Dear Friends, the Telbat Team prays that you had a blessed Resurrection Remembrance Day with your family/friends! ~ You may have seen that my new novel, Dawn of Affliction, has been out for a couple of months. The book title reflects the theme. Affliction seems to harass the Caspertein family at every turn, but why is there also a sense of triumph by the hero, Levi Caspertein? Can we have that same sense of victory in the midst of our own chaotic lives? Interestingly, the way we love God and love our neighbor determines our sense of victory!
Many of us are familiar with the greatest Commandment that Jesus stressed in the Gospels: to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength. The second greatest Commandment is like the first: to love your neighbor as yourself. We were made to love, and our triumph in life must involve love.
Sometimes we think that loving God and loving our neighbor is a choice offered to us by Christ for when it’s most convenient for us. An honest person will admit that expressing love is not convenient in the middle of strife. Expressing love will never be convenient or natural as long as we think God intended it to be optional for us to express love to others.
Victory Rule #1: Don’t view love as optional only for convenient or comfortable moments.
Loving God First
In a nation that has pushed the truth of God aside, and yet strives to encourage people to love their neighbors—it’s like trying to irrigate the vegetable garden without the water hose connected to the spigot. Or, like trying to make the car accelerate without fuel. Or, like trying to iron a shirt with a cold iron, without an electrical current running through the iron. The vegetables will dry out, the car will slow down, and the shirt will remain wrinkled. The source is missing in these scenarios.
Part of understanding that loving one another isn’t optional is also understanding that loving my neighbor begins with my love for God. Loving God is possible only by embracing His love for us. First John 4:7 says that love comes from God. To love others properly, we must be intimately connected to the God who first loved us.
Victory Rule #2: View love for your neighbor as possible only through your love for God.
Chaos, Kindness, and Triumph
In my recent novel, Dawn of Affliction, Levi Caspertein seems triumphant throughout moments of chaos because he remains connected to God through his trials, even when expressing kindness seems unlikely and unreasonable. Naturally, God’s character flows from Levi. Levi has not forsaken the First Commandment to express the Second, but rather he’s found obedience to the First Commandment as the key to loving his neighbor—even when that neighbor happens to be contrary. His purpose for life is being fulfilled.
May we find that sense of triumph throughout our lives by receiving and expressing God’s love. To find an example of this, check out Dawn of Affliction!
See you on the next page!
You can read more about Dawn of Affliction and/or Levi Caspertein in these previous posts:
“Ebola Inspired Meridia Virus in Dawn of Affliction,”
and “7 Principles to Sculpt Character Levi Caspertein,”
and “Survival Gear for the Journey in Dawn of Affliction.”
COMING UP: Join us next time for, “Apr 2019 Novel News for Coming D.I. Telbat Books.”