All posts tagged: love

Make A Change And Love Your Neighbor

-written by Trey Gass In college, my roommates and I went through a phase where we would build music playlists with different themes or genres. We put together playlists for working out, studying, and hanging out in the room. We built themed playlists like beach music and for rainy days. We even made a playlist called “Estrogen” for when women came over to the apartment. (It was clean. We were young.) One playlist we built was the “deep” playlist, featuring songs with deep thoughts on life. One of the songs we added to the playlist was “Man in the Mirror” by Michael Jackson. The song makes me want to snap my fingers and move my hips like Mr. Jackson himself, but if you slow down and listen, there is some deep meaning in the song. I’m starting with the man in the mirror I’m asking him to change his ways And no message could have been any clearer If you want to make the world a better place Take a look at yourself, and then …

Are You Planning for Destruction or Life?

A few years ago I remember one fateful night. Melissa was gone so it was just me and the two boys home alone. I had walked out of the room for a couple minutes when I heard both boys screaming and laughing. This was not good. This combination is a herald of bad things to come. I walked in the room to find one of my sons in his underwear sitting on the other’s head. “Can you smell it?!?” Kids don’t wake up thinking, “How can I stretch the limit of my parent’s patients and love?” But they still seem to do it, don’t they? (For the record, everyone could smell it.) What sorrow awaits you who lie awake at night, thinking up evil plans. You rise at dawn and hurry to carry them out, simply because you have the power to do so. – Micah 2:1 We “as adults” don’t succumb to the base urges our children do (most of the time). So we think ourselves better in many ways. But here God points …

Are You Choosing Love in Your Marriage?

Have you ever been to a wedding where 1 Corinthians 13 was not quoted? Every wedding I’ve attended the preacher or someone giving a toast quoted this scripture with a smile on their face and a desire to see love win for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death. For this love to win, couples must choose to endure all things. Choosing to love with a never-ending persistence can be hard, so keep these three truths in mind. Love, even when it’s not fair or you don’t feel it. There may be times when your commitment is tested. To everything, there is a season and right now you might need to persevere and choose love. Possibly the greatest example in scripture of love enduring all things is found in the story of Hosea and Gomer where Hosea commits to love, even when it’s not fair. Hosea 3:1 says, “Then the LORD said to me, ’Go and love your wife again, even though she commits adultery with another lover. This will illustrate that …

Is Your Love The Enduring Kind?

We recently started our third round of our in house Biblical counseling training called Equipped to Counsel. It is really exciting to spend nearly a year with people looking at how God’s truth changes people. I know His truth has changed me and I’m sure you can speak of how it has changed you, too. One of the things that we try to get across to our trainees is the idea of sacrificial love, or agape love. We’ve been looking at 1 Corinthians 13:7 as part of our sermon series. One of the parts of that verse says, “Love endures all things” (ESV). The NLT says, “endures through every circumstance.” To be honest, I think this is one of the truths hard for people to believe in counseling. On the surface we believe it. “I can endure anything,” we tell ourselves. “I’ve been through childbirth,” or “I survived (fill in the blank).” But real, sacrificial, agape love endures every situation, no matter how hard, or what the consequences may be. When someone comes for counsel …

What Motivates You Day In and Day Out?

The dictionary defines motivation as “the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.” Paul in Philippians 1:21-24 defines motivation as this: For me, to live is Christ, but to die is gain. If i am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. I am torn between the two. I desire to be with Christ, which is better by far, but it is necessary that I remain in the body. Paul’s motivation is Christ and nothing else. Paul also says later in Philippians 3 that he considers all his accolades “worthless because of what Christ has done.” This is strong! Paul’s motivation is deep, strong, and convicting. Paul understood the cost; he understood what Christ had done for him, the weight of it, and how what Christ did effected and still effects eternity and the now! Paul wanted to know Christ and the power of His resurrection. The more Paul pursued Christ, the more Christ became his motivation. It’s a cycle, a sanctifying …

The Church Is Not A Building (Even a Really Cool One)

I’m heading to the chicken farm. Are you at City Station? I can’t wait to see our SoHills family this Sunday! During the move to our new facility, you would frequently hear statements like these. Without knowing it, at least among the staff, we made a clear distinction between the two locations and the body of believers who meets there. I pointed this out to my husband and he thought it was awesome enough for a blog post. After a few days though, I started to refer to City Station as “the church,” and Corey would remind me the church is not the building. After he pointed this out several times, I wasn’t as enthusiastic about sharing my observation. Since the beginning, Shannon has said City Station is a tool. We were not building something fancy to provide us comfort. We were not giving towards a facility that would meet all our needs and we would only use on occasion. We were sacrificing to show the community that love does. And now we are here! …

Is Your Love Stopping Short From Your Calling?

-written by Cambrian Brock This past Sunday Keith talked about passions. We learned how Godly passions lead to a life of actions which ultimately glorify the Lord, while worldly passions lead to a life of sin and separation from God. However, knowing how our passions align with the Gospel is not enough; we need to live with the implications of that knowledge. To look deeper into this, let’s look at one of Southern Hills’ core values: Love does. Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. – 1 John 3:18 I am in love with this verse! It reminds me the best way to love people is not just to say it but to live it. Godly passion promotes action, action, action, and more action. Why do we stop at merely saying we love people, instead of following through with actions? I believe it is because Biblical love costs us stuff. Sometimes money, sometimes time, maybe even being in tough, emotionally draining situations. At times, …

Do You Have a Faith That Works?

What does it mean when we say, “Love does?” Or when we say, “Faith without works is dead?” Doesn’t God give us our salvation as a gift? Yes, He does! But we aren’t supposed to keep it to ourselves. One of the most frustrating things to hear in our house is when playing suddenly becomes tears and someone yells, “I’m sorry!” The door flies with open one child trying to muster uo the best tears he can while the other is continuously yelling in his ear, “I said I’m sorry!” The whole while you are preparing to hear all the arguments and decree your judgement. I don’t know if it’s ever happened in your house but inevitably when the consequences are given the offender incredulously looks at you and repeats again, “but I said I’m sorry.” The problem most kids don’t understand is saying the words is only the first step. The next step is showing you are sorry. Let’s put it another way. When Melissa or I are disciplining our kids usually they will …

Are You Moved to Action and Love?

When we think about our church, different pictures probably come to mind. Maybe the time you got baptized in front of our family comes to mind. Maybe you think about Andrew Hicks standing on his toes as he strums his guitar. Maybe you see the faces of those in your small group. Maybe your nose curls a little as you think of the smell of Wunder Way sneaking into the lobby. I hope when you think of the church, you also think of passion, compassion, love, and unity. The Greek word for passion means suffering, an undergoing, an enduring. In light of this definition, think how that impacts the picture of “The Passion of Christ.” It’s odd to think of the church in this way: suffering, enduring pain. You might not be struggling or in pain, but your brother or sister next to you most likely is. Compassion in the Greek means to be moved, to meet. As a church, we are called to love our neighbor, meeting and loving them where they are. Is …

Need Reminded About God’s Perfect Love for You?

The song “Reckless Love” is a current favorite at the Bradley house. My six-year-old requests it all the time so we’ve downloaded pretty much every version out there. There aren’t many things sweeter than glancing in the rearview mirror to see him singing at the top of his lungs, eyes closed, head moving empathically to the rhythm. I asked him the other day why he liked that song so much. He said, “I don’t know. I just really like that part where he says ‘there’s no shadow you won’t light up, mountain you won’t climb up, coming after me.’” I then took the opportunity to explain to all four of my kids what those lyrics meant (since they were trapped in car seats and didn’t have a choice anyway). And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[p] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the …