This past week has been a volatile one. I don’t need to rehash it. Terrible things. Terrible actions. Terrible ideas. Terrible people.
Forget Trump. Forget politics. Forget all that.
Let me be clear: I do not agree with the ideology of those who stood in Charlottesville. The racism, the Nazi nonsense, all of it is horribly appalling. I am similarly appalled by the Antifa Communism ideology. And by any side of the “Lives Matter” debates when the message turns violent. I am similarly appalled by what’s left of the Westboro Baptist Church cult. I am appalled by Scientology, by Muslim extremists, and by Kim Jong Un. I am grossly appalled by anyone who calls themselves a Christian and lets hatred and bile fly off of their tongues.
But more than all of these, the person who most appalls me is… myself. I am the chief of sinners. I am worthy of no love, honor, or respect. I am the scum of the earth.
Yet, my God loved me enough to come to this earth, take my sins upon his shoulders, and die in my place.
Daniel Foster | @danielfoster07
Unless you've been living under a rock the last few months, chances are you have heard Justin Bieber's new hit single "Love Yourself". If you haven't heard it, go give it a listen. The song itself has really nothing to do with this post, however the title, "Love Yourself", really got me thinking about those words. Do you love yourself? Like actually love yourself? Loving yourself is not a topic spoken very often among churches. Loving Jesus, loving others, these are where we tend to spend most of our time focusing, but we often neglect ourselves.
I'd like for you to read this verse with me:
"Jesus said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'" Matthew 22:37-39
Jeff Weddle | @Anti_Itcher
I am a father of three children. Over the years of their lives I have witnessed many of their sins. Some were pretty bad. Others were, don’t tell them, pretty funny. One of their major sins has been, and is, their constant annoyance of each other.
It gets a little ridiculous. “Stop it!” must be said in my house 1,364 times a day. Eventually, their mother and I get worn down. We don’t want to hear “stop it!” any more. The kid who says “stop it!” the 1, 365th time will get in trouble.
“Stop it!” My wife will yell in all serious irony. “Stop bugging each other.”
After, days, nay, weeks, nay, months of kids yelling “stop it!” all the time, I got discouraged. I must be a bad father. So, any time I feel like my parenting is failing, I sit my kids down for a lecture.
Greg Stokley | @GregStokley
Ever been in love? Maybe you have a spouse or a significant other that you are just crazy for. Yet, as we all know, sometimes we lose sight of some things.
I remember when I first started dating my fiancée. It didn't matter what time I had to get up the next morning. I would drive to her house for no other reason than to be with her. I wanted nothing more than to stay with her. Nothing else than to be where she was.
Admittedly, as life went on, I let some of that excitement go. For some, it's just busyness. For others, it's something far worse.
We find in Scripture that our love for Christ is no different. Yet, there is something I would like to point out: the consequences of losing our first love for Christ are more dire than loss of love for another person.
Consider Christ's words to the Ephesian church in Revelation: