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Commanded to Love by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Do I go or not?

A friend of mine’s mother passed away and the funeral was on Friday, almost an hour away from my home. Overall, it would be a three-and-a-half hour commitment to attend.

Normally, I would not have hesitated to be there for my friend, but this time, I felt penned in by pressing schoolwork. I had earmarked Friday to write a research paper, and needed to study for an upcoming test on Monday. It was a big church. I didn’t know if she’d even see me there.

Ironically, the paper I am writing is all about how we should respond to God’s love, and one point is that “we are commanded by Jesus to love our neighbors as ourselves.”

While making the decision, I pondered, What would be meaningful to me? I knew if I were in the same shoes, I would be touched if someone put aside a busy schedule to support me, so after a lot of prayer and godly counsel from my husband, I made the decision to go.

Friday morning, I woke up at 3:30 a.m. and could not go back to sleep, so I decided to get up early and work on my paper. I completed every section but the last one which was: “We should respond to God’s love for us by serving and loving others.” It would have to wait until I got back home.

The church and funeral was beautiful, but when my friend gave a eulogy about her mother, I couldn’t believe my ears when she thanked everyone for attending and said, “You were not here on your own. You were commanded to be here.” I immediately thought about my paper. It’s a commandment to love others. And sometimes that means putting our personal schedules aside to be there for someone else. To make this even more impactful, when my friend left the sanctuary, she did see me and welled up with tears. I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, I’d made the right decision.

Not surprisingly, I came back home and finished my paper, just in time to attend a church worship event at the Texas Motor Speedway, topped off by fireworks. I had many reasons to praise God. Alleluia! I completed my paper! But I also praised our loving Father because he reminded me that the people in our lives are more important than our to-do list. If it’s of Him, He will help us accomplish what’s on our plates.

First and foremost, we are commanded to love.

This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you (John 15:12).

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Join us September 30th at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom for our next POP Chat where our guest speaker will be KCBI Radio Morning Show Host, Author, and Popular Speaker, Rebecca Carrell who will be speaking about “We Become What We Behold.” Our Worship will be led by Author and Radio Show Host, Donna Renay Patrick. It will be a great time of Worship, Teaching and Discussion. Click on the link to sign up!

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Categories: Blog

Where Does Your Help Come From? By Lisa Burkhardt Worley

Do you seek godly counsel when perplexed about a situation? It’s important to reach out to other Christians when you’re not sure how to proceed. Proverbs 15:22 says, “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” I did that this past week. I needed some advice about a couple of scenarios I was facing so I sought counsel from long-time sister friends. They gave the exact same direction, which in my mind was a confirmation of what I was already thinking.

But when we are struggling, our help shouldn’t only come from our pals. Sometimes it’s a natural tendency to run to our friends first—we long for human conversation, a person on the other end of the phone line. We crave their discernment, however, our all-knowing loving God, who knows the number of hairs on our heads, wants first fruits. He desires for us to take our confusion, worries, and relationships to him before anyone else. Isaiah 2:22 says, “Stop trusting in mere humans, who have but a breath in their nostrils. Why hold them in esteem?”

The book of Hosea is written to God’s chosen ones, the Israelites, and reveals the Lord’s broken heart because His children have turned to others besides Him. They have embraced idols and worshiped other gods. The one true God feels like He’s been cheated on and because of that, pronounces judgment for the Israelites’ unfaithfulness. He reminds them in Hosea 14:8, “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.”

Where does our help come from? “My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1).

I know it’s difficult when we can’t see God face-to-face and we can’t reach out and touch Him, but over the years, I’ve found Him so faithful to provide direction.

If I’m not supposed to proceed in a certain direction, I ask Him to block it.

He does.

If I am supposed to move forward, I pray for His favor.

He gives it.

He places people in my path, His Holy Spirit’s voice in my spirit, and the words of the Bible often leap off the page when He’s speaking. I know He cares about the details of my life, just as He cares about your specifics.

The next time you have a problem,, it’s important to ask other believers for advice, but always remember that no one knows you better than your heavenly Father. Check in first to His divine Help Desk.

Categories: Blog