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Love is the Answer


What to do when you feel like something isn't right in your life.


Do you feel like something just isn't right in your life?  Do feelings of discontentment, unhappiness, frustration and guilt plague you?  Do you feel like you fail at every turn in an endless circle of besetting sin?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, I would ask you, how is your love life?   How have you've been loving others - spouses, children, family members, friends, co-workers, church family, acquaintances or even complete strangers?

Could it be that your negative feelings are wrapped up in not loving well?

Love is the Answer - Thinking back to a happy time...


Think back to a time when you felt truly happy and content.  What was going on in your life to make you feel that way?

You were probably actively loving well, cheerfully serving all you came in contact with.  Putting others before yourself.  

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, 
but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
Philippians 2:3

I would imagine your life was free from strife with your spouse, your children, your co-workers, and your church family.   

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Romans 12:18

Love is the Answer - Thinking back to an unhappy time...


Now think back to a time when you felt unhappy and discontent.  What was going on in your life to make you feel that way?

If you are like me, one of the things that can weigh heavy upon me is a relationship that is strained or broken; it feels like a dark cloud that follows me everywhere... Feelings of discontentment, unhappiness, frustration and even guilt become my constant companions.

Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember 
that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift
 there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
Matthew 5:23-24

Or do you ever think to yourself, "I can't even stand myself right now!"  I certainly have.  I get in such a mood and behave in a way that I know I shouldn't.   I realize I'm acting selfishly,  I feel miserable doing so, yet I continue in that manner anyway!

  But she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives.
1 Timothy 5:6

Although this verse is speaking about spiritual death and a heart hardened toward the things of God, it is sobering, none-the-less, to think that every one of our selfish acts contributes to a life dead in sin, a life that has denied the abundant life Jesus offers, a life of discontentment, frustration, unhappiness and guilt...


Love is the Answer - Come to Jesus!


Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, 
and I will give you rest. 
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; 
for I am gentle and humble in heart, 
and you will find rest for your souls.…
Matthew 11:28-29


Oh what encouragement this verse offers!  Are you weary and burdened by discontentment, frustration, unhappiness and guilt?  Do you desperately want to feel content, happy and experience the freedom that is yours in Christ Jesus?

All you need to do is come to Jesus.

If you have never committed your life to Him.  Let today be the day that you surrender your life of sin for a freed life hidden in Christ Jesus.  Jesus' death on the cross satisfies the debt we owed to a just God for our own sins.  He paid the ultimate price by sacrificing His life so that we would gain eternal life.

For those of you who are in Christ Jesus, return to Him this day.  Cry out to the Lord to renew your mind in Christ Jesus to rule in your heart once again.

New Believers and restored believers will have a happy and content life by taking a lesson from Jesus's great life of Love.  A life lived and died for others.

Who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God 
something to cling to, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, 
being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross.…
Philippians 2:6-8

I don't think we realize how much bondage we put ourselves into when we live only for ourselves.  I'm sure we can all admit those times that although from outward appearances we did something selfless for somebody else, there was a hidden selfish motive driving the act.

How do we truly live a life free from the bondage of self?  By sitting at the feet of the Master where we will find rest for our souls...


Love is the Answer - Loving Well



God's Word tells us that when we love others we have fulfilled the whole law.


Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.  The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,”and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Romans 13:8-10


I saw this verse in a whole new light recently as I deeply reflected upon how many sins are wrapped up in not loving others well.  In fact, I would say that every sin could be connected to selfishness and not loving others.

Why is it so hard for us to love others, yet so easy to love ourselves?

It all started in the Garden of Eden when sin entered the world because of the selfish choice of wanting to be like God rather than to obey Him.

But just as sin entered the world through one man Adam, forgiveness of sins entered the world through the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.

We can break free from the bondage of self and all the negative feelings that follow by truly living an obedient life surrendered to Christ.

Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Matthew 22:36-40


I heard a sermon yesterday by Chuck Swindoll on Wisdom where he said something that I thought was so interesting.  He said that most cases of asking for Wisdom revolve around relationships - how to love well.

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.
James 3:17

Indeed, when God's Word speaks of wisdom, the attributes listed are all related to how to love well.

When we are faced with difficult relationships, we can ask God for wisdom on how to love that person, despite the strain.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, 
who gives generously to all without finding fault, 
and it will be given to you.
James 1:5


You might still be thinking, I understand all of this, but sometimes it is just hard to give more of myself when I feel like I am being pulled in so many different directions, trying to satisfy the needs of everyone.  I'm loving people, but still feel discontent, frustrated and unhappy.

That's where Matthew 11:28-29 {see above} gives us hope. Jesus teaches us how to love and find rest for our souls...

Love is the Answer - Prayer and the Word of  God

When you think of the many vignettes in the Bible of Jesus' interactions with people, we see first and foremost that He spent time with His Heavenly Father.  Even when people were clamoring and things needed to be done.  He took time away to commune with His Father.

Jesus always quoted Scripture for any given situation.  God's Word was hidden in His heart.
You never saw Jesus stressed about anything.  Even in the most dire situations, like learning of Lazarus sickness, He waited and did not rush.  I'm not sure we see Him rushing at any time in the Bible.  And why didn't He rush or feel stressed, because of His close relationship with His Heavenly Father and His Trust in God's will for all situations.

May the love of Christ rule in your hearts and may that love spill out toward others so that you can enjoy a life of contentment and happiness which will testify of God's great love toward you.

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Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  
 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Love IS the Answer.

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Comments

  1. Karen, I so appreciate the thoughtful and encouraging comments you leave on my blog posts and so many others. As I read your post today, especially your quote about Matthew 11:28-29, "All you need to do is come to Jesus," I wanted to share this new worship song with you that our worship leader, Conrad Johnson, has written, "Come To Jesus"...

    http://inertiasoundstudio.com/twc/Come%20To%20Jesus%20(acoustic%20mix).mp3

    Many blessings to you sweet friend ❤️

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    1. Beth, :-)

      Oh my! Thank you so much for sharing that song with me! The words were so rich with encouragement. Her voice was beautiful just adding to the meaning of the song.

      Your worship leader is quite talented!

      Thanks for your kind words. Blessings,

      Delete
  2. This post was a blessing to me, Karen: truthful and encouraging insight. Thanks for writing it. :-)

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    1. Alicia, Praising God that you were blessed. :-)

      Thank you for your kind and encouraging words. They mean so much!

      You are welcome. Praising God for His leading. :-)

      Delete
  3. Beautiful, truth-filled post. I needed this today on loving others and loving well. So glad I'm following you at Anita's today! May God bless you as you continue to shine His light!

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    1. Julie, Your kind words have blessed me so much.

      I am too! :-) Thanks so much!

      Blessings to you too Julie!

      Delete
  4. I needed this tonight! Especially, this sentence. "And why didn't He rush or feel stressed, because of His close relationship with His Heavenly Father and His Trust in God's will for all situations." His trust in God's will for all situations. This is real peace. It is where I am endeavoring to get to...where I just trust what God is and is not allowing in every situation of life. There are so many layers to trusting God. As He leads into those deeper layers, it requires more faith. God help me to be faithful to Him! Things are so different and so unknown, but He is all-knowing and sees the whole picture, including the future. Sending you much love and gratitude for the encouragement you are to me, sweet friend. :)

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    1. Cheryl, Praising God that He spoke to you at just the right time. I so appreciate you sharing that with me because it encourages me to keep writing. The phrase you quoted back to me was a "God-thing". As I typed it out, I just said thank you Jesus, because it didn't come from me.

      Indeed there are many layers, and He's ready to meet us no matter how deep those layers go.

      You are such a blessing Cheryl. Thank you for your faithful comments. I could not adequately express how much they mean to me.

      Blessings sweet friend.

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  5. Exactly where I am in life! Realizing that I am allowing others to dictate how I feel and when it is unpleasant I get upset and don't love them the way God wants me to. Love love all the verses. Blessings to you

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    1. Kristina, Thanks for sharing in the conversation.

      And thank you for your kind words. :-)

      Blessings,

      Delete
  6. Such good truths from God's word. I've found when I am not loving it is because I am allowing my flesh to rule. Glad to be your neighbor at Sitting Among Friends

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    1. Vickie, Thank you so much for sharing in the conversation.

      Indeed!

      I'm glad you were my neighbor! :-)

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  7. So many times God reminds us of just what the "small things" mean to Him. Thank you for these many Truths and your fine words in between, Karen. This post is for always.

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    1. Linda, You are welcome. And thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words. :-)

      Delete
  8. Thank you for sharing! I so needed to hear this. It's true. When I think back to how I felt when I was loving people, I also felt content and at peace. When I looked back to see when I treated people wrong I felt yucky and unhappy. If selfishness can create so much turmoil I would rather not. This definitely shined a light on what my next step is. Jesus was never rushed or stressed in any situation instead He had the scriptures hidden in his heart. How encouraging is this. How precious this post was to be led by the Spirit. Thank you again!

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    1. Lorin, You are welcome!

      Thank you for sharing your heart on the matter here.

      Praising God He used this blog post to give you clarity.

      And praising God for your kind and encouraging words.

      Blessings,

      Delete
  9. So true: "every sin could be connected to selfishness and not loving others." I want to grow in wisdom by loving others well, as Chuck Swindoll suggests. Great post! Visiting from #countingmyblessings.

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    1. Sarah, Thank you for sharing in the conversation. I appreciate it!

      Thank you for your kind words. :-)

      Delete
  10. Oh yes... rest and trust, not rush and try harder. And always - in all ways, let Love win! So good!

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    1. Karrilee, I love the succinctness of your comment in adding to my post! Perfect!! :-)

      I appreciate so much you stopping by. :-)

      Delete
  11. Coming to Jesus. I'm pretty hard on my self and have asked yourself some of the questions you've posed in this post. I'm so thankful for God's love and grace. Thanks for the beautiful encouragement.

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    1. Carol, I was once told that feelings such as we have, are an indicator that we are indeed walking closely with the Lord because we see how much we need His grace.

      Amen!

      You are welcome!

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  12. Enduring words~ thanks for sharing!

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    1. Sue, Thank you for your kind words of encouragement.

      You are very welcome. :-)

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  13. Yes. When we live serving others as our center we need look for further happiness. When we live to serve God our needs are met.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful words.

      Blessings to you.

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  14. Karen,
    Inspiring words that remind me to love with the heart and wisdom of God. Loving well is complicated. All of our humanity gets in the way causing us to fall short before we even realize it! I am so thankful for the model God provides and for the grace and abundance of His love when I fail. Thanks so much for being such a beautiful encouragement and sharer of hope at #MomentsofHope!
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

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    Replies
    1. Lori, Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and adding additional blessing to this post. :-)

      You are very welcome.

      Blessings,

      Delete

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