By Lou Coleman
Words, Words, Words… I’m so sick of words, Jesus says. Don’t tell me you love me…Show me! Talk is cheap! A mere profession is not good enough. Put up or shut up! And let me remind you that “On the day of judgment you will give account for every careless word you speak.” “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” [Matthew 12:36-37]. But if you love me like you say you do, obey my Word; keep my commandments; feed my sheep.” You see action speaks louder than words. Love on the Cross; remember that….I could not have spoken any louder… “Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.” [John 15:13]. It is a fact that loving God is equated with obeying His Word. The two are inseparable. Search your heart and honestly answer the question. Do you love Jesus? Because, to love Jesus, means to put Him first. To love Jesus means to obey Him. To love Jesus means to love one another. To love Jesus means to love God. This would exclude putting anything above Him. Loving God is more than just lip service; it is giving over your ALL: all of your mind; all of your heart; all of your soul; all of your strength.
Yeah, many claim to love God; Many say they love God; Many say they love their neighbor; Many, though, do not really understand what it means to love God with our total being—and to really love our neighbor. You see if you truly loved Christ you could not live in direct opposition of a command that He has given you for your life. The Scripture says in [Matthew 22:37-40], “Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God” this is not a request or an option; it is a command, an imperative. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Listen, if this is God’s will, our heart must be filled with it. Then, we can say we love God with all our heart. God has given us everything – His whole heart, His life and His mind. However, we still do not fully understand His love, nor do we put it into action. I want you to know that today Jesus is saying remember from where you have fallen; return to your first deeds and life to which you were called in Christ. Go back to that moment when you first met Jesus. Remember the love you felt, the stirring in your heart, the adoration you had for the Savior? Do you remember how grateful you were for the forgiveness of sins? Do you remember how at that moment nothing else mattered, only Jesus? Today, God wants you and me to go back and remember that moment in time. And having that in our memory He wants us to return. He wants us to come back to Him; to come back to our first love, to the place and time in our lives to where He was everything to us.
I tell you every Christian should be aware of the danger of leaving his first love for the Lord. Long ago, the church in Ephesus was busy doing many things for God, yet Jesus said, “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love” (Revelation 2:4). The Lord commanded them, “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent” (Revelation 2:5). Your love for God should be foremost in your heart, exceeding the bond of any other relationship. If your love for God has grown cold, take steps to renew your relationship with Him. Return to your first love. He waits for you with open arms. Consider some verses about pleasing God and being pleased by Him, the two preceding concepts that help define loving God (Gen 39:9; Job 22:21; Ps 37:4; 44:8; 97:10; 104:34; Jeremiah 9:23-24; Matt 5:48; 6:24; Rom 12:1-2; I Cur 10:31).
Submitted by Covered California
An important deadline approaches for Californians who want to start the New Year with the protection of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Open enrollment is underway and consumers who want to be covered on January 1, need to enroll by December 15.
Covered California, the agency that administers the ACA in California, has made African American outreach a priority for the year three of the historic program. Since 2014, more than two million people have gotten insurance through Covered California, including African Americans who make up 5 percent of the state’s population that is eligible to receive financial assistance to help them pay for coverage and medical care. African Americans though have been slow to enroll at a rate that matches their share of the population.
“While we have all worked together to dramatically raise awareness about the new law, we have more work to do,” Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee said. “We estimate there are still more than two million uninsured people in California who are either eligible for Covered California or qualify for Medi-Cal.”
Through Covered California, consumers can get financial help, or tax subsidy, that can be worth hundreds of dollars per month and bring health care within reach.
They are spotlighting the fact that more than half of those who have enrolled in Covered California — almost 700,000 — pay less than $100 a month, with the balance being covered by the federal tax credit. That is real affordability.
“You can find out if you qualify for financial help, and examine your plan options, by using the “Shop and Compare Tool” at CoveredCA.com,” Lee said.
Going forward Covered California will be spotlighting enrollment events at storefronts, insurance agent offices, community events and other locations. Go to the agency’s website to “find local help.”
This year’s open enrollment period is three months long, and runs until January 31. However, if you qualify for Medi-Cal, you can enroll at any point during the year. If you or someone you know doesn’t have health care coverage right now, this is the opportunity to enroll in Covered California.