What does it mean to love?
God has much to say about the answer to this question in Scripture. For instance, He tells His children that they are to love Him with all their minds and hearts. He goes on to say that not only are they to love Him, they are also to love their neighbor, i.e. one another. He is not finished, however, for He tells husbands that they are to love their wives and conversely, that wives are to love their husbands and their children. He even tells them that they are to love their enemies!
We are told to love but again, what does it mean to love? How would we recognize the act of love?
We are able to recognize it because He first showed it to us when He loved us. He broke into man’s world and gave His only begotten Son, all that He had to give, as the final sacrifice for the satisfaction of the grief that out sins caused Him. Because He did this, husbands are able to place the wellbeing of their wives and children above their own. We are able to forgive the offense of a neighbor, treating that neighbor as if the offense never occurred.
The examples of love are all around you if you will but take the time to look for them.
Scripture: Proverbs 10:12
Even a superficial reading of the Old Testament leaves one with the understanding that the basic unit of God’s structure for man is the family. Whether you are married or single, we all belong to a “family” of some type. The problem today is that those family relationships are being tested, and in far too many instances, broken. This is a problem with long-term consequences.
God intended the family, marital or otherwise, as the place where values are taught, where love is expressed, where there is safety, to name just a few of the facets of family life. It is a place that is bathed in love.
Each of us is a tablet upon which the other members of our family can write. When the family is intact, strong, and functioning well what is written is always couched in love. When the family is broken the messages are couched in anything but love.
The only way to keep the messages that are written on the tablets of our loves ones positive is to keep the bounds of the family intact. Can you live with strangers writing on the tablets of your loved ones with messages that are contrary to what you know should be written?
If not, then work at keeping your family healthy. Solve the problems that arise, don’t walk away from them only to carry that baggage into your next relationship.
The Most Important Life Lesson Ever Learned
There are many lessons that we learn from God’s Word – The Bible. We can make ourselves dizzy just trying to remember them all, let alone putting them into practice.
At times, it is a good idea to just step back and take a look at what is truly fundamental in our relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus. Anna B. Warner did exactly that when, in 1860, she wrote these words: “Jesus loves me – this I know, for the Bible tells me so; little ones to Him belong – they are weak, but He is strong.” We of course know this as the first verse to that children’s hymn – Jesus Loves Me.
These words are simple, direct, and fundamental to our relationship with our Lord and Savior. So, the next time that you have the opportunity to sing this hymn, do so with the gusto and innocence of the Child of God that you are.
Know that you are loved in spite of what you may have done in the past, what you are doing, and what you might do in the future. Allow that love to bring you to the confession of your sins and to guide you this day and every day that follows.
Scripture: Ephesians 3:14-18
Take Care Of Your Marriage
Marriage is one of God’s gifts to His children. It’s like a fine wine that ages well with care and nurturing. With each passing year it can become more robust and full-bodied, or it can spoil, turning to the sourest of vinegars.
So, what does it take to care for and nurture a marriage? Well, not only does God give us this institution of marriage, He also teaches us how to take care of it.
He tells us that a wife should be submissive to her husband; not as an inferior to him but as a partner in the marriage. He goes on to tell a husband that he should love his wife as Christ loved the Church, placing her welfare first in his life above all else. Still not done, He tells a wife that she should respect her husband, the implication being that he should be deserving of her respect.
If both of you can accomplish this, then your marriage will sweeten and become more robust and enjoyable with each passing year. It will take some work and possibly a change in focus, but it is worth the effort. Why? Because you will be living according to His will for you; finding a peace that can be found nowhere else.
Scripture: Ephesians 5
Hugged Your Family Today?
Did you hug your children before you left for work today? How about telling your spouse that you love him, or her? If you don’t have children or are not married, did you tell a friend how much you value their friendship?
If you didn’t, you missed a wonderful opportunity to strengthen your relationships with them. Perhaps you were just too busy or something else had your attention. Yes, this happens to all of us at one time or another. However, can we ever justify being too busy or too distracted to focus for a few moments on a loved one? Just maybe your day would have been better if you had taken the time to tell someone how much you love them.
It’s a good thing that God is never too busy or too preoccupied to tell you how much He loves you. Even when you don’t think that you deserve it you do, for His love is unconditional!
Give it a try this week and see what happens; you might be surprised.
Scripture: John 3:16
Over the years you’ve been blessed by the many relationships that you’ve encountered. As you look back over them, you see that they are a living reminder that life is all about relationships.
Most of our relationships are transient and for the most part enjoyable. However, there is one relationship that is permanent, joyful and by far the most important of all – our relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. He brings a love to the relationship that is strong. So strong, that He willingly died on the cross so that you and He can continue your relationship for all of eternity.
So, the next time one of your relationships is not going as well as you think that it should, think back to what He did to ensure that His relationship with you went the way that it should. He gave everything to make the relationship with you work; can you say that you’ve done the same?
Scripture: Acts 10:43
Life’s Only Constant
The only constant in life is change, or so a very wise man once said. At first-blush you might think that he was just being funny, but history teaches us that he was spot-on with his observation. The world of today is no longer the same world as it was even a few short years ago.
There is one aspect of life, however, where his observation is not spot-on. In amongst the changes in our lives, there is one facet of life that has not changed – God’s word and His love for His children.
Our understanding of right and wrong, good and bad, acceptable and unacceptable may have shifted over time, but His word and His love for His children has not!
His love for each one of us is the same now as it’s always been: at times soft and comforting and at others, hard and demanding. Yet, in all of His dealings with us, this foundation has never changed.
Scripture: 1 John 4:19