Love {2.14.17}

Happy Valentine’s Day to all! I hope you are giving and receiving love on this day and every day. It’s hard not to think of love this time of year in our part of the world isn’t it? We are bombarded with suggested gifts for our loved ones. flowers I was in our neighborhood grocery store yesterday and before I even got into the store, the “in between area of carts” was FULL (I mean full) of flowers! It was beautiful! There was hardly room to get in the door. Our retailers help remind us all to give up some cash and show someone we love them. It’s not all about cash though. There are many things we can do and say to show our love. We can get creative and think like a child. They usually know what it’s all about.

I have felt God calling me to write a message on love for this Valentine’s Day and I actually typed one up yesterday but never could get it finished. It just didn’t seem “right” somehow. This morning I realized why. God gave me a message as only He can.

I checked Facebook to see how a friend is recovering from her surgery. Praise God she is doing well. While I was in Facebook I saw a post from another friend. It was a prayer request for a dear friend of hers who is waiting for a transplant. Then it hit me – right in the heart. You see I had a dear friend years ago who was also waiting for a transplant. It’s a terrible time of mixed emotions. You want the transplant because it will give the person needing it hope for continued life here on earth. However, you realize that in order for them to live, someone else must die. We don’t wish death on anyone (or at least we shouldn’t) so that’s a hard thing to wrap our heads and hearts around. Usually the person dies of illness or accident. While that’s a tragic time in the life of their family, it brings hope to the one waiting the transplant. Hope and despair sometimes go hand in hand.

There was another though who died so that we could live. His death was no accident. It was caused by no illness. He willingly gave up His life out of love for The Father and love for all of us – ALL OF US. His name is Jesus. He suffered more than any of us will ever be able to truly imagine and He knew exactly what it would be like before going down that road. Now that is love – true love – sacrificial love – pure love – everlasting love.god-is-love

“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. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” (John 3:16-21)

We all seek love. Millions of songs, poems, books, movies, etc. are centered on love. We all want to be loved and to love. But this Valentine’s Day, let’s remember where love started in the first place.

“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:8)

spread-loveToday it seems like we see a lot of hate in our world rather than love. Don’t you wonder what would happen if we turned that hate around by loving others? Let’s give it a try. It’s possible even to love our enemies when we have God in our hearts. We can make the world a better place – one person at a time. Like the song says, “Love is all we need.” Let’s share it.

Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-38)

Love {2.21.16}

Love means a lot of different thing to a lot of people, doesn’t it? To a child it might mean a kiss and Band-Aid on a hurt knee or a hug when they are scared. To a teenager it might seem like the do all or end all of their daily activities. To a young couple, it might mean flowers, movies, love notes (probably in the form of text messages). To an older couple, it might mean taking care of and helping each other remember things. No matter what stage in life, we all hunger for love.

valentine flowers

A friend showed me the Valentine’s Day gifts her husband gave her this year. She received a beautiful necklace and earrings. Her smile beamed as she showed them to me. It made me very happy for her. I am a romantic at heart, I have to admit. The rub comes in that my “valentine” is not so much. But, he shows me love in a million ways and after many years together we know and accept each others differences in how we share and show love.

There is one expression of love, however that all of us need and desire (even if we don’t know it). It’s the unconditional love of God. It’s a redeeming love, a saving love, a true love –  that Christ died for all of us so that we may live a victorious life here on earth and an everlasting life in Heaven after this life is over. Once we receive (accept) this love offering from God, we are able to share it with others. Sometimes it’s easy to love others. Sometimes it takes the divine intervention of the Holy Spirit to enable us to truly love. I think this quote is a great expression of our responsibility to love others. love others

As you go about your day, look for those who seem to need some love and share yours. I’d love to hear your stories. Please share here – it will encourage the rest of us.