Lively Hope Blog
(The views expressed in blog posts are those of the authors of the posts. They do not reflect an official position of Lively Hope, but are intended to promote thinking and constructive interaction. We welcome differing viewpoints.)

Getting Real About Love
Rev. Denise Beard     12/28/2023
You will never be able to "feel" human love the way your heart and soul need to know love until you totally understand what love is. It IS uncorrupt, it is pure and it is Holy. It is not an emotion. Our emotions are not a reliable regulator. How you feel about your spouse, your children, your own existence cannot be that fragile. You know, like how you feel when you can't get to the sink to wash off your hands when someone is taking their time drinking a glass of water while standing at the sink, oblivious to your need and you FEEL irritated. Yikes-if we let our emotions rule, enduring love has no chance.
You and I are priceless, created in the Image of God. God is LOVE. You cannot separate from His Love,
Until you allow the reality of the value you and every soul breathing contains, you suffer the burden of a false image of human worth.
I believe we are in a season of mans history that demands we lay down our measuring sticks, ( yeah self talk is happening here) and begin with our selves, the soul we greet in the mirror. And, start with an apology to the One who created us for not realizing that we are precious.
Then ask for His help, His Lordship through Christ alone.
Loving self is merely an honoring of the gift you are.... not a green light of entitlement and indulgence. It's a call to lay all that down. It's really It's a welcoming to God into your daily reality.
I pray for myself to know this, I pray for you to know this. It's a place to begin again. It's a way home. Jesus Christ was our champion- He gave His life to fulfill a law that secured our eternal and temporal access to the LOVE that created the heavens and the earth.
Life in the Spirit
Romans 8:1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power[a] of the life-giving Spirit has freed you[b] from the power of sin that leads to death. 3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.
5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. 7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. 8 That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.
9 But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) 10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.
12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters,[e] you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children[of God.
15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. 17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.

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