Three Reasons Why Love Matters Most

There’s just something about love. There’s been songs written about it, movies made for it, Hallmark makes a killing on it but what strikes me most is how much it was actually used in the bible and the amount of justice laid to it. According to that, there is no greater thing that you can do than just love as shown in the passage just below:

Galatians 5:13-15 (New International Version)

You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

But that’s not all the bible says about love. So let’s take a little walk and explore the 3 main reasons why love needs to be your number one priority in life above all else.

1. Love is the supreme value in life.
Matthew 22:37-39 (NLT) shows – Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (emphasis added by me)
Now what that’s telling you is that there is absolutely no greater thing than to love. But who you gonna love? You love the Lord your God! How? With absolutely everything you’ve got. For most, that’s gonna be easy and you can say oh I’ve got this. I’m all good. But notice one thing, look at what’s underlined. A second commandment that’s just as great as the first as according to the Word it’s as equally important, you’ve got to love everyone else the exact same way (notice that I did say everyone). That’s where most, including myself find probably the most struggles and start to pull back the reigns some. I mean come on, how am I supposed to love someone that stole my girlfriend from me, took the job I had my eye’s set on, beat me to the quote, cut me off in traffic, just yelled something a little profain at me, or maybe I just don’t like because they seem to get everything handed to them and I have to work my butt off for a little piece of the pie? Well, that’s not what it’s about, it’s about loving others as Jesus loved you. Period! No if’s, and’s or but’s about it. It’s common, it’s written and we are to find a way to do it. Knowing this, that brings us to number 2.

2. Love is the primary objective of life.
Life is not about how high I can climb up the corporate ladder, how much money I make, how many degree’s I have, how big my house is, what kind of car I drive or golf clubs I have in my garage. Life is not about how much stock I own, how much land I posses, how big my last raise was, what kind of job I have, or even how many conferences I’ve spoken at. Life is all about love. Don’t believe me? Let’s go back to the Word for a little clarification:

If I don’t live a life of love…

  • nothing I say will matter

    1 Corinthians 13:1 (NLT) If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal

  • nothing I know will matter

    1 Corinthians 13:2 (NCV) I may have the gift of prophecy. I may understand all the secret things of God and have all knowledge, and I may have faith so great I can move mountains. But even with all these things, if I do not have love, then I am nothing.

  • nothing I believe will matter

    1 Corinthians 13:2 (Message) if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing

  • nothing I give will matter

    1 Corinthians 13:3 (NLT) If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

  • nothing I accomplish will matter

    1 Corinthians 13:3 (Message) So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love

3. There is no greater power in life than love.
When all is said and done and the world refuses to exist as we know it and the sun refuses to shine no more, there will only be 3 things left:

1 Corinthians 13:13 (NLT) Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

There is nothing greater that you can have in your life, no matter your circumstances, than love. I leave you with this:

Ephesians 5:2 (Message) Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.

Forever Under Construction,


Love, the only thing that matters

This is how God defines love:

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

How do you rate up to those standards? I know there are times I don’t rate very well at all.

The challenge:
Replace it with your name, and try to live by it.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (translated)
Chris is patient, Chris is kind. Chris does not envy, Chris does not boast, Chris is not proud. Chris is not rude, Chris is not self-seeking, Chris is not easily angered, Chris keeps no record of wrongs. Chris does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Chris always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Chris never fails. And now these three remain: faith, hope and Chris. But the greatest of these is Chris.

I know after replacing my name, I felt pretty bad. But that’s not what it’s meant for. It’s not meant to condemn you for all the things you’ve done. It’s meant to forgive you for those and show you the way to live and truly love. It’s meant as a guidepost. I’ve already printed it out and have it next to me so that I can think and reflect on it daily. To remember that the tongue should not be quick, but the heart should shine. I challenge you to this same effect. Take it, put your name it. See what His Words do to your life!

Forever Under Construction,

How To Pray For Your Children

How To Pray For Your Kids

How To Pray For Your Kids

“Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them.” – Matthew 19:13

Whether you are a parent or a grandparent, aunt or uncle, or just a friend, there is definitely some child somewhere that you can pray for. There’s no stipulations on it. You don’t have to be the paternal one to pray for a child. But if you are, you should definitely be praying for yours and their friends. These are scary times that we live in today. Schools are not the same as they were when we were growing up. Children are exposed to more and more everyday that we never had to deal with. Having one in Junior High now and hearing some of the things that go on there is flat out frightening. That’s why I’ve started praying for my kids everyday.

Well it goes a little deeper than that as I’ve always prayed for them, I just never really knew how to pray specifically for them. You know how it goes when you tend to start to pray for something it always kind of feels like the same old thing and ends up in the same place. Luckily, we go to one of these great little churches in Katy Texas, Katy Community Fellowship, and they did a little thing on exactly how to pray for your kids or children that you are associated with if you don’t have kids. Basically you pray for a specific purpose and plan in their lives based on a quick daily prayer for a specific purpose or guidance or need in their lives. Here’s how it goes:

That they will have a true understanding of their need of God (Rom. 3:10-13:23). That they will know Christ as Savior early in life (Psa. 63:1, Matt. 19:14).

That God will protect them from the evil one in each area of their lives: spiritual, emotional & physical (John 17:15). That they will be confident in who they are – finding their identity and self-worth in Christ alone (Gen. 1:27; 2 Cor. 5:17; Philippians 1:20).

That they will desire the right kind of friends and be protected from the wrong friends (Prov. 1:10-11; 18:24; 1 Cor. 15:33). That they will have a genuine respect for those in authority over them (Eph. 6:1-3; Rom. 13:1).

That they will learn to resist ungodly ways and submit themselves fully to God (James 4:7-10). That they will be caught when guilty (Psalm 119:71).

That they will remain morally and sexually pure (1 Cor. 6:18-20). That they will seek out the Godly spouse that God is preparing for them (Gen. 2:18-24; Matt. 19:6).

That they will be single-hearted — sold out to Christ! (Prov. 4:23; Rom. 12:1-2; Heb. 12:2). That they will develop the character of Christ and good work habits in school and the tasks assigned to them (Col. 3:23; 2 Tim. 2:15).

That they will develop an attitude of gratefulness and contentment (1 Thess. 5:16-18; Philippians 4:4-7). Finally, pray that you will be the parent God wants you to be. Loving and leading them in a way that draws them to the Savior (Deut. 6:4-9; Prov. 22:6; Eph. 6:4).

They gave us this nice little card that has all this laid out on it so now all I have to do is wake up and it’s become a part of my daily quiet time first thing in the morning. Great thing that I’ve found out about it is that it not only is good to pray this for kids, but also for those that are lost.

Servitude – How To Get Started

There are a ton of ways available to serve.  The easiest way to serve God takes place through expressing the love of God in very practical ways. Hopefully this little post will help you figure out how to get started serving.

  • Start Somewhere-One of the biggest steps you can take in serving is to simply get past all the initial concerns and fears you have and start serving somewhere.
  • Discover Your Talents-As you serve, you’ll notice specific talents that God has equipped you with.
  • Serve at Church– Every church rely’s on it’s members to be the body of Christ. With every body, the eyes have to see and the ears have to hear and the hands have to lift or whatever other function they are serving. There is a place for everyone to serve somewhere and somehow at any and every church.
  • Opportunites are everywhere– So many times opportunities are missed because we simply are not looking for them.
  • The Greatest Need– Jesus is their greatest need. Eventhough you may meet a practical need for someone, always remember the greatest need.

So your not ready to just jump in head first, start simple then. Start in your own church. Ask your pastor what can I do? But be ready when you do, they always have a list and remember it might not be exactly what you feel comfortable with doing but isn’t it time to get out of that comfort zone a little. The following is a list (albeit not a complete list as there are multiple ways to serve both inside and outside the church) to give you some ideas for serving that comes from the church my family and I attend. This might give you some other ideas as to what other churches maybe needing just the same:

  • Hospitality Greeter-Greet everyone with a smile and helpful attitude. Identify and welcome visitors and help direct them to the appropriate areas.
  • Children’s Ministry Teacher– Review and prepare lesson to teach and prepare crafts. You will have a helper to assist you. * No experience necessary, just a willing heart. Training provided.
  • Children’s Ministry Helper– Assist the teacher during class. *No experience necessary, just a willing heart. Training provided.
  • Nursery– Adult Rockers, rock and comfort babies while parents are in service.
  • Information Table– Provide visitors and members with information on current events and sign-ups, etc.
  • Events Teams– Help with miscellaneous events such as Christmas events, fellowships, outreach, HUGS, and the Parade. If you can decorate, cook, sew, clean, enjoy crafts and painting, or don’t mind setting up and can help carry items needed during events, your help is always welcome.
  • Prayer Ministry– If you have a passion for prayer, this is the right place for you to serve.
  • Computer Operator– The person responsible for assisting Sunday service by running the computer to support and enhance the Message.

This is by far not a complete list and please remember there’s always an opportunity to serve somewhere, the question is if you are willing and ready to receive.

Forever Under Construction,

Servitude IV – What are the Benefits

As with any job or position of responsibility, one thing that many people look at is the benefits package.  What kind of medical plan do you offer?  Is it HMO or PPO?  Do you have a dental plan?  Is it 80/20 and does it cover major reconstruction?  Do you offer profit sharing or 401k matching?  How much time off can I earn based on years of service?  Well, there’s so much of this and even more when you start serving others thru Christ.

“His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'”
–Matthew 25:21 (New King James Version)

For starters, one of the benefits you will receive by serving others is many great responsibilities in the eyes of God.  Because you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over manythings.  Man, sometimes when I think about that, it scares me a little.  Ruler over many things.  You mean to tell me that if I serve and do the few things here eventhough at times it seems overwhelming and I tend to get bogged down and I feel like I can’t do it anymore but I press on, God will make me ruler over many things.  Whew, that’s a lot of responsibility.  But what always brings me back to it is this, if God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.  So bring’em on!

I think though, even greater than this is that ultimately you’d be able to share in the master’s joy.  How cool would that be to be able to finally be face to face with your Lord and Master, and hear Him say those little words: “Well done, good and faithful servant”.  It gives me shivers just thinking about it.  I apologize here but I tend to get a little excited.  Just think back for a moment when you were a child and remember that first time or first few times when your mom or dad looked at you and smiled and said “good job, I knew you could do it”.  How’d that make you feel?  Well, for me personally, I can remember walking around like the rooster in the coop.  Chest all pumped out, feathers all ruffled, just strutting!  Smiling all day.  I think one thing that I tend to forget is this, no matter how old I may get, I will always be a child of God and a child in His eyes until the day I come face to face with him.  Man I want to hear those words from His lips.

I’ll leave you with this, the same quote we started with in the first post:

“…just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” –Matthew 20:28

That’s how you hear those little words that will mean so much when the time comes, “Well done, good and faithful servant”, is to serve.
Forever Under Construction,

Servitude III – No Experience Necessary

Ok, so let’s talk about this servitude thing, what does it take to serve others?  Do I need to have any sort of specialized experience, or any experience in a certain area that someone maybe looking for?  Well maybe, but more often than not, there’s no experience necessary to serve.  Quite possibly, my most favorite passage of all explains it like this:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God”
Ephesians 2:8-9 (New King James Version)

That is the only experience needed to be able to serve. It took me a long time to realize this simple little thing. I always felt as if I had to work or do something good or be someone spectacular to receive this salvation.  How far from the truth was that thought. There’s simply nothing, nothing that you nor I can ever do to receive that salvation from God. He’s already given it to us. Well, let me qualify that just a bit, we simply have to reach out to receive it, it’s already been given, it’s sitting there waiting patiently for me. My salvation can only be accomplished by one thing and one thing only, Jesus’ death on the cross. He offered His sacrifice to me, to us, as a free gift.

There’s nothing for you to do, nothing you can do, no boasting, no bragging about look what I did so your neighbor knows, nothing! It simply comes by the “grace of God”. There are many different meanings that different people have put to this grace. What it means to me is this.  Regardless of all my imperfections, He loves me and will always love me for I am His. Now don’t get me wrong and please hear me on this, ultimately salvation makes a difference on how I live, but it’s not a criteria for receiving it. Pure and simple, it’s a gift. One of the greatest gifts that you or I will ever be able to receive as no matter what you do or how much money you make (I don’t care if you are almost as rich as Bill Gates) you can’t afford it. All you have to do is accept it and that’s all the experience you’ll ever need to be able to serve.

Forever Under Construction,

Servitude II – The Prerequisites

How can I serve?  I don’t know if I’m even qualified to do anything.  What’s the pre-req’s?  Well, fortunately for all of us, the qualifications to serve others thru Christ are much simpler than that of becoming a court apointed counsel for somebody or to serve on some type of governmental board where there are minimum age requirements, background checks, bar exams, etc.  Jesus laid out these qualifications quite simply thru Phillippians 2:3-8.

Serving Qualification #1

Philippians 2:3-4 (New Living Translation)
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

You have to be unselfish.  Selfish ambition can never be your motivation for doing something.  You serve with nothing other than the ability to give God all the glory and honor.  Therefore you have to look out for other peoples needs and interests by humbling yourself with the opportunity to bless them with God’s goodness and grace.  Look at your hands.  These are the hands that God uses to touch those in need.  The entire focus of serving should be on the interests of the kingdom and expanding that over expanding self.

Serving Qualification #2

Philippians 2:5 (New Living Translation)
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

You have to adopt a Christ-like attitude.  As believers, you are to be Christ-like. But this is not only in your thoughts but in your behavior as well. Verse 5 tells us point blank to allow the attitude of Christ work deep within us all. Enough said as it’s pretty self-explanatory.

Serving Qualification #3

Philippians 2:6-8 (New Living Translation)
Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.

You have to be committed. Committed by being humble and obedient. Committed to the cause. Committed to the Church. Committed to people. This is possible by making Christ both your Mentor and Model. Jesus willingly chose to lay aside his divine form and take the form of one of us, man. He could’ve chosen to be one of the more rich an powerful figures of the time that had influence throughout the land, but he didn’t. He took the position of servant, slave. And to top it all off, he died a horrible death, a criminal’s death. But through it all, He humbled himself and was committed to the cause. He could’ve easily walked away from it all on multiple occassions, but the commitment, trusting God and bringing glory to God.

Are you qualified? You bet you are. God has given every one of us this ability. The question comes in though, are you willing to lay aside the rights and privileges that are all about you and be willing to accept that life-role that God is looking for you to fill. I read this somewhere, so sorry for not being able to quote it properly at this time but it really stuck with me:

“It’s not only about lifting your hands up, but also stretching your hands out to pick someone up.”

It’s not about becoming a Bible scholar or just bible study. That’s what the Pharisees were all about(bible study, prayer, worship) but they neglected to serve the needs of the people.

“The last thing many believers need today is to go to another Bible study. They already know far more than they are putting into practice. What they need are serving experiences in which they can exercise their spiritual muscles”
–Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Life (p. 231)

When we serve others we are serving God.  Don’t sweat the small stuff if you think you will be able to do it or not. Besides, you don’t do it from any perspective or strength of your own, you accomplish it using the grace and strength God has given you to do what He’s called you to do.

Forever Under Construction,