This is the last "Mornings With Jesus" for the season (but more recipes return in fall!).
Normally, I share a promise from the New Testament along with a hot chocolate recipe, however, today, it was on my heart to share an important command Jesus gives us. A command to love. Love God. And love one another.
So grab your favorite mug, try this recipe (or file it away for later), curl up in your favorite spot, and while sipping your warm morning drink, soak in this precious passage...
When asked what the most important commandment was, Jesus said...
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31 NIV
Love your neighbor.
Loving God will be a whole other post. But today, my heart is focused on loving your neighbor.
Notice, Jesus doesn't say love those who look like you, talk like you, believe what you do, live like you do, go to your church, have the same social status, have certain backgrounds, or even have similar cultures. He simply says your neighbor.
He doesn't refer to a certain race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or social status. He doesn't refer to those with few mistakes or many.
No, Jesus just says "your neighbor".
The definition of a neighbor is a person living near or next to you. A person that is next to another. Essentially, a person around us, in our midst. Physically, and in today's world, I believe that means virtually as well.
I wonder how well we are doing that?
This verse has been on my heart greatly as it breaks for all the violence, hate, anger, and unkindness I see on the news and even in my own community. It breaks for all the negative, demeaning, and hurtful comments that abound on social media as well.
So not only do I ask, how are "we" doing with loving our neighbors well, but how am "I" doing this? I encourage you to ask yourself the same.
Jesus came for everyone of us. EVERY ONE OF US.
Even that person you disagree with.
Even that person who hurt you.
Even that person who is different than you.
Even the hard to love.
We are called to love. Love in the image of God. Love those who around you.
Love one another.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 NIV
We can spread love by talking about it, yes. But the best way to spread love is in action. To demonstrate our love for God is to actually put that love into action. The action of loving His people. The action of loving one another. The action of loving our neighbor. Even the unlovable one.
So I challenge you today. And tomorrow. And the next day and the next.
Smile at a stranger.
Do something kind for someone who is different than you.
Go out of your way to say "hi" or speak to someone that you have seen before but never spoken to.
Introduce yourself to those who are sitting alone.
Speak words that are not laced with anger or unkindness.
Help someone who may need a meal, or a driveway shoveled.
Be a part of a conversation that starts change rather than one that builds more walls.
Have coffee with old friends. Listen.
Stretch your comfort zone to love your neighbors.
Our neighbors are all around us. Let's love them well. By doing so, it is one way of loving God. By doing so, when asked how well we are loving our neighbor, we can say, "better than yesterday".
Then love one another.
"And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them."
1 John 4:16
Irish Creme Hot Chocolate
1 cup milk
Hot chocolate mix (your favorite mix)
1/8 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup Irish Creme creamer (more or less to taste)
Whip cream (if desired)
Sprinkles (if desired)
1. Mix your favorite chocolate mix with your cup of milk.
2. Warm on the stove top or in the microwave.
3. Add the chocolate chips and Irish Cream creamer. Mix in until chocolate chips are completely melted. Warm a little more if needed.
4. Top with whip cream and sprinkles (if desired)
5. Sip and enjoy!
For more hot chocolate recipes....
You can follow my pinterest board "Hot Chocolate and Jesus"....
Sometimes life throws us curve balls. There are mountains looming in front of us we never saw coming and floods that overcome us without warning. Life is hard. But there is hope and there is purpose.
Winter doesn't appear to be winding down around here, but it is....so I am sharing this Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate recipe as one of the last "Mornings With Jesus" this season. Let it remind you of the promise below when you get stuck in life's curve balls and need some light to focus on. So read on and then go make yourself a cup of hot chocolate (or your favorite warm drink), grab a blanket, and encounter this beautiful promise.....
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."
Often, we can't see how those things will together for good, not even with our wildest imaginations.
That highest mountain? Perhaps it is not about the mountain itself, but the journey. That flood? Sometimes it may be less about our story and more about someone else's.
If we look back, we can see that God has grown us or blessed us along many of the journeys we have encountered in unexpected ways. Some lessons we may not have been willing to embrace. We may have been stubborn to learn them. Others, our hearts may have been teachable and our eyes open to the abundance of good things we have seen even in the storm.
But in some floods, the truth is: we may never see how God is working things out for good this side of glory. That doesn't mean He is not working behind the scenes. It does not mean His not walking beside us. It does not mean He is not using it for a purpose.
Take heart in this promise.
It does not say some things work together for good to those who love God.
It says ALL things work together for good to those who love God.
Whatever you are going through today it CAN and WILL be used for good!
God will use it all for His purpose whether we choose to be a part of the process or not, but when we choose to be a part of it, there is no doubt we will be changed. So offer your mountain, your flood, your storm to the Lord, trusting and knowing that it will be used it amazing ways!
Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate
1 cup regular hot chocolate made with milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup peanut butter
1.Make 1 cup of hot chocolate the way you like it (I suggest making it with milk vs water).
2. Add heavy cream, peanut butter and chocolate chips (if desiring a more chocolate flavor). Stir.
3. Add whip cream on top if desired and gently stir in.
4. Sip and enjoy!
Wife. Mother. Writer. Photographer. Child of God. Encouraging others in faith through a lens of grace and seeing beauty in the ashes.
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