Understand the Obligation of Love!

Here's another interesting Hebrew word parallel. The Hebrew word for "love" or "affection", "chiba", is formed by the same root letters as the word, "chova", "obligation", "debt", or "duty". In Hebrew, the only difference between these two words is a few vowel points. But you say, "Isn't love the very opposite of obligation !?" Well, yes and no. The Hebrew language has a wonderful way of relating concepts which seem incompatible.

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Embrace the Desert!

Long ago, the shepherds of Israel learned to find grass where most people wouldn't think to look. Here, green pastures are created as the breeze from the Mediterranean Sea brings moisture into our arid climate. It is from this moisture that a kind of dew settles upon the sides of certain hills creating little tufts of grass -- just enough for one day's feeding for a flock of sheep.

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Do Not Fear Them!

When the twelve spies were sent out by Moses into the land of Canaan, ten came back with a bad report. Joshua and Caleb, however, returned with a good report, saying in essence, "If God is for us -- then who can be against us?" The two courageous spies expressed their confidence in a way that was quite cool: "Do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us." [Numbers 14:9]

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Continue to be Faithful!

In my first years serving the Lord, I was dedicated to serving with an inner city bus ministry in the heart of Baltimore. We would go door to door and offer "free Sunday morning babysitting" for their kids. If they agreed to let us take their kids to church, we would come and pick them up early every Sunday morning. Many times, the obvious change in their kids' lives would make a great impression and their parents would be moved to come out to the church as well --- then they too would give their lives to the Lord! It was exciting to see whole families come to faith! The following story touched my heart, from Max Lucado's book, God Came Near.

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Cheer up!

In her book, Let Me Be a Woman, Elizabeth Elliot records the story of a friend who had great difficulty accepting the looks God had given her. While everyone this girl knew had grown beautiful golden hair, hers was black. And while they were all still growing, she had stopped. She grew to be only about four feet ten inches tall.

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