Tag Archives: love

The Greatest of these is Love

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 Love never fails.

This verse of Scripture (1 Cor 13:4-8 NIV) is quoted at weddings probably more than any other. It’s been set to music, printed on posters, engraved on gifts. Yet, what many people don’t realize is that the “Love” spoken of here is not the kind of love we think of when we are romantically in love with another.

When we say we love something or someone we are trying to describe the feelings we have about that thing or person. I love my new car, my puppy, my wife, my new job, that new movie, etc, etc, etc. What an injustice to lump a husband or wife into a group of things as meaningless as a car or a video – yet we do it! We do it because our society over-emphasizes the word. Its not like there aren’t other words we could use – I like my new car, I enjoy my new phone, that new movie was great to watch, etc. etc. etc. Why does this world over use the word “Love“?

Before we attempt to answer that, lets look at what the Word of God says about “Love“. Not forgetting the selfless kind of love outlined in 1 Cor 13 what else do we see in Scripture?

For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 LB

And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:31 KJV

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 KJV

Lets take a look at this last verse from John 15:13 for a minute. We all know that Jesus loved us all so much that He willingly took our place by dieing for our sins. Are we now to believe that He is instructing us to die for our friends as well?

YES! He is!!

But not the kind of death that He experienced. It’s more of that – “take up your cross and follow me” that Jesus also mentioned. It’s a “dieing-to-self” and considering the other person before yourself kinda thing.  Love can be a noun – expressing a feeling, desire or passion or Love can be a verb – an action word.

It is the noun that gets misused so often today. I love this and we love that and so on. But real love – the action word – is rarely seen in this society where we fall, as if by accident, into love and fall, as if involuntarily, out of love. But, the truth is, Love is a choice and not a feeling.  It’s a conscience decision to care for and support and cherish another person even if you sometimes don’t “feel” like doing so. Certainly, feelings play a role in people first getting to know each other. An attraction or shared interests or even a passion brings people together. This is the “Eros” or physical kind of love that is a part of our human nature. But, Jesus wants us to transcend this and move into the “Agape” or brotherly/selfless love that will sustain us in our relationships.

So, for real love to last, somebodies gotta die!

Hands in form of heart

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for_____________!

You fill in the blank. Maybe you gotta die for your husband, maybe for your wife, maybe for your child or maybe even your parents. What might this death look like? Glad you asked! Maybe you have to swallow your pride at work rather than telling the Boss off and loosing your job which would harm your whole family. Maybe, you have to not insist on proving your point to your spouse so as avoid a stupid fight over nothing. Maybe it’s as simple as trusting your child with your car even though your afraid they might get it scratched and thereby build them up.

Prioritizing the needs of another is the action which spells love!

The “Die-to-self” kinda Love that Jesus exemplified

There are three things that remain—faith, hope, and love—

and the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor 13:13 LB

Why does this world over use the word “Love“? Who knows? Who cares?

We are not of this World and we can show that in the way we truly love others. 1John 4

Thanks for stopping by. Be Blessed, Al

Also consider –

Last Years Post on Unforgivenesshttps://trinitystudiospicsblog.com/2014/03/19/but-if-you-dont-forgive/

Last Years Post on Love in Actionhttps://trinitystudiospicsblog.com/2014/04/15/the-basin-and-the-towel/

 

 

 

Where is the Love?!?!?

 Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth.  Instead, we will lovingly follow the truth at all times—speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly—and so become more and more in every way like Christ who is the Head of his body, the Church. Under his direction, the whole body is fitted together perfectly, and each part in its own special way helps the other parts, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

Ephesians 4:14-16 TLB

Many years ago, 20 years ago unfortunately, my brothers in Christ and I used to have a saying that we would use in response to any harsh criticism voiced by another – “Oh Brother! Where’s the Love in that?”

This plea for compassion was voiced because we all knew this scripture Paul wrote in his letter to the church is Ephesus encouraging the believers to speak the truth in love. You see, it’s not that we don’t need to hear the truth or be corrected from time to time. But, rather, the truth we need to hear should be sprinkled with liberal amounts of Love. The world has a similar expression – you can catch more flies with honey than yo can with vinegar.

So, lets take this to the next level.

If this is how we are encouraged to speak to one another within the body of believers why shouldn’t we do the same for those who are outside? Many of us know this verse found in Mark when the scribes questioned Jesus about which commandment was the greatest –

 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

But, how many of us remember the rest of His answer?

And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Mark 12:28-31 KJV

I have a saying. Not one I made up but one I like and try to use. It says that no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care. We can do so much more for the Kingdom of God with love and compassion than we can with soapboxes and banners. Have you ever heard of believers being called “Bible-thumpers”? I can only imagine that this expression was born from those of us who have tried to use the Bible as a blunt force weapon of conversion rather than the scalpel for heat surgery its intended to be.

Jude gave us an encouraging word regarding not only how to care for our own salvation but the fate of those unsaved souls around us.

21 Stay always within the boundaries where God’s love can reach and bless you. Wait patiently for the eternal life that our Lord Jesus Christ in his mercy is going to give you. 22 Try to help those who argue against you. Be merciful to those who doubt. 23 Save some by snatching them as from the very flames of hell itself. And as for others, help them to find the Lord by being kind to them, but be careful that you yourselves aren’t pulled along into their sins. Hate every trace of their sin while being merciful to them as sinners.

Do it all 1So, lets try to ask ourselves, just before we open our mouths to speak – Where’s the Love in what I want to say?

Be Blessed. Al

How does it feel to be LOVED?

This one will be brief. Especially since the question posed is more rhetorical than literal.But first, some background.

The other day my wife, Betty, was cleaning up her inbox. She gets so many emails and seldom unsubscribes, so her email gets full quickly. While doing this she called me over to ask if I had any of “these” emails saved? The “these” Betty was referring to were the emails we exchanged as we first began to chatting with each other. I wasn’t surprised that Betty had the absolute first email from me dating back nearly 15 years (she is a romantic sort that way) but what shock I did feel looking at her computer screen was at what saving that email said to me. Brace yourself for this revelation – Betty really loves me!

Yup, that’s it. Sounds simple, maybe even stupid to some. But it got me thinking. I know how it feels to be afraid, anxious, angry, embarrassed, happy, shocked, tired, hungry and others but I did not know what it feels like to be loved.

As a couple for all these years we say that we love each other several times a day and these are sincerely said I love you’s. As Christians we are told of how God loves us and that God is Love and Love never fails. In our society at large we say/hear/text love all of the time. I’d love to see how many times a day the word Love is tweeted! We love our cars, our shoes, our new phone, our new iPad, our this and our that. Everything under he sun is loved by all and yet what does it feel like to be loved?

For me, if I had to answer this rhetorical and severely introspective poser, being loved feels like a sense of awe at the idea that another person looks at me and sees something of such value that they would save the first words I spoke to them. To think that they would see in me a person worthy of their time and attention and to consider that they would profoundly miss me if I were suddenly gone. Betty may never know what showing me that email meant tome (unless she reads this of course – lol) but I was humbled and surprised. Even as I write this I feel something inside myself that wants to laugh and cry at the same time. Something that makes me want to delete this and at the same time shout it from my roof top.

What does it feel like to be Loved? It feels humbling and uplifting all at once.

IMG_7169It’s an old saying but it bears repeating especially in the context of this subject –

It wasn’t the nails that held Jesus to the Cross –

it was His Love for YOU!

I hope you can feel His love for you today and always,

be Blessed, Al

Hurray for Daddy!!!

Fathers Day 2014

It’s been a pet-peeve of mine for some time now how the media portrays Dads. From TV to Movies and even the blogosphere Dads are inept, incapable and incompetent. It’s there female counterparts or even their children that have all the answers, insights and wisdom. This is not the way it is nor should it be.

The Bible has much to say about the authority, responsibility and importance of Dad and his role in the family unit and community. Some would say that the Bible is a chauvinistic piece of literature written by men. That it’s demeaning to women by casting men in a preferential position over them. I suppose a cursory glance at some select scriptures might bring one to that conclusion –

 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Colossians 3:18 KJV (also Ephesians 5:21)

Dad on the beach

But taken in its totality the scriptures resound with verses calling men to be sacrificial lambs for their wives, teachers of their children and protectors of the family. The following verses clearly illustrate two fundamental principals – we are to submit to each other and the man, as head of the wife is to behave “AS” Christ did for the body of Christ (the Church) which was He died for the church.

 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church; Eph 5:21-23 KJV

Men are instructed to Love their wives and other duties while women are only commanded to submit (honor and respect) their husbands. (see also Eph 5:24-26 KJV and 28-29)

The Word of God cautions Fathers about being too overbearing to their children –Fathers, do not make your children angry, but raise them with the training and teaching of the Lord. Eph 6:4 

It further places the responsibility for teaching Spiritual things on the Fathers –And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up Deu 6:6-7 NKJV, and thereby puts the burden of their children’s salvation squarely on Dads shoulders. The Bible further state that a man (Dad) should be sober, of good behavior, apt to teach, not greedy or violent, patient and able to manage his household. 1Tim 3

Now, I am not saying that wives aren’t able to teach or manage a household or do any of the things that I attributed to Daddy here. In fact, I commend those wives and mothers who juggle so many tasks and responsibilities, either because there isn’t a Dad at home or because circumstances dictate.  What I am saying is that Dad’s are not portrayed in a favorable light in the secular media. Even The Today Show ran a segment about the disparity between men and women in the media. Check out this paper from Cal. Poly Tech on the subject.

The bottom line is this –

God created Eve from Adam’s side not his head or feet. Neither gender is to dominate the other but Biblically each has a role handed down by God and the Scriptures tell us that clearly in easy to understand terms – if we read all of it. Stereotyping men and objectifying women is just what the world does and will continue to do but it is not Gods way.

Learn what God says about relationships and family – and be blessed.

HAPPY FATHERS’ DAY TO ALL THE DADS OUT THERE!!!

 

But, if you don’t forgive…….

Ever hear of families where one person won’t speak to another because of something that happened long ago? I bet that they don’t even remember what started it but they are sure that – the other one is to blame! Sad but true. Sadder still in the light of what Jesus said when He taught us the Lords’ Prayer – “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:14-15 NKJV

Forgiveness isn’t an easy thing to do sometimes. Especially if we are sure that we are guiltless or wrongfully harmed by someones thoughtless actions. During a teaching Peter asked Jesus about forgiveness, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Matthew 18:21 NKJV Jesus illustrates the need for forgiveness after answering Peter like this – Jesus said to him,

  “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made.The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.“But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt.So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done.Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.  Matthew 18: 22-35 NKJV

“So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”

70X7

    Unforgiveness hurts us as much as it hurts the object of our angry and all those around us. We are told that we should be angry but sin not Eph 4:26 NKJV. So its not the emotion of anger that’s harmful but rather what we do with the emotion. If we consider the debt we had, that Jesus wiped clean with His blood on the cross, it can not be so hard to forgive someone for whatever they may have done to us. Love keeps no record of wrongs and we are called to love one another. 1 Cor 13:5c HCSB and John 13:14 KJV

     I doubt that any of us knows anyone who we would need to forgive 490 times each day (70×7) but the point here is that we can and should have an inexhaustible wealth of forgiveness towards our fellow man in the light of the forgiveness shown towards us. God bless you as you let the light of Gods love shine threw you today!