An Honest Account of Love, Grief and Walking With God
Finding God's Goodness in Life's Disappointments

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Love takes sacrifice and isn't always easy

Love is not easy and takes sacrifice
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
March 2016
Copyright




     Several years ago I walked into the gym to workout and wondered if I had enough energy to exercise. As I began exercising, a gentleman walked by wearing a t-shirt that said, “Never give up.” God had spoken those words to me years ago when I was about to tell a client she had exhausted all the grace I had. “That was it; she was dismissed from participating in the program,” I thought. 
     As I drove to her house and prayed, I felt God’s presence invade my vehicle and God firmly spoke to me and said, “Kathleen, never give up on people because I don’t.” I knew that if i did what I wanted to do, it would be contrary to what God wanted for this woman. I obeyed God and extended mercy and grace, with firm boundaries to this young woman. I treated her with love and respect. I am happy to say that years later she is highly successful and living a godly life. That experience taught me a valuable lesson that I live by today.
     The words, “never give up” on the man’s shirt  reminded me of how God never gives up on us. He never stops loving us or believing the best about us. That simple t-shirt reminded me of the scripture in I Corinthians 13:8 which says, “Love never fails.” (NIV) It reminded me of how God loves us so much he gave his only son, Jesus, for us. God let go of what was dear to him so we could enjoy life abundantly no matter what. The beauty of the Easter story is that Jesus never gave up on God. Jesus’s love for his father never wavered, even as he hung dying.  I am sure he didn’t understand because how on earth could a good father allow such a thing? Loving isn’t always easy but it never fails.
     I Corinthians 13 is known as the love chapter in the Bible and talks all about real genuine love for others and how we are to love. I won’t quote the passage but if I were a Bible translator, which I am not, I would translate it like this:

 “If I am a wonderful eloquent speaker but do not speak with kindness and a heart of love, I miss the drum beat and the all my notes are sharp and flat.
     If I am  smart, educated, and can see into the future; and if I believe in God so much I can move Mt. Everest, but do not daily love others well, I might as well go back to bed and forget the day.
     If I am generous and good at giving to the poor, if I sacrifice my body for others but don’t do it with the right motive, I have wasted my time and money.
    Real love never gets in a hurry, it waits and doesn’t push others. Selfless love is gentle and looks for what it can give; mature love makes others feel more important than oneself. it makes others feel valuable,important  and wanted and does not have a high opinion of oneself. A person walking in love, walks in humility.
     Loving like Jesus is not sarcastic or and does not put others down; it always looks for the best in others and sees what is good about them,  getting angry is the exception, not the rule. Love does not keep remembering when others hurt them. It makes a conscious effort to put the hurt and bad memories behind them.
      Love does not go around telling of others failures, it covers their failures. Love tells the truth.
     Love does not ever quit. it believes and looks for the best in others, love always has hope for others and restoration. and endures the roughest seas and the hottest deserts to make the relationship a good one.
     Loving will help you win the race every time. You can loose your ability to do your talent, you can forget the things you studied for years, 

     We can all learn, none of us know everything. We need each other.
     When I was young, I could get by with being immature, unforgiving and mad at others but it is time to grow up. 
     At the end of the day, three things hang around, faith, hope and love. But you will be a winner in the eyes of God when you walk in love; love is all that matters.” 

      Real love takes sacrifice, it isn’t easy, but it is worth it. I challenge you to read I Corinthians 13 daily for a few weeks and let the words wash over you and speak to you. Ask God what he wants to speak to your heart about His love for you and how you are to love those around you.
     God and Jesus both demonstrated their love for us in the Easter story. Love, forgiveness  and overcoming are the basic message in Christ’s death and resurrection. Before his death, Jesus was asked a question in Matthew 22:36-39,”Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment and the second is like it; Love your neighbor as yourself.”
     All of us will die one day. What will really matter to God and others, is how we loved. Do you love God with all your heart? Do you love others well or do you need to keep practicing? Do you daily tell God you love him and daily tell others you love them with your actions and words? Pride is often what keeps us from telling others and God we love them.
      I challenge you to open your heart to more of God’s love for you and daily tell God you love Him. He wants to hear those words from you. Join me in daily telling those around you that you love them. They need to hear it. We all do. And never give up on loving others because God never gives up on you.

    

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Overcoming and Easter-What They Have in Common

Overcoming and Easter-What They Have in Common
Copyright March 2016
Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie

Have you ever thought of how people in Heaven see you and how God sees you in situations? A few years ago, I felt God challenging me with this question as I found myself in the middle of great loss and feeling weaker than I had ever felt in my life.  


My view of the situation and my sudden single life was not positive, to say the least. It seemed to me all my dreams of what I thought life would be, in this season, were washed away. I realized, if I continued seeing my life in a negative light it would lead me down a path I really did not want to go down. So, I began to ask God how He, and the rest of heaven, saw me and my life. He took me to I John 5:4 which states, “whatever is born of God overcomes the world. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes Jesus is the Son of God.” That scripture states that, as children of God, overcoming power resides in us to overcome any situation we face. 

Jesus overcame the grave and conquered death. He rose above His circumstances. The definition of overcoming is to get the better of, to get the victory over. I felt God say, “Kathleen, I see you as an overcomer. You have My power within you to overcome the heartache you feel. You have a God-given right to get the better of this situation and make a profit from it.” I had to admit that was not exactly how I saw my situation and asked God to change my thinking to see myself as an overcomer. I knew that only God can heal my heart, and I also knew I had choices.

John 16:32 says, “In the world, you will have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”(NIV) The word for tribulation here is translated as pressure. Yes, this world brings plenty of pressure. Jesus says we will have trouble in this world, but not to stress about it because His power in us will help us to make a profit from any trouble. God is too good to let us encounter problems without providing the provision for us. What I have discovered is life is more about finding the provision in tribulation instead of fixing the problem.  
I John 4:4 says, “You dear children are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” Nothing is greater than the power of God in us to overcome any situation. You and I never have to settle for defeat. The power to overcome is more powerful than any force that comes against us. Now, that is good news.

Jesus gave His all to His disciples and those around him. He loved when I’m sure He did not want to, but did out of obedience to God. Then, some of them turned against him, complained, betrayed and helped crucify Him. He overcame the grave, He is an overcomer, and we are made in His image; therefore, overcoming power resides in us. Overcoming is God’s Easter gift to us and part of the new life He gives to us.
Sometimes, our overcoming looks different and takes longer than we might think. Making a profit from a difficult situation is sometimes seen as growth in our character. Who are we and how do we show up when the cards are stacked against us? Other times, overcoming and healing can take a long while. Recently, I had someone come to me that, years ago, there had been a rift in our relationship and, at that time, I felt misunderstood. I continued to love and trusted God for healing. This person began to share a personal experience they had encountered that opened their eyes. They now saw things differently from how they saw it years ago and stated they admired my character and how I walked through the situation. The words were healing to my soul, and my heart smiled at God’s goodness, healing and overcoming power. Overcoming took much longer than I liked, but it finally came.
This Easter season is your new beginning to begin to enjoy and walk in the overcoming power Jesus provides. Begin today by asking Jesus to come into your heart and ask Him to open your eyes to the overcoming power that is in you. If you know Christ, I challenge you to daily ask God to show you situations through His eyes and wear your overcoming clothes. You are not a victim, you are an overcomer. We have an awesome opportunity to grow in our walk with Him and our character. He overcame His adversity, so you and I can overcome things that come against us.

 
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