Bill’s Book Chapter 8 – Love Is The Answer
I wrote this book below to have it published but decided to put it on my website instead to share it with anyone interested. May it be a blessing to you as you read it. ~ Bill Greguska
Chapter 1 – My Letter To The Lord
Chapter 2 – It Starts With Me
Chapter 3 – God’s Plan
Chapter 4 – God’s Way
Chapter 5 – God Answers Prayers
Chapter 6 – Faith During Hard Times
Chapter 7 – Relationship With Others
Chapter 8 – Love Is The Answer
Chapter 9 – Victory Over Evil
Chapter 10 – Heaven Is Our Home
Chapter 11 – Emotions Are Interesting
Chapter 12 – Recovery
LOVE IS THE ANSWER
- Always Got My Back
- Born Again
- I Am Thankful
- Immeasurable Love
- Is It Love and Lust?
- Keep Your Promises
- Love Each Of Us
- Love God and Love Others
- Love Is Awesome
- My Hearts Desire
- Overwhelming Love
- Promises Are Real
- The Light
- When I’m in Pain
- Who Is in Control?
- Your Will Lord
1. Always Got My Back
Lord, I have learned that to make sure I am under your umbrella of protection, I have to pray and seek your will. Otherwise, to some degree, I am on my own. Lord, you have covered me, yet I wonder why I still choose to get out from under your protection at times. It doesn’t make sense to me, except that we can blame Satan, who is out to kill, steal, and destroy all of our lives. But since you love us, you have our backs covered by giving us new life as we trust in you and follow you. I thank you for allowing me to come to you in prayer and helping me walk with you in both sunshine or rain. Lord, I remember that I used to call good fortune “luck,” but now I know it is because of you, so I call it being blessed.
Lord, I have lived well over a half of a century — half was in darkness, and the other half in your light — and you have always covered my back somehow or another. I trust that your will be done and that you will not allow anything to happen to me outside of your will. I thank you for your faithfulness and love for me. Technically I am a sinner, but your grace saves me.
Refection: My mom used to watch over me and protect me while I was growing up. It was comforting to know that she always had my best interest in mind, but comparing her protection with your protection Lord, there is no comparison.
Action: Write down at least three ways that God protected me from harm, or provided for my needs?
Hebrews 12:1: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
The world has changed, and it’s going to keep changing, but God never changes, so we are safe when we cling to Him.~ Charles R. Swindoll, author, and teacher of the Bible.
Lord, I have learned over the years that when I follow you and make staying in your word a priority, I prosper. Prosperity means more than having my head above water, or my belly full of food, or having clothes on my back or a roof over my head. I have peace in my heart because God takes care of my basic needs. Just becoming a Christian did not take all the pain out of my life or make me successful, but Lord, you are always faithful, and that helps me to keep things in perspective. You do not owe us anything, Lord; everything we receive from you is your overflowing love — in other words, a gift or blessing.
Lord, I know you love each of us, and I have learned that you do not seek out the qualified. You qualify those you want to use for your purpose. We pray that you meet our needs as you promised and that when we prosper, we will share with others. Help me to wait patiently and know that you answer all our prayers. I thank you for your many blessings and the truth of your Word to be able to guide us.
Refection: You watch over us, Lord. We could not earn our salvation because that is a free gift, but being saved from our sins and all your blessings, we naturally want to do good works and acts of kindness. Kind of like saying thank you to you, Lord.
Action: Write down how God has blessed me abundantly. Also, write down ways how I have blessed others.
Joshua 1:8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
I like reading my bible, and I like bible studies where I get together with others and talk about the word of God and how it relates to us and how we can change to become more like him. ~ Bernhard Langer, German professional golfer, two-time Masters champion.
3. Born Again
Lord, I am amazed by how much you love each one of us. Before I was born again, I had an elementary, superficial faith in you, but it was not until I accepted you as my Lord and Savior that my life started to turn around for the better. I was born again on June 25, 1986. For me, it was a process that was like links on a chain — many people played a part in it. Since I accepted you, Lord, and your sacrificial life and death on the cross, I have tried to tell others about you and follow your ways. Lord, we thank you for second chances in life.
Lord, when I first heard the term “Born Again,” I related it to an extreme group of believers, but the more I read your word, Lord, the more I realize that without being born again, I would not be able to make it into your kingdom. I thank you for allowing us to be born again and to put away our old self to be with you for eternity. I am a citizen of this world by birth, but a Christian by choice. I realized that I did not begin to live until I was prepared to die to my old self. Your ways are higher than our ways, Lord. I want to thank you for my new life.
Refection: God instructs me to do many things, all that are for my best interest. Becoming born again is one of them. If I have not been born again, or are not sure if I have been born again, find out to to be born again for sure.
Action: Write down why I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. If you have not been born again, consider doing so soon.
John 1:12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.
When you’re born again, your DNA changes. You have the ability to understand God’s terms. ~ Bill McCartney, former American football player and coach, and the founder of Promise Keepers men’s ministry.
4. I Am Thankful
Lord, many of us strive to focus on our hopes, dreams, and goals. You have plans for us, Lord. It has been a real joy getting to know you over the many years. Seeing how you have worked in my life and in the lives of others, are two of the things I am most thankful for because everything else in my life revolves around these two blessings. I will keep striving to know you better and to understand how much you love us all. Sometimes it is nice to make a list of all of our blessings to be able to see them on paper. We have been blessed, and we ought to try to be a blessing to others.
Lord, I am blessed in ways I sometimes take for granted, so I need to take time to open my eyes to your many blessings. Lord, all we need to do is to stop and think about the ways you bless us, instead of complaining and wishing things were different. I have discovered that when I bless others, even in small ways, it is like pouring perfume on them; I cannot help to get a little on myself in the process. Help us all to be more grateful and realize that we are blessed and highly favored. We thank you for all your blessings.
Reflection: What are some of the things that I am thankful for in my life?
Action: Write down at least one person who has helped me in my life and write them a letter to thank them. Write there name down below and list some ways that they have helped me, this will make writing the letter easier put together.
Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful, and thankful.
There is no question that America has been a nation that has been blessed by almighty God. There is no other nation in the history of mankind that has done what His nation has done – and it’s because of God’s hand and His blessing.~ Franklin Graham, Christian evangelist and missionary who frequently engages in Christian revival tours.
5. Immeasurable Love
Lord, when I take a few moments to think of all the ways I have been blessed by you, I discover that you love me way more than you could imagine. My love has limits since I am human, but your love is immeasurable because you are God. I can only speak for myself, but I would go out of my way to help someone in need, but to do what you did, Jesus, by laying down your life for us, is more than I can comprehend — yet that is what you teach in your Word.
Lord, your love is, without any doubt, the most significant gift I have ever received in my life, and the funny thing is that many people do not even realize how much you love them. It involved you coming to earth to live and die for us, to leave your Holy Spirit within us to teach and guide us along the way. I thank you for all you have done and everything that you will do for us in the future. Help us to be more like you and less like ourselves. Show us how to love one another as you have loved us –sacrificially.
Refection: Am I guilty of taking for granted things that God has given me or blessed me with? Do I take for granted what others have given me or done for me?
Action: Write down specific ways that I have been blessed.
1 John 3:16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.
Nothing can bring a sense of security into a home except true love. ~ Billy Graham, a famous pastor, and evangelist, known throughout the world.
6. Is It Love and Lust?
Lord, we understand that you have created us to be sexual beings and have given us emotions. It is your will for us to love others as our brother or sister in Christ. Even if they don’t believe in you, we still ought to love all people. We might not like or agree with everyone, but we are commanded to love one another. On the other hand, lust merely is wanting something that is not ours to have, or something that God says is wrong. I realize that lust is usually referred to in terms of lusting after a person, money, power, position, or material things, to mention a few, not just in sexual ways.
Lord, you have shown us the importance of love, so please help us learn to love others with the love that flows from you. To keep it simple, Lord, I can say that love is from you, and lust is from Satan. Please keep the lust of our sinful hearts away from us so that we can honor and glorify you, Lord. Show us your good and pleasing way, so that we do not dishonor you in any way.
Refection: The media, our flesh, and the devil have lied to me over and over that some people now believe that love and lust are synonymous.
Action: Write down below at least ten people or things I love. And the other list of those people and things I tend to lust for. Then ask God in prayer for direction.
Proverbs 6:25: Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes.
Lust is temporary, romance can be nice, but love is the most important thing of all. Because without love, lust and romance will always be short-lived. ~Danielle Steel, American writer, best known for her romance novels.
7. Keep Your Promises
Lord, I understand how trustworthy your promises are. If it were not for all I have gone through, all I have put myself through, and you being there to pick me up, my faith in you might not be as strong as it is. In my weakness, you are strong yet merciful. I needed to cry out to you in prayer and believe that your promises are guaranteed. People might disappoint us when they promise us something, but that is not true with you, Lord, because you love us so much. Your word has proven to be right for me for my whole life — nearly 60 years. I am so thankful that I can trust you with my life, Lord.
Lord, there is no guarantee that people will do what they say, but your word is faithful and accurate, and we can trust it without any doubt. Your promises are guaranteed in writing. Help us never to forget that, and to grow in our faith, trusting your promises. Teach all of us that we do not have to see to believe. Lord, I pray that you will remind us all that your promises are ironclad. Whether or not we choose to obey you, your word does not change like the wind.
Reflection: Think about how I have felt when someone breaks a promise to me or lies to me. Now realize that God has never broken a promise or lied to me ever.
Action: Write down anyone in my past who I might have broken a promise to or I have lied to. If it is possible to find that person(s) to make amends to them if it would not harm them or others.
Hebrews 10:23: Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
Faith is the virtue by which, clinging-to the faithfulness of God, we lean upon him, so that we may obtain what he gives to us. ~ William Ames was an English Protestant divine, philosopher, and conversationalist.
8. Love Each Of Us
Lord, I have learned to make it a point to connect with you in prayer right after I wake up each morning and then throughout the day. I have a strong desire to grow closer to you because you created me and have a beautiful plan for me and for each one of us who calls upon your name. Your plan points us all to eternity in heaven. In the meantime, your plan is for us to have inner peace and do your will in our lives while here on this sinful earth, our temporary home. You created us, Lord, and your purposes for us are good.
Lord, your love is more significant than I ever could imagine or describe. It is written all over your word, the Bible. There is no way to quantify the love you have for each of us. Lord. I thank and praise you for your life, death, and resurrection, which gave us eternal life with you in heaven. There is no way we can repay you for your love, but I can live my life for you and let others know about you. Your love is a beautiful example of how we ought to love one another.
Refection: Sometimes, it is a fact that life can get too busy with work, school, etc. that sometimes, realizing how much God loves me tends to take the back burner. Is that something I need to change?
Action: Write down some ways that I know without a doubt that God loves me and has a plan for my life.
Faith is walking by faith, not by what you feel. You are not always going to feel that Jesus loves you or that God is good, but you know He is. It is the up and down of the journey.
Nick Vujicic ~ Christian evangelist born with the tetra-Amelia syndrome, characterized by the absence of arms and legs.
John 3:16: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
9. Love God and Love Others
Lord, I know that you do not suggest that we love you and others — you command it! Your way is to have a plan and order for our lives. You know that we are sheep that need direction. That is why you want us to follow you and to love you and others. Since we all have free will, you allow us to choose whether we want to obey you or not. However, I know that if I disobey and make bad choices, I don’t have a choice as to what the consequences might be, yet your love and forgiveness are always available.
Lord, it is hard sometimes to love those who hurt me, betray me, or lie to me, yet your word tells us to love others as we would love ourselves. Help me to use your example to love others more, even when it is hard to do so. Also, please help me to be kinder to those who irritate me. I thank you for my brother Tom Greguska, who many years ago summed up the Christian faith in a way that stuck in my mind keeping faith so very simple by saying that we need to love God and love others.
Refection: Have I loved God and others in general fully, or am I holding back for some reason?
Action: Write down some ideas on how I can love God more, and also love others more. Be specific.
Matthew 22:37-39: Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
We would all be better off if we loved God and loved each other. ~ Phil Robertson, reality television star of the popular television series Duck Dynasty.
10. Love is Awesome
Lord, while blindly chasing my addictions, I discovered they could never fill the void I had in my heart — a void that could only be filled by you. What I lacked was wisdom, which made it hard to figure out what to pursue. Years after my recovery, I got some excellent advice from my friend Sue Sauer. She taught me to hold the people God put into my life in an “open palm” — to hold them loosely, yet cherish them; to be willing to let them go if that was God’s will for whatever reason. Lord, your love for me has come in many different forms — wisdom, comfort, love, abilities, and provision, to name a few. I thank you for loving me and the others in my life.
Lord, you love us more than we can imagine. Even when we let you down by sinning with addictions or other issues, you never leave us or forsake us. I realize, Lord, many of us have gotten involved with an addiction, yet you sacrificed your life to save us from separation from you. Help us to remember all that you have done for us and direct our paths so that we can honor you by the way we live. Please help us to become more like you and follow your will, not our will.
Refection: Just because I do not always understand God’s love, proves that He loves us more than we could ever imagine.
Action: Write down ways that I know that God loves me.
Romans 5:8: But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
I know God loves me. I tell people all the time I’m one of His favorite children. I had to believe in something bigger than me — bigger than man. I had to believe that God would send somebody across my path to keep my dreams alive.~ Darlene Wright, American singer, and actress.
11. My Hearts Desire
Lord, I have been blessed to learn that if something is pressing upon my heart, I need to pray to you about it and get your wise counsel. It is so important to do that, instead of making a knee-jerk, emotional decision. Your word never returns to you void, and it will always speak to us in some way. It is a living word that can help direct us to the desires of your heart. Yes, I know that sin is pleasurable for a short season, but soon after, it brings heartaches, hangovers, hurt, and consequences that can be very painful. Lord, I want nothing to do with that; please direct each one of us towards your love and away from Satan’s traps.
Lord, you know the desires of our hearts and want to bless us. We can fool some people sometimes, but we can never deceive you because you know us better than we know ourselves. Lord, we pray that the desires of our hearts will be the same as your desires. Help us submit to you and your word. Help others see you, Lord, by the way, we talk and behave, so that they will have a desire to follow you also. Keep us sensitive to your word, and help us know how we can please you. Lord, I love you. How can I please you today?
Refection: God has given me free will to do what I wish. Is my free will following the Lord? Is my free will following my flesh, the devil, or the world?
Action: Write down on one list of ways that I believe that my heart is pure, and the other list, areas that I know I could use improvement.
Psalms 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
God’s glory is the big news of the Bible, and my desire is that it would be all about me, but really it’s all about God’s glory. ~ Max Lucado, best selling Christian author.
12. Overwhelming Love
Lord, I have learned not to look to myself or even to others for wisdom and strength; instead, I first try to go to you through prayer and reading your word. Only then do I seek wise counsel from others. I am thankful that I have allowed you to be the ultimate source of the power I need. I know you work through others you have placed strategically in my life. Lord, when I am faithful by going to your word, it is like taking the blinders off of my eyes, and I can see you have provided for my needs. I need to remember that you love me and love you out of gratitude. I need to love others, too, to obey the two greatest commandments.
Lord, your power is made known to me through your word, prayer, and the wonders of nature. You have shown me how much you love me by watching over me, by showing me what you want from me, and by equipping me to do your will. All good things come through you and from you. I thank you for loving me as you do. Your power amazes me! How can anyone not see your greatness?
Refection: My parents loved me the best that they humanly could, think about how much greater God’s love is for me.
Action: Write down as many ways that God’s love has been overwhelming to me?
2 Corinthians 12:9: But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
God proved His love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, ‘I love you.’ ~ Billy Graham, American evangelist and prominent evangelical Christian.
13. Promises Are Real
Lord, especially during the storms of life that sometimes hit us hard, I know that all of your written word is true. Without any doubt, you have created this world and me in it. You sustain this world and me as well. Your word is full of prophecies and promises that you have already fulfilled or are in the process of fulfilling. The more I get to know you, Lord, the more I am amazed by how awesome you and your mighty power are. Because of all of this, when I realized that I could get a whole loaf for the asking, I decided not to settle for bread crumbs of faith. The Bible started to become so much easier to understand, and I began to hunger for your word.
Lord, your word promises us many things, such as protection, guidance, love, hope, and faithfulness, to name a few. By faith, we trust in you since you have made yourself known to us, and we have witnessed your greatness and love. We thank you for your promises and your love for us.
Reflection: Think about how God has been faithful to me?
Action: Write down ways that I realize how God has carried you through your problems, take time to list at least three or more situations that God has been faithful to me.
Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature — trees, flowers, grass — grows in silence; see the stars, the moon, and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls. ~ Mother Teresa, admired by many for her charitable work; winner of 1979 Nobel Peace Prize.
14. The Light
Lord, I know that the Bible is your written word that you inspired dedicated people to write to us to give us direction and a clear purpose in life. You have explained good from evil, and have not withheld your wisdom from us. Lord, you have given us the ten commandments to follow not as a killjoy, but instead to protect us from ourselves and to honor you at the same time. While growing up, to be honest, I felt the ten commandments were a bunch of restrictions that were not relevant (not much I knew), but later on, in my life, I realized that you Lord, had given them to us for our benefit to living good and Godly lives, free from avoidable pitfalls. I am afraid to say that many of us have not obeyed the ten commandments throughout our lives, yet today we can change that starting now. Like it says in your word, “Call to me, and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3.
Lord, You have loved so much to give us a road map and a lamp for us to navigate through the ups and downs in our lives. I take your ten commandments as the written answers to the test that we are going to take in life. Getting older, I have become a little wiser to realize that your commands are a blessing, not a curse. When I follow your commandments, my life becomes more orderly, peaceful, and allows me to do your will.
Refection: Do I think I tend to adhere closely to what the Bible teaches, or does our society seem to have greater influence in my daily decisions?
Action: Write down with the use of your concordance in the back of your Bible to search for a topic you are wrestling with. I could also visit GotQuestions.org and then write it down below. Either way, choose to do some homework that will benefit me.
Deuteronomy 4:13 He declared to you his covenant, the Ten Commandments, which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two stone tablets.
The Ten Commandments were not a suggestion. ~ Pat Riley, former coach, and player in the National Basketball Association.
15. When I’m in Pain
Lord, you are all-knowing and mighty. You understand and sympathize with us when we are concerned or in pain. Jesus, you came down from heaven and felt physical pain, temptation, anger, hurt, and love as I do, but they didn’t cause you to sin. You were tempted, mocked, beaten, crucified, and ridiculed, but still, you did not sin. You know what we are going through, and you have compassion because while you were on earth, you were 100% God and 100% man.
Lord, you are my God, yet you know what I go through since you came down from heaven to live here on earth. You lived and breathed, cried, sweat, and hurt just like us, but without sin. Please help me sympathize with others I come in contact with each day. Please continue to give me the ability to feel other’s pain and come beside them and encourage them.
Refection: Pain is a part of life in this world, where do I go when the pains of life set in?
Action: Write down the problems and pains I am experiencing right now in your life on one side of a piece of paper. On the other side, write down what I am doing to deal with it? Make sure I include God in the solution!
2 Corinthians 1:3-4: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
Grace is God as heart surgeon, cracking open your chest, removing your heart — poisoned as it is with pride and pain — and replacing it with his own. ~ Max Lucado, best-selling Christian author, and pastor at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas.
16. Who Is In Control?
Lord, yes, I know you allow evil because if you did not allow evil, we would be like robots unable to decide to do good or evil in our lives. My lifestyle growing up at times was that of someone evil. I might have thought that I was in control, but in reality, you have always been in power. The fact is that you allow us to have free will so that we can choose whether to love you or not. I try my best to listen only to your promises and not listen to the lies of the devil. Even though you are in control, Lord, Satan always tries to tempt us when we are alone, tired, angry, and he tries to steal from us, and kill us in many different ways.
Lord, I plan to keep trusting and understanding that you love us and that you will lead us as we choose to follow your teaching and example. Lord, because you are faithful, I put my faith and hope in you alone to work out my life situations. I love you and know that you love me too, Lord. Thank you for being so good to me. When I used to ask my friend John Wegner how he was doing, he always used to tell me, “Better than I deserve,” because he knew he was a sinner saved by grace, and the wages of sin is death, yet you, Lord, saved him and kept him out of hell. Please make it clear to me what your specific direction is for my life today.
Refection: How much to I think I flirt with evil in my life?
Action: Write down below the things that tempt me to sin, write on one side of this paper, then the other side, write down how you are going to avoid or protect yourself from these temptations.
James 1:12: Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
When you believe in God, you’ve got to believe in the all-powerful God. He’s not just God, He’s the all-powerful God, and He has total control over everyone’s life. The Devil, on the other hand, is a real character that’s trying his hardest to tear your life apart. ~ Alice Cooper, a rock star of the ’70s, who says his faith in Jesus saved him from alcoholism.
17. Your Will Lord
Lord, I am so glad I have taken the time to search the scriptures that show us your will. I believe that you desire us to seek after you and follow your ways. There is so much more to being a Christian than just “being good.” Your greatest commandment is to love you with all our heart, mind, and soul. The second commandment is to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. You want us to forgive and encourage one another, and to follow you. That alone ought to keep us busy and out of trouble!
Lord, you will never take us to where your grace will not protect us. Your word is a lamp unto our feet that shines a light on what you want from our lives. Please help us do your will, not our own will. Please help us understand what you expect from us and then equip us with what we need to do your will. Your word, Lord, has all the answers that we need.
Refection: We all have expectations in life. God also has expectations for us too. How aware are you of what God expects?
Action: Write down on two lists. One list of simple ways that you show your love for God, and on the other side, write down ways you show your love for others.
Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
God has established what man is supposed to do, and he expects man to do it his way and not a way independently of him. And when you do things independently of him, you have consequences you don’t want to bear. ~ Tony Evans, Ph.D. D, Christian pastor, speaker, author, and widely syndicated radio and television broadcaster.