Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Sweetest Love Is...

James asked me to choose last night's topic for family worship
out of one of our favorite books:
The Power for True Success ~ How to Build Character in Your Life }
{{We so enjoy the teachings of Bill Gothard & the resources we've purchased from IBLP.}}

As I looked through the index, the LOVE vs. SELFISHNESS jumped out at me.
Seemed quite fitting so close to Valentine's Day to talk about love ;)

And, as to be expected, it was RICH material!
I knew I had to blog some of the highlights.

This verse, in particular, has been on my heart for the past year:

"By this shall ALL men KNOW that ye are my disciples, if ye have LOVE one to another."
     John 13:35

I have pondered the question often, 'do we, as Christians, truly love?'
We say we do.
Of course, we're Christians!
We have to love!
But do we truly love??
Based on the actions & attitudes displayed all too often by fellow Christians, I'm continually needing to convinced that love is the driving force.

It's easy to love when everyone is doing or acting just what we think they should.
You know, as long as they look like we think they should .... or behave just so-so.
As long as they treat us right & don't expect too much from us.

But the moment that we have to stretch beyond that, our 'love' is tested.

We all have contact, at some time or another, with sandpaper people.
We all know someone who seems downright unlovable.
We've all been hurt & disrespected.
We've been on the receiving end of hurtful gossip & lies.
It's easy to put these folks in the 'I love 'em cause I have to' category.
But does it measure up to Christ's standard of love?
Genuine love is the most important quality.
Every other quality must be motivated by it ... or the quality will be empty & of no benefit.

That hits hard.

1 Corinthians 13:3 says:
"Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor & though I give my body to be burned, & have not charity {love}, it profiteth me nothing."

Love is the only badge of discipleship that the world recognizes!
When we love one like Jesus loved, the world will notice!

He loves our enemies.
He loves the sandpaper people.
He loves the unlovable.

When we stop & think of the way He loves,
we then can be challenged to take our love to the next level.
Instead of praying for our enemies to stop aggravating us,
we can begin to pray for them to know the peace of Jesus Christ!
Instead of praying for folks to straighten up & fly right,
we can pray for them to come to the knowledge of the truth.
We can see people {& all their imperfections} as His creation, unique & valued in His eyes.

The sweetest love is that which is neither sought nor deserved.

Stay tuned  for additional blogs on this subject.

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