Love Thy Neighbor

By Linda Tancs

Love is the greatest commandment, love of God being first and foremost, followed by love of neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40). Indeed, to love others is to love God because God is love (1 John 4:16). In its grandest sense, love of neighbor means to love everyone. Admittedly, though, it’s challenging to conjure affection for everyone, everywhere. A good first step is to recognize the connection with all of them as brothers and sisters in Christ. You can foster a connection locally through participation in community outreach and internationally through world missions. Whatever you do, it puts “love thy neighbor” within reach.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES (a teaching and speaking ministry), Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith.

Covering and Atoning

By Linda Tancs

When we read the Bible’s exhortation that love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8), we often think of it in terms of forgiving others for their transgressions. But the “cover” has another implication that frequently is overlooked. When we love, we atone for our own sins, our own shortcomings. Jesus reminded us, after all, that love is the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:36-40). Whoever does not love does not know God (1 John 4:8).

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

The Lightness of Being

By Linda Tancs

English writer and theologian G.K. Chesterton once remarked, “A characteristic of the great saints is their power of levity. Angels can fly because they can take themselves lightly.” When we take ourselves lightly—in other words, throw off worldly concerns and the heaviness of the ego—then we, too, can experience a lightness of being. Empty yourself of self-regard and pour yourself into others: love, serve, comfort, counsel (Acts 9:36). Heavy is the soul that focuses on itself. Opt for levity instead.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

At Your Service

By Linda Tancs

As Christians we’re on call for God’s service on a full-time basis, regardless of what you call your “day job.” God is not a pastime nor is He just an encounter at church. There’s a call on your life—you were saved to serve (Matthew 4:19). How will you be of service?

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

 

What is Love?

By Linda Tancs

St. Augustine wrote: “What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.” What does love look like for you? Are you helpful to others, even those you may not particularly like? Do you volunteer your skills or donate money to worthy causes? Are you a good listener? Find ways to be loving, and keep at it. Loving others is, after all, the second greatest commandment (Matthew 22:36-40).

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

 

On Equal Footing

By Linda Tancs

Do you ever feel like someone has a “closer” relationship with God than you do? Do you think a pastor’s prayers have more “weight” than yours? The truth is that we’re all on equal footing in God’s eyes (Romans 12:5). He doesn’t play favorites (Romans 2:11). Neither should you (Galatians 3:28).

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

 

Priorities

By Linda Tancs

A study once concluded that the average person will spend four times more of life getting dressed than communing with God. We commune with God through prayer, bible study and worship. How much time do you spend with God? Do you let other “priorities” get in the way? Spending time with God is not just a matter of desire but of obedience (Matthew 22:37). When you put God first, it doesn’t go unnoticed (Matthew 6:33). Don’t try to fit God into your schedule; fit your schedule around God.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

 

 

Members Only

By Linda Tancs

Remember the popularity of Members Only® clothing in the 80s? It isn’t hard to imagine why. After all, who doesn’t like membership? Folks flock to membership in country clubs, interest groups and social media organizations. But belonging has its setbacks, especially when it’s used as a means to exclude others. Even the apostles fell prey to a “members only” mentality. In Mark’s gospel, he relates their disapproval of someone who is not a part of Jesus’s inner circle doing wonderful deeds in His name. But Jesus applauds the effort, showing an attitude of inclusion (Mark 9:38-40).

In Christ, “members only” takes on a different meaning. We are all members of His body (1 Corinthians 12:12-13). It’s the same membership, the same calling. No one member is greater than the others (Matthew 20:26). And the primary purpose of the membership is to serve Him by reaching out to others in love (Galatians 5:13). That’s a club worth joining.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

 

 

Earth Angels

By Linda Tancs

The American doo-wop group The Penguins sang a song called “Earth Angel.” It evokes an important message about angels. You have heard of the angel Gabriel and the angel Michael, but there’s another kind of angel – earthly angels – as in “you.” In the Bible the Hebrew word for “angel” is “malach”; in Greek, it is “angelos.”  In English, the word “evangelist” has the word “angel” right in the middle! Both the Hebrew and Greek word for “angel” are used not just for heavenly beings, but for flesh and blood people – as in John the Baptist, called an “angelos,” and Haggai, called a “malach.” An angel is one who is a messenger of God, who carries forth the gospel. And that’s exactly what you are to be.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

Mind of the Staircase

By Linda Tancs

The French expression “esprit de l’escalier” literally means “mind of the staircase.” It refers to that comeback, response or witty remark that one frustratingly comes up with only when the moment for doing so has passed. No doubt you’ve been there. And, in many cases, it undoubtedly worked out for the best. How many hard feelings may have been averted simply for lacking mastery of the comeback? As Proverbs instructs, life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). Don’t be quick to applaud those who are never left without a response. It can be a curse just as easily as a blessing (James 3:9-10).

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.