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Because of Israel’s repeated unfaithfulness to God throughout the Old Testament, we might expect to find a revenge story revealing God’s anger and punishment. Instead, in the book of Ruth, we find a story of God’s unfailing love. Throughout Ruth’s story, God continues to remain loyal and He displays His love in unexpected ways.
Loving God completely influences us to love other people. Loving other people sounds like a good idea but can become difficult and complicated. What does it look like when we love other people extravagantly?
When we love each other, life certainly changes for the better. But, loving people and receiving love from others can be complicated and risky. This essential quality is what Jesus identified as a distinguishing marker of our identity in him. What would LifePoint church look like and feel like if we continued growing to love each other unselfishly?
I had not realized how angry I had become or how far I had strayed from Him until recently when I had what felt like a complete emotional and mental breakdown. I have always known God to be exactly who He says He is, but in April 2018 a division in the church I had attended for twenty years started me on a spiritual decline causing me to question everything I believed about church leaders and God himself.
It’s easy enough to read “don’t let your heart be troubled,” but it’s another thing all together to put it into practice. I had confessed my mistake and asked for forgiveness, I’d done everything I could think of to find peace. So why was my heart still troubled?
Often, our holiday gatherings include people who aren’t in our day-to-day orbit… and maybe for good reason. They may have ideas, opinions, or beliefs so far from our own that it can feel like they live on a different planet. We may not always agree with those around us, but as followers of Christ, we are called to be quick to hear and slow to speak (James 1:19).
As I walked along the dry-stone wall, the last rays of sunlight gasped a final breath before disappearing behind the scenic peak in the distance. It wasn’t even four pm yet, but the sun was setting as I hustled down the path to pick up my son from primary school.
The truth is that love isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. We aren’t limited to seeing the people we love most at only their best – ask anyone who has ever had a heated argument with their spouse or stormed out of a family gathering.
As I descended the mountainside, I could still smell smoke from the campfire and hear the giggles of preteen girls snuggled in sleeping bags. I was working as support staff at camp but had accompanied the counselors and campers for their traditional cookout on a stunning rocky vista.