Love Your Neighbor

Mark 12:30-31 -” Love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these,”

For the past couple of days we’ve talked about love. We know that God is love, and that he expressed the depth of that love by sacrificing his life for us. We also know that he has instructed us to love those that are less than kind to us. But, what about the people that look different? The ones that talk different? What about the ones who believe differently than we do? Are we called to love them, too? If so, how?

Yes, my friends. The answer is yes. We are called to love our neighbors and by neighbors, he is speaking of everyone. This was not a suggestion but rather a command. See,  he created us all; therefore, we are to love each other without exception. There are no borders. That is, nothing should keep us from showing love and compassion to everyone. This includes skin color, dialect, religious/spiritual beliefs or lack there of, etc.

So, how can we begin to show love for others? This can be a tough one, I know. For me, I began by reminding myself of 2 things. First, he created EVERYONE. Second, he lives in us all. By doing this, I began to see that we are each a unique expression of him. This led me to appreciate the differences in us all and to actually find joy in that. I mean, can you imagine the world being a place where we all looked the same, talked the same, and believed the same? It would be so bland…so boring. Variation is a beautiful thing and something, I believe, that we should all embrace! Don’t you?

Do you struggle with showing love to others that are different than you? Or, have you been the recipient of such? How did it make you feel? What did you do to work through it? Please consider sharing your experience with me, if you feel led to do so. You can send me an email, leave a comment below or PM me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thefaithfilledtraveler/. Otherwise, I’ll plan on seeing you there this afternoon and right back here tomorrow. Have a great Wednesday, everyone!

Warmest regards,

Salina Watson

 

 

 

 

Love Your Enemies

Luke 6:27- “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you.

Yesterday we were reminded of the greatest example of love that has been shown to each of us, and that was through the death of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Not only did he show us love by laying down his own life for us, but also by enduring a horrific beating leading up to his death. I can only imagine what he must have felt as the whole scene was unfolding before his eyes.

I mean, his own people sentenced him to death for a crime that he did not commit. He was innocent, without blemish.  Not only did they sentence him to death, but they were the ones who placed him on the cross. And what was it that he said prior to taking his  last breath? As it is recorded in Luke 13:34-  Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

Wow! There he was nearing the end of his earthly life as a result of the actions of others, and he begs for them to be forgiven for it all. Guys, I can’t even begin to fathom this. Can you? How can one be in a place in which he found himself being and ask for his people to be forgiven of such a senseless act? Love, my friends. The answer is love.

The love that he showed his people that day is the same love that he instructs each of us to give to each other. Man, that is one hard pill to swallow, isn’t? I mean sure it’s easy to love someone who loves us and is nice to us, but what about those that are the complete opposite of that? You know, the ones that have hurt us in some way.  Or, what about the ones that look different than us, believe different than we do, and maybe even say things that we do not agree with? How in the heck are we supposed to show love to them?

As hard as it can be to show love to someone that has hurt us &/or has said something that we do not agree with, I believe that it can be done. Now, I don’t want you to think that I have mastered this, because I have not in any way,  shape or form. However, I have definitely worked on it and have made great strides in that direction.

What I have learned overtime is that although someone maybe unkind to me or may say something that I do not agree with, that reflects their  heart…not mine. Likewise, my response to them is a reflection of my heart. If I choose to respond to them in a less than kind and loving way, that is on me. There is obviously some work that I need to do within myself. Do you see what I am saying here? I sure hope so.  The point is, we have to quickly evaluate situations as such when they occur, and recognize that there is something going on within the other person that has nothing to do with us. By doing so, we will likely be able to show love to them. Now, this isn’t something that will happen overnight, but with time and practice, it can and it should.

Well, let’s stop there for today. Tomorrow we will talk about showing love to others that are different than us. But before we go, has there been a time when it was difficult for you to show love to someone that was unloving towards you? What did you do? How did you handle the situation? Was there something that you learned from it that has helped you to approach similar situations in a different way? I would really like to know. Please comment, email or PM on Facebook.  In the meantime, I’ll see you on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thefaithfilledtraveler/ this afternoon and here in the morning.

Make it a great day!

Warmest regards,

Salina Watson

Sacrificial Love

John 3:16- For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

 

Good morning, everyone! I hope this Monday morning finds all of you doing well. I, for one, certainly am. Starting a new week with all of you helps to put me in the right direction from the get go. I always look forward to sharing my thoughts and ideas with you guys, but I also look forward to hearing back from you. Listening to you as you share your perspective on things helps me to broaden my own. So, thank you for that!

This week we are going to talk about love.  Being that Valentine’s Day is on a Thursday, I thought it would be a good topic for the week.  But before we get started, I have a question for you. Did you know that Valentine’s Day is also referred to as the Feast of Saint Valentine or Saint Valentine’s Day, and that it originated from a Christian feast day? Its true! You should look it up. I mean, you couldn’t possibly have anything else to do with your time, right?!

Anyway, love…let’s focus our attention to love, shall we?  Merriam- Webster. com defines love as a strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties. Is there someone in your life that fits that description? For me, there are quite a few, but my family definitely leads the list. In fact, I love them so much that I would do just about anything for them. That is, anything that is morally & ethically correct. Can you relate? I don’t know what it is about love that has this effect on us, but it certainly has the potential of causing us to do somethings that we likely would not do, otherwise.

I believe the Lord was/is the perfect example of this. In fact, by sacrificing his life for you & I on the cross so that our sins would be forgiven is the ultimate act of love. But not only did he die on the cross for us over 2000 years ago, he continues to show love to us today by extending grace & mercy to us, despite our faults. If this isn’t love, my friends, I just don’t know what love is.

With that, we are going to continue our talk on love each day through Thursday this week. I hope that you will stick around and contribute your thoughts & ideas. Perhaps you will even share this blog with your friends and family. At least, I hope you will. And, while you’re at it, please consider sharing your Valentine Day plans with me. Although John and I don’t really do anything on February 14th, I just love it and would equally love to hear what you guys will be doing. Until tomorrow, I’ll see you guys on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thefaithfilledtraveler/ . Take care!

Warmest regards,

Salina Watson

 

 

Extending Grace to Others

Ephesians 4:7 (NIV)- But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.

Well, here we are…Thursday morning. Not only is the weekend quickly approaching, but so is the end of blog week 6 for The Faith Filled Traveler. Wow! How is that even possible? I mean, how do you go from launching your dream into the world, to being 6 weeks into the realization of it? I’ll tell you how…. one small step at a time, my friends. One small step at a time!

This week we have been talking about grace, and how it is a gift that is freely given to us by the Lord out of love for us. We also talked about accepting grace for ourselves. This morning I want to talk about extending grace to others. Now, I know this can be a tough one, or at least it has been for me. Especially when the person on the receiving end has been less that kind to me.

How are we supposed to extend grace to others when they have said something to hurt us? Better yet, how are we supposed to extend grace to someone else when they have done something to hurt us? Well, I have come to learn that people only know what they know today, based on what they have learned through experiences leading up to this point in time. This has helped me to extend grace to them.

See, when I look back on my own life, I can honestly tell you that I have said the things I have said and done the things I have done, with good intentions. Never has it crossed my mind to intentionally set out to hurt someone; although, I am certain that I have. As I grow as a person, I learn that there are better ways to handle situations and I implement them. This process has helped me to extend grace to the people around me.

As we come to understand that everyone is on a journey, and that we are all on different paths leading to the same destination, we will likely be able to extend grace to others easily. Now, please hear me. I have not mastered extending grace to others completely, but I have definitely come a long way in this regard. I hope that this post will some how help you to do the same. By extending grace, we not only show the love of Christ to others, but we accept it for ourselves.

With that in mind, have you guys struggled with extending grace to someone? How did you manage to work through it? Please share. I would really like to know. Perhaps by you sharing, I can learn & grow from your experience.  Send me an email, comment below or PM on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/thefaithfilledtraveler .

I’ll see you guys here on Monday, and on Facebook at the link above until then. Have a great weekend!

 

Warmest regards,

Salina Watson

 

Accepting Grace

Hebrew 4:16 (NIV)- Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

This week we have been talking about grace. Grace as Mary Fairchild describes it, ” is kindness from God that we do not deserve.” We talked yesterday about how we can’t do anything to earn it, nor can we do anything for it to be taken from us. For it was and is given to each one of us freely through love, and the price for it was paid over 2000 years ago at the cross.

Today, I want to talk about accepting grace for ourselves. Why do you think we have a hard time accepting grace? I personally think that one of the reasons it is so hard for us to accept grace from the Lord and others is because we don’t feel worthy of it. We sometimes feel like we have gone too far by words &/or deeds that it is hard for us to accept the gift of grace.

Although it is understandable for us to feel this way from time to time, it’s quite interesting to me. I mean how can our Creator, the one who was crucified for our sins, extend grace to us, yet we have a hard time accepting it in return? Perhaps, the missing link here is selflove. If he loves us so much that he can selflessly direct grace towards us knowing that we are on a journey of becoming who he created us to be, maybe we need to check our own hearts.

I say this with love and compassion, because it is something that I have struggled with for years. As far back as I can remember, I have always expected a lot out of myself. Whether as a wife, a mother, an employee or a friend, I set the bar high. I honestly don’t know any other way of doing it. This expectation, combined with room for improvement in regards to selflove has sometimes found me unable to give myself grace when expectations went unmet.  Thankfully, I’m learning, as we all are, and I’m getting better at this. Actually, a lot better. Hey, it’s never too late, right?

With that said, how are you doing when it comes to grace? Are you able to accept it with open arms when it is given to you? If not, is there something that you have put in place to help you get better at doing so? Please share. As someone who is working on this myself, I would love to hear any and all comments that you guys would like to share with me. Comment below, send me an e-mail or PM me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thefaithfilledtraveler/ , and be sure to check in there this afternoon. In the meantime, have a great Wednesday! I’ll see you soon!

Warmest regards,

Salina Watson

 

The Ultimate Expression of Grace

Romans 3:24 (NLT)- Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.

 

As I mentioned yesterday, grace is the topic in which we will be focusing our attention to this week.  We will be touching on accepting grace for ourselves, and extending it to others. But, first I want to direct our attention to grace as it was initially given to us by The Creator of The Universe and how he continues to offer it to each one of us daily.

Over 2000 years ago, The Creator of all things chose to die on the cross for you and I. Not only did he die for us, but he endured a beating leading up to his death that no one should ever have to endure. Why? So that our sins would be forgiven, and so that we would someday be one with him. Did you hear that? Let me repeat it. He died so that OUR sins would be forgiven. Now, I know this is not news to you, but have you seriously ever taken the depths of that into consideration?

I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of a single person who would willingly lay down their own life for me so that mine could be spared, as a result of my own wrongdoing. Nor would I expect for anyone to. Can you? Would you? On top of that, we are talking about the Creator, guys. You know, the King.

So, why would he go through all of that when he had the power to stop it? It wasn’t something that he had to do, but rather something that he chose to do. He was willing. As a mother of 3 children, I believe that it was because of his deep love for each one of us…HIS children. He wants the best for us out of love, as all parents do for their children. He understands that we are all on a journey to becoming the people that he created us to be. The keyword there is BECOMING. See, we are all learning, growing and becoming. We have not yet arrived. It’s the whole point of our existence on earth.

The good news is, there is nothing that we can do to earn his grace, nor anything that we can do for it to be taken away. He did it all, and he did it the day he died for you and I. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around that sometimes, but it’s such a beautiful thing to think about, really.

Speaking of grace being extended to us by the Lord, have you had an opportunity to think of a time when grace was extended to you , yet? I sure have, and it’s been multiple times, honestly. Tomorrow, we will focus on accepting grace. I sure hope that you will join us here early tomorrow morning and as always, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thefaithfilledtraveler/ , until then. Be sure to like the page, if you haven’t done so already so that you can keep up with what is happening with The Faith Filled Traveler throughout the day. And if you are finding these blog post helpful, please share them with your friends and family!

I’ll see you guys soon!

Warmest regards,

Salina Watson

GRACE

John 1:16 (NIV)- Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.

Well, hello there! Good morning! I’m so glad you decided to join me this Monday morning. How were the past couple of days for you? Great, I hope! Things in the Watson household were pretty routine. We did manage to get out and about a bit, which is always nice. Although I must say, during the winter months I am just fine with being indoors. Give me a book or a podcast and I’ll call it good.

Now that we have that behind us, let’s get started. Last week we talked about various ways that the Lord teaches us throughout the day. From the gentle whispers or “nudges” to people and our emotions, the Lord is always giving us an opportunity to learn and grow through various experiences that occur within our day. With that in mind, I wanted to talk to you this week about the topic of grace, which I feel goes hand in hand with that.

I believe Mary Fairchild described grace best in an article that she wrote for ThoughtCo.com entitled, What God’s Grace Means to Christians. She said, “It is kindness from God that we don’t deserve. There is nothing that we have done, nor can ever do to earn this favor. It is a gift from God”. When I first read those words, it hit me rather hard. I mean, the Creator of The Universe loves and cares for you & I so much that there is nothing we have done or could ever do that would keep him from showing us kindness. Did you hear the keyword there…..NOTHING? I don’t know about you, but I have fallen short over the course of my life. To think that none of it has or can keep me from the grace of God is pretty remarkable. At least it is to me.

This week I would like to take sometime to dig a little deeper into the topic of grace. I want to touch on grace as it relates to accepting it from him and extending it to others. I really hope that you will not only show up each day between now and Thursday, but that you will contribute your thoughts and ideas. After all, it’s much more fun that way. You can do so by leaving a comment, sending me an email or even a PM on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thefaithfilledtraveler/.

Between now and then, take a few minutes to think of a time when grace was extended to you. If you’re anything like me , you’ll likely come up with more than one. Keep it/them in mind throughout the week. Will you do that for me? I hope so! I’ll see you on Facebook this afternoon, and here tomorrow morning. Cheers!

Warmest regards,

Salina Watson

%d bloggers like this: