Posts Tagged ‘love’

Read: Philippians 2:5-8

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“Suppose there was a king who loved a humble maiden, ” begins a parable by Danish philosopher Soeren Kierkegaard (1813-1855).  How could he declare his love for her? She might respond out of fear or coercion, but he wanted her to love him for himself.

So the king, convinced that he could not appear as a king without crushing his loved one’s freedom, resolved to descend.  He stepped off his throne, took off his royal robes, and wrapped himself in a shabby cloak.  It was no mere disguise, but a new identity.  He took of the life of a servant to win the young woman’s hand.

What a gamble! She might love him or she might spurn him and send him away, and he would lose her love forever! But that’s a picture of the choice God gave to mankind, and that is what the parable is all about.

Our Lord humbled Himself in an effort to win our love.  “Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God, did not consider robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation” (Phil 2:5-7).  That is the story of Christmas: God in the manger; God found in a form that no one could possibly fear.

Now the question is this: Will we love Him, or will we spurn Him and send Him away? – David Roger

xmas

Invite Him in this Christmas, This Savior from above; The gift He seeks you need not wrap- He only wants your love. – Berg

God made His home with us that we might make our home with God.

[Source: Our Daily Bread,  17 Dec  2012]

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Thank you Lord for another year to celebrate life and for this wonderful birthday message! 🙂

change-the-worldOn several occasions I have been encouraged  when men I knew to be dishonest and immoral agreed to talk me about their conduct. Yet each time I was disappointed at the outcome of our meetings.

In each situation the person said he believed in God and wanted to escape hell. Some rationalized by saying everybody, even churchgoing people, are basically selfish. They do good only to escape punishment. Those who reasoned this way believed that because they sometimes were kind and generously to charitable causes, their chances of going to heaven were as good as those of the Christians they knew. One man vowed that he would do kind. But like the others, he wanted to have eternal life without the forgiveness and inner change that only Jesus can give.

The apostle Paul told Timothy how to deal with religionists who focused on externals. He reminded him that the purpose of godly instructions is a life that reflects a radical inner change: “love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith” (1Tim 1:5). Has God changed you from within? You can have a life changing encounter with Jesus if you’ll trust in Him –Herb Vander Lugt

How to be changed from within as easy as A-B-C…

Admit that you are a sinner and turn from your sin.
Believe that Jesus dies for you and rose from the dead.
Call on Him to be your Savior and Lord.

When God changes you, He works from inside out.

The purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from a sincere faith. – 1 Tim 1:5

Read: 1 Timothy 1:1-7

[Source: Daily Bread, 26 November 2012 message]

Life is all about love.

Because God is love, the most important lesson he wants you to learn on earth is how to love. It is in loving that we are most like him, so love is the foundation of every command he has given us: “The whole Law can be summed up in this one command”:  Love others as you love yourself.”

Learning to love unselfishly is not an easy task.  It runs counter to our self-centered nature.  That’s why we’re given a lifetime to learn it.  Of course, God wants us to love everyone, but he is particularly concerned that we learn to love others in his family.  As we’ve already seen this is the second purpose for your life. Peter tells us, “Show special love for God’s people”, Paul echoes this sentiment: When we have the opportunity to help anyone, we should do it.  But we should give special attention to those who are in the family of believers.”

Why does God insist that we give special love and attention to other believers? Why do they get priority in loving? Because God wants his family to be known for its love more than anything else.  Jesus said our love for each other– not doctrinal beliefs- is our greatest witness to the world.  He said,”Your strong love for each other will prove the world that you are my disciples.”

In heaven we will enjoy God’s family forever, but first we have some tough work to do here on earth to prepare ourselves for an eternity of loving.  God trains us by giving us “family responsibilities,” and the  foremost of these is to practice loving each other.

God wants you to be in regular, close fellowship with other believers so you can develop the skill of loving.  Love cannot be learned in isolation.  You have to be around people-irritating, imperfect, frustrating people.  Through fellowship we learn three important truths.

The Best Use of Life is Love

Love should be your top priority primary objective, and greatest ambition.  Love is not a good part of live; it’s the most important part.  The Bible says, “Let love be your greatest aim”.

It’s not enough to say, One of the things I want in life is to be loving,” as if its’ in your top ten list.  Relationships must have priority in your life above anything else.  Why?

Life without love is really worthless. Paul makes this point: “No matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.”

Often we act as if relationships are something to be squeezed into your schedule.  We talk about finding time for our children or making time for people in our lives.  That gives the impression that relationships are just a part of our lives along with many other tasks.   But God says relationships are what life is all about.  Four of the Ten Commandments deal with our relationship to God while the other six deal with our relationships with people.  But the ten are about relationships!  Later, Jesus summarized what matters most to God in two statements: love God and love people.  He said, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart…” This is the first and greatest commandments.  A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself.” All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” After learning to love God (worship), learning to love others is the second purpose of your life.

Relationships, not achievements or the acquisition of things, are what matter most in life.  So why do we allow our relationships to get the short end of the stick? When our schedules become overloaded, we start skimming relationally, cutting back on giving the time, energy, and attention that loving relationships require.  What’s most important to God is displaced by what’s urgent.

Busyness is a great enemy of relationships.  We become preoccupied with making a living doing our work, paying bills, and accomplishing goals as if these tasks are the point of life. They are not.  The point of life is learning to love – – God and people.  Life minus love equals zero.

Love will last forever.  Another reason God tells us to make love our top priority is that it is eternal  “ These three things continue forever:  faith, hope, and love.  And the greatest of these is love.”

Love leaves legacy.  How you treated other people, not your wealth or accomplishments, is the most enduring impact you can leave on earth.  As Mother Teresa said, “It’s not what you do, but how much love you put into it that matters.” Love is the secret of a lasting heritage.

I have been at the bedside of many people in their final moments, when they stand on the edge of eternity and I have never heard anyone one say, “Bring me my diploma! I want to look at them one more time.  Show me my awards, my medals, that gold watch I was given.” When life on earth is ending, people don’t surround themselves with objects.  What we want around us is people- people we love and have relationships with.

In our final moments we all realize that relationships are what life is all about.  Wisdom is learning the truth sooner rather than later.  Don’t’ wait until you’re on your deathbed to figure out that nothing matters more.

We will be evaluated on our love.  The third reason to make learning to love the goal of your life is that it is what we will be evaluated on in eternity.  One of the ways God measures spiritual maturity is by the quality of your relationships.  I heaven God won’t say, “Tell me about your career, your bank account, and your hobbies.” Instead he will review how you treated other people, particularly those in need. Jesus said the way to love him is to love his family and care for their practical needs.  “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me,”

When you transfer into eternity, you will leave everything else behind.  All you’re taking with you is your character.  That’s why the bible says, “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”

Knowing this, I suggest that when you wake up every morning, you kneel by your bed, or sit on the edge of it, and pray this: “God, whether I get anything else done today, I want to make sure that I spend time loving other people- because that’s what life is all about.  I don’t want to waste this day.” Why should God give you another day if you’re going to waste it?

The Best Expression of Love is Time

The importance of things can be measured by how much time we are willing to invest in them.  The more time you give to something, the more you reveal its importance and value to you. If you want to know a person’s priorities, just look at how they use their time.

Time is your most precious gift because you only have set amount of it. You can make more money, but you can’t make more time.  When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back.  Your time is your life.  That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.

It is not enough just to say relationships are important; we must prove it by investing time in them.  Words alone are worthless.  “My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.” Relationships take time and effort, and the best way to spell love is T-I-M-E.” The essence of love is not what we think or do or provide for others, but how much we give of ourselves.  Men , in particular, often don’t understand this.  Many have said to me, “I don’t understand my wife and kids.  I provide everything they need. What more they could want? They want you! Your eyes, your ears, your time, your attention, your presence, your focus-your time. Nothing can take the place of that.

The most desired gift of love is not diamonds or roses or chocolate.  It is focused attention.  Love concentrates so intently on another that you forget yourself at that moment.  Attention says. “I value you enough to give you my most precious asset- my time”.  Whenever you give your time, you are making a sacrifice, and sacrifice is the essence of love.  Jesus modeled this: “Be full of love for others, following the examples of Christ who loved you and gave himself to God as a sacrifice to take away your sins.”  You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving. “God so loved the world that he gave…” Love means giving up-yielding my preferences, comfort, goals, security, money, energy, or time for the benefit of someone else.

The Best Time to Love is Now

Sometimes procrastination is a legitimate response to a trivial task.  But because love is what matters most, it takes top priority.  The Bible stresses this repeatedly. It says “Whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone.”   Use every chance you have for doing good.”   “Whenever you possibly can, do good to those who need it.  Never tell your neighbor to wait until tomorrow if you can help them now.”

Why is now the best time to express love? Because you don’t know how long you will have the opportunity.  Circumstances change.  People die. Children grow up.  You have no guarantee of tomorrow.  If you want to express love, you had better do it now.  Knowing that one day you will stand before God, here are some questions you need to consider:  How will you explain those times when projects or things were more important to you than people? Who do you need to start spending more time with? What do you need to cut out of your schedule to make that possible? What sacrifices do you need to make?

The best use of life is love.  The best expression of love is time.  The best time to love is now.

[Source: The Purpose Drive Life, Rick Warren]

What is love? A lot of people have their own definitions of this four letter word. I saw a humorous definition which said “Love is a heterogeneous conglomeration of absurdity calculated to bamboozle the anatomy of the individual who become intoxicated with its abominable and irresistible power.” Whoa! Could that ever be love? Another one, Love is a feeling you feel when you feel that you’re going to get a feeling that you never felt before.” Whew! Whatever that is, it surely isn’t love! So how do we know if this is true love or not? Well, love has its counterfeit called infatuation. Now, let’s discern the counterfeit from the genuine.

Infatuation is ruled by feelings, but love’s feelings are ruled by principle. In the field of infatuation, the feelings are in charge. But the problem is that our feelings are fickle. They change easily. Today I feel great, so I kiss her. Tomorrow I feel terrible, so I kick her. That’s no love! True love has feelings, tender feelings which are put in the human heart by a caring God. But love is not composed of feelings only. It is feeling plus principle. Moreover, love is not controlled by feelings. It does not do anything and everything it feels. Rather in true love, the feelings are under control of principle.

Infatuation is blind, but love sees & examines. It cannot see and does not wish to see! Example, when a girl recognizes that her BF is hooked on drugs, but still proceeds with plans for marriage or when a boy observes his GF flirting continuously with other men but still goes ahead with the love affair, infatuation has blinded them. True love uses its eyes to see and to examine the strengths and weaknesses of the prospective partner. It is not afraid to ask hard questions nor to do difficult examinations.

Infatuation is in a hurry, but love takes time. Everything of permanent value in life takes time. We can build a shack overnight, but if we are building a house that will stand fury of a typhoon, that takes time. We can put up an artificial Christmas tree overnight, but to grow a real tree, that takes time. It has to be planted, watered and nourished for weeks, months, or years. Love is like a plant- a tender precious plant. Infatuation is ever in hurry: see her today, court her tomorrow, and marry her the day after! It’s “love at first sight”. It’s “puppy love.” And someone has rightly said, “Puppy love leads to a dog’s life.” But while this “puppy love” is in hurry, true love takes time- time to know and time to grow. Knowing a person always takes time & there is no “shortcut”.

Infatuation is obsessed with externals, but love is concerned with internals. “Puppy love” is obsessed with the figure, is a slave to the fashion, and is intoxicated with sex appeal. In fact, where infatuation reigns, sex dominated the relationship. True love admires the figure & appreciated sexual intimacy. But these are not the greatest concerns of true love. It is more concerned with the personality, the kind of person the partner really is. Love examines the habits, the inner virtues or vices. True love pays attention to the character, the inner self. While we cannot read a person’s heart, our concern should be more what the beauty of character rather that the beauty of figure.

Infatuation is childish, but love is mature. Childish & selfish, “puppy love” says “Give me,” with a little or no concerns for the other. It is self-centered. But true love is other-entered. It is concerned with the welfare of one’s partner. Childish and irresponsible, infatuation says, “I don’t understand the word tomorrow; give it to me now.” It cries for gratification today, regardless of the consequences later. On the other hand, true love refrains from enjoying today that which it will regret tomorrow.

Infatuation is a human ditch, but love is a divine ladder. One goes down, the other goes up. Infatuation is a ditch into which blindfolded people fall, but love is a ladder onto which wide-eyed people climb. In a certain sense, we do not “fall” in love; we climb on to love. True love does not come by accident; it involves effort. It takes thinking & working & caring. So while infatuation is a human pit, true love is a divine ladder. And every person has a freedom to choose between the tragedy of one and the triumph of the other.

[Source: I Love You by Gordon Martinborough]