Love Is??

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant  or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;  it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends.  1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Okay folks, let’s be serious, did you actually think that I would not address the most famous love quote in the Bible before the end of the month.  This is a quote said at weddings a lot, but this quote of love is not just for a husband and wife but how we are to be with everyone.  Jesus loved us no matter how sinful we are, with patience and tolerance; however, we do not afford the same courtesy to others.  We set limits and conditions on our love, hold grudges over real and imagined slights, and just all around generally behave in a loveless manner to our fellow humans.  Now before you get yourself all worked up, I DO THE SAME THING.  That’s right, I hold myself just as accountable as any other.  I have been trying to be better, and I have been being more loving towards those that I may not agree with or upset me; but sometimes I falter.  When I do, I brush myself off, get back on the path and continue.  This is not a condemnation of our attitude, but rather a chance for you to look deep into yourself and ask the questions I pose –

Have you shown love to the driver that cut you off?

Have you shown love to the family member that said something hurtful?

Have you shown love to the cashier that took too long to ring you up?

Have you??

Have you loved all as Jesus did?

 

Please comment and let me know, I enjoy hearing from you.

Michele Edgel

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Martin Luther on Love

On Love

“Therefore we conclude that all law, divine and human, treating of outward conduct, should not bind any further than love goes. Love is to be the interpreter of law.”

Read more here.

What does this quote mean to you?  Send us your comments.

Love Like God

I came across this scripture in a book I am currently reading, Nourishing the Seed by Bob Mumford.  It is taken from The Message, which is a paraphrase of the Bible, and it fits so well with our theme this month.

Watch what God does and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents.  Mostly what God does is love you.  Keep company with him and learn a life of love.  Observe how Christ loves us.  His love was not cautious, but extravagant.  He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us.  Love like that”  Ephesians 5:1-2″

What are some of your favorite Bible verses about love?  Please comment and share.

 

Blessings

This post has some good practical ideas about how to love those who need us the most.

goodnewsforabadworld

As my wife and I sat looking out at the heavy snow this past weekend I thought what great blessings God had made in my life. At that moment the blessings I counted very dear were those of shelter and the necessities of life–food, water, clothing, etc.  But then the Lord brought me another thought–what are the blessings He was giving to the least and the last in our society? How was He blessing those who were living in tents or taking a day or two in the cold weather shelter?  If I’m so blessed, what are their blessings?

And then the answer came to me (no doubt from Him).  We are their blessings.  God is blessing those who are the weakest in our society with people who can care for them in the midst of their poverty, illness and trials.  God has blessed the poor with people who…

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Only Love Lasts

If you’re a Lutheran, you know we’re in the midst of Lent. That means an extra weekly church service.  In keeping with the penitential mood of the season, our Pastor (who is also my husband) selected the book of Ecclesiastes for the sermon series.  It’s a rather gloomy book; the “preacher” or “teacher” (reputed to be King Solomon), lists the many accomplishments of his life.  He’s rich, wise, famous, successful, and has enjoyed all the pleasures available to man.  Yet none of these things have truly satisfied him.  He calls them all, “vanity” (or in some translations “meaningless”), no more than “chasing after the wind.”

Last week’s sermon got me thinking about a talk I once heard by James Dobson. He said when his father died, he did not remember how much money he made, or what he had achieved professionally.  He didn’t think about the many “things” and comforts his father had provided for the family.  He remembered the times he and his dad spent together, doing simple activities like going fishing. Those times taught him that his father cared for him and wanted to be with him. They were the kind of memories he wanted to pass down to his own children.  Love is the best legacy to leave, the only one that really lasts.

In the thirteen chapter of 1 Corinthians, the apostle Paul attests to this when he says, “Love never ends: as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease, as for knowledge, it will pass away.” Even our spiritual accomplishments are “nothing” if we don’t do them out of love.

So, like Paul, “Make love your aim.”(1 Corinthians 14:1).

How do you plan to do that  this week?  Send us your ideas and comments.

The Greatest Love

You can’t really have a discussion about Love without mentioning John 3:16:

“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.”

This statement is one that I think is so overused that it becomes mundane in our Christian life.  Think about this. God loves the whole world. That’s not just us, the Christian, but everyone in the whole world. That’s a lot of people. And giving up His son, Jesus. I don’t know if any of us would sacrifice our children for another person, much less the whole world.

Jesus came into the world knowing that He would be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. There would be no more lambs or sheep sacrificed. Jesus was sacrificed as the perfect Lamb. In his human form He asked his Father if He didn’t have to do this, but in the next breath said “Not my will, but Yours”.  If a person in this world lost their life to save yours, it would cause a huge disruption in your emotional being. You would do anything to try to repay the loss to the family of that person. Your mind would always be on that person, thinking about them.

In our busy lives it is difficult to keep our Lord’s Wonderful Love and Amazing Grace in the forefront of our minds always. I think we should all attempt this, but I know that I fall way short of this goal. As I grow in my walk with the Lord, I hope to make this my goal: Never lose the awe that the Lord loves me and, because of that love, died for me.

All You Need is Love

Love has been on my mind lately. No, not because of Valentine’s Day or my wedding anniversary, it’s just been coming up again and again in the weekly epistle readings. That really isn’t surprising since love is at the heart of the Christian life. The Bible tells us that “God is love” (1 John 4:16) and Jesus Himself teaches that the greatest commandments are “…love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind …And … love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39).  Church tradition says that when the apostle John was very old he would be carried into church where his entire sermon consisted of the statement:  “Beloved, let us love one another.” (1 John 4:7)  Love is the fruit of the Holy Spirit poured out into us (Galations 5:22) and the identifying mark of all Christians (John 3:35).  The New Testament commands us to love more than fifty times!

So why do we find it hard to love certain people? I think the answer lies in the way we define love.  For most of us, love means certain feelings:  tenderness, affection and attachment which we expect (or at least hope) to have reciprocated.  Unfortunately, there are plenty of people, even in our own churches and families, for whom we cannot muster up those feelings.  We struggle to “love” people who have qualities that annoy us, who have hurt us or treated us badly, who disagree with us.  How can we love people we don’t even like? How can we love people who don’t like us?

A careful reading has convinced me that Biblical love is not about feelings, but actions. We can’t control our emotions, but we can control what we do in response to them. We are to love others in the way we behave toward them. The apostle John, in his first epistle tells us to love “not in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”  The love verses in the Bible are filled with action words:  “serve one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2); “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15); “spur one another on to love” (Hebrews 10:24); “pursue love” (1 Timothy 2:22) and if fact “do everything in love” ( 1 Corinthians 16: 14).  In some verses, the instructions are even more specific: “… outdo one another in showing honor” (Romans 12:10); “if you enemy is hungry, feed him (Romans 12:20); bless those who persecute you (Romans 12:14); “ …pray for those who abuse you(Luke 6:28).

Next time (and it will be soon) I am confronted with a person I find difficult to love, I plan to ask the Holy Spirit to help me behave in accordance with the love qualities described in Colossians 3:12-17: “ …compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other.”  The apostle Paul calls this “walking by the spirit” (Galatians 5:16) Loving actions lead to freedom and peace; and as Paul adds, “against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:23).

This article was previously published in The Ambassador Facebook Page, an AFLC (Association of Free Lutheran Churches) magazine