Dear Ones,                                                                                                                                                   
 Hope you have a wonderful day! The apartment is full of aroma as I just finished making more cookies on a stick and egg dishes. Soon I am going to Aldi’s and my exercise class. Then tonight is Bible study at church.                                                                                                                                           
   Devotions from Judy’s heart                                                                                                                       
  As followers of Jesus, the telltale sign we belong to Him is to live a life of love. Our greatest joy is found in knowing God loves us and it should be evidenced in the lives we live.  We can do all sorts of sacrificial things for the Lord, but as it says in I Cor. 13, that if we don’t do it out of love, it is useless and accounts for nothing, nada!  Like Paul says in verse 3 that if we give away everything we have, but don’t have love, we gain nothing! But if we do it with love our actions will cause others to be blessed and bring glory to the Lord. So let us pay careful attention to our attitude in giving.     
  I was reading in the book, “Reclaiming Love”, and Ajith Fernando writes of ways we often give even sacrificially but yet without love. Perhaps we will see ourself in what he has to say. We might be like the one who gives for merit and to earn favor, with the expectation to prosper and reap more in return. That is not love! Or maybe we give out of a sense of duty and obligation, that is not love. We do the right thing in helping others but with a judgmental spirit towards them. We can’t call that love. Or maybe we give without identifying with the very ones we serve, making the other feeling inferior by our attitude. Not love either!  Or are we giving at times to avoid getting involved? It seems easier to give our finances than to actually spend time helping someone learn how to budget and live within their means etc. Fernando also says we shouldn’t give for recognition from others, like having our name on a pew or a plaque on a building. Or giving with a competitive spirit to outgive someone else. Is that love?  There are also times, we are not to give even though asked. Just as a child demanding something and getting his way if he cries loud enough, there are times it is more loving to withhold for their own good. That is love.                                               
  We must remember that all that we have is from the Lord and it belongs to Him and we should willingly give to others as He directs us. We can never ever repay the debt of love we owe the Lord for He gave everything for us.                                                                                                                                     Challenge for today: Ask the Lord how and when you should give and let it be motivated by His love.                                                                                                                                      
Blessings on your day and prayers and love, Judy