Advent Devotion #6 - "Thoughts for the Journey" By: Blake Ragsdell

Thoughts for the Journey

From the beginning, you were told that we must love each other.[A] Let us not love merely in theory or in speech but in practice and in sincerity.[B] For example, if you merely love those who love you, what quality of credit and thanks is that to you?[C] As hard as it is to practice, love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures without weakening.[D] Love forgives and disregards the offenses of others.[E] It is vitally important, that if you have anything against anyone, forgive them and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your own failings and shortcomings and let them drop.[F] By extension, love your enemies and be kind, considering nothing as lost and despairing of no one; and then your reward will be intense, and abundant.[G] It follows that, the one who sows sparingly and grudgingly will also reap sparingly and grudgingly, and the one who sows generously, that blessings may come to someone, will also reap generously and with blessings.[H]

-- [A] 1 John 3:11 CEV; [B] 1 John 3:18 AMP; [C] Luke 6:32 AMP; [D] 1 Corinthians 13:7 AMP; [E]  1 Peter 4:8 AMP; [F] Mark 11:25 AMP; [G] Luke 6:35 AMP; [H] 2 Corinthians 9:6 AMP
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In this way,

If you want to be heard
truly deeply and completely,
listen
truly deeply and completely
now.

If you want to be understood
truly deeply and completely,
practice understanding
truly deeply and completely
now.

If you want to be forgiven
truly deeply and completely,
forgive
truly deeply and completely
now.

If you want to be loved
truly deeply and completely,
love
truly deeply and completely
now.

If you want to be happy
truly deeply and completely,
create the conditions for other people to be
truly deeply and completely happy
now.

Love now, forgive now,
create happiness in this moment,
there is no other time to do so;
no past, no future,
only this present moment
to love, forgive, listen, understand.

So, begin
then don't stop giving without reservation;
not the giving of miserly sacrifice
but from the abundance of one
to whom much has been given,
even if not fully realized.

This is the path to the peace
that passes understanding;
rooted in giving away what you cannot own,
sharing what you cannot possess;
spontaneously initiated
without waiting for the other person
or for the world to go first.

You are the other person,
you are the world.

Commit completely.

Commit now.

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Lord,

Please help me restore harmony to the world. Help me to act in accordance with my highest intentions to do the hard things and make difficult choices. Please forgive me when my unskillful actions bring suffering.

Amen.