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July 11, 2020 Choose Love - John & Liz Zambrano

"My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you." James 1:19 -21 (NIV)

Our sentiments lately have strongly mirrored the feelings that Lynnette Buck had shared in her latest devotional on June 17th. We don't know about you, but we feel like there is so much noise around us lately. Everyone wants to be heard and while many are listening, only a few truly hear. Those who speak up are told to be quiet and those who keep quiet are told to speak up. Watching the (often conflicting) news not only affects your mental health and your emotional health, it can also affect your spiritual health. You can't scroll through social media without seeing posts about how you need to stop following the trends and take a "real" stand - "You need to wear a mask because..." "You shouldn't wear a mask because..." "Are you for Black Lives Matter or Blue Lives Matter??? No, you can't say All Lives Matter." In a world that is screaming so loud for you to pick a side - CHOOSE LOVE!!! Love doesn't mean we approve of everything someone else does. Jesus doesn't approve of everything we do, but He still loves us. We are all fighting battles and we all fight differently. Some fight with words, others fight silently with heads bowed and eyes closed. By all means, speak against injustice and unrighteousness, but speak to build others up and not tear down. Let's not wage war over each other, but over issues of the heart that only God can change. Bow to the One who created us all, speak to the One who is truly in control (as Laura Harris said in her June 20th devotional). Be silent, listen, and hear Him speak. In the end only God's word will matter, as Pastor Scott said the other Sunday, "GWFW and GWLW - God's Word First Word and God's Word Last Word."

Respect, peace, and hope are all byproducts of choosing love. The biggest problem in the world today is not this pandemic or racism, it is the absence of God in the hearts of man. If this world ever gets too loud, God can turn down the volume and He can give us a mindset that's worth emulating.

How has God turned situations around in the past when you chose to respond in love over anger?

Live loved & be blessed,

Liz & John Zambrano

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