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Archive for February, 2013

Don’t Worry; Be Happy
 
Fact: Because we are human, sometimes we will need an opportunity to mourn and weep.  But when the time of sorrow is up, we must move on.  The joy of the Lord is our strength! Learn to be a joy transmitter. 
 
The devil’s job is to try and make us look at his butt of problems; he specializes in distractions. Even if you experience an attack, remember that you are designed to thrive in God’s grace (His empowerment) and favor.  Satan wants to make us worry about what we don’t have.  But when you worry, you insult God (Matthew 6:25-27).  If you are down, begin to praise the Lord.  The only way to get the devil off of your back is to praise God in faith. 
 
Evidence of Joy
We are joyful because we live by faith.  And since we walk in faith, doubt and fear have no place in our lives.  The people that are having pity parties are not in faith.  To have joy is to be grateful, satisfied and edified; joy is powerful!  When you are joyful, you smile.  In fact, being joyful is a part of your identity.  When you got saved, you inherited the mind (and personality of) Christ.  Christians have the spirit of joy because our hope is in Christ.  He gives us the ability to be joyful in a time of crisis.                
 
Psalm 92:4
For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord; I sing for joy at what Your hands have done.
 
The more that you trust God, the happier you get (Psalms 55:22, Romans 15:13).
When you make a decision to remain in joy, it will set you above everyone else, and you will stand out.  We are joyful because of everything that the Lord has done for us.
 
Hebrews 1:9
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.
 
Love,
Dr. Joyce Oliver

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Be Love-Part 3

Be Love-Part 3
Fact: Remember that God is Love, and Love is strong-not weak.  Love is a spirit, and you (a Christian) are love.  Love abounds over evil (1 John 4:8, John 3:16, Psalms 91:13).
 
In 1 Corinthians 13, the Lord defines what love is.
2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.  4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails. ….13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
 
When you think about the ways of the world, they are in direct contrast to what God says.  It is not human nature to love (Matthew 22:39, Romans 7:18, Philippians 2:3).  Remember that love is a decision.  You have to decide to be love to people.  When you love like God, you look beyond the outward (John 14:6).  See like God sees. Look for the beauty and potential in people.  Be impressed with the fruits of the spirit—not the gifts of the spirit. Love is deciding to treat people kindly.  Showing manners and respect to others is an act of love.  Below are some areas where we can be love to others. Sometimes, Christians loose balance, and disobey God.  And there are consequences for disobedience.  When we are rude to people and don’t show love, we lose something in this life for ourselves (Luke 6:35). 
 
How Can Love be Hindered?
The first area is envy. It is to be angry about someone else’s blessing. It is a lack of faith.  Check your heart for envy because it tries to get you to sin (Genesis 4:3).  You don’t need to harbor envy because God has enough blessings for everyone.  If you want something, just ask the Lord. You get rid of envy by blessing the person who has what you want. Second, don’t complain; instead, constantly give thanks.  Don’t look for the negative in people (Deuteronomy 8:10-14).  Love is not pointing out people’s imperfections.  Third, pride blocks love every time.  Allow yourself to be corrected, and check for puffed up thoughts.  Don’t reject or be rude to the elderly.  Don’t look down on others, and don’t laugh and make fun of people. Also, don’t demand too much from people; be considerate. Finally, watch out for rudeness.  Help people; don’t be rude to them.  Rudeness is to be animal like, prideful and coarse.  It’s inconsiderate and proves lack of skill in love.  For example, a person who is always late is rude.  A person who makes fun of others is rude.  A person who cuts others off in a conversation is rude.  Holding private conversations while others are talking is rude.  A person who does not apologize after a problem is rude.  Not paying bills on time (or at all) is rude.  A person who is easily irritated is rude. Text messaging at the dinner table, coughing (without covering your mouth), ignoring people, not tipping people who provide a service for you, and even leaving church before the benediction is over are all signs of rudeness.  Remember that the love of God is not rude. 
 
Put others before yourself, and don’t be easily angered.  Be willing to give your time. Remember that love is a ministry.  It involves handling people in a skillful way. 
 
Love,
Dr. Joyce Oliver

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Be Love-Part 2

Be Love-Part 2
Fact: Love is a spirit; it is the person of God. Therefore, we can’t be love if we don’t know God (John 4:8).

1 John 4:19 talks about God’s kind of love. He loved us before we even knew what love was. The Lord loved us so much, that He took time to create the earth and everything we need in it to be successful (Galatians 6:9, Genesis 1:29)! The Lord wants to be close to us so that we can get more revelation of His love, but sometimes we pull back (Matthew 23:37). It takes faith to walk in love because showing love is not always easy or convenient (especially in relationships). However, showing love is necessary (1 Corinthians 13:1).

In John 13:34, Jesus said that, “I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another.” Since the enemy is the accuser, his job is to present situations and reasons that would cause us not to love. His favorite two are unforgiveness (which leads to grudges and bitterness) and offense (it will be a part of every relationship so we have to learn how to love through it). Since our nature is carnal and selfish outside of God, we have to saturate ourselves with the Word in order to keep our emotions in check and our spirit strong (John 6:63, 1 Corinthians 15:50, Galatians 5:22).

Real Love
The genuine love of God reflects who He is. Here are some ways that we can show the love of God to those around us. First is patience. It builds people up and makes them feel they are worth waiting for (1 Corinthians 13). Second is kindness which is moral excellence. It is easy to be with people who are kind and helpful (Ephesians 4:32). Examples of kindness are helping people, reaching out, shoveling snow or cutting grass, being friendly, not being mean, and treating people with respect. And finally, smiling is a way to show love. If you are cheerful, you will get everything you need. Smiling gives positive feedback, simplifies communication, and can even save a marriage. If you don’t smile, your thoughts are not in control (2 Corinthians 9:7, Romans 12:2).

Love,
Dr. Joyce Oliver

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