Love

For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

—Galatians 5:14
Do I only help when it’s easy

But never when it’s hard

Do I forego the present 

And only give the card

Do I open doors for others

When my own arms are full 

Or do I wait till it’s convenient

Before I push or pull 

What do I show about my heart

Each time I make a choice

My actions speak of what is true

With a silent, piercing voice

Love His Brother Also

What does it look like to love others?

To love people the way God wants us to love them?

It’s easy to love those who love us.

But what about the ones who don’t?

Or what about the people of the world we have never met?

Or those that we come in contact with that are homeless or jobless?

What does it look like to love others who may be dirty from living on the street?

Or the ones who dress differently than we do and act differently than we do?

What does loving them look like?

Years ago, our children had a game that was intended for car trips.

It was a set of long cards on a ring, as I remember it.

One person would ask the other player a question that was listed on a particular card.

I can’t recall all the the details of the game, but there was a colored plastic sheet that could go on top of a card.

If the plastic sheet was on top of the card, the answer could be read.

Otherwise, it was hard to see the letters–maybe they couldn’t be seen at all.

Loving people the way God wants us to love them has to start with understanding that God loves them.

If we don’t understand that, they are like letters and words that we cannot see on a card.

We don’t feel the need to love them because we have not noticed that they need love.

We have not recognized them as being precious to God and loved by Him.

Once the “colored plastic” of this truth is placed over our view of them, we see clearly what we had not before.

When that happens, God will allow us to see just what loving that other person means right then.

 

 

 

And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.

—1 John 4:21

 

 

 

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For God So Loved

After leaving a friend’s house tonight, I was driving home. 

Listening to the radio as I went down the highway, a song came on that I hadn’t heard in a while. 

I had been praying for someone who feels that God doesn’t love them. 

Suddenly, part of the lyrics just struck me:

This is what I’m sure of, I can only show love

When I really know how loved I am

(Steven Curtis Chapman)
The person I’d been praying for needs to know deep within their heart that God loves them. 

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. —John 3:16


For God is Love

 Dear friends, let us practice loving each other, for love comes from God and those who are loving and kind show that they are the children of God, and that they are getting to know Him better. But if a person isn’t loving and kind, it shows that he doesn’t know God—for God is love.

—1 John 4:7-8

How can I practice loving someone else?

In what ways can I be loving and kind?

By what actions and words can I show that I am a child of God?

How will those who are around me tell that I am getting to know God better?

How can my life show others that God is love?

Never Ends

The faithful love of the Lord never ends!

His mercies never cease.

—Lamentations 3:22

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What is the definition of never?

I looked it up in the dictionary.

The faithful love of the Lord on no occasion ends.

The faithful love of the Lord at no time ends.

The faithful love of the Lord by no means ends.

The faithful love of the Lord in no way ends.

The faithful love of the Lord in no case ends.

The faithful love of the Lord to no extent or degree ends.

The faithful love of the Lord will on no occasion, at no time, by no means, in no way, in no case, to no extent or degree, END.

Isn’t that something to rejoice about?

mercies

Sacrifices

Don’t forget to do good things for others and to share what you have with them. These are the kinds of sacrifices that please God.
—Hebrews 13:16

My heart is full tonight.

Quite unexpectedly, I was given a gift as an expression of love. 

The gift was selfless and caring, and I knew that it took many, many hours of work to earn its purchase. 

So, what did I do when I received it? 

I cried. 

I hugged. 

I said, “I love you!”

The passage above from the book of Hebrews tells us to do good things for others and to share what we have with them. 

It also states that these are the kinds of sacrifices that please God. 

God Himself continues to do good things for us every day. 

He shares all of His creation with us. 

He gives us unconditional love and offers us forgiveness. 

He sent His Son, Jesus, to die as a sacrifice for our sins, so that all who believe could spend eternity with Him. 

Since God has done so much for me, I want to please Him and show my gratefulness and gratitude. 

I was shown love tonight. 

I think God was pleased with that act of love. 

God wants me to show love to others. 

This is just one way that I can please Him. 

Completely

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
—Ephesians 4:12

My husband bought a very thoughtful and loving card for me, along with some gifts. 

The card had a gem heart on it that was visible through a circular opening. 

The occasion?

Our wedding anniversary. 

Ephesians 4:12 encourages us to be completely humble.

Have I been completely humble in my marriage?

No.

The scripture also says to be  gentle. 

Have I been gentle in my actions and words?

Sometimes, yes. 

Other times, however, I haven’t. 

Have I been patient with my husband?

Have I always found myself to be “bearing” with him in love?

No.

Not always…

I will never be perfect, but I can always try to respond in the way God wants me to:

Humbly. 

Patiently.

Gently. 

After all, I do want my attitude to be right in my marriage when God looks through my life and sees my heart. 

Your Love

The flowers floating in the planter on the water were beautiful.

They had grown tall and lush in the fertile soil.

Love is beautiful.

Is my love for others growing and overflowing as God would want it to?

Is yours?

 

 

And may the Lord make your love for one another and for all people grow and overflow, just as our love for you overflows.

—1 Thessalonians 3:12

 

your love

Light Shines

“Light shines on the godly, and joy on those whose hearts are right.”

Psalm 97:11
Tonight, the spotlights were on and those who were performing could well be seen by the audience. 

During a production, the spotlights reveal the focus of a performance. 

The lighting technician is instructed where to shine the lights. 

For Christians, there is a different kind of light on us. 

The light of love. 

The light of the knowledge that we are redeemed and forgiven.  

The light of joy that assures us of acceptance by God. 

We have a spotlight on us every moment of every day. 

We are God’s children, well seen by our Heavenly Father. 

Love Must Be Sincere

The house is quiet. 

My cat is sleeping beside me, snuggled close to my leg and the open Bible on my lap.  

The weather forecast predicts rain will begin soon. 

The clock on the wall is ticking a steady and soothing pace. 

Life is good….

As I reflect on the last couple of days, I am reminded of a kindness toward me from someone I hardly know. 

After speaking to her briefly yesterday, a woman said, “I have something for you in my car.”

When she returned, she pinned a button on the shirt I was wearing. 

It simply stated, “I am loved.”

It was a sincere act of kindness that brightened my day and encouraged my heart. 

What does it mean to be sincere?

To be real?

To be genuine?

When we show love in any form, it is of worth only when given sincerely. 

In fact, if it is not shown sincerely, can what is given even be called love at all?

Love must be sincere. 

—From Romans 12:9

 

Love Never Fails

Love never fails. 

From 1 Corinthians 13:8

 Today I was presented with an elegant bouquet of white roses. 

They were meant to convey appreciation. 

They were meant to be an encouragement. 

They were meant to show love. 

Honoured to have them, I placed each stem into a vase with water, setting it on my dining table. 

Love never fails. 
 

Out Do

Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor.

Romans 12:10
When I came home the other day, I had a gift waiting from a friend, along with a card. 

It was a small briefcase, printed with a photo of old world bottles and jars. 

She has often encouraged me with cards or gifts through the years, picking just the right times to bring a smile to my day. 

I have seen her thoughtfulness displayed in the lives of others, as well. 

Romans 12:10 tells us to:

Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor.”

With each day that goes by, I want to remember that I have the power to help and encourage others just by greeting them with a smile, a kind word or doing a thoughtful deed.  

 

By This

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

—John 13:35

 

Yesterday, a friend came by my house to deliver a beautiful arrangement of flowers in a lavender colored vase.

Tonight, another friend loaned us their van so our entire family could travel together to a funeral out of state.

There are cards sitting on my piano from friends who are comforting and encouraging me and my family.

Another friend brought a wreath and placed it on my door.

It has been four days since we lost a loved one.

We have had four days of kindness.

Four days of love and consideration.

Four days of caring and consolation.

Four days of provision.

These things and many more are but a testimony of God’s love and the faithfulness and generosity of His people.

By these acts and those even before this time, our friends are showing that we love one another.

By these acts, also, others will know that they are followers of Jesus as they demonstrate His love.

 

 

love one another

What Great Love

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Roses are given as a gift of love.

Graceful and elegant, their aromatic petals delight us as we accept them.

We have been given a gift that is the greatest gift of all.

We must choose, however, to accept it.

God has lavished His love on us!

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him.  Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

—1 John 3:1-2

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Love is Patient

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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.

—1Corinthians 13:4-7

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patient

Fresh as the Morning

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The Lord‘s unfailing love and mercy still continue,
    Fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise.

—Lamentations 3:22-23

As I walked past the roses planted in the church yard, I stopped to photograph them.

The shower was now over and the water droplets were adorning the leaves and petals like transparent jewels.

Fresh after the rain, the life giving water would reach down into the soil, sustaining the beauty for another day.

God’s unfailing love and mercy toward us is ever present.

It reaches down into our lives, sustaining us each and every day.

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While We Were Still

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I heard the song for the first time playing in the background while at a restaurant tonight.

Not recognizing it, I listened more intently to the lyrics.

Being a love song, the main idea was that the singer wanted more than anything to just be “somebody” to the other person.

As I listened, I began thinking that I was already “somebody” to Jesus.

In fact, you are, too.

We do not have to hope and hope or worry and wonder if we are important to Him.

We don’t have to work at impressing Him in order to be noticed.

We don’t have to sink into sadness if we learn that He really doesn’t care, after all.

That won’t ever happen, because He will never stop caring about us or offering us His love.

His love will remain constant.

It is up to us to respond to that love.

He suffered and died for us on the cross because we were “somebody” important to Him.

Somebody worth dying for.

Somebody worth offering eternal life to.

Never forget—you are somebody to Jesus.

Who is Jesus to you?

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But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
—Romans 5:8

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