Touch: The Love Language Series (Part 2)

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Service and Compassion

2 Corinthians 5:20a – “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.”

John 13:15 – “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”

It’s been a while sense I posted the first blog in this series on “Quality Time,” but I wanted to revisit this exploration of how Gary Chapman’s five love languages can apply on a broader scale to our daily walk. Today, we are exploring the love language of Touch.


Safe in God's Hands

When Jesus walked the Earth, He had a servant mentality, showing love and compassion to the masses—to the sick, the discouraged, the outcasts of society. Before His ascension, He exhorted us to follow the example that He set for us, doing for others as He has done for us. Now that Jesus sits at the Right hand of God, He looks to us to show His heart and His love to His people by being His metaphorical hands and feet, touching hearts and lives as our divinely-led spirits take us into places where He is needed most.

Romans 12:13 – “When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.” (NLT)

In Romans 12:13, Paul asserts that we should exist in a posture of compassion, where we are always willing and ready to serve…to reach out a hand in love and hospitality…when we see God’s people in need. It’s in these moments that people really have an opportunity to see the love of God in action…through you and your decision to act…and it may be that one simple act of kindness that truly touches a heart and turns it to Christ.

Thoughts, reactions, or testimonies? Leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you!

Shine Your Light!

No Body but Yours

Mother Teresa - Writing God

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Nobody’s Perfect

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SELF-LOVE

Psalm 139:14: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well.”

What do you think about yourself? What words do you speak about yourself? Are they positive and uplifting, or do you have a tendency to dwell on all of the ways that you fall short of perfection? I was reminded today of our tendency to focus more on our shortcomings, our mistakes, our areas of weaknesses, than we do on our God-given strengths and talents. It’s not that we need to become boastful, touting our every attribute at the top of our lungs; but it is okay to see ourselves as God see us—perfectly flawed…beautifully and wonderfully made—and to acknowledge the gifts that He has bestowed upon us.

Dwelling on our shortcomings is a slippery slope that can easily lead to lowered self-esteem and a distorted self-view, and it is a very easy way to become discouraged and find ourselves in a pattern of negative thinking. Nobody’s perfect, and I’m sure that few of us would find it difficult to uncover that first string of self-doubt to pick at and pull, until eventually, we unravel our healthy view of ourselves. There are too many people in this world who will be quick to judge you and point out your flaws; don’t add your own name to the list!

Love Yourself

In 2018, let’s strive to love ourselves as God loves us—unconditionally—acknowledging and learning from our errors, but then moving past them with the understanding that while we are fallible human beings, we are also beautiful, loved children of God, and He doesn’t make mistakes. His works are wonderful, we know that full well…and you are one of His most amazing creations!

SHINE YOUR LIGHT!

Self

On another note…HAPPY NEW YEAR! I know I’m a bit late, but I wish you all a prosperous, adventurous, fulfilling, and fruitful year that is filled with all of the love, joy, and peace that your heart can hold!

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Thoughts, reactions, or testimonies? Leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you!

Love Thyself

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LOVE

Psalm 139:14 – “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful. I know that full well.”

Valentine’s Day and the month of February have come and gone, and throughout the month, there were numerous conversations about romantic (eros), brotherly (philos), and godly (agape) love; but I realized this morning that sometimes, we overlook one of the most important loves of all—love of self! Far too often, we neglect this valuable step—loving ourselves—which I think is actually second only to loving God in the Love Process. The first step in this process, always, is experiencing God’s love—receiving His adoration of you with your full heart and understanding that His love for you is unending and without measure. When we accept this love, internalize it, and start to see ourselves through God’s loving eyes—flawed, but fearfully and wonderfully made—we begin to see ourselves differently and position ourselves to experience the phenomenon of self-love…of seeing ourselves for who we really are—children of a loving God—and accepting ourselves (the good and the bad) as we continue this journey of learning and growing and evolving into the people that God created us to be.

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There are so many voices around us—from images in the media to toxic people that we may have allowed into our inner circle—telling us that we’re not good enough and causing us to doubt ourselves, deride ourselves, fall out of love with ourselves…And when we don’t love ourselves, it becomes so much harder to engage in loving relationships with anyone outside of ourselves. It is only when we remember who and WHOSE we are that we can block out the negative voices and find peace in knowing and loving ourselves for who we are.

The other danger is one of simple neglect. I see so many people in ministry and giving professions (myself included) who become burnt out and exhausted because they devote so much of themselves to others that they neglect taking care of themselves until they become broken down or ill because their hearts, minds, and bodies just can’t take it anymore. So many of us place such a primary focus on loving and serving the people around us, that we forget that loving and caring for ourselves actually equips us to better care for the people in our lives. The Word says to love others as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40). It’s one of the great commandments given to us by Jesus Himself; and it implies that we must learn to love ourselves first before we can apply that same level of love to the other people in our lives.

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So, as we continue to prioritize loving God, loving our family, and loving our neighbor each day, let’s be intentional about showing ourselves a little love—consider treating yourself to a quiet, restful night at home; a day out at the spa; or a little time engaging in that beloved hobby that used to bring you such joy! When you take the time to take care of and love yourself, you refill your tank and are better prepared to then go about the business of loving and serving others.

Make it a point to take care of yourself today and every day!

Shine your light!

Thoughts, reactions, or testimonies? Leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you!

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Quality Time: The Love Language Series (Part 1)

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LOVE

James 4:8a – “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

I was reading a devotional the other day by Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages series. In it, he spoke about how true quality time—when you are focused on your time with the other person with NO distractions—helps to build intimacy and bridge emotional distances. Good Advice!

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I think the same is true of our relationship with God. Just like any other relationship in our lives, to grow and develop, it requires Quality Time—time in the Word, time in prayer, time in meditation, time praising and worshiping. As we devote this quality time to getting to know God and His character, being open about our dreams and fears and being emotionally and spiritually available to His response, we begin to draw closer to Him; we begin to hear His voice (literally and figuratively) more clearly; and we become more aware of His leading and guiding as we go about our daily lives.

God wants a more intimate relationship with us—once a week for two hours just won’t do! He wants to chat with us throughout the day (pray without ceasing—1 Thessalonians 5:16-18); He wants to share His thoughts and perspectives (read the Word daily—Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:2); and He wants us to share His love with other people (fellowship—Thessalonians 5:11).

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How are you feeding and fostering your relationship with God? Are you checking in with Him once a week for a couple of hours, or are you spending quality time with Him each day? Are you making Him a priority, or are you allowing the other demands and distractions of the day to take precedence? Instead of giving Him our leftover time, let’s try in the coming days to put our relationship with God first. Speak His love language—giving Him the quality time necessary for your relationship with Him to grow and flourish as we draw ever closer to Him.

Shine Your Light!

See Also:

Revelation 3:20 – “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

Luke 10:41-42 – “’Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’”

Thoughts, reactions, or testimonies? Leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you!