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Sunday – 9:30am and 11:15am

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1200 North Russell Rd.
Bloomington, Indiana, 47408
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Love, Forgive, Repeat

Who do you love in your life? I’m sure whoever it is, they have your attention and focus because something has awakened inside of you toward them. It’s amazing what love does to us. Our hearts melt, our desires change and our world shifts to that person. Think about it. Love causes us to do life with our spouse forever, inspiring us to take the leap of faith with them. Love causes us to be selfless for our kids, to make their world the best we can because we want them to do better than we did. For Sumer and I, love caused us to get a dog, only because our kids asked for one, so now we have all the blessings and challenges that come with it. Please pray for us. What have you done for love? I’m sure our answers vary in some ways but they’re probably similar too. Love has a common theme of selflessness and a willingness to change. That’s right, love does this to us because when our hearts are open toward someone, everything changes.

So with this being true, why is love so challenging?

Have you noticed a couple who once was out of their minds in love, only to now be cold and dead inside? Or, the parent and child who were connected and close at one time, now find themselves shut down toward each other. This and more happens over and over again because things happen and when they do, our hearts can shut down and change forever. This is why people can choose to seethe with anger about something that happened years ago. In fact, many Christians and non-Christians live with grudges, unforgiveness, bittnerness, deflecting, blaming and more. From all of this, power and control issues come into view which only pushes people away and causes fear to multiply. It’s crazy to see how powerful love can be and then how powerful a hard heart can be within the same person. These two opposing forces are a big conflict on the inside of us, pulling us in opposite directions seeking to win our attention and heart. Only one will win and too often we lean toward a hard heart that’s critical, cynical and skeptical because of what has happened along the way. That feeling of love that opened our heart and changed our world, goes away and now the distrust is the barrier to anything new coming into our lives. Have you been there? I know I have, which is why I’m choosing on a daily basis to Love, Forgive and Repeat.

If we’re going to stay healthy in our faith, in our relationships and in our lives, we must choose to Love, Forgive and Repeat.

You and I both know, we’ll have plenty of chances to love and probably have even more chances to forgive. The problem is, we can get stuck in a moment and live the rest of our lives limited by it. This happens all of the time and it impacts every aspect of our lives. Love is powerful because God is love. We’re made in His image and likeness which is why we ALL need love, look for love and thrive in love no matter who we are. This is an inherent need because it reflects God and our need to be connected to Him and to others in a healthy way. We’ll never outgrow this. In every stage, season and position in life, we were made to receive and give love; therefore, our choice to Love, Forgive, and Repeat determines a big part of how our lives will be. It’s my hope we choose this because life is better when our hearts are open and clean.

Check out a couple of verses regarding this.

John 3:30 says – “He must increase, but I must decrease.

John 13:34-35 says – “34. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love another. 35. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.”

These are BIG verses for us because they lay out how we can Love, Forgive, and Repeat throughout our lives.

First, we must decrease. This is monumental in our faith as we break the barrier of everything being about us. In fact, when we’re offended or when we’re taking things personally all of the time, it’s because we’re making everything about us. Ouch! However, notice when we decrease, he increases. When we choose to NOT make life about us all of the time, more of Jesus comes through us. This is counter culture to what we want but Jesus has a better way for us. In fact, He was flogged so our flaws could be healed. He racked with punishment so we could be wrecked by His love. He was selfless so ourselves could be free. Isn’t He amazing?

I encourage us to decrease and that we make life about Him. When we do this we’re free from the burden of getting even or keeping score with those around us. We’re free from the setbacks, disappointments and comparisons of others. Yes, when we decrease we’re empowered to Love, Forgive, and Repeat. Therefore, we don’t make everything about what we want, what we need and what we deserve. We decide to see things from a bigger lens and let Jesus increase in us. This is what we want and this is what we can do through God.

Second, we love because we are loved. Notice, we’re asked to do something that God does for us. Meaning, because we receive the love of Jesus, we can give it away. Do you remember when God wrecked your heart with His love? Everything changed in that moment. So, every Christian has received the love of God, now it’s our turn to show it toward others. If we don’t give what we have, what we have will wither. This is why too many people grow faint in the love of God because they’ve chosen to be swamp, collecting from God but not giving God away.

But, this is a new day! We have the ability to love others because we have been loved; therefore, we can Love, Forgive, and Repeat starting now. No matter what we have done or what has been done to us, God is greater! He has empowered us to rise out of the ashes, and to discover the new beauty He can do in you and in me.

So, who can you love today? Who can you forgive today?

Too many Christians are masking their lack of love with clichés that don’t work. It’s time to be real and it’s time to Love, Forgive, and Repeat! It doesn’t matter if they deserve it because in truth, we didn’t deserve Jesus. But, His love is unconditional, so we must give it away. That’s God’s justice and I’m grateful. Life is too short and there’s too many people that need Jesus right now. See the moment, seize the moment and move forward. God wants to do something great in your life that will last for eternity. The time is now and today is the day to Love, Forgive, and Repeat!

Have a great week and the best is yet to come,
PD



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