Racism and love? (Part 1)

Hey there BCU Family!

Typically, you have the option of listening to our podcast, reading the notes or both. For this post, because of the informal format, please tune into the podcast recording and refer to the written post for the highlights. We pray the post blesses and encourages you. If so, please thumbs up AND leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

 

BlenCouragesU · BCU Podcast | Racism and love? | Part 1 (Ep 216)

Podcast highlights:

  • As the Lord is preparing to return, we are in a time of unprecedented and open racism.
  • The dictionary defines racism as, “the belief that different races possess distinct characteristics, abilities, or qualities, especially so as to distinguish them as inferior or superior to one another.”
  • Racism and injustice of any kind is NOT of God. Period.
  • As wrong as the perpetrators are, the people of God are STILL and ALWAYS called to reflect Christ in our reactions.

Scripture references:

Genesis 1:26-27

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Proverbs 22:2

The rich and poor meet together: the Lord is the maker of them all.

Romans 12:3 

3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Matthew 5:43-48 

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Bonus scripture:

1 John 2:10-12 

10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.

11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

BCUFam, racism is NOT of God. It is straight from the enemy and is taught and practiced behavior that is steeped in pride (Romans 12:3) which is sin, period.  It is of the utmost importance that no matter WHO comes to ruffle your spiritual feathers, we STILL are called to love them. This does not mean we agree or condone behavior that is not of God, nor does not mean we cannot speak up, but it does mean that during and after the conversation, the post, the news, we love the everyone the way Christ loves us. Unconditionally. This kind of love can only come through allowing the Holy Ghost to work through us, prayer, fasting and a LOT of practice. This is practice time–and with the help of God, we will go on to perfection (maturity) as Matthew 5:48 says. Amen? Amen!

So BCU Fam, what do you think about this topic? How are you doing with loving those that do not love you?  Let’s talk about it in the comments section below!

If you have not already subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter , and Instagram! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and Apple podcasts!

Thank you SO much for stopping by! God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU

And..we’re back! Love notes–finale!

Happy New Year BCU Fam!

We are back and GLAD about it! You have the option of listening to our podcast (click the BCU avatar below to listen), reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the podcast blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy your study!

Last time we were together, we talked about the seven things love is. Let’s follow up that post with the EIGHT things love is/does not:

  1. Envy: 

“Envy” defined is a feeling of discontent or resentment because someone has something you desire or feel like you deserve–perhaps because you feel like you are more “holy”, fit, pretty, handsome, qualified—-that’s envy. That’s not love.

A prime biblical example of the sin of envy are Joseph’s brothers. Acts 7:9 says they were “moved with envy” to the point that they sold Joseph to Egypt. You can read the entire account it in Genesis 37. 

Furthermore, if we practice envy, we will  be disqualified from Heaven. Romans 1:28-32 reminds us:

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

31 Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

2. Vaunt itself up

Vaunting means to self-promote; someone who exaggerates his own virtues–many times to the point of lying. The only things they do count and they have little to no interest, understanding or empathy for anyone but themselves. Sigh.  🙄

In contrast, the agape love God gives will always consider the other person’s feelings, thoughts, situations before speaking or acting.  And even if you have exceeded someone in a particular area, agape love will NEVER expose that person’s shortcomings to make themselves look good.

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves (Philippians 2:3). 

3. Puffed up.

These words are based on the Greek word phusio, which means to be haughty, snobbish, swollen, or to be inflated. In other words, love is not prideful. Agape love is never haughty or snobbish when dealing with people.

Pride comes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18). 

4. Behave itself unseemly. 

This word means to act improperly, selfish or out of order. Love doesn’t get cold when it doesn’t get her way. Love never plots, plans schemes, pouts, punishes, withholds, uses bad language or entertains the wrong thoughts about someone.  Love stays in formation.

A friend loves at all times…. (Proverbs 17:17a). 

5. Seeks not her own.

This meaning behind this phrase depicts a person who is so bent on getting their way, they will twist facts, search for loopholes, and/or use any means necessary to “make” the situation work for themselves–including sue in court! This is low-key manipulation and should never be named in the Body of Christ.

 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others (Philippians 2:4). 

6. Is not easily provoked:

This means love does not readily anger or be irritated behind every little thing. Now, we will get angry about things, but reaction should have a little thought behind it, so the agape love comes through.

 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).

At the same time, we also should not be the ones who behave unseemly or speak words incite an angry response out of others–rather than lash out in anger, we should seek to understand the other person.

Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men (I Corinthians 14:20). 

7. Thinks no evil

I LOVE this one, BCU Family! This phrase means to reconcile, calculate or keep a record of something so you do not forget. I read somewhere that in one country village, the residents spend much of their time fighting one another. When you spend a lot of time warring, it can be hard to remember what you are angry about, so the natives  keep a tangible object visible in their home in order to remember what the other person did to offend them. We may not keep physical objects, but often keep a mental ledger in our minds–and we replay it often to keep the hurt alive.

 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven (Matthew 18:21-22). 

8. Rejoices not in iniquity

Agape love does not rejoice in things that are wrong,  sinful, unjust, or even in the guilt or vices of others. Rather, true love rejoices in things that are true.

[Love] rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth..(I Corinthians 13:6).

Bonus–Love never fails:

Agape love does not run out, decay, decline or diminish over time, run out on dry seasons, behavior or circumstances. Jesus is a perfect example of love never failing–and if we have Jesus on the inside, our love will stand the test of time. Amen? Amen!


BCU Fam, I don’t know about you, but this study reminded me I have SO much more to come up to in the love area! What about you? What are your thoughts here? Let’s continue our conversation in the comments section below this post!

In the meantime, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter , and Instagram! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and Apple podcasts!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,
BCU

Love notes…

Hey there BCU Fam,

You have the option of listening to our podcast (click the BCU avatar below to listen), reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the podcast blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy your study! 


I was having a conversation with my bestie Kenya about life and some of the trials we have to endure as soldiers of Christ—especially our battles with PEOPLE! It’s actually the spirit of iniquity that works through people, but nonetheless, it can be challenging to maintain your salvation to the standard that God has called us to, right? (Ask me how I know!) Yet, if Jesus dwells down on the inside of us, it is a requirement to follow the pattern of Christ in all our interactions. And the pattern starts and ends with one word, BCU Fam.

Love.

Jesus said, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40). Love is not just a conditional, sometimey feeling–it is a sacrificial lifestyle that Jesus modeled by dying for our sins, as well as leaving us His Word as a blueprint for us to follow. I recently did a “love study” and in re-reading my notes, with the help of God, I know I need ensure my love-meter is in high gear on a consistent basis. Let’s take a look at what agape love is and/or does based on I Corinthians 13.

Love…..

1) Suffers long—The word longsuffering in the Bible is made up of two Greek words meaning “long” and “temper”; literally, “long-tempered.” A longsuffering person does not immediately retaliate in anger or punish, but is patient.

2)Is kindMeaning a kind love shows tenderness or goodness; doing good or being gracious. Our We operate without harshness or cruelty in word, thought or deed.

3) Rejoices in truth: The Greek word for truth is aletheia, which literally means to “un-hide” or “hiding nothing.” This means that truth is always there, always open and available for all to see, with nothing obscured. Love rejoices in what is right and good, rather than hiding things.

4) Bears all things: This comes from the Greek word, “stego” meaning to cover, as in a roof, or a covering that offers protection from the elements. In a commentary from W. E. Vine, he explained that a stego or covering either supports what is placed upon it, or covers what is placed underneath it.

For example, a love that bears all things would cover/protect an individual by prayerfully approaching/talking/counseling them in a private setting. And of course, following the Lord’s leading while prayerfully considering the person’s situation, circumstances and reply throughout and after the conversation. The opposite of covering and protecting would be to berate or belittle the person, expose the situation publicly, and/or to other people unnecessarily.

5) Believes all things:
The word believes is actually the word “pisteuei,” which is the Greek word meaning to put one’s faith or trust in something or someone.  Of course, we need to trust God first and above any and everyone and remember the arms of flesh (people) will ultimately fail. (See Jeremiah 17:5). Matthew 18 reminds us that offenses will come. James 3 reminds us that we will offend many. In other words, this flesh we reside in is bound to mess up sometime! In this life, there will be challenges and situations to contend with, but we with the help and hope of the Lord, we are believing for the best in a person. To this end, believing all things means we overlook and forgive offenses quickly.

6) Hopes all things

The Greek word for hopes the word “elpidzo”, which means to anticipate and expect  good things from someone. Even if things look bleak, we won’t be negative or critical, rather we will continue praying and encouraging the person until we see the change come. And many times, if the change does not happen in the person straightaway, our heart, attitude and mind toward the situation or person often changes. Either way,  the love of hope is fulfilled.

7) Endures all things:The word endures is the Greek word “hupomeno” a compound word meaning under and abide.  In challenging situations, it can be tempting to “gather up all your toys and go home”— aka run away! And sometimes we do—not physically, but sometimes mentally, emotionally and even spiritually, we retreat and give up. The thought here is that while the love is under a load, it will not take off or give up in defeat, but rather will stick and stay through thick and thin. 

WHEW, BCU Fam—I have to admit, looking at love through the lens of how Christ expects us to love is a spiritual gut check for me. Of course, there are situations where it may be best to end the relationship (i.e. abusiveness), but by and large, our love should contain all seven of these elements.

So what are your thoughts on the love notes presented here today? Are any of these love elements a struggle? Is it easy to love? Let’s continue our conversation in the comments section below this post!

In the meantime, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter , and Instagram! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and Apple podcasts!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

 

How does your love sound?

Hey there BCU Family!

Typically, you have the option of listening to our podcast, reading the notes or both. For this post, because of the informal format, please tune into the podcast recording and refer to the written post for the highlights. We pray the post blesses and encourages you. If so, please thumbs up AND leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy the post!

Podcast highlights:

  • As of this posting, we are doing a love series on the BCU Periscope channel. I felt led to share a few thoughts on what God taught us about this first-fruit according to 1 Corinthians 13.
  • We often learn about love through what we see and experience, versus studying the Word of God.
  • God has specifically outlined how we are to love EVERYONE.
  • Our love should never be “sometimey”, obligatory, noisy or hollow.
  • There is no Scripture that supports love merit or fluctuation.
  • Showing agape love is not always easy, but is required part of our walk with Christ.

Scripture references:

Matthew 5:43-58

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

I Corinthians 13:1-2

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.



So what are your thoughts on our topic-du-jour? What resonated with you about love?  How do you keep the love flowing consistently? Is it a challenge? I know the Lord showed me some areas I have to do better in. What about you?  Please head to the comments section below and let’s chat some more!

In the meantime, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter , and Instagram! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and Apple podcasts!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU

How do I love Thee? Let me count the ways…

Hey there BCU Family!

You have the option of listening to our podcast (click the BCU avatar below to listen), reading the notes or BOTH. In any case, we pray the podcast blesses you. If so, please thumbs up or leave a comment! Thank you and enjoy your study! 

So, “Love Day” or Valentine’s Day is around the corner–and yes, there is some debate for some Christians around celebrating the day–and others who choose to celebrate the person they love period. Either way, for some singles it can be a tough with the hearts, flowers, candy and plans. And that sometimes brings a loneliness that, in turn, if not given to God, can effect your spirit.

Last year, I wrote a post on some things to do that you can find here. I was thinking to do the same this year, but the Lord led me to write something about Him that would bless the singles, and the BCU Family at large on February 14th and all year round.

You loved me first.

You wonderfully made me.

You were born for me.

You lived for me.

You were punished for me.

You died for me.

You rose for me.

You chose me.

You redeemed me.

You saved me.

You live in me.

You forgive me.

You heal me.

You correct me.

You are the reason I exist.

You provide for me.

You protect me.

You feed me.

You clothe me.

You instruct me.

You defend me.

Merciful,  gracious, slow to anger, patient, restorer of my soul, full of compassion, long-suffering, The Way, The Truth, The Life.

Abundant life giver, tear-drier, Wonderful Counsellor, Prince of Peace, Mighty God, Everlasting Father.

Faithful, lover of my soul, heart fixer, mind-regulator, promise-keeper, victory-giver, lifter of my head.

My rock, my sword, my shield, my fortress, prayer-answerer, sustainer, shelter, strong-tower, refuge, avenger.

Strength renewer, present help in trouble, my salvation, great and greatly to be praised. Preserver, healer, my hope, wisdom-dispenser, understanding-giver, knowledge base, instructor in my night seasons.

My light, my salvation, the strength of my life of whom shall I be afraid? Leader, guider into all truth. Comforter, King of Glory, strong and mighty in battle, good and upright, my Shepherd, so I shall NOT want  for anything.

Table preparer, Bread of life, holy and righteous, my strength like no other, my God, my bucker the form of my salvation and high tower–so worthy to be praised.

Saving strength of His anointed, center of my joy, my house of defense, nigh to the broken-hearted, saver of the contrite spirit, deliverer from all my troubles.

Cleaner of hearts, renews a right spirit within me, iniquity blotter– oh taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed are they that that put their trust in Him!

No greater love will ever exist in this life than the love You, Jesus, have for me. When NOTHING else would help, Your love lifted me.

Jesus, You loved me first. You love me best. You love me always.

And just for Who are are, Jesus I love You.

BCU Fam, when I think of all of who Jesus is to me, it just deepens my love and commitment to Him. I know that even the most settled in Christ singles can occasionally get that pang of loneliness—that’s normal! Use that as a sign to go into prayer for more grace, and if need be, talk to a trusted friend, your pastor or you can always leave a comment or email me at Blen@BlenCouragesU.com and with God’s help, we’ll get through the tough time together!

What are some ways YOU or your single friends work through the Love Day or any day loneliness? Are you married? coupled? What advice do you have to share? Please drop a line in the comments section below so we can continue our conversation!

In the meantime, if you have not subscribed to BlenCouragesU.com, please do so! It’s free and a good place to get the encouragement, inspiration and information based the Word of God! Additionally, you can also see what we are up to on Facebook, Twitter , and Instagram! You can also listen in and subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher Radio , Google Play, and Apple podcasts!

Thank you SO much for stopping by. God bless, keep and make His face to shine upon you as you #StayOnTheWall!

Love,

BCU