Hope for your financial life and beyond

8 Bible Verses About God’s Love You Should Never Forget

Ever wonder where our capacity to love actually comes from? It’s pretty clear that our ability to love is something that was given to us by God. In fact, the Bible verses about God’s love that I read tell me He is Himself the essence of love and has passed that on to us.

verses about God's loveGranted it’s not always easy loving others. We are difficult people to get along with. Even people we care about sometimes do not get the love they deserve from us.

Not only is loving others hard, we often choose to love for all the wrong reasons. Often times we choose to love others based on how they act towards us. Or we choose to love based on what we can get from someone else. Fortunately for us, that’s not how it is with God.

God’s love towards us is unconditional. That means He loves us no matter what. We can’t do anything to reject, or bypass or disown His love. He can’t help it – love is part of His nature.

He loves us – all of us – equally and without hesitation no matter who you are or what you have done. Let that sink in for a moment.

If you doubt thid, just look at these verses about God’s love found in the Bible.

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Learning to Love the Unlovable and Your Enemies (Luke 6:35)

“But love your enemies, do good, and lend hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great…” – Luke 6:35

I can easily love my wife. She is precious to me. So are my kids. They have no problem getting and receiving my love. Others who treat me well? Same thing.

love your enemies

Let’s face it, some people are simply more like us – in appearance, in personality, in cultural heritage, in matters of faith, etc. We are attracted to this familiarity and sameness. It gives us comfort and calms us, knowing there are people who we can always rely on and identify with.

When we develop a natural, positive connection with our kind of people, showing love towards them is not difficult. It’s easier to act appropriately around them and demonstrate love to them because we see the world as they do. For our people, we would sacrifice much. If they were in need, we’d come to their aid without hoping for or expecting anything in return.

After all, not only do we like them and treat them well, they like us and treat us well. How could you not love someone like this?

I expect those in Jesus’ day felt much the same way. So it must have shocked their system when Jesus told them to love your enemies” and show acts of love to those they considered unlovable. Can you imagine the expressions in the crowd when he said these words?

You mean, love those people? They are not anything like me. Love your enemies? That’s even harder than loving those who are not like me. Why would I love those who hate me?

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Encouraging Bible Verses for the Dark Times of Life

We’ve all had some dark times in life. Times when we felt like not going on. Times that hurt, that didn’t make sense and when all hope was lost. And when these occur, turning to God and reading some encouraging Bible verses can help.

encouraging bible versesThere is no question in difficult times we need to be lifted up.  But often we don’t know where to turn. Even those close to us like friends and family may not be able to help in the way we need.

Fortunately, there is One to whom we can always turn. God, through His words, has given us many encouraging Bible verses to which we can look and draw hope and comfort. They can inspire us even in the midst of life’s turmoil.

One of the best books to turn to for encouraging Bible verses is Psalms. King David wrote a good portion of that book and evidently he really needed some encouragement. He was routinely calling out to God to give him help, strength and joy in the midst of life’s trials.

Like this one from Psalm 84:11, which happens to be one of my favorites I wrote about,

“For the Lord God is a sun and a shield; the Lord will give grace and glory, no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”

Being our light and our protector through the tough times is just a taste of what God has to offer. There are many more encouraging Bible verses from David in Psalms and from the other Bible writers. Our hope is that they encourage you to face what life has placed in your path.

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If You Have Never Read the Christmas Story

Many believe in the important of Christmas traditions. Christmas traditions create strong emotional connections between people or events. They build lasting memories that are remembered with fondness. One tradition we started with our kids was to read the Christmas story from the Bible on Christmas Eve. After that we get a jump on unwrapping presents by opening the kids’ stockings. In recent years, we’ve also added the viewing of “It’s a Wonderful Life” on Christmas Eve.

the christmas story

Even though the kids are older and one has left for college, we continue the reading and movie watching. For us it’s a reminder of what the season means and how much we have for which to be grateful.

Perhaps you’ve never read the Christmas story from the Bible. The passage in Luke 2 describes the circumstances around the birth of Jesus. It’s not what you might expect, considering Jesus was heralded in the Hebrew literature as the King of the Jews. He came into the world in the humblest of circumstances, surrounded by only his parents, some barnyard animals and a few unimportant shepherds.

Yet this simple story details the beginnings of a life that would change the world. I share it now in its entirety with the hope that it might lead you to consider what Jesus could mean for you.

Merry Christmas!

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7 Positive Lessons from Job’s Friends on Helping Hurting People

Ever felt like you had no clue how to help someone who was hurting? It doesn’t matter if the pain is physical, emotional or spiritual. Too often we simply freeze, not really knowing how to best help our friends in need.

Should I give them advice? Try to cheer them up? Give them a hug? Offer to help them in some way? Who really knows, right? It’s simply hard to know the appropriate way to respond so as not to hurt or offend them further.

jobs friendsThe Bible records a story for us about a man named Job (pronounced “jobe”). In his story, we see him experiencing some of the deepest emotional and physical pain one could be dealt. In his distress, three of his friends came to be with him. The initial steps they took serve as an example to us all on how to respond when one of our friends is hurting.

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All Work and No Play: Combating the Dangers of Workaholism

All work and no playDo not fear. I’m not writing from a snowed in mountain resort lodge. I have to admit for years I assumed the proverb “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” came from that Stephen King horror novel turned Jack Nicholson movie thriller The Shining, which mistakenly came in front of my eyes as a youth (thank you older cousins). I say mistakenly because no one under the age of 21 should put that imagery into their head. (And maybe if you are over 21, you shouldn’t either.)

As it turns out the phrase “all work and no play” was originally published in Proverbs in English, Italian, French and Spanish (1659) and is attributed to a writer by the name of James Howell.

The warning of the all work and no play proverb seems clear enough to me. If we don’t release ourselves from the pressures of work from time to time we will become dull and uninteresting. We become like the automated robot on the assembly line who only finds fulfillment in one thing – doing its job. When life becomes our work, we neglect time for hobbies, family, friends, exercise, watching sports, reading, or just plain vegging, all of which could add significant value to life if we let them.

That type of existence doesn’t spark a fire in me at all. Work definitely has value and should be something we take seriously. But life is so much more than working all the time.

So what should people battling with workaholism do? Fortunately, there is a path forward to a better work/life balance.

A Guideline For Work

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Here Are the Top 9 Bible Verses for Teens to Know

It’s challenging being a teen in today’s world. Teens today face so many personal struggles and difficult life situations that they often feel a sense of hopelessness and confusion. Not to mention the daily bombardment of temptations that lure them in the wrong direction. It’s no wonder teens today are dealing with anxiety and depression like never before and are throwing up their hands in despair and saying, “Why even try?” But are there Bible verses for teens to know that could help them with this?

bible verses for teensThe good news I share on a regular basis with my own kids and with the students that I teach is that God doesn’t want teens to feel this way. God wants them to feel strong. They can be filled with hope and be optimistic about the future. All the anxiety and fear can be swept away. And the only way that can happen is to embrace the Word of God and find what they need for life within the pages of the Bible.

The challenge though is knowing where to start. The Bible is a big book. Does God have specific Bible verses for teens to help with something they are facing?

I believe He does.

There are many verses that could be applicable for teens. I’ve boiled it down to 9 to keep it short and simple and to touch on issues I know teens are going through. The great thing is these Bible verses for teens are short and easy to memorize. That will help them have an arsenal of verses to focus on as they go through the challenges of life.

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Why Godliness With Contentment Is Great Gain (I Timothy 6:6)

“For godliness with contentment is great gain.” – I Timothy 6:6

Godliness with contentmentContentment is a virtue that challenges our do-more, get-more, be-more society. This is especially true as it relates to money and possessions. By and large, we are constantly striving to get more money and secure better possessions to enhance our lifestyle.

In our minds, we think that there is always a greener pasture than the one we are in right now.

This issue isn’t new to 21st century earth. Since the beginning of time, mankind has been dealing with issues of contentment. After all, it was Adam and Eve who were not content with what God had given them in the Garden of Eden. They coveted the only thing God said they couldn’t have.

Their disobedience of eating the forbidden fruit cost them their perfect world.

Interestingly enough, the church hasn’t found itself immune to the issue either. That’s why in the New Testament of the Bible, Paul had to counsel the young pastor Timothy about the issue of contentment. Let’s take a look at the issue Timothy was dealing with and what we can learn from it.

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A Soldier’s Pledge – on Freedom, Courage and Sacrifice

“America is depressing…mixed up…adrift…an afterthought.” Have you sensed these messages creeping into American culture and thought in the past few years? Our soldier’s pledge to keep our nation great remains strong, but a lack of pride in who we are among the general public seems to have blossomed. There exists less and less passion for greatness. And few believe America’s best days lie ahead.

a soldiers pledgeEveryday the news points out our flaws. Our economy isn’t right. We can’t resolve our racial issues. Our foreign relationships often teeter on shaky ground. American individual liberties are under assault.

Everything rises and falls with leadership – including a nation as big and powerful as America. So perhaps our attitudes can be contributed to the uninspiring and ineffectual leadership we see in our government, in our communities, in our churches and even in our homes.

For many it’s a bleak picture that seems to be spiraling out of control. But we don’t have to settle for this course. We can choose a different path. Nothing predetermines that we must feel indifferent or uninspired about America.

How do I know this?

Because of freedom. Freedom is the one constant that can again ignite our passion and love for this country.

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Should I Borrow Money to Get What I Want?

There is no denying it. Credit is available everywhere. Our cultures screams “Have It Now!” to us at every turn. “Borrow money now to get what you want!” people say.

We expect fast food within 5 miborrow moneynutes or less in the drive-thru.  We want to make quick money for as little work as possible. And we are first in line for the newest technology gadget the day it is released. Simply put, most of the time we can’t wait. We gotta have it.

This “Have It Now” culture has skewed our reasoning ability, in that it has masterfully helped us change our “wants” into “needs.” Our brains have reclassified the things that we desire to have into things that are priorities. And in some cases, our wants are taking precedence over issues that are needs.

So why don’t we just go ahead and borrow the money to get the things we want? Seems like a logical step. However, blindly borrowing money to satisfy all your needs can cause great damage to finances, as well as your mental and emotional life.

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The Bribe That Fueled the All-Time Greatest Easter Myth

easter mythMoney is at the heart of many cover-ups. Flash enough cash and some people could be encouraged to keep quiet. Make that sum of money big enough and they could even be persuaded to promote lie, even manufacture the greatest Easter myth ever created.

We would call this type of gift a bribe. It’s money given so that you act in someone’s favor – usually in a dishonest or illegal fashion.

Bribes have been given in different circumstances throughout history to conceal an action or advance an agenda. In one instance, a bribe was used to push an Easter myth that continues to be believed by many to this day.

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