and the Holy Spirit I made it through the long weekend alcohol free.

As I read my Bible today, I reflected on these verses in Romans 5, “Not only so, but we also glory in our suffering, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character and character hope. And hope does not put us to shame, God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

These verses shed new light on this past weekend (and I dare say create a bit of gratitude).  It’s been hard, but working through hard things creates perseverance, and perseverance is the ability to continue to try to do something despite opposition. The ability to persevere is strengthening my character, and character are those qualities that are distinctive to me. In the Circle Marker, Pastor Mark Batterson, states that one of his life goals is that, “The people who know me best, respect me most.” And since I read it, I’ve taken this goal as my own. Lastly, these hard experiences have deepened my trust in God and give me hope and great confidence in a bright future.

This perspective and insights would not be possible without God’s love. And God’s love in me.  When we dedicate our lives to God and declare Jesus as our savior, we receive the Holy Spirit. The Father loved us so much that he sent his Son to bridge the gap that had been created by sin (John 3:16). Then the Father & the Son sent the Holy Spirit to fill us with love. 2 Corinthians 1:22 states, “He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” Anointing is a ceremonial process of rubbing oil on something or someone to bestow or declare it is from or like God. Let’s break that down…

He anointed us.
He put a seal of ownership on us.
And gave us His Spirit to live in our hearts…
as a promise of all the wonderful things to come.

2 Corinthians 1:22

 

And with this truth we can know and rely on the Love God has for us. After all, God is love. And whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

So today, I choose to thank God for challenging opportunities, because I see how it’s changing me for the better and helping me grow to the person, he created me to be.  

Lord, I thank you today for anointing me as your own. I thank you for loving me so much that you sent Jesus to die for my sins, and the Holy Spirit to live in my heart, so that I may have a relationship with you. Lord, I want to seek your kingdom first. I want to actively pursue your righteousness. I want to fill my thoughts with your desires and take you character as my pattern. You are love. You are righteous. I want to serve you and obey you. You are and will continue to be my number one priority. You hold first place in every aspect of my life. Thank you for the opportunities to draw closer in you.
In your name I pray Amen.

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