I Don’t Love Her – Matthew 22:34-40

One of life’s sweetest blessings is when my grandchildren holler “GRAN – MAAAAA!” and come running to greet me. They haven’t knocked me down yet, but their exuberance is certainly felt. One Sunday after church, however, I wasn’t too happy about my grandson’s behavior.

brothers loving. lonnieBradley .freeImages

He’d been playing near the bleachers at the back of the gym, and I caught him making a mean, ugly face to a little girl. Appalled, I drew him aside. “Jackson, why did you do that?”

With his innocent dark eyes peering deep into mine he simply explained, “I do not love her.”

While I appreciated his openness, in my mind I pulled out my grandma to-do list and added, Teach grandchildren what Jesus said about love.

What Jesus said

My grandchildren’s greetings prove they know I love them and find me easy to love back. But what if loving isn’t always so easy?

Jesus said,“‘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 22:34-40 NIV).

The fact that we were commanded to love God inherently shows that it doesn’t come naturally, we get to choose to love him. Thirty-nine years ago my husband pursued a relationship with me, and I chose to respond. Love grew from our choices.

Doing love

I used to think it sounded arrogant for God to say, “You must love me,” and yet, because he is the Creator and Love itself, it’s perfectly reasonable. Without love, we’re nothing (see 1 John 4:8 and 1 Corinthians 13).

My grandson has gained more experience in practicing love—not only as a brother to his siblings, but now as an older foster brother to a rambunctious little guy. Like all of us, he’s learning that love involves challenges, and that’s OK. Without having to work at it, our love would only be an expression of feelings that come and go like the wind.

We need to remember demonstrating love doesn’t always bring immediate happiness, but its rewards are worth the investment. And ultimately, loving others helps us understand God’s enduring love for us. We can all be a little challenging sometimes, don’t you think?

Don’t ask my husband.

by Kathy Davis

My Aunt’s Bummer Ministry – Mark 4:18-20

Aunt Eileen had what she called her “bummer ministry,” giving free haircuts to the church’s teenagers. I felt singing with the worship team didn’t have long-lasting value either.

My aunt saw hair clippings fall to the floor in her kitchen. And when I sang, it seemed my voice dissipated like mist in front of my face. Poof! Gone forever. Where was the work with dramatic results, like when I prayed with a child to receive Jesus as his Savior?

Use your words

In 2001 Jerry and I bought tickets to go on a mission trip to India. Surely we would be a part of something large and wonderful after investing so much for the trip. But as I stood on the school platform in Delhi with the lights blinding my eyes and the sound system checking out as we sang, I felt I wasn’t doing any good at all.

The last day of the trip, however, a pastor’s wife pulled me aside and asked me to teach her one of the worship songs. She was concerned she’d lose touch with something that had meant so much to her.

Words can do more than we realize

I hadn’t given the pastor’s wife dissipating mist. She’d received nourishment for her very soul.

Hadn’t God spoken and caused light, substance, and life to happen? His words created planets, brine shrimp, springtime, sunsets, cockatoos, and volcanoes, and since I’m made in his image, my voice can also have an impact.

As for Aunt Eileen, the haircuts she gave demonstrated how she loved God in everything she did. They also held her audience captive for twenty minutes while she shared Jesus’ story with them!

Her son Tommy Walker wrote a song which sweetly expresses the heart’s hunger for God’s word. I’ve been playing it over and over for weeks. It’s called Speak the Word.

Here’s a link:

Never underestimate the power of your words.

by Kathy Davis

When is the Best Time to Write? – Proverbs 14:23

It’s like asking a painter when he should choose the colors for his palette, or a chef when she should start working on a menu plan. When is the best time to start?

A better question might be, How can I predict when my super genius will show up – so minimal effort will give birth to amazing creations?

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Now is a good time

I parked under the Jerry’s Home Improvement sign last week, waiting for a man to show up with the car we were interested in buying. The window of opportunity for getting it to our mechanic was narrowing by the minute, but there I sat, tapping my finger on the steering wheel.

I was also concerned about my husband’s arrival. He felt the pressure of the ticking clock, as well. And I was uneasy about meeting a stranger alone.

A perfect opportunity, nearly

Instead of fussing about the inconvenience of it all, I chose to work on something I had more control over. I pulled my notebook out of my purse and found a blank page. It wasn’t easy corralling my thoughts at first, but I was determined to put some words on paper that might eventually morph into a blog post or a devotional for my publisher.

I found the unlikely location and out-of-the-ordinary scenery refreshed my thinking, and sure enough, ideas flowed. Now I have an inspirational message I can share.

Perfect situation or not, I can keep working. I can find some way to be productive. Like poking seeds into rich soil and tending the plants as they grow, my continued efforts will bring a profitable result.

“All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty” (Proverbs 14:23 NIV).

Now is a perfect time to write, and now I have another environment to write in – our newer car.

Kathy Davis