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Belief | BobbyShirley.com

Tag: love (Page 4 of 7)

Belief | BobbyShirley.com

Belief or How To Live the Life of Your Dreams

We are saved when we believe in Jesus. But we are changed when we realize He believes in us.
Kris Vallotton

Thank God for his saving power.
Thank Jesus for his saving work.
Thank Spirit for his saving draw.

What would we have done if not for this amazing grace?

If all we do in this life if recognize the salvation that Christ has appropriated for us, we are lucky. But if we realize that not only does Christ save us, but he also offers empowerment by his belief in us. Now, the fair question is, “How does Jesus believe in me?” The answer comes from Jesus himself. His belief in us comes from his parables and his commands. You could say he has faith in us.

Jesus began to show that he believed in us by telling us stories. He told three that I want to mention.

One about a lost sheep.
One about a lost coin.
One about a lost son.

He told them in one sitting. He told them to the Pharisees. He told them in front of people who had less than reputable status.

These stories were very relatable.

Sheep

Shepherding was a very common practice in Israel at the time. So, the people listening could’ve put themselves into the story and imagined losing a sheep.

Money

Everyone wants money. Everyone who has money typically wants more. No one wants to lose money.

Children

Children were viewed as a blessing from the Lord in that day. Sons were viewed as a special blessing. The thought of a son asking for his inheritance, same as wishing his father was dead,  and leaving was unimaginable.

Now, all three of these stories are relating to Christ coming to save humanity. But Christ isn’t talking just about a whole, he’s talking about individuals. He’s talking about you.

To believe in something is to put trust in or put weight on it.

Go

The last place I see where Jesus believes in us is his command to go. He tells his disciples that because all authority has been given to him, they are to go tell everyone! He sent them expecting they could fulfill the mission. He has given us the same mission. He believes in you, and he trusts you to do what he said. He doesn’t expect you do accomplish his command all on your own. That should be a relief. He’s sent Spirit to lead us. Also, he’s filled us with the fullness of himself. Our ability to accomplish what he’s asked is not dependent on us.

It’s all Him!
It’s all with His power!
It’s all with Him!

He wouldn’t command us to do something if he didn’t believe we could do it! He wants us to do it!

Rest in this fact: He believes in you!

Being | BobbyShirley.com

Being or How To Make Love Move

For many years I told people that God loved them. Now instead, I love them. This is being Jesus.
Jim Palmer

Loving people is the key to showing people the nature of God. Not loving with motive, just loving. Jesus isn’t asking us to do something that He didn’t do. His love was attractive. His love was confusing. His love was real. His love was tangible. His love was pervasive. His love was communal. His love was personal.

Everyone will know you as My followers if you demonstrate your love to others.

John 13:35 Voice

His command for us to love one another comes from His love. The ability to complete His command is empowered by His love.

“Being Jesus” to people around us looks like love in action. In the end, love with movement is all that matters. Love doesn’t have to be forced. We must let our compulsion simply be Spirit within us longing to reach everyone.

Everlasting | BobbyShirley.com

Everlasting or How to See the Face of God

Come with me
Where chains will never bind you
(Oh, I’m ready, Fantine.)
All your grief
At last, at last behind you
Lord in Heaven
Look down on him in mercy.

Forgive me all my trespasses
And take me to your glory.

Take my hand
I’ll lead you to salvation
Take my love
For love is everlasting
And remember
The truth that once was spoken
To love another person
Is to see the face of God.

Les Misérables

There is a lot that been happening leading up to this line in the song at the end of Les Misérables. I’ll let you catch up.

I absolutely love this scene and song.  This portion of the song is between Fantine and Jean Valjean.

This last line “to love another person is to see the face of God” is a beautiful sentiment. I believe it comes from what John teaches us.

No man has at any time [yet] seen God. But if we love one another, God abides (lives and remains) in us and His love (that love which is essentially His) is brought to completion (to its full maturity, runs its full course, is perfected) in us!

1 John 4:12 AMP

If we really want to see God we must love one another. Not the trite sayings of love, but the real thing. We must love and be loved. Love is a two-way street.

Journey | BobbyShirley.com

Journey or How to Make Your Life Awesome

Within this Christian vision of marriage, here’s what it means to fall in love. It is to look at another person and get a glimpse of what God is creating, and to say, “I see who God is making you, and it excites me! I want to be part of that. I want to partner with you and God in the journey you are taking to his throne. And when we get there, I will look at your magnificence and say, ‘I always knew you could be like this. I got glimpses of it on earth, but now look at you!”
Timothy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God

Today is the tenth anniversary of my marriage to Anna. Well, not actually today while I’m writing this, but when you read it.

Middle School Sweethearts

I first met Anna at band camp. I was pumped about band camp. We had just moved to a new town the year before. Anna played flute and I played drums, so there wasn’t much interaction at first. But, there she was: sandy-blonde hair, braces, and natural beauty. And there I was: brown hair, knobby knees, and 8th-grade awkwardness. But to make a long story short, we eventually started dating.

High School Sweethearts

We dated throughout high school. Our relationship was fraught with the occasional breakups over nothing, jealousy, and sappy high school love. We dated “undercover” for awhile meaning if anyone asked if we were together, the standard answer was “We’re just friends.” But, eventually that wore off and we came clean with our relationship.

Sweethearts

Our relationship continued after I graduated high school. It was hard to stay together after we weren’t together every day. But we managed. Anna graduated the year after me. She came to school at the same place I as attending. Shortly, after she started school, we broke up. I was devastated yet continued to show her love. Not in the super creepy way but in the “waiting for her” kind of way. It was quite a while and a lot of learning on my part before we got back together.

Serious Relationship

We eventually moved to Hamilton to be a part of the Ramp. We dated the whole time we were both there. We eventually moved back to our hometown. Shortly, thereafter we got engaged.

Marriage

We got married in August of  2005. I would have thought that knowing each other as long as we did our first couple of years of marriage would’ve been awesome, but they were rough. We were able to work through our issues because we gave ourselves no other options. I eventually learned that over-communication was the recipe to help keep our relationship healthy.

Since 2010, we’ve had 3 children and one is coming in September of 2015.  This journey has been full of ups and downs. More “ups” I’d say. There’s no one else on earth that I’d rather spend the journey called life with than Anna.

Here’s to many, many more years!

Comprehend | BobbyShirley.com

Comprehend or How to Receive a Wild Kind of Love

I could more easily contain Niagara Falls in a tea cup that I can comprehend the wild, uncontainable love of God.

Brennan Manning

I love this description of God’s love. The mental picture I get is someone whose actions are erratic almost to the point of chaos. But still has the presence of mind to be completely focused. That to me is how much God is in love with us. Erratic focus. Let’s take a little closer look a couple of terms.

Wild

A definition of wild is “uncontrolled or unrestrained, especially in pursuit of pleasure“. That pretty much speaks for itself. We are God’s pleasure. It’s true. Check this out.

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, the Holy One, to receive the glory, the honor, and the power, for you created all things, and because of your desire they existed, and were created!”
Revelation 4:11 WEB

It’s because He desired us that He created us. The ultimate picture of His desire and love for us is the act of sending Jesus. Jesus came to show us the Father and what He showed us was love. Love for the individual and love for the world.

Uncontainable

The definition of uncontainable is “unrestricted or not able to be contained“. Think of that in context. His love is unrestrictable and not able to be contained. You can’t close doors or build walls to keep his love out. You can’t build a box or try to throw a net over it to contain it.

This is my conviction, no threat whether it be in death or life; be it angelic beings, demon powers or political principalities, nothing known to us at this time, or even in the unknown future; no dimension of any calculation in time or space, nor any device yet to be invented, has what it takes to separate us from the love of God demonstrated in Christ. Jesus is our ultimate authority.

Romans 8:38-39 Mirror

Nothing can contain it nor stop it. Nothing can hinder it nor delay it. Nothing can control not contain it.

Application

You may be thinking, “Ok, so now what?” Well, that’s a good and honest question. I put together this list to give you 4 steps to receive God’s love. Please keep in mind that I do not think we will ever comprehend God’s love. But I do think we can do a better job of grasping at it and displaying it to others.

4 ways to receive the love of God:

1. Renew your mind.
We must rework the way our mind thinks about His love.

2. Renew your speech.
We have to change the way we talk about His love.

3. Renew your actions.
We have to change our actions to begin to reflect our growing belief of His love.

4. Renew your life.
We must give permission to ourselves to live like we believe God loves us.

Before | BobbyShirley

Before

Do you remember what it was like before you fell? It’s time to rethink and change your ways; go back to how you first acted.
Revelation 2:5a Voice

Remember Eden, the Garden of Pleasure. You were formed from its dust.

Remember perfection, made in the image of your Father. It’s your initial state.

Remember love, made from the fellowship of the Trinity. Desire and Love birthed you.

Remember joy, the delight of the Maker. You are good and you make Him happy.

Remember union, joined with the Divine. You are made to partake of Life Himself.

Message | BobbyShirley.com

Message

Delivering a sermon that’s filled with “do more (whatever), try harder (in whatever area), be more (whatever)” is not the gospel. The Gospel is “Come to me, all you who are weary and I will give you rest.”

Our job as ministers of this gospel of Grace is not to dangle grace to others only clobber them with Law when they come out of hiding.

Grace is the rest we give to the weary.

Grace is the drink we give to the thirsty.

Grace is the bread we give to the hungry.

Grace is the embrace we give to the lonely.

Grace is the soap we give to the dirty.

We must hold true to the message that Jesus offered. The message of rest for the weary. The message of backs free of burdens. The message of shoulders un-ladened.

Jesus has some pretty harsh words for those who don’t hold true to His message of relief.

Instead of giving you God’s Law as food and drink by which you can banquet on God, they package it in bundles of rules, loading you down like pack animals. They seem to take pleasure in watching you stagger under these loads, and wouldn’t think of lifting a finger to help. Their lives are perpetual fashion shows, embroidered prayer shawls one day and flowery prayers the next. They love to sit at the head table at church dinners, basking in the most prominent positions, preening in the radiance of public flattery, receiving honorary degrees, and getting called ‘Doctor’ and ‘Reverend.’

Matthew 23:4-7 Message

Well, now that you mention it, watch out, all you religious scholars! Judgment will come on you too! You load other people down with unbearable burdens of rules and regulations, but you don’t lift a finger to help others.

Luke 11:46 Voice

The message we must deliver is the message of grace, truth, and love. This is the message the Christ has finished the work that we weren’t capable of completing. That is what we must proclaim to everyone!

We must be very careful not to lay burdens on the backs of anyone. We must pay careful attention to not wrap a “works-righteousness” brick in guilt, condemnation, or passive-aggressive expectations. We must wrap grace in the trappings of love, joy, and acceptance.

Darkness | BobbyShirley.com

Darkness

“Don’t curse the darkness but light a candle.”

Brother Andrew

I woke up today to some news that simultaneously made me mad, broke my heart, and flooded me with compassion. Yeah, that’s a lot to feel at one time. The news was of the moral failure of Tullian Tchividjian. Those who have read this blog for any length of time have probably heard me quote or reference him. You could say I’m a pretty big fan. So, I feel like I should say something.

Now, I am in no way condoning what has happened, sin is sin. However, I will not judge Tullian. I am no better though my sin may look different.

What I don’t want to see happen is us throwing the baby out with the bathwater. We shouldn’t discount what He has said that is the truth of scripture just because he has sinned.

What needs to happen is love. Love and support. Love and prayer. Prayer for Tullian, his family, and the other parties involved.

Accusations aren’t needed.

Judgement isn’t needed.

Tullian and everyone involved has my prayers, support and love. Nothing less.

6:1 Brethren, if it seems that someone continues to 1anticipate their next 2failure (by carrying just too much load, see verse 2), from your position in faith restore such a person in a spirit of courtesy and grace, keeping your own attitude in check; a legalistic approach would want to suspiciously probe into problems. (The word, 1prolambano, means to anticipate, take in advance; 2paraptoma, comes from para, close proximity, proceeding from a sphere of influence, and pipto, means to lose height, stop flying, to fail. Remember you represent grace not law.)

6:2  The law of the Christ-life distinguishes your spirituality; taking the weight off someone’s shoulder is fulfilling the law of Christ. (The message of grace removes all law-related burdens such as guilt, suspicion, inferiority, shame and a sin-consciousness.)

6:3  Anyone who imagines to be someone they are not, lives a lie. (The law system sponsors pretense; grace reveals your true identity redeemed in Christ.)

6:4  Now, without the pressure of pretense, you are free to give expression to your individual self and not some phony life you’re trying to fake. Evaluate your own conduct in such a way that you do not need another’s approval to confirm your joy.

Galatians 6:1-4 Mirror

Shift | BobbyShirley.com

Shift

Do not underestimate God’s kindness. The wealth of his benevolence and his resolute refusal to let go of us in his patient passion is to shepherd everyone into a radical mind shift.

Romans 2:4 (Mirror)

I believe the love of God has a two-fold mission. Redemption and restoration. These two can sound similar but are quite different.

Redemption

The theme of redemption in Scripture is that God has taken the initiative to act compassionately on behalf of those who are powerless to help themselves. The New Testament makes clear that divine redemption includes God’s identification with humanity in its plight, and the securing of liberation of humankind through the obedience, suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

Restoration

He brings you back to original value. So what did my life look like in Christ or even in Adam before sin – what did my life look like apart from sin and in a total place of innocence – one with Him? It probably looked exactly like Jesus on the earth. His nature – I’m not just talking about miracles and power. I’m talking about disposition, heart, nature, love.

Dan Mohler

We have to begin to understand that what we have known in our lives and in the world is not normal. In some ways we have to take take the red pill with Neo and wake to the real world. Thank God we aren’t waking up to a apocalyptic horror movie. We are waking up to Heaven, full of Jesus! We must start making the mental shift necessary to see this now.

Connected | BobbyShirley.com

Connected

“When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.”
Donald Miller

Cutting people off from fellowship shouldn’t happen, ever.

Never.

I’m not sure where this idea came from because neither Paul nor Jesus taught this.

Jesus, when talking about a brother who sins against you, tells the process of restoring them and your relationship with them.

“15 If your brother or sister sins against you, go and correct them when you are alone together. If they listen to you, then you’ve won over your brother or sister. 16 But if they won’t listen, take with you one or two others so that every word may be established by the mouth of two or three witnesses. 17 But if they still won’t pay attention, report it to the church. If they won’t pay attention even to the church, treat them as you would a Gentile and tax collector. 18 I assure you that whatever you fasten on earth will be fastened in heaven. And whatever you loosen on earth will be loosened in heaven. 19 Again I assure you that if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, then my Father who is in heaven will do it for you. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, I’m there with them.”

Matthew 18:15-20

Note that when Jesus is talking about conflict resolution He makes the statement the He is present where 2-3 are gathered. This three-level process for dealing with a Christian in sin is at the heart of all church discipline. The goal is to bring about repentance while keeping general public awareness of the sin to a minimum. Phillip Clemons has said that what Jesus was saying is to try everything possible to save the relationship and brother.

Paul when talking about church discipline tells the story of a person who has been kicked out.

“5 But if anyone has caused harm, he has not so much harmed me as he has—and I don’t think I’m exaggerating here—harmed all of you. 6 In my view, the majority of you have punished him well enough. 7 So instead of continuing to ostracize him, I encourage you to offer him the grace of forgiveness and the comfort of your acceptance. Otherwise, if he finds no welcome back to the community, I’m afraid he will be overwhelmed with extreme sorrow and lose all hope. 8 So I urge you to demonstrate your love for him once again. 9 I wrote these things to you with a clear purpose in mind: to test whether you are willing to live and abide by all my counsel. 10 If you forgive anyone, I forgive that one as well. Have no doubt, anything that I have forgiven—when I do forgive—is done ultimately for you in the presence of the Anointed One. 11 It’s my duty to make sure that Satan does not win even a small victory over us, for we don’t want to be naïve and then fall prey to his schemes.”

2 Corinthians 2:5-11

The purpose of church discipline is restoration, not destruction or exacting revenge.

“In the presence of Christ” is a common theme in Corinthians. All of our actions are carried out not in secrecy but in the presence of Christ. If Paul and Christ have forgiven the offender, the Corinthians should as well.

The idea of cutting someone off from fellowship with you for any reason other than blatant, unrepentant sin and other than following the process laid out by Jesus is wrong.

You can’t, according to scripture, cut someone off from fellowship because they doubt something you believe in. You can’t cut someone off from fellowship because they ask questions. You can’t according to scripture, cut someone off from fellowship with you because you or they are offended.

Your call is to love them. You can love them from a distant. You can love them with healthy barriers. But, you love.

All you are required to do is not set fire to your end of the bridge. You can’t control what happens on the other end.

You must remember that mercy triumphs over judgment.

There will be conflicts in life. The goal of conflict resolution is maintaining connection with that person. This is the model that I created and use.


G. R. A. C. E.

  1. God always gets the glory.
    No matter the situation or the people involved there is a way for God to receive the glory. Col. 3:17, Rom. 8:28

  2. Repent of your sins (metanoia)
    Before you deal with anything else make sure you are thinking properly about the situation including repenting of your sins. Acts 3:19, Psalm 5:4

  3. Accept responsibility
    Before associating blame anywhere else, accept responsibility for your actions or inactions. Eph. 4:31-32, Rom. 12:1

  4. Confess sins (agreeing with God)
    Take time to confess your sins to God and to the parties involved. 1 John 1:9, James 5:16

  5. Embrace forgiveness
    Finally, know that you are forgiven and walk in that forgiveness. Col. 3:13, John 13:34


The bottom line is, keep love active. Love is the tether that keeps us connected to God and each other.

I want to leave you with this scripture.

Above everything else be sure that you have real deep love for each other, remembering how ‘love will cover a multitude of sins’.

1 Peter 4:8


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