5.27.2014

It's All About Love

Good Morning! I am so glad to see you! Come in! Come in! Just ignore the pile of boots by the back door. It's that busy time of year that finds us wrapping up the end of calving and getting ready for branding. Ugh! I am so glad you popped in this morning. It's the perfect time to sit down for a little bit of visiting. The washing machine ought to be finishing up right about the time our visit does.

This morning I happened to notice a guest had been visiting the archives. Since I couldn't remember what the posts that were visited were about, I popped in to see for myself. Oh my. I needed to read those again. I so needed to read them. Then it dawned on me that perhaps others would enjoy visiting about these things too. Since it's summer and summer is such a lovely time for visiting, why not reminesce? Maybe it will spark a fresh, new conversation in the comments!


WHAT ABOUT LOVE?
 
OK, only those from the 1980s will understand, but I was thinking about a title for this post when I heard a line from an 80s song. The line fit, so, there it is "What About Love?"

What About Love? As regular readers know, the topic of God's Love has been an active, vital part of our family's lives for several years now. We have each been actively pursuing love and learning how to walk in love with our fellow man, as well as each other, for over 15 years. While looking for the reference to a specific verse in my concordance, I couldn't help but be amazed at the sheer volume of verses on love. Whoa! There are A LOT! I mean A LOT. Not only are there a lot of verses containing the word love, many of these verses contain instruction for believers in Christ regarding God's love. If love is so important, I mean God is love, so it must be important. God is important, isn't He? or is He?

Do our lives say that God is important? I'm not talking about whether or not religious practices and church attendance are important to us. I'm talking about our lives and the way we live them. If God is love, and He is, do our words and actions say so? What about our tones of voice? Does the attitude in our words and actions towards our spouse say God(love) is important? What about towards our children? What about our actions and words towards fellow drivers on the road? or other shoppers in the stores? Would our hairdresser or mechanic know that God(love) is important to us? Let's think about our physician, our dentist, our optometrist, and our accountant, would they know? Don't forget the paper boy or girl and the pizza delivery person and the sales representative from that company that just placed an item on backorder, again. Can't leave the telemarketers who just love to call right at supper time out either, now can we? Do they know God is important to us? What about that neighbor whose dog just can't seem to stay in his own yard, and worst of all, that crazy dog takes care of its business in our yard too.

Here we go, off to our love checklist in 1 Corinthians 13. Now we get to examine ourselves and see just how important God (love) really is to us. According to God's standards, God's love in us:
  • endures long
  • is patient
  • is kind
  • never is envious
  • never boils over with jealousy
  • it not boastful
  • is not vainglorious
  • does not display itself haughtily
  • is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride)
  • it is not rude (unmannerly)
  • does not act unbecomingly
  • does not insist on its own rights or its own way
  • it is not self-seeking
  • it is not touchy or fretful or resentful
  • it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]
  • it does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness
  • rejoices when right and truth prevail
  • bears up under anything and everything that comes
  • is ever ready to believe the best of every person
  • its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances
  • it endures everything [without weakening]
  • never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]
Anyone else saying oh me? Not touchy? Never is envious, never? fadeless under all circumstances? really? This is the love that has been shed abroad in the heart of every believer in Jesus. This is what drives out and expels every trace of fear. This is what has overcome the world and its power to harm us. "For God (love) so loved the world He (love) gave His (love's) ownly begotten Son." John 3:16. This is the greatest - love.

The above checklist allows us to hold our lives up and gauge our God (love) walk. It is a marvelous tool given by God to use as we strive to conform to His image. A gift graciously given by Him to teach, assist, and guide. 1 Corinthians 13 is not, however, the only scripture on love. The entire Bible abounds with the love of God in verse after verse. Such rich promises, sweet victory, and wondrous treasure is ours through the love of God! I would seriously encourage everyone to get a concordance, borrow one if need be, and look up every verse referring to the love of God. Another exercise to try during personal Bible study time is to look up verses containing God and substitute the word love in its place. Your walk with Christ will be revolutionized, I promise, yes I do.

Also, don't just look the verses up, begin to commit them to memory. As a person begins to walk in the love of God more fully, the enemy comes against them in an attempt to steal the seed (the Word of God).(Mark 4:14) Having the Word hidden in our heart, allows us to stand strong and defeat the enemy by using the very Word satan is attempting to steal against him as the sword that the Spirit wields. ( Ephesians 6:17) When we begin to order our words and actions as if God truly is important to us, others will be drawn to His love coming out of us. Soon we will find ourselves reaching out with His hands and caressing the wounded with the words of God (love). Grudges we have been harboring fade away, resentment leaves, and bitterness is replaced with loving kindness. Instead of grumping and grouching, we console and understand. Patience replaces the pushing and shoving fulfilling our own agenda breeds. Instead of rushing around and being rude in an attempt to go serve God, we find ourselves observing everyone around us as we, like our Heavenly Father, intently look for an opportunity to minister His love to a lost and hurting world.

Jesus Himself said that He came not to condemn the world but that the world might be saved through Him (love). (John 3:17) Servants are not greater than their masters. We are to be imitators of God as dearly beloved children imitate their fathers. (Galatians 5:1) How can we be irritable and rude to that scattered clerk in the checkout line? The steps of a righteous man are ordered by God. (Psalm 37:23) God has divinely ordained that we are the one to be in that particular clerk's line because we have the life and love of God he or she needs, NOT because we always get the slowest, grouchiest checkout. Maybe we seem to always get the slowest, grouchiest checkout because the slowest, grouchiest checkout is in need of God's love and healing power, and we have been divinely created and positioned to minister that love to him/her. Love,

God's love in us, transforms us by the renewing of our mind. I desperately need this transformation to move my focus from myself and my own plans and schedules onto the lost and hurting people God has already planned for me to minister to, in His name. Others have ministered His love to me time and time again. How can I not do the same for those around me? So, what about Love? It's ALL about Love.

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