Tag Archives: Ephesians 5:1-2

Uncomplicated Love

2 May



Gospel love is choice.

Biblical love does not flinch.

It is messy, it is bloody, it is relentless . . .

but it is not complicated.


I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

Be imitators of God, therefore as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2



His Love Story is Your Life Story

29 Mar


Dear God,

We thank you for the privilege of being together

at this time and in this place.

As your people, we pray that your love

will unite us into a fellowship of discovery.

Cleanse us of everything that would

sap our strength for togetherness.

Unravel the knots in our spirits.

Cleanse the error of our minds.

Free us from the bondage of our negative imaginations.

Break down the barriers that sometimes keep us apart

and cause us to drift along without a dream.

As we go from here – Explode in us new possibilities for service.

Kindle within us the fires of your compassion

so that we may not wait too long

to learn to love.

May we be a people with loving purposes –

Reaching out …

Breaking walls …

Building bridges …

Let us be your alleluia in a joyless, fragmented world.

In the name of our Lord, we pray. Amen.

— Champ TraylorCreation Swap Open Bible jesus chiko 11504 RIBBET

This was the opening prayer at a ladies retreat I attended. Isn’t it beautiful? If you skipped it or read it quickly, let your eyes and your heart drift over it again. Unravel the knots in our spirits . . . . Free us from the bondage of our negative imaginations . . .Kindle compassion . . . learn to love . . . be your alleluia.

How appropriate for this Easter season that we would encounter a prayer petitioning God for an urgent desire to learn to love – right now, with the Cross of Good Friday directly in our sight lines and the greatest demonstration of Love the world has ever witnessed just over the horizon. How fitting that the words we read appear to describe the full and abundant life, the life of purpose, that Love reached across death and rose to offer us.  Reaching out . . . Breaking walls . . . Building bridges . . . be your alleluia.

Yes Sweet One, Love burst forth from the tomb – He reached beyond the grave and would not be walled in. Love bridged the chasm of sin between the Creator and the created – He would not leave us isolated, hopeless and alone. And He has breathed life into our souls so that we might yearn to live and to love like Him, to truly be His alleluia in the joyless, fragmented world all around us. Is that not what Love living in us will look like if we will but surrender and choose it?

Is that not the very thing the Messiah came for? Not to simply speak love or speak about love, but to demonstrate to us and for us the breadth, the depth and the length of a heart purposed to be Love. A heart purposed to have no discrepancy between word and deed—committed to look on the helpless and the harassed and offer hope. A heart purposed to see with eyes of grace –steadfast in reaching out with the hand of Truth. Oh Beloved, His love knew no limits—it would not be contained that Easter morning and it will not be contained today.

Yet, too often I find that the knots in my spirit choke out the love in my heart and the error of my mind obscures my vision of the truth. The bondage from my vain imagination chains me to fear, uncertainty, and isolation. And I am sapped of my strength to do life by my Sister’s side, by my husband’s side, by my child’s side. I am ineffective as an encourager, a prayer warrior, or a joy deliverer because I am consumed with “the everything” of this temporal life. Sister, I need this prayer– in this season of life and in this time – and may I be so bold as to suggest that you consider your own need as well?

Not only do we need to say this prayer with sincere and believing hearts, but I believe with everything I am that the hurting ones, those who are doing life in the joyless and fragmented world, they need us to say this prayer with genuine desire. They need me, they need you, to ache to be filled with Love so that we will have the tenacity it takes to reach beyond ourselves and grab their hands in the midst of their circumstances. It is urgent for them that we break down the walls and emerge from behind the barriers with hearts full of grace and a renewed purpose to love. And it is essential for them that you and I long to be bridge builders of integrity who long to love the same way Jesus does—with extravagance.

Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. 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. Ephesians 5:1-2, The MSG

Girlfriend, if the day is not today to Love like that, then when?

If this is not the season to be the alleluia, what season will be?

Every day and every season is our day . . .our day to LOVE.

If the Father has called us to His side and we know Jesus as our Savior then the Spirit, who is Love, beats within us. He is our promise that until we see Grace face-to-face, until we look Love in the eyes – He will empower us to live beyond our limited, cautious love. See, Sister, no matter what life circumstance we face, no matter what hurt we have endured, no matter how certain we are that our well has run dry He is our guarantee that Love is surely alive and well within us.

We may run out of energy to love others—He does not.

We may not have what it takes to reach out—He does.

We may have come to our limit—He never will.

Oh Beloved, we need to shout the alleluia at the end of each one of those statements, fall to our knees and praise Him that there is an end to us! Because when we arrive at the end of ourselves – that’s when Love truly lives.

And, our Jesus, the One and Only – who perfectly lived, died, and rose to Love –desires not only to give love to us, He longs to give love through us. See, Sweet One, when He rescues us from death . . .

we become His living love story.

creation swap heart in bible Marian Trinidad 7896 ribbet

We leave our knotted spirits in the hands of the One who loves us.

We follow His lead, leaving our negative imaginations behind.

We hang on His every Word,

watch His every move,

so that we can learn to love extravagantly.  

And every day, every moment, every season brings us closer to our happy ending . . .

But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation:

Trust steadily in God,

hope unswervingly,

love extravagantly.

And the best of the three is love. Creation Swap God stories Chris Bearing 12933 1cor

1 Corinthians 13:13, The MSG


My Valentine Looks Like His Dad: Brett’s Journal — #60

14 Feb

A while ago when I was memorizing the Love Chapter from the Amplified translation I was struck by 1 Corinthians 13:5 and the exhortation to refrain from keeping a record of wrongs.  I admit to you that a mental running record of offenses is what comes naturally to me so pondering on this verse, especially in connection to my marriage, was much needed.  God brought to mind all the verses I know that tell me to pick up my sword and fight the natural woman –the old me–in me.  Not to be passive and simply expect old thought patterns and old habits to disappear on their own.  He so encouraged me to let go of that toxic way of thinking and really challenged me to let my Man off the hook the same way He had me.  He reminded me that He chooses not to keep a record of my offenses – even though He could have a list longer than I have time to enumerate or you have time to read.  But instead He chooses to remember my sin no more.

For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,

and I will remember their sins no more.

Hebrews 8:12

In fact, He keeps account of the things I do right.  What a God!  What Grace!  What Love!  But again, love is not simply what God does – it’s Who He is.

The I AM is LOVE.

And Love tells me that whatever is lovely, whatever is noble, whatever is excellent – these are the things I should be thinking about – not offenses, real or perceived, committed against me.

Brett's journalSo, I picked up Philippians 4:8 and I began to keep a record of rights for my Man. The stuff isn’t deep some of it’s downright silly.  The very first entry says . . .

  1.  1.  You smiled at my humming and I know it must be annoying.♥

I just write down the things that speak to my heart in the every day.  That’s what real living and real loving is – the every day.  There are grand moments of celebration but they ring hollow if that’s all there is.  There are special occasions filled with hoopla but they don’t mean much if they don’t stand on the shoulders of the daily choice to love.  So I write down the things that show my Man’s choice to love me in the everyday.  I keep a record of his rights.  I brag on him to me.  I think about “these things.”

And so today on February 14th, I’m going to share “Journal Entry #60” and thank God that He calls us to be like Him.  Without His Word and His call to imitate Him as a dearly loved child, I would’ve missed out on these most excellent things and I never would have loved like that left to my own devices.  Thank you Lord for all you do.

Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. 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.  Ephesians 5:1-2, The Message

#60 — ♥ — Brett – Will you be my Valentine?

Hello Valentine – and I mean that with every ounce of love in me.

I want you to know that I notice you – noticing and “not noticing” – me.

I know it doesn’t come natural to you to say things out loud, but you still do.  You tell me out loud that you love me and that I’m beautiful to you.  You’ll never know how many times I’ve whispered “thank you Lord that beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and given thanks that your eyes still see me that way.

I’ve noticed the effort you make to see what’s important to me so that you can celebrate without being coached. It melts my heart that you never ask me to tone down making much of Him just because your style is more low-key.  And the smile that creeps across your face when you’re listening to me share the latest thunderbolt to strike my soul makes my knees weak.

I notice you closing the door when my “joyful noise” bothers you rather than ask me to stop.

Yes Sweetheart, I’ve noticed all your noticing and

You’re just IT to me.

I’ve also noticed all your “not noticing.”

Not noticing when I haven’t shaved my legs – for a long time!  Not noticing the physical baggage I’m dragging “behind me” these last months.  Not noticing that the house isn’t quite as clean as it should be.  And not noticing the days that I don’t expend the energy to do my hair or put on my make- up.

Yes Sweetheart, I notice all your “not noticing” and oh,

How I love you!

I love you for not letting the reality of your wife sway your heart when it doesn’t always match the dreams you may have had of the girl you’d marry and I love you for looking more like your Dad everyday.  For choosing to love, despite the circumstances, just like He does. . .

I hear His voice in you – You sound like Him.

I see His grace in you – You act like Him.

I feel His heart in you – You love like Him.

Yes Husband, you look more like Him every day

and Valentine,

I’m so grateful you are mine.

1 John 4:16

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.  1 John 4:16

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