Thoughts and Truth from the Impossible Life

The Second Commandment

Matthew 22:39 says, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus said this is the second commandment. How are we living out this commandment today?

Love is commonly described as an emotion. However, God did not intend for love to be an emotion. Love was intended to be an action. According to Eddie Snipes, “the word ‘love’ that we are commanded to pursue is ‘agapao’, which means to actively care for.” We are expected to actively show love to the world.

How can we do this? We can do this by reaching out into our communities with the mission of helping the hurting and needy. Only through our actions can we show the love of God to the world.

The Bible states, “Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3). Love is one of the foundational principles of the Christian life. In fact, we can say that love is the foundation of Christianity. Without love, nothing else matters. We can give all that we have and in the end it means nothing if our labor does not come directly from the love of God. Look at Matthew 22:

35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying,
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
37 Jesus said to him, ” ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
38 “This is the first and great commandment.
39 “And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
40 “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

If we take Jesus’ instruction to heart, living the Christian life is reduced down to two simple commands. Love God, and out of that love flows the love for our neighbor. If Christianity is so simple, why do people often fail to live out their faith? The love of God and human nature are contrary to each other. The Bible teaches that our human flesh is at war with God’s Spirit and His Spirit is at war against our flesh (Galatians 5). Human nature is self seeking, God’s love is self-giving. Human love ends when personal sacrifice with no hope of gain begins.

What is Love
The scripture uses several Greek words to describe love. The word philia means friendship and is often translated as love. God does not command us to show friendship because we naturally desire to have friends. The word ‘love’ that we are commanded to pursue is ‘agapao’, which means to actively care for or the act of loving. The word ‘agape’ is the love of God and means self-giving, sacrificial love.

Knowing the Greek words is not necessary, but understanding the biblical principles are. Only God has true, self-giving, sacrificial love. When we are in Him, His love flows through us and we actively love others. The love of God is in us and then we have a choice to act. Biblical love is an act, not an emotion. When we are loving God and allowing God to love others through us, we may find emotions and find happiness by touching the lives of others. However, the emotional feelings are not what drives love. There will be times when I don’t feel like loving God. There are times when I don’t feel like loving others. In Matthew 5, Jesus commanded, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you”.

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February 11, 2011 Posted by | Daily Gospel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unique Visitor Info for morning Feb 11 2011


February 11, 2011 Posted by | Pending Classification | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

US trade deficit totaled $497.8 billion

By Greg Robb, MarketWatch

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The U.S. trade deficit widened for the first time in four months in December on higher oil imports, the Commerce Department said Friday, but exports continued their upward trend and were nearing record levels.

The nation’s trade deficit expanded 5.9% in the final month of 2010, to $40.6 billion from $38.3 billion in November, the government’s data showed.

This marked the first increase and the largest trade gap since September, as the U.S. petroleum deficit hit its highest level since October 2008.

Excluding petroleum, however, the deficit actually improved.

A widening of the deficit in December had been expected, but analysts predicted a bigger increase. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected the deficit to widen to $42.0 billion.

Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors, said the data showed that higher gasoline prices are not just an inflation threat but can constrain economic growth.

“So much more money is leaving the country. It is very possible that all the added income from the Social Security tax cuts could wind up in gas tanks,” Naroff said.

For all of 2010, the trade deficit totaled $497.8 billion, up 32.8% from 2009. Exports rose 16.6% to $1.83 trillion, as imports increased 19.7% to $2.33 trillion.

Economists said the final reading on trade for 2010 might add slightly to growth for the fourth quarter.

The government’s already estimated that growth in the economy accelerated to a 3.2% annual rate in the final three months of the year, with trade contributing more than three percentage points. The trade data for December were not included in that forecast, which is subject to revision.

But strength seen in consumer spending during the fourth quarter may lead retailers to stock up on imports, meaning that the trade sector may not boost overall economic growth in coming quarters, said Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics in Toronto.

Investors took in the trade data in what’s been a busy Friday for financial markets.

Prices for benchmark 10-year Treasury notes (UST10Y 3.65, -0.05, -1.38%) rose on Friday, pushing bond yields lower.

As for stocks, investors bid them modestly higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA 12,278, +48.32, +0.40%) lagged gains for the other major U.S. equity benchmarks at late morning. See more on trading on Wall Street to close the week.
December details

In December, both imports and exports rose, but imports expanded at a faster pace.

Exports increased 1.8% to $163 billion in December. Monthly exports stood 1.6% below their prior record: $165.7 billion, set in July 2008.

The Obama administration has set a goal to double U.S. exports by 2014.

Imports rose 2.6% to $203.5 billion in December, the highest level since October 2008.

Imports of goods alone rose 3.1% to $170.1 billion, with the largest increase coming from industrial supplies, principally crude oil. The U.S. also imported a record amount of food and consumer goods in December.

Meanwhile, exports of goods alone rose 2.5% to $116.6 billion. Exports of industrial supplies and capital goods hit their highest levels since August 2008. Exports of autos were at their highest point since October 2008.

Exports of civilian aircraft also increased in December.

The petroleum deficit widened 26% during December to $25.3 billion, the highest level since October 2008.

Both the price and quantity of oil jumped in December.

The value of U.S. crude-oil imports rose to $22.5 billion in December from $19.8 billion in November as the price of oil rose to $79.78 a barrel from $76.81 in the previous month. The quantity of crude imports rose to 282.6 million barrels.

The nation’s trade deficit with China widened to $20.7 billion in December from $18.1 billion in the same month last year. Exports to China hit a record high in the month. The U.S. trade deficit with China hit a record $273.1 billion in 2010.

In a separate report Friday, the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters reported their index tracking U.S. consumers’ sentiment rose slightly in February, reaching 75.1 from 74.2 in January. This is the highest level since last June.

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February 11, 2011 Posted by | Politics/Government/Freedom, Societal / Cultural Issues, World Affairs | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nonsense Government Conspiracy Theories of a Facebook Dialogue

This was the dialogue in response to the above photo. – x-large







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February 11, 2011 Posted by | Constitutional Issues, Politics/Government/Freedom, Societal / Cultural Issues, Understanding Islam, World Affairs | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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