If I Don’t Have Love

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by Heather Bock

If you’ve read this blog long, you probably know I wrote a Bible study several years back while my kids napped or took a mandatory quiet time. It came together little by little during that one hour a day. I had just come off of a ten study streak of Beth Moore Bible studies, and I realized that I wanted to not just do studies but create one myself. Some friends had recently gifted me with a wide-margin Bible, and crazy person that I am, I decided to transfer all my old notes from my old Bible into the new one. As I did that, I kept a separate list of all the jewels I uncovered–glimpses of Jesus in the Old Testament–notes from different Bible studies and sermons. What if I could share these gems? What if put all of these–my favorite parts of the Bible–in one study?

As I wrote, God planted a seed in me to make this a study that would also teach readers how to study the Bible for themselves, so they wouldn’t have to always go back to a study; they could use simple tools I provided to study any book of the Bible.

After I finished the study, I headed to writers conferences to learn what to do with it–how could I get it into other people’s hands? If it were just meant for me, that would be ok, but if God wanted to use it further, what was I to do next?

Advice was given to me at the conferences to regularly write on a blog, so here I am. It wasn’t until I had written for a good amount of time before I realized the blog itself was my ministry, that I could share messages God had given me to encourage others.

I advertised the blog on social media outlets, knowing that the only way anyone was going to even know my writing existed was if I put it out there. The more I spent time on Twitter and Facebook, the more people I began to connect to, until one day I realized the social media could be a ministry, too.

I always prayed for what to write before writing, and I still do. I prayed often that God would use my Bible study with more people, and I still do. However, I’m sorry to say that I didn’t spend much time praying for all of you who would read the social media posts, blog, or study.

Then God hit me with these verses:

“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing” (I Cor. 13:1-2).

Basically, what’s the point of my blog or my Bible study if I don’t have love for those to whom they are written?

If I’m not even praying for my readers, how much love do I have? I pray for my friends (which, to tell the truth, make up most of my readers, but still…), but not much for all of you. One of the reasons for this is that I can’t picture all of you. Are you a 20 year old woman still in college who likes to run? Are you a 32 year old mother of two in Wisconsin who doesn’t quite wake up until that first cup of coffee? Are you a 68 year old grandmother who goes for walks every morning and volunteers at the local hospital? I have no idea.

Maybe I should conduct a survey to learn some of this information. In the meantime, if you receive an email from me, this is why. I want to know who you are. I want to pray for your specific needs. I want to learn to love you. I want to know to whom I am writing. And whether I hear from you or not, I will be praying for you. I don’t know most of the people who read my blog, but those who have subscribed will be prayed for by name, little by little, one by one.

If you have any needs you want me to lift up to the Father, comment on any blog post or email me at heather.bock[at]glimpsesofjesus.com, and I will pray for your requests.

What about you? What work do you do for our Father? Are you doing it out of love for people?

For “He said to him, ‘ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.’ “

(Matthew 22:37-40)

 

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28 thoughts on “If I Don’t Have Love

  1. Hello dear one. I have been reading your blog for a long time…admiring you, challenged by you, enjoying getting to know you. I am a middle-aged woman struggling to believe God is going to do big things through her after all…the dreams I in college…the years working very hard in a lonely setting with little to show for visible results. I know I don’t have to see it here, but once I get to heaven, I want to see that He was about using me large…large enough to be worthy of His name. My passion is about making sure women are firmly rooted.

    I like to deal with the parts of life people can’t see, things that begin in the heart before others can see them. I like fixing things in the heart so things people can be witness to a life being transformed to the praise and glory of God’s name. All for Him. You can pray that the Spirit of God unleashes Himself in full power within my family line and in the lives of people with whom I have a relationship. I want there to be many people sold-out for Jesus in the generations to follow. I want heaven to be bigger because I lived. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laurie, thank you so much for responding! I just added you and your prayer requests to my list. I will definitely be praying for you. I understand this desire to do something big for God. I like the way you put it: “large enough to be worthy of His name.” I understand wanting to make a difference and not always seeing much fruit of it. I understand the discouragement of that. I will be praying for all this plus encouragement to fill your heart. I so appreciate you reading, and I appreciate the support you’ve given me for a long time now.

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  2. Hi Heather – of course you are asking your blog followers who they are so you can pray for them. 🙂 I remember be struck right away by how kind and tender you were when we met in that line at the writers’ conference. And from that time, you were the first to encourage and celebrate everyone else. Thanks for the example and the encouragement to remember to live and minister out of love. It’s easy sometimes to just try and get the job done. May God richly bless all your varied efforts to bring his light and love to the people you engage. Hugs from Canada!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janet, thank you for your sweet words! I tend to be a “just get the job done” kind of person. I get a lot done that way, but God is constantly calling me to step out of that mindset with people! Do you have any prayer requests, Janet? I’m so honored when you read my blog!

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  3. Heather, I just loved this. Thanks for committing to pray for us. I think you should do a reader survey! I need to do one, too. If I find one, I’ll email it to you.

    Blessings, sweet sista! You encourage me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Trisha! I think I might need to get my blog moved over to a paid version to do a survey well, but I’m not sure. I hope to do that this coming summer! I would love whatever you find, though!

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  4. Hi, friend,

    I hope you are well! I’m so proud of your faithful blogging all of this time!!

    In the last 24 hours I’ve asked the Lord to assign people to pray for a project Brian and I were assigned 10 months ago, so when I read your blog before heading up to bed, I thought I should respond to your asking for our prayer requests! I appreciate your desire to love people well and understand the conviction of praying for people knowing he can use us or he can use others to answer that prayer! We all want God to use us but when does that become selfish ambition? . . . . (Amber tells me that a series of periods means something bad in teen texting. Who knew??!) Anyway, I think that the difference in motivations is when we know who we are in Christ we’re free to minister without rating ourselves on the fruit we see! Oh, shucks—I’m not trying to preach a message to you; I’m just thinking out loud. But, I’ve digressed.

    So . . . I may have mentioned to you: FICM is doing an Encourager Video training which will be folded into our Community Freedom Ministry University. What that means is that Brian and I are doing a 4 hour video on how to guide others through The Steps to Freedom in Christ. We’re not the first to do this, and we ourselves have given this training for years, decades even. But we’ve experienced blockage every week of these months. And now the filming is exactly 1 month away: April 14th at CAK. Heavens, the script isn’t finished, let alone the power point, visuals, and all while there’s soo much to enjoy with Amber doing the last of things as a senior, wrapping up college applications, ACT prep, and more. And she’s our last child to graduate from HS~!! :-O :- ) 😦 There’s lots of reason for the blockage. I won’t go into them all. But we need God to move a dead giant lying in our path and help us spend the next 3 days getting this up and running! Will you ask the God of the heavens to move this along? For us to feel well and have energy, be clear headed, in unity of discussion, for God-annointed creativity and clear in our word choice?

    Let me know how to pray for you also! Is Eva moving to a full time school or did I misread something? Are you waiting impatiently or patiently regarding adoption, or has that been taken off of the radar? Have you found yourself forgiving quicker and more from the heart (telling God how it made you feel about yourself … to forgive the actual consequence) since we met and you dropped off some hindering baggage in that area? I still have to exercise that model of forgiveness almost every day, and Brian and I are in a season of sweetness in our marriage and family! Let me know when you can how I can pray for you too, and I’ll pray and respond when I can!

    I hope you’re not overwhelmed with people’s responses! :-O

    Thank you so much!!

    Love, Jewl

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jewl,

      Of course I’ll pray for this for you and Brian! I understand how hard it must be to let go of even one of these last days with Amber. Time is so short. I’ll pray for all you requested, though.

      Thank you for your prayers! Quick forgiveness is still hard, especially when there is no repentance and when my daughter happily acts as if nothing at all happened. God’s helping me, though!

      I’m waiting for adoption, and I’m excited because God has really been encouraging me in that area.

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  5. I’m a grown up child of God, wife, homeschool mom x 4 & co-founder of a non- profit ministry in NC….who started blogging when the Lord told me to share my journal entries with others. I don’t consider myself a writer, but I hope the words I scribble on composition books which are transcribed into digital form encourage people to love Jesus.

    Nice to meet you, Heather. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I don’t exactly write for what my readers want. I pray about what to write and then write what I feel God answers. It’s usually what God has been teaching me. Then my readers are just the people who resonate with what I’m writing. I want to love those readers better, though, by knowing them and praying for them.

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  6. Heather, I enjoyed reading your post. Our writing paths are similar but I’m the 68 year old grandmother, who spends time writing blog posts, daily prayers for children, articles, and so on—and even some books. I would like to take those daily walks but have trouble pulling my self away from the computer or the kitchen.
    I would appreciate your prayers for me to keep my writing focused on God’s plan for me.
    I do often pray for my readers, but need to be more diligent in that. Thanks for the reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Connie, I would be glad to pray for you for these things! Thank you for sharing your request—I love having specific requests for which to pray. It’s also great that you gave me a little description of yourself. It’s so helpful for me to picture your personality better as I pray. Thank you!

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  7. Love this post and your beautiful heart for your readers, Heather! thank you for sharing about your writing journey. Perhaps we can pray for each other…that God continues to use both of our writing journeys for His glory?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh how I’ve enjoyed reading this. So very true and convicting; I always pray before writing and what the Lord would have, but then what about the readers? Thank you for this reminder. I’m new to all of this, but started a book/study while my kids would nap, but unfortunately they’re out of that stage now. We homeschooled this year, but I would appreciate prayers for what would be best for next year and if we should continue to homeschool.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ashley, I would be glad to pray for your decisions about homeschooling! I understand that prayer well, as we’ve been homeschooling but will most likely put my daughter in a regular school starting in the fall.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for this post. I, too, have been encouraged to write a blog by other writers/editors, and I am amazed at how much of a difference it has made in my own life as I have hopefully encouraged/challenged others along the way. Even though most of my readers are friends, I look forward to God’s promptings on what to write next for whoever may read.
    I am thankful for people with hearts like yours, who desire to love others through something as simple as praying for them. I currently have a children’s book being shopped to publishers, and so my prayer is simply that the right door would open at the right time for this to be used as a tool to help children strengthen their spiritual foundations.
    Thank you again for this post! And thank you for praying!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I have also loved listening for what God has for me to write!

      I will be glad to pray for you about your children’s book! We need more authors like you wanting to strengthen the spiritual foundations of children!

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  10. I’m a relatively new blogger, but like you, I’ve discovered that blogging is a ministry in itself. I try to pray for those that read my posts, that the words I’ve shared will be a witness for Jesus and a source of encouragement. I love your idea of praying for each of your followers and readers individually. That’s such a loving personal touch. My prayer request is that we can all be more loving, one to another and do our part to share the love of Jesus with the world.

    Liked by 1 person

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