In the most recent months, love has really been on my mind. It's so easy to become confused about love and what it really means. I've read 1 Corinthians 13 many times this past fall and have tried to apply it to my everyday life. That passage is often referred to as the Love Chapter of the Bible. Love covers a lot of things - it covers absolutely everything. Check out this picture. God's love is the most powerful thing on this earth!
I got a lot to work on - it'll take me a lifetime to attain this kind of love! To really love, God tells us in His Word that we are to love one another for love is of God, that God is Love (1 John 4:7-10). We are to "love your neighbor as yourself" Matt. 19:19. He also tells us that the greatest commandment is to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind" Matt. 22:37. A Greek word to describe unconditional love is the word 'Agape' . This world's love is very conditional and is confused so often with lust. God's love is agape but world's love is often lust. I heard someone say, "I love my wife but I also love....tacos??" How can we say those two things in the same breath if we truly understand the real meaning of love? If we truly understood the real meaning of love we would not use it so lightly.
This is God's love - true love. It never fails, it never gives up hope, it never talks wrong of others, it never loses faith, it is never boastful or proud, it never keeps a record of wrongs, it never gives up, it always endures, it is kind, it is patient, it rejoices when the truth wins out, it is never jealous, it is never irritable, it is not rude, it does not demand it's own way, it does not rejoice in wrong things,.... WOW! What a goal that I desire to live up to! But how can I possibly do this on my own strength? It is impossible! How wonderful and relieving it is to know that this is not something that I can simply attain to and strive for on my own - God is there to help me! He is there to love me so that I can love like Him. God loves me so that I can love others! What a relief! God is so faithful! His love is so faithful! God loves me so I can love others!! There are people in each of our lives that are difficult to love and to like but with God's help, we can love them, I can love them. And with God's help, others can love me when I'm difficult to love or to like.
Let's remember why God sent His Son down here to earth as a baby - to die on the cross for our sins so that Jesus could rise again and give us eternal life. So that we could have a hope that goes beyond this world. John 3:16 says that God so loved the world that He sent His one and only Son and that whoever believes in Him will never die but will have eternal life. What a promise! Do we love others enough to share that promise with them? Would we want that promise shared with us? I know I sure would. This world is going downhill very quickly. We cannot put all our hope in this world because nothing in it will last. The only lasting value on this earth is the relationships that we have with other people - those that we love. There is nothing that we can take with us to the life beyond this one - everything and everyone dies eventually. Love is the only thing of lasting value. How we learn to love here on earth is our testing ground.
"Lord, teach me to love the way you want me to love. Love for You, for my husband, for my children, for my family, for my friends, for my neighbors - and anyone in this world is my neighbor, it's not just those that live near me. Help me not to get your true kind of love confused with the enjoyments of this world and the twisted way that this world teaches us to love at times. Teach me to love your truths always and to love your ways and your laws in order that I would be completely obedient to you in all circumstances each and every day. It's so wonderful to learn and grow each day Lord. I never want to lose that desire to follow you and to learn what it means to love you with all my heart, with all my soul and with all my mind. Teach me that Father. In the precious name of Jesus I pray, Amen."