All Posts Tagged: love

Who Am I – Part 4

 

 

My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God.
Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God.
The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God,
because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love.
1 John 4-8

 One of their religion scholars posed a question:
“Teacher, which command in God’s Law is the most important?”
Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’
This is the most important, the first on any list.
But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’

Matthew 22:36-39

 

Yes, we’re still examining this question: “Who am I?”

I should like to assert two facts.

First: “God created human beings; he created them godlike, reflecting God’s nature. (Genesis 1:26-28) God’s nature” is “LOVE”.

They’re called “laws of physics.” They describe how the physical universe operates. Here’s the Law of Conservation of Energy: Energy can neither be created nor destroyed but it can be transformed from one form to another (E=mc2).

God’s nature” is “Love”. It’s the  way God operates. It is, so to speak, God’s Law! (The Manner of Life)  As sons and daughters, we were originally designed to reflect the Creator Father. Hence, we were invented to love. It’s the law of our being.

 

Second, observe the world today. Obviously, humankind doesn’t operate according to the Creator’s original design. We’ve burned the blueprint of our “human-ness.” We live contrary to the law of our design. Result? Adrift on the ocean of life, we can no longer see the shore of our true identity. We’re unable to answer the question: “Who and I?”

The Power of Love

 

God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love,
we live in God and God lives in us
1 John 4:16

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
Love never dies.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8

When I think of the greatness of this great plan
I fall on my knees before God the Father, a
and I pray that you, firmly fixed in love yourselves,
may be able to grasp how wide and deep and long and high
is the love of Christ and to know for yourselves that love
so far beyond our comprehension.
May you be filled though all your being with God himself
Ephesians 3:14-19

This post is about the power of love and features a movie entitled “Shelter

Both the character and action of God is one of Love!
1 Corinthians 13 provides a snapshot of the attitude and actions of Love.
The qualities of love are “beyond human comprehension”.

 

The nature of love comes to full expression in the person and works of Jesus. He kneels to be with a woman “caught in the act of adultery.” (John 8;2-10) He calls a group of fisherman who are on the lowest rung on social status. (John 1:16-17) He eats with a tax collector that is considered the scum of society. (Mark 2:13-17) He approaches lepers who are rejected from social interaction with “normal” persons. He heals a sick lad because of the persistence of a mother. He feeds 5000 because he is concerned that they are hungry. (Mark 6:30-44) He travels to Samaria, of all places, just to encounter one woman who is terribly bruised and broken. (John 4:4-26)  He heals two demoniacs whose behavior is a threat to human decency. (Matthew 8:28-34)  Generally, he associates with “tax collectors and sinners” who are the rejects of respectable society. (Matthew 11:18-20) To the ire of the disciples He breaks social mores by talking with a woman, and that, alone. (John 4:27) He defends a woman who exercises extravagant behavior by pouring expensive perfume on Jesus feet. (Matthew 26:6-8)

The persons of the Trinity give and receive love. Made in God’s image, we too were created to give and receive love. Without this interchange will wilt like a without water!

The song by Celine Dion, “Because you Loved Me” captures the essence of the movie.

For all those times you stood by me
For all the truth that you made me see
For all the joy you brought to my life
For all the wrong that you made right
For every dream you made come true
For all the love I found in you
I’ll be forever thankful baby
You’re the one who held me up
Never let me fall
You’re the one who saw me through through it all

You were my strength when I was weak

You were my voice when I couldn’t speak
You were my eyes when I couldn’t see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach
You gave me faith ’cause you believed
I’m everything I am
Because you loved me

 

Now, to the movie “Shelter“. For those of you who tend to be extremely sensitive about certain behaviors and speech, you most likely should not watch the movie. For those of you who are biased about “strange” religious faiths, you probably should not watch the movie. For those of you who find it difficult to see the human condition of many, you probably should not watch the movie. By now, you get my drift!

Shelter” is about a woman and man who are “street people. At first their relationship is one of antagonism. With time their lives become intertwined by the power of love. That’s enough as I don’t want to give away the impact of the movie! 

 

The Medicine of Life – The Grace Of Jesus

 

We are saved by grace through faith—a gift from God.Ephesians 2:8

God is love.” (1 John 4:16)  Humans were designed to love and be loved! Jesus confirmed this: “Love God … and love your neighbor as you love yourself.” (Matthew 22:34-40) 

Observe both Europe and the Middle East today! Obviously, humankind is NOT loving! The Manual renders this diagnosis: “Everyone sins! Everyone falls short of God’s glorious design! (Romans  3:23)

The virus of sin has caused a major malfunction in the human spirit so that we “fall short” of loving God, others and self. We’re dis-eased and the disease is deadly! “We were dead because of our sins….” (Ephesians 2:5) We exist but are unable to fulfill our destiny! 

“How helpful it is to see sin, like addictive behavior, as a dis-ease, a very destructive dis-ease instead of merely something that was culpable, punishable, or “made God unhappy,” If sin indeed made God unhappy, it is  because God desires nothing more than our happiness. and wills the healing of our dis-ease.” (Breathing Under Water, p xv, Richard Rohr)Though our prognosis is extremely bleak, we’re not hopeless! Father has a medicine to cure our dis-ease

Blood is red in appearance; yet it contains white blood cells. When your body is under a viral assault, white blood cells attack the virus. However, in gaining victory they die. Healing is won via death! 

 

 

Father’s medicine is called GRACE: God’s Restoration At Christ Expense! “We are saved (the meaning of this word is “made whole”) by grace….” The old hymn calls it “amazing.” Why? Whereas grace is extremely costly (“You were rescued by the precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:19), yet, it’s “a gift from God

How does one obtain the Medicine Of Life? Jesus said, “Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? I’m here inviting the sin-sick, not the spiritually-fit.” (Mark 2:17)

Have you been to the Doctor yet? 

 

The medicine of love

gl“The birth of the baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all history, because it has meant the pouring into a sick world the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years.” —George Matthew Adams

medicine of love“A wise physician said—The best medicine for humans is Love. Someone asked—What if it doesn’t work? He smiled and answered—Increase the dose.” —Unknown

Love = Patience

This is from Pastor Craig T. Owens. Excellent relational stuff! Imagine if Father ever got weary of being patient with such as me! 

PatienceLast week I wrote about how we can be empowered to get along with everyone, everywhere. But something I didn’t mention (which might be obvious) is this: Connecting with everybody, everywhere is hard work!

We have to remember that relationship is the goal. We’re not trying to make converts to Christianity and rack up some sort of high score. We’re building relationships with people because we love people; and that love for them should motivate us to:

  1. Want what’s best for them
  2. Be willing to serve them

The Bible says thisAnd we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.

Everyone?! There’s that word again!

This word patient has five parts to its definition. I’m struck by how these aspects of patience also echo the definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13

  • Patience doesn’t lose heartLove is patient (1 Corinthians 13:4a)
  • Patience endures misfortuneLove is not self-seeking (13:5a)
  • Patience is slow to angerLove is not easily angered (13:5b)
  • Patience bears with the offenses of othersLove keeps no record of wrongs (13:5c)
  • Patience perseveres bravelyLove always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails (13:7-8)

How are you doing in your relationships? Are you losing heart? becoming angry? about ready to throw in the towel on a difficult relationship? Ask God to renew your love, and your patience level will increase as well. 

Let’s all strive to love others—even the difficult “others”—the way God loves us!