We’re sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to the greatest sermon ever preached: the Sermon on the Mount.
Today, we come to what a theologian named John Stott called the “highest point of the Sermon on the Mount.” I love how he describes it:
It is both most admired and most resented, namely the attitude of total love which Christ calls us to show towards one who is evil and our enemies. Nowhere is the challenge of the Sermon greater. Nowhere is the distinctness of the Christian counter-culture more obvious. Nowhere is our need of the power of the Holy Spirit (whose first fruit is love) more compelling.
Pray through these words with all your ♥:
Drum roll, please. Here’s the absolute #1 most popular Bible verse in the history of the universe.
You learned it in Sunday School. You’ve seen it on banners at sporting events. Maybe you’ve even got it tattooed on your biceps.
GOD’S ADVICE FOR RELATIONSHIPS
Someone shared the following verses with my wife and me at a point in our marriage when we weren’t be all that LOVE-ly to one another:
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything …
Yes! I remember thinking. If only she would do everything I say, our lives would be a whole lot better. But, unfortunately, there was more.
LOVE-O-RAMA 2019 continues with a little love prayer …
Question: According to experts, what’s the absolute #1 cause of failure in relationships, business, medicine, politics, war and
maybe even religion?
Answer: Crummy communication. We don’t wield words wisely.
Just in case you haven’t noticed, there has been an absolute communication explosion lately. Google the word “communication” and you get 2.29 billion hits. There are 332,325 communication books on Amazon.com. We sent more than 50 trillion e-mails in the past year. Facebook has more than a billion users sharing private intimate communications with complete strangers. There are more than 300,000 Twitter tweets every single minute. The average teenager sends 3,399 texts each month. But it’s not just teenagers – studies show a rapid increase in texting even by octogenarians.
So … is all this communication making life better? In study after study, people report feeling more depressed, disconnected and un-LOVED than ever before. We can all help change that sad state of affairs one word at a time.
Here’s where it all starts, according to Jesus:
The mouth speaks what the heart is full of. (Luke 6:45)
Answer this little question before you say another word on this planet:
What is YOUR ♥ full of?
Ask God to fill your ♥ to overflowing with LOVE before you even think about opening your mouth.
And then do this:
Encourage one another and build each other up. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
How often should we do that?
Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today.” (Hebrews 3:13)
Times are tough out there. People are hurting. Ask God to help you encourage as many of your fellow humans as possible today. And tomorrow. And each day after that.
Encourage your spouse. Encourage your kids. Encourage your parents. Encourage your friends. Encourage your co-workers. Encourage your boss. Encourage your dentist. Encourage your gastroenterologist.
The possibilities are endless.
For more, check out our 187% free ebook: Love Everybody. Now. Seriously. Please.
(Sources: Google.com; Amazon.com; Radicati Group, Inc., Email Statistics Report 2012-16; Newsroom.fb.com/company-info; Internetlivestats.com; The Nielsen Company; Mashable.com)
(Image credit: Shutterstock.com)