Love enters the world of its own accord, for its own reasons. And love is always accompanied by light. That is, love always illuminates the space it occupies.

Watch now for love to enlighten your world. Look to see what new understanding is yours in the presence of love.

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Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises. Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody. With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord. Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who live in it. Let the floods clap their hands; let the hills sing together for joy at the presence of the Lord, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.

Psalm 98:4-9

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Judgment is not a word that most of us want to hear. It doesn't feel good to be judged by others. That is because as humans, we often judge others so that we can feel better about ourselves.

So why in today's passage is the whole world rising up to praise God for coming with judgment? It is because God judges in love; God does not judge to feel better or more powerful. When God’s judgment comes to all of creation, all will be made right. God’s judgment is meant to make things better for us and to make us more whole.

The next time you are tempted to judge someone else, ask yourself what is motivating you. Are you trying to make things better for others, or are you striving to boost your own self image?

Nikki Hardeman

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Thank you, God, for loving us so much that that all of creation lifts its voice to praise you. Help me to be motivated to love others as you do. Amen.

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As a friend of God,
Go now with the gift of love.
Be prepared to receive joy,
For joy is love's result.
And be set free in your faith,
A faith that does not burden you,
But frees you also to love.

Nikki Hardeman

Nikki Carroll Hardeman is a stay-at-home mom who enjoys opportunities to minister outside the home through preaching, teaching, and leading retreats. She also works with FaithLab to produce an online small-group curriculum called FaithElement. When she has a free moment, Nikki enjoys chocolate chips, quiet time with Daniel, her husband, reading, and making new dishes in her kitchen.

Love Song

Clay Mottley

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