• Topic > Christian Living > Love >

    Strangers Welcome Strangers

    When my husband and I moved to Seattle to be near his sister, we didn’t know where we would live or work. A local church helped us find a place: a rental house with many bedrooms. We could live in one bedroom, and rent the others to international students. For the next three years, we were strangers welcoming strangers: sharing our home and meals with people from all over the world. We and our housemates welcomed dozens of international students in our home every Friday night for Bible study, too.

    God’s people know what it means to be far from home.…

    Hidden Beauty

    Our children needed a little coaxing to believe that it was worth putting on snorkeling gear to peer beneath the surface of the Caribbean Sea off the shore of the island of Tobago. But after they dove in, they resurfaced ecstatic, “There are thousands of fish of all different kinds! It’s so beautiful! I’ve never seen such colorful fish!”

    Because the surface of the water looked similar to freshwater lakes near our home, our children could have missed the beauty hidden just below the surface.

    When the prophet Samuel went to Bethlehem to anoint one of Jesse’s sons to be the next…

    Pictures of Love

    My children and I have started a new daily practice. Every night at bedtime, we gather colored pencils and light a candle. Asking God to light our way, we get out our journals and draw or write answers to two questions: When did I show love today? and When did I withhold love today?

    Loving our neighbors has been an important part of the Christian life “from the beginning” (2 John 1:5). That’s what John writes in his second letter to his congregation, asking them to love one another in obedience to God (2 John 1:5–6). Love is one of John’s favorite…

    A Warm Welcome

    “Who will hug everybody?”

    That was one of the questions our friend Steve asked after he got the news that he had cancer and realized he would be away from our church for a while. Steve is the kind of man who makes everyone feel welcome—with a friendly greeting, a warm handshake, and even a “holy hug” for some—to adapt an application from Romans 16:16, which says, “greet one another with a holy kiss.”

    And now, as we pray for Steve that God will heal him, he is concerned that as he goes through surgery and treatment—and is away from our church…

    Fearless Love

    Reminiscent of an era we wish were bygone, individuals consumed with hatred and prejudice carried torches and shouted slogans from a hideous time in America’s racial history as they marched across a university lawn. Barely twenty-four hours later, the governor of the state in which the school is located declared a state of emergency due to violent clashes. Only the base depravity of sin decries the life of another as less valuable, less human—and only the power of the cross brings us deliverance.

    Finally Free

    As many have sadly experienced firsthand, an all-too-real problem is the failure of Christian communities to really embody Christ’s love. Author Mary DeMuth describes how, in an insidious way, spiritually abusive leaders can even distort the gospel into a “culture of fear and shame.” Such leaders use guilt and fear to manipulate others into compliance with their own rules.

    God with Skin On

    My husband left for a month-long trip, and almost immediately I was overwhelmed by the needs of my job, our house, and our children. A writing deadline loomed. The lawn mower broke. My children were on school break and bored. How would I take care of all of these things on my own? 

    I soon realized I wasn’t on my own. Friends from church showed up to help. Josh came over to fix my lawn mower. John brought me lunch. Cassidy helped with the laundry. Abi invited my kids over to play with hers so I could get my work done.…

    The Habit of Having No Habits

    When we first begin to form a habit, we are fully aware of it. There are times when we are aware of becoming virtuous and godly, but this awareness should only be a stage we quickly pass through as we grow spiritually. If we stop at this stage, we will develop a sense of spiritual pride. The right thing to do with godly habits is to immerse them in the life of the Lord until they become such a spontaneous expression of our lives that we are no longer aware of them. Our spiritual life continually causes us to focus our attention inwardly for the determined purpose of self-examination, because each of us has some qualities we have not yet added to our lives.

    “Love One Another”

    Love is an indefinite thing to most of us; we don’t know what we mean when we talk about love. Love is the loftiest preference of one person for another, and spiritually Jesus demands that this sovereign preference be for Himself (see Luke 14:26). Initially, when “the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:5), it is easy to put Jesus first. But then we must practice the things mentioned in 2 Peter 1 to see them worked out in our lives.

    The first thing God does is forcibly remove any insincerity, pride, and vanity from my life.

    As the Father Loves Us

    One of my favorite TV commercials of all time involves a man and a woman sitting in a conference room together. The man suddenly proclaims his attraction to her. While the woman is surprised, she responds that she feels the same way. But then the man turns his head toward her, revealing that he was actually talking to someone else on the phone via an earpiece—his passionate proclamation wasn’t meant for her. Oops!

    Celebrating The Beauty Of Unity In Diversity

    Today on Discover the Word, we conclude our two-week series on building unity within the church called “Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?” As we’ll see, it’s not about getting everyone to think the way we do, but letting God transform our hearts to be like His. Learn to celebrate differences and the beauty […]

    Encourage The Unity That Jesus Desires

    It’s been said that America is a “melting pot.” But sometimes this blending turns into a clash of cultures. It’s been that way since the beginning. And today on Discover the Word, we’ll see how the church in Rome grappled with embracing all kinds of backgrounds and what the apostle Paul said to encourage the […]

    Building Unity With Intentionality

    You probably know the old adage, “Birds of a feather flock together”! We’re most often drawn to people who are like us. So how do we intentionally build unity with people who are different? That’s the question that was on the apostle Paul’s mind when he wrote his letter to the Romans, and it’s the […]

    A Biblical Perspective On Whose Job It Is To Judge

    No one wants to be labeled as “judgmental.” And today on Discover the Word, we seek to answer the question, “Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?” It’s a conversation about gaining a biblical perspective on whose job ultimately it is to be the Judge. Is that your job? Is it my job? Listen today […]

    “. . . And In All Things Charity”

    Augustine said, “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, and in all things charity (or love).” That’s a good rule to live by. And today, the Discover the Word team turns to the book of Romans to see how we can learn to accept one another in our differences. Begin week two of their series “Why […]

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