A Love Promised A Love Declared

Romans 12:9-10 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

 

My wife and I had the honor and privilege to attend a wedding this past weekend. As a pastor, I greatly enjoy the opportunity to preform many wedding ceremonies, but this was one of those rare occasions I got to attend as a guest. It gave me that unique occasion to be part of the crowd, enjoying a love promised, a love declared. See, that’s what weddings are: two people who love each other with such intensity they are willing not just to make a life long promise to each other, but to declare that love with great effort and detail. They wanted all their closest family and friends know their promise to love is genuine and sincere, and that they would hold fast and be devoted to the goodness of this love. They were saying this promise is sure, and so very ceremoniously they made their declarations that they would love, honor, cherish and outdo each other in showing honor to the other. It was heartwarming as vows were shared with tears, and joyful as rings were exchanged as tokens of a love promised, a love declared. The last line of the exchanging of rings was “…I ask that you wear it so that all may know we are one.” A love promised, a love declared.

 

God intended we would love each other this way of promise and declaration. Yes, in a marriage, but also our family, friends, coworkers, neighbors and those fellow human beings we encounter each and every day. In the Bible verse mentioned above, Romans 12:9-10, the word genuine means to be pure, sincere, but also without hypocrisy, meaning to be of such quality where its value, its worth, its shine is irrevocable. It is to love others with an honest love. Here is how…

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 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. Love never ends.

Wow! That is huge, for love is selfless.

Philippians 2:3-4 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

God gave us the greatest example in this by what Jesus has done for us 1 John 4:7-11. This love was both promised and declared.

Romans 8:38-39 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Declaring love is a good thing. Declarations have the power to encourage, empower, guide, bring security, settle a troubled heart, and help us see our value.

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.

Proverbs 15:4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.

Proverbs 16:24 Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

Proverbs 18:4 The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.

 

This young, newly married couple is now enjoying the blessing of a love promised and a love declared. We, too, can share in the blessing of love promised and love declared by not only sharing it with our loved ones, but by making that promise to be kind to others and declaring thoughtful words of affirmation. Why not give it a try this week?

 

A great place to hear of God’s love declared and promised is at church. If you don’t already have a church you regularly attend, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or any of our branch churches. Our website has more information: http://www.cypresschurch.net.

 

Seeking to share and show a love promised and a love declared along with you,

 

Mike

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A Good Kind of Love Triangle

1 John 4:11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

1 John 4:19 We love because He (God) first loved us.

 

I know of a guy who had kind of a rough childhood. His family was plagued with addictions and had some weird ideas of love. Most of the members of the family were preoccupied with themselves, either surviving due to the addictions, or being abusive to make themselves feel powerful, or feeding that insatiable hunger of pride. Love, for this family, was not really talked about as this guy only remembers his dad saying he loved him when the dad was high. There was not a whole lot of affirmation, encouragement, or appropriate physical affection in this family. This guy had a love void, and though he longed for love, he had no idea what authentic love was like or how to express it. Until…until this guy experienced real, genuine, authentic, pure, satisfying, fulfilling, love. It was not from one of his guy friends. It was not from one of his girl friends. It was not one of his coaches or teachers or youth leaders. It was when he was introduced to the Author of love, the One who created love, the true example of love.

Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments.

This covenant of love is the promise of God to love!

Psalms 36:7 How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

Psalms 86:5 You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.

Psalms 86:15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.

This love of God is seen in Jesus

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son (Jesus), that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

1 John 4:9-10 This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

 

So, as we have seen God’s love and the Love of Jesus, we then can love like Jesus! Do you see this good kind of love triangle? As we learn of God’s great love and the sacrificial love of Jesus we then can love others like we have been loved! Jesus said…

John 5:9-12 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

 

This guy found and embraced Jesus’ love through faith. It changed him to where he learned how to love. See, his family was a terrible teacher of love and because of that love this guy’s love was selfish, self absorbed, and empty. Yet once he found and incorporated Jesus’ love, this guy learned how to love. That’s the kind love triangle we should bring into every relationship. Maybe learning of Jesus’ love could help you love better; be a better friend, be better at loving your crazy family, be a better coworker spreading some love, better at loving your neighbor (remember that’s something specific Jesus asked us to do Mark 12:31), and even better at loving our enemies Luke 6:27-36. Soaking in Jesus’ love does help. Why not try?

 

A great place to learn and embrace the love of God and Christ Jesus is at church. If you don’t already have a church you regularly attend, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or any of our branch churches. Our website has more information: http://www.cypresschurch.net.

 

Seeking to love like Jesus along with you,

 

Mike

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Just Love

Isaiah 1:17 Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.

 

In a world full of self-focus, self-preoccupation, and selfies, it was refreshing to see people being kind, selfless, and looking out for those who tend to get pushed to back, over-looked, and even ignored. I was in line at the grocery store, in the ‘express lane’ with my 15 items or less, for I was in a bit of hurry. The line was moving slowly and all of us were noticing the clog, a very elderly woman with way more than 15 items, and if that was not all, she waited until the checker was done and said, “That will be $35.89.” The elderly woman stared back and it seemed to take almost a full 30 seconds for the checker’s comment to register. The elderly woman then began to rummage in her purse, which looked more like an oversized bowling bag. She said out loud with her shaky voice, “I know I put it in here”, as her full head almost disappeared in to the bag. “I found it!”, she blurted and held high in victory her checkbook. An audible groan went up from the line, and just as fast, two amazing things happened. A quick thinking store manager opened up a second express lane to the delight of much of the line, but the rest of us were no longer noticing the older woman, but the younger woman who was in line right behind the elderly woman. She struck up a conversation with elderly woman who was struggling to write out her check. The younger woman was smiling and asking the elderly woman about her family and noticing the trouble the older woman was having writing the check. She asked if she could write it out for her and then have her sign it. The older woman agreed and the transaction was complete. The younger woman even walked the older woman to her car as the bagging clerk carried her groceries. I was a witness to ‘just love”… a caring love that is just and right.

Proverbs 3:27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.

Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

 

Awhile back, I saw another act of ‘just love’. I was driving by a high school, and a car full of guys was laughing and joking with friends who were walking up to a nearby bus stop. A bunch of other kids were laughing and pointing their fingers at something on the ground almost in the traffic lane. I noticed the guys in the car get serious. They saw something I could not see, and pulled their car out and blocked traffic. One kid jumped out and directed traffic around their car. I still could not see all that was happening. Another kid pushed the group of jeering kids that had turned into a crowd off onto the sidewalk and kept them moving on. The other kids in the car all quickly got out of the car and ran around to the front of the car where that ‘something in the street’ was that caught the laughs of the kids on the sidewalk. As I slowly made my way out of the blocked lane and passed the front of the stopped car, I saw the 3 other kids lifting a guy back into his wheel chair. He had obviously missed the curb and taken a fall. These kids gave out some ‘just love’.

Zechariah 7:9 This is what the Lord Almighty said: Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.

Hebrews 13:16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

1 Peter 4:9 Offer hospitality (kindness to strangers) to one another without grumbling.

 

See, love is to be just, because acts of love are just the right actions to take. It is right and good to be kind to others, to help when we can, to smile, to share kind and nice words, not to think so much about ourselves, but to think of how to bless others.

Philippians 2:3-4 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

 

In this month of love, why not practice ‘just love’ and just love others. It will make our world a better place.

1 Corinthians 16:14 Do everything in love.

Ephesians 5:2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Galatians 5:14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

 

A great place to learn and grow in ‘just love’ is at church. If you don’t already have a church you regularly attend, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or any of our branch churches. Our website has more information: http://www.cypresschurch.net.

 

Seeking to practice just love along with you,

 

Mike

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Love Makes a Way

1 Corinthians 13:7-8a Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

 

When it comes to the word love, there can be all kinds of thoughts and feelings that arise. We can say we love coffee. What we tend to mean is that we enjoy all that coffee is for us: it’s taste, the aroma, and yes, the physical effects of caffeine. Some may say they can’t or won’t go a day with out their beloved coffee. Coffee can even have an emotional appeal, from the memories of waking up to that wonderful aroma, to the connections and community we have experienced among like-minded coffee lovers, to the perceived sense of ‘coolness’ we experience hanging around the coffee crowd. Chocolate and other foods can be loved, too. But is this the same kind of love we have for our friends, our spouse, our kids, grandkids, or parents? Now, I know some may pause too long, for they really do love chocolate, or plants, or their car, or football, but there is a love that is deeper. It’s a relational love that goes beyond what we gain from the items we love. It’s a choice to act in a loving way towards another, for love makes a way!

 

It’s the kind of love God has for us.

Psalms 103:11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;

Psalms 136:26 Give thanks to the God of heaven, for His steadfast love endures forever.

The ‘steadfast love’ of God is the Hebrew word ‘Hesed.’ It is the loyal, faithful love of God that is kind, good, and becoming, not based on what we do, but on God’s choice to love humanity. See, God’s love makes a way to love us regardless if we choose to love Him back!

Jeremiah 31:3 the Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.

That’s what God says to us!

Lamentations 3:22-23 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Romans 8:38-39 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God’s love has made a way to us and we are to take this same kind of love and make a way with others. Jesus put it this way after explaining the greatest commandment we should follow is to love God Mark 12:28-30

Mark 12:31 The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.”

This love that God has loved us with is an active love, a love that does (by the way, a great book to read about active love is called “Love Does” by Bob Goff), a love that makes a way.

John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

1 John 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.

Romans 12:10,16 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.

Love makes a way to be kind, caring, considerate, helpful, listening, giving, serving, and sometimes just being there. As we enter this month of love, let love make a way to love others in every area of your life. It will not only make a difference with those you love, but you will find a depth of love you long for. Sure, loving others is different from loving coffee or chocolate or donuts or whatever, but that’s a fun kind of love too. The key here is: love well.

 

Church is a great place to soak in God’s love and receive encouragement to love well. If you don’t already have a church you regularly attend, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or any of our branch churches. Our website has more information: http://www.cypresschurch.net.

 

Seeking to let love make a way along with you,

 

Mike

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It’s a New Year…Make Space for Kindness

Proverbs 3:27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.

 

This past weekend we witnessed some amazing people create a huge impact by making space for kindness. It was inspiring, encouraging and quite frankly blew me away! It also made a lasting impression and its memory will continue to bring both joy and an amazing relational connectedness, all because people made space for kindness. See, it was my amazing wife’s birthday this past weekend and a big one (nope, not going to share how old she is, for beauty holds no age) and being a guy who like parties, I was so looking forward to topping the last milestone surprise-dance-party-birthday. But she was clear this time, “No parties, just let’s do a family dinner.” Though I was bummed, it sparked my creative scheming, and our kids and I crafted a plan to do a kind of progressive ‘family’ dinner at a local mall. You know, appetizers at one location, salad at another, dinner at another, dessert, then coffee (Kristi loves coffee. Me, not so much, actually don’t like it at all!). So on this progressive dining adventure, to add that surprise element, I had written to a bunch of people, let them know where and when we would be and invited them to ‘pop by’ and wish Kristi a happy birthday. Now I know people are busy, there were the playoffs on TV, and this was a big ask, being the mall was a bit out of town, parking was expensive, and I literally wanted them to walk by, awkwardly find our family (though not hard as we have 6 little, very cute and rambunctious grandchildren), act surprised, make a cameo appearance, say something like, “Oh! How fun! We just happened to see you,” give a hug and leave! So I thought maybe one or two of her super adventurous friends would show, but over 30 people were able to make space in their schedule to show my precious wife a bit of kindness. Now, yes, others really did want to join in on the fun, yet had other commitments and such, but sent their well wishes. It all was such a blessing to Kristi and the rest of us (I don’t think the grandkids really noticed. I think they just felt their ‘Mormor’ was popular and knows everybody.). But we were all so deeply encouraged.

 

See, it does make an impression when we make space for kindness. God encourages us to step out and bless others with benevolent gestures, heartfelt words, sincere sympathy, good deeds, helpful assistance, purposeful care, loving affection, and chosen favor.

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Galatians 6:10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
1 Peter 4:8-9 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.

To show hospitality is to be kind, and did you notice it was to be without complaining! Too much we focus on what we are receiving ourselves, or the blessings that come to us, and can complain about making space for kindness. Bemoaning kindness extracts the joy right out of the caring gesture. Yet a choice to make the sacrifice of self and create the space to be kind makes a lasting impression on others, and even ourselves.

Luke 6:38 give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.

 

Making space for kindness is a great goal or resolution for this New Year.

Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Romans 15:2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.

2 Thessalonians 3:13 As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.

So why not try this week. What could you do to make some space for kindness?

 

Church is a great place not only to practice kindness but also to learn more of how God has made space for kindness towards us. If you don’t already have a church you regularly attend, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or any of our branch churches. Our website has more information: http://www.cypresschurch.net.

 

Seeking to make space for kindness along with you,

Mike

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It’s a New Year… Let’s Serve!?!

1 Peter 4:10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:

 

This past week, while on a trip out of state, I was chatting with a guy who had struggled connecting with others. Sure, he had a nice little family, his wife and a few kids, but making friends was difficult. It had always been difficult, until something changed, and now he has some amazing and close companions and he even feels better about life! What this guy did was start serving at his church and in his community and those opportunities opened up connections with others who enjoyed helping as he did. He actually said serving has made a huge impact on his life.

 

Now this guy’s story is not an isolated incident. I know another person who started serving in the media department in their school and in their church. They learned and fell in love with using a camera and editing as they volunteered. They decided to go to school and now they are in a large company using their video and editing skills all over the world. Another person was struggling with what they called mild depression and could not get out of the cycle where they were constantly down on themselves. They were challenged to serve/volunteer at their local Boys and Girls Club and life changed. They experienced joy and instead of brooding over themselves began to make sacrifices, caring about others.

 

Now serving is not the only answer to all of life’s issues, but it is a good thing. Actually, God asks us to serve.

Romans 12:11 Not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord

To be ‘not lagging behind’ is to be fervent. The word picture is to be boiling over with enthusiasm and excitement. Wow, that is an amazing attitude to choose. The word ‘serving’ in this verse means to give up control to, to yield to self and place ourselves in a climate where we do what someone else wants. Wow, again, could that be said of us?

 

All through the Bible, God challenges us to serve.

Acts 20:35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

Galatians 5:13-14 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Mark 9:35 And He sat down and called the twelve. And He said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”

Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”

Jesus was the prime example of one who serves.

Matthew 20:28 even as the Son of Man (Jesus) came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

There are many benefits to serving. If you do a quick study, you will find all kinds of benefits. Let me quickly touch on five.

 

Serving brings on joy. The online article, 7 Scientific Benefits of Helping Others, speaks of a study done where sociologists tracked 2000 people over five years, where they described themselves as “very happy” having volunteered at least 5.8 hours per month. It feels good to help others. According to Stephen G. Post, professor of preventative medicine at Stony Brook University in New York and author of The Hidden Gifts of Helping, when we ‘do good’ to others it releases chemicals in our brain like dopamine and serotonin, and we feel happy. One caution that is brought up in another online article Volunteering – 7 Big Reasons Why Serving Others Serves Us, is that if we don’t actually like what we are doing, it does no good. If we serve out of resentment or obligation we do not reap the blessing of joy.

Serving reduces stress and helps depression. In another on line article, Volunteering and its Surprising Benefits
How Giving to Others Makes You Healthier and Happier says that the social contact with others in serving creates a solid support system which helps diminish stress and protects against some depression.

 

Serving improves health. According to Thomas H. Sander, executive director of the Saguaro Seminar at Harvard University, “Civic Engagement and volunteering is the new hybrid health club for the 21st century that’s free to join.” This was from Live Longer by Lending a Helping Hand.

 

Serving increases belonging and connection. Like the story above, serving together is a great way to meet people. I met my wife serving with her in the youth ministry at our church. You may find your new best friend while serving.

 

Serving teaches new skills. As we roll up our sleeves and get about tasks and duties of our service, we have the opportunity to take risks and for the sake of the cause of our volunteering, we seek to learn. I know I have learned how to paint serving with the Compton Initiative and countless other skills I would have never attempted nor taken the time to learn if I had not served.

 

So what about you? Maybe this year we can get our serve on and jump in and volunteer. There are all kinds of ways from our churches, to Boys and Girls Clubs, to schools, to the police department, to homeless shelters. The opportunities are out there. It will take some effort to find them and jump in, but it will be well worth it. I love the quote from the famous explorer, doctor, missionary, Albert Schweitzer: “The only really happy people are those who have learned how to serve.” It’s a new year. Let’s serve!

 

Church is a great place to learn of service opportunities. If you don’t already have a church you regularly attend, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or any of our branch churches. Our website has more information: http://www.cypresschurch.net.

 

Seeking to serve more along with you this New Year,

Mike

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It’s a New Year…Be Bold!

2 Timothy 1:7 For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

 

As a church pastor, I have the honor to know and walk with amazing people, wonderful people, true heroes, not just survivors but also those who thrive. They are people who have grit and boldness as they have faced cancer, job loss, divorce, single parenting, abuse, mental illness, and more. They have leaned into God and, with confidence, have pressed on. Their stories inspire me, not only as I face difficulty or adversity or hardships, but also just in life. For if they can be bold and keep moving, then so can I. Like when I think about my own mom. She is getting on in years and has the onset of dementia and some tough medical issues. When she was younger, she had to face the abuse of an alcoholic husband who not only landed up in jail a few times, but also crashed a car, was gone a lot and even cheated on her. Many times she had to clean up after one of his many drunken rages, and also endured physical abuse. Though she wears the emotional scars of all this, she found faith in God. She trusted in God’s help and leaned into Him giving her a boldness to start a new life, doing her best to raise two boys. She did this with hardly any help from my dad; he was inconsistent in child support and rarely showed up, but with boldness she pressed on! Way to go mom. Now sure, she was not perfect, but did her best, trusting God and taking life one day at a time. I know many others who are bold just like mom. If they can, we can.

 

As we are in this first month of a new year, it’s an excellent time to lean into God and be bold.

Psalms 27:14 Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

To ‘wait’ is to place our trust in, to lean in, to fuel our hope on the great character and promises of God. For God is all-powerful Jeremiah 32:17, Matthew 19:26, caring 1 Peter 5:7, will not abandon us Deuteronomy 31:6, and gives us strength Psalm 138:3. Trusting, waiting on God, gives us courage or boldness to live.

 

Now there are all kinds of ways to be bold in this new year, but let me suggest three ways. The first is to be Bold in Love

1 John 4:10-11 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (atoning sacrifice) for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Because God sent Jesus to this world, whose birth we just celebrated as the angles declared, “good news of great joyLuke 2:10-11. Because Jesus came to deal with humanity’s main sickness called sin Romans 3:23, 6:23, as Jesus, out of great love, boldly endured the torture and horrible death by crucifixion. Because He was bold in loving us, we can choose to be bold and love others.

Romans 12:16-18 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

 

Another way to choose to be bold this new year is to be Bold in Action.

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

You may have made goals or resolutions already. Be bold and go and seek to achieve those aspirations. It will take strength and courage. The current of mediocrity and pull of not taking the initiative is great. Be bold and take that first step. Try… and if you fall, get up and keep trying. God is with us.

2 Corinthians 3:12 Since we have such a hope, we are very bold.

 

The third area to choose to be bold this new year is to be Bold with God. Get to know Him better; remember He is with you.

Hebrews 13:5-6 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

So live by faith, leaning into God, trusting in Him.

Ephesians 3:12…in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in Him.

Hebrews 4:1 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

So do be bold in prayer to God and talk with Him

1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.

God does love the sound of our voice and thoughts. God is for us, so be bold and know Him more.

Psalms 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I

be afraid.

 

Church is a great place to foster our boldness in life. If you don’t already have a church you regularly attend, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or any of our branch churches. Our website has more information: http://www.cypresschurch.net.

 

Seeking to be bold along with you this New Year,

Mike

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