Do You Love God With All Your Heart?

In order to help us identify if we are truly loving God With All our Heart, this series of videos explore the following question : What does it mean to love God? What does it mean to love God with all our heart? What obstacles hinder us from loving God with all our hearts? What should we change to increase in our love for God, and what resources are at our disposal to love God with all our heart.

Do You Love God With All Your Heart? Part I – Deuteronomy 6:

Do You Love God With All Your Heart? Part II – Matthiew 22 v. 34-37:

Do You Love God With All Your Heart? Part III – What Does that Mean?

Do You Love God With All Your Heart? Part IV – Obstacles to loving God:

Do You Love God With All Your Heart? Part V – Changes needed and Resources to Loving God:

God bless those of you who choose to watch the entire series. The text that helped me build these videos can be found in French under the title “Aimez-vous Dieu de tout votre coeur?

Daniel Garneau,
March 1, 2021

 

Faith in times of pandemic

The original French version of this article, La foi en temps de pandémie, was produced in response to a question asked by a new believer of our Church group. The article provides a biblical understanding of human suffering in the context of a loving and all-powerful God. Nellie walks us through key aspects in the lives of Joseph, in Egypt, Job, and Jesus, leading us to understand that God, through Jesus, is a suffering God, and that he suffers along with us.

There is no planning for providing a full translation of the full article. However, you might chose to have a peek at La foi en temps de pandémie through TranslateTheWeb.com.

This synthesis of Nellie’s article was provided by Daniel Garneau, March 2, 2021.

God and Disasters

The French language article Dieu et les désastres dans nos vies deals with the general issue of disasters in our lives, of whatever nature, including pandemics and sickness. It takes us into Joseph’s understanding of the very personal and major disasters he experienced in his own life.

This article can only be consulted in in French :  Dieu et les désastres dans nos vies.

This very brief overview was provided by Daniel Garneau on March 2, 2021.

Do We Have a Leader’s Heart?

This article attempts to extract from the second epistle of Paul to the Corinthians what were some of the key attitudes of the apostle towards leadership in his life and ministry. Please note that the concept of leadership as we understand it in this article applies to every person, since all of us have roles of leadership in certain spheres of our lives. The reflection aims at sensitizing everyone of us to develop a leader’s heart inspired by Paul.

The Lord takes pleasure in those who hope in his steadfast love (Psalm 147:11)

Do we ask God to help us having a leader’s heart, as the one Paul showed to have? We criticize spiritual leaders around us; sometimes rightly so, sometimes not. Jesus warned  that there would be those teaching what people wanted to hear, instead of God’s truth. Prophets before Him and apostles after Him have also been warning us against this. Their words have been recorded and preserved to this day, for us to read, in the Bible.

We must imperatively remember that if there are false prophets, there are also true ones. If there are those teaching without sincerity, there are those who teach with sincerity. If there are those leading their hearers into a path of death through lies and seductions, there are also those who lead towards life telling the truth on behalf of God. If there are, even amongst Christians, those whose opposition to Christ is made in the name of Christ, there are also those who teach the very message of Christ, in truth and with His approval.

Before meditating upon the leader’s heart as demonstrated concerning Paul in Scriptures, let us ask a few questions about where we ourselves stand with this respect. What sort of inner attitudes do we carry toward people under our leadership? Do we pray for them? What sorts of things do we do in that which pertain to our responsibilities toward them? Do we place the interest of others ahead of our own? Are our relationships characterized by truth, sincerity and faithfulness toward what God requires from us?

Paul Manifested the Outward Signs of Having a Leader’s Heart

As we are about to delve into 2 Corinthians seeking to observe the outward manifestation of a leader’s heart. I invite you to listen for yourselves. This you may do, for example, using the English Standard Version Dramatized available from Bible.Is.

Having read this letter a few times in various translations, I was touched, first of all, by the sincerity of the apostle. Next to that, what stood up for me was Paul’s trust in God. He had learned to rely upon God’s strength, instead of his own strength. Also, i was happily struck by the fact that he spoke frankly and truthfully.

Yet another important characteristic of Paul’s leadership is that he counted it as more important to achieve well his task of ambassador for Christ, even at the cost of not  defending his personal reputation, whenever necessary.  This included the audacity of saying to others what they did not like to hear if that’s what they needed to grow in faith.

Paul also demonstrated a remarkable zeal to communicate the message of God to those persons whom God wanted it to be told on His behalf. On the other hand, I was intrigued and edified to observe Paul’s sensitivity in setting aside a door that had been opened by the Lord to proclaim the Gospel because he worried about Titus (2 Cor. 2:12-13).

Moreover, Paul recognized that his ability to live as God wanted Him to came from God not from his own efforts or as a result of the zeal which he is ceaselessly giving proof of.  Paul rested upon ways of doing that were conform to the will of God and faith in Him, instead of trusting in ways of doing that came from the world. As he was facing oppositions or obstacles to Christ’s message he stayed steadfast in his ways (2 Cor 5).

In fact, Paul knows that he is fighting against modes of reasoning that rise in opposition to the knowledge of Christ and of God. His talking aims at destructing such obstacles. But he does so with the strength and methods provided by God, praying to Him, trusting in the work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts and minds of his hearers. Trusting the Giver of Life to lead people to the peace that comes with abiding in Christ as a result of new birth. Trusting the Light of the world to shine in the heart of those immersed in darkness.

What more? Many a time within 2 Corinthians and in his other letters as well, Paul demonstrates his profound love and sincere interest towards the persons that God placed under his leadership so that they would come to know Christ and then grow in Him.

The Leader’s Heart that Paul’s Example Invites us to Grow

What effect can Paul’s example have on us living in the 21st Century?  All of us have functions of leaders in some circumstances and within some circles. How does Paul’s example contribute to inspire or to encourage us with regard to our own leadership? Are there not some specific areas about which the Spirit of God is inviting us to trust Him? Growing in our faith and trust in Him through tough times with regard to leadership? Trusting God for growth in our willingness and determination to obey Him as we lead? Do we need growth in our love and sensitivity toward those — loved by God — and with whom our common Father entrusted us with a leadership fucntion and relationship.

May be the area we need to grow the most as leaders is learning to accept and receive the love God has toward ourselves! May be do we need to grow in the love we have toward God, our Father, toward Christ, His Son, our Savior, toward the Spirit, who lives in us, through faith in Christ, who lives in us as a gift from our Father and from His Son. This Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus, who gives us eternal life and, here and now, peace of heart.

If y0u have not yet done so, please do listen to this epistle while reading it, for example, in the English Standard Version Dramatized available through Bible.Is. And please let us know what leadership attitudes you observed in Paul’s life and ministry that you could ask the Lord to help you develop with regard to the people God put in your life.

The article Do We Have a Leader’s Heart? may be consulted in its original language of publication, Spanish, under the title ¿Tenemos un corazón de líder?

You may communicate with me through the indications under Questions or Comments.

Author: Daniel Garneau, B Th, B Com, MA;
Published in Spanish: February 19, 2018;
Translated to English: March 6;
Edited: March 8 and March 27, 2018.

 

Can Married Couples be Restored?

Can married couples be restored? Can God restore old broken married couples? What about Christian couples struggling in situations where they see no exit? My answer: assuredly! My wife and I spent a number of years in a situation that could too often have been described as more painful than joyful, yet we both remained faithful to one another.

I called out to the Lord, out of my distress, and he answered me (Jonas 2.2, ESV)

In fact, without knowing it, we were trying, as many do, to fill through each other the unanswered needs from our past. This is often the case, for intimate relationships tend to reactivate childhood wounds in need of being healed. According to the therapist Hartville Hendrix’s Getting The Love You Want, it is in the context of a real commitment to each other that those wounds can be healed, as we have also experimented ourselves.

This has been far from obvious though. For a long time, we tried very hard to get things fixed, but somehow never seemed to succeed. After a while, we just let go of the issues that bothered us, and both agreed to disagree about our perceptions, no longer really trying to convince the other. We just lived side by side as best we could while we focused each on our own responsibility before God. I then discovered some of the relational patterns that I had developed when I was young, and on the basis of which I was still interacting; I began to replace these for more effective strategies. It was a first step.

At the same time, about ten years ago, I was asked by my supervisor to hire someone to replace me on the specific job I had been hired to do for my employer, because I wanted to take other responsibilities at work. As it turned out, I trained this person, and worked alongside her for six months. She was a Christian, from a different branch of the Church than ours, and we had some very interesting conversations together.

She was one of the means God used in my life to think through what the basis of my faith had been. This led me to identify one specific area of my life I had let myself slip into. The Holy Spirit of God made it clear to me that He wanted me to repent from it – no later than right now! The impression left on me by this realization was so clear that I became convinced I needed to make a choice right there and then. So I did, immediately. From then on, the guilt that had greatly burdened me, and indirectly affected my relationships, completely disappeared. I was freed from it, liberated as if from a rush of wind from God.

What followed was a series of steps where I went from the position of one who feels a victim of circumstances, as if a prison of a spiritual nature encased me, to one who knew he was God’s son, a prince under the authority of Christ, co-heir with the King. It became clear to me that I could call upon my Father, and receive answers to my petitions in resisting whatever temptations were before me. I am not saying here that I became sinless. What I am saying is that I became a warrior against the forces of darkness – as I had been in earlier years. I remembered who I was in Christ, and I began to be much more efficient in turning immediately to my source of strength for fighting sin.

These changes became the basis for a new outlook in my relationship to my wife. She saw the changes that had occurred with me. I also began to pray God for her every time she did or said something that I did not like. I began bathing her in prayer, until one day she told me she felt loved and accepted. Our relationship then took a completely different turn. It must be specified that in the mean time, my wife was also going through experiences of spiritual liberation of her own. This allowed her to welcome the renewed person I had become, walking along with me anew, closer than we ever had been.

Our adult children – who were no longer living at home at the time, and both had careers of their own – began teasing my wife and I. Eventually – within the same year – they  began saying things like: “Mom, dad is courting you! Don’t you see it?”.  A little later they began to teasingly accuse us of suffering from blind love ! A good problem, isn’t it? : “You are really strange parents, they said jokingly. It seems as if you both believe the other has no defects or shortcomings of any sort. You are like young lovers who just met.

Up to this day, my wife and I still enjoy a very good relationship for which we thank the Lord.  So when I say to anyone I feel the joy of Christ, and His peace within me now, these two events related just above are always in the background of my mind and heart.

People in our Church who have known us for many a year began to say that the changes they saw in us as couple have encouraged them greatly in not losing hope that God can work in their lives too in ways that they had began to despair would be possible.

Reading through the epistles of Peter, paying close attention to First Peter 5:6-11, it strikes me that the prowling evil-one tried to destroy both my wife and I, and, through us, our entire family, yet he failed. God prevailed. I am thankful to my Father.

As I conclude this article, I am raising my heart in prayer on the behalf of all who struggle in their marital relationship, and might be tempted to adopt a despairing attitude.

I pray God to use this testimony for providing some measure of hope to suffering couples. Are you amongst them? I am praying that the Holy Spirit will perhaps lead you to the right people, or that He will bring home to you some passages of Scriptures, in such a way that it will help you understand your own situation in a better light. I am praying that He will enable you to trust Him to set things right in your own heart, so that you will know how to restore whatever needs to be, both in relationship to your spouse and to your God. I pray that you will want to do whatever needs be done with this regard.

I first published the above testimony, December 10, 2014, on Christian Forum Site, under Forums –> General Forums –> New Members Welcome –> New to group… how much help has this group been to you? It has been adapted to better suit its present context, and amplified to provide a richer human dimension to what occurred spiritually.

Relying on God helped you getting through situations that seemed desperate at times or this article was helpful to you in some ways,  feel free to let me and others know of it.

You wish to get involved and discuss further about the above topic, please consider doing so at Christian Forum Site. I will be happy to engage with you there.

We also would like you to feel more than welcome to join our nascient (as of this writing) trilingual Community of dialog about the Christian Faith (French, English, Spanish). Or, you may simply share some aspect of your hard-gained life experience in the box below.

You may communicate with me through the indications under Questions or Comments.

Author: Daniel Garneau, B Th, B Com, MA.
February 7, 2018.

Knowing one is Loved by God: the Key for Loving Others

Knowing one is loved by God: the key for loving others–Our love for others will be limited unless we understand God’s love toward us, since it is the love that God has for us that is the source of the love we have for others.

Can a woman forget her nursing child,
that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you. (Isaiah 49:15, ESV)

Although Se savoir aimé de Dieu : la clé pour aimer autrui is currently available in French only, this site contains English language articles covering some of the same ground and that may be of interest to you, for example: Testimony and Training.

You wish to get involved and discuss about life-related subject matters, feel free to join our trilingual Community of dialog about the Christian Faith (French, English, Spanish). You are also welcome to share below some aspect of your hard-gained life experience.

You may communicate with me through the indications under Questions or Comments.

Author: Daniel Garneau, B Th, B Com, MA.
February 8, 2018.

__________
Research key words:
knowing one is loved by God; key for loving others; loved by God; loving others.

Merging of Past, Present, and Future

My journey of faith, when I consider it today, may be considered from the angle of a merger of horizons, or the encounter of past, present and future.

What is man that you care for him (Psalm 8:4)?

Three events have been turning points in my Christian life. Witnesses of Jesus told me about the love of God for human beings, guiding me in this with the Word of God. After a fairly long period of resistance on my part, I finally decided to make the changes that needed to be made in order to obey God and follow Jesus. But it was several years later only that I came to understand what to be loved by God meant, and what it entailed in terms of the peace that comes with knowing we are forgiven by Christ no matter what.

Always, God was there. Keeping watch over me. Guiding me. Respecting my refusals.  For God does not impose himself upon us. Instead, he invites us, and waits until we are ready. In the past, God waited for me. In the present, he does not bully-me around, but waits for me to become ready to enter more and more fully into the love He has for me. For, from our human perspective, all begins with our understanding that we have God’s love for us.

No matter how despairing your situation might seem to be at any given point in your life, please always remember that God is preserving your life all along. Personally I went through phases of high expectation, deep despair, and to one of peace and joy in Christ. Today I realize that God is using every dimension of my personal history for His glory. One way to put it is that I am now living at the encounter of past, present and future.

Full text available from :  La rencontre du passé, du présent et du futur (French).

You wish to get involved and discuss about life-related subject matters, feel free to join our trilingual Community of dialog about the Christian Faith (French, English, Spanish). You are also welcome to share below some aspect of your hard-gained life experience.

Summary created: August 28, 2017.
Updated: January 5, 2018, and June 28, 2018.