LOVE!

LOVE! THE TRUE MEANING HAS BEEN PERVERTED FOR SO LONG  BY HOLLYWOOD USING SOUND AFFECTS, PICTURES and PLATITUDES disguised as profound until we’ve essentially resorted to making it entirely physical.  A good example is the 1970 movie with Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw, LOVE STORY.  A memorable line is, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”  [O how sweet!]  Not too many people can define LOVE. Our culture, philosophy, education and experiences all influence the way we think of LOVE.  

I guess Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald defined and sang LOVE this way:

“I’ve got the world on a string

I’m sitting on a rainbow

Got that string around my finger

What a world, what a life; I’m in love.”  (Ted Koehler)
In the 1960’s our culture redefined LOVE to mean a whole list of decadent behaviors.  Our American “enlightenment” has proven The Scriptural statement:  “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7 (kjv))  Using the ’60s definitions & behaviors, one could do anything, act any way, and as long as its called love, all is OK!  I think the 60s is when the innocuous statement got started, [gotta sing it] “luv yeew.”  No you don’t and I don’t!  But as long as we kind of sing it, it legitimizes it. True LOVE goes beyond and above.  LOVE is willing to go to the mat, make any sacrifice, lift any load, go the second mile, and do all this without complaining. 

 Do I have the ability to define LOVE apart from the Word of God?  No!  But the Apostle Paul, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit,  penned one of the most memorable, declamatory and eloquent chapters in the Bible writing to the Corinthians.  

“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t LOVE others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t LOVE others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t LOVE others, I would have gained nothing. LOVE is patient and kind. LOVE is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. LOVE never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But LOVE will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless. When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and LOVE —and the greatest of these is LOVE.”

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (nlt)

“Because of His great LOVE for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—”

Ephesians 2:4-8 (niv)

“May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the LOVE of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.”

2 Thessalonians 3:5 (nlt)

“Greater LOVE hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

John 15:13 (kjv) 

🎼🎶🎹

“Could we with ink the ocean fill,

And were the skies of parchment made,

Were every stalk on earth a quill,

And every man a scribe by trade;

To write the love of God above

Would drain the ocean dry;

Nor could the scroll contain the whole,

Though stretched from sky to sky.

“Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!

How measureless and strong!

It shall forevermore endure—

The saints’ and angels’ song.”

(Frederick M. Lehman)

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BEHIND THE SCENE

FOUR GOOD OL’ BOYS FROM THE “PORE” PART OF TOWN TEAMED UP BECAUSE THEY HAD LEPROSY.

They were kicked out because leprosy scared the living daylights out of people. It was contagious and lepers stanketh.

The Syrian army had come into Israeli territory cutting off the city and well nigh starving those city folks.  The Syrians we’re camped outside the city slowly squeezing the life out of the Israeli’s. Then the Lord showed up!

  1. The four good ol’ leper boys were sitting on a little cliff kinda looking down on the Syrian army.
  2. The first leper said, “Hey boys – we’re gonna starve if we stay here.”
  3. The second leper chimed in with, “Well, we’ll starve if we go back into the city.”
  4. The third little pig … – sorry, that’s a different story –  the third leper was so discouraged he told the others that they probably ought to just go out and surrender.
  5. The fourth guy piped up, “Look, I’d rather get killed than die a slow painful death from starvation. Why sit here til we die?”
  6. So they agreed to climb down the rocks and ask for some food. The  closer they got they could smell the porridge and lamb chops, but they didn’t see anyone so they ate til their tummies were full.

What they didn’t realize was that when God goes to work, you may not always see what He is doing behind the scenes.

“The Lord had caused the [Syrian] Aramean army to hear the sound of chariots, horses, and a large army.  The Syrians said to each other, “The king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!” So they got up and ran away in the twilight, leaving their tents, horses, and donkeys. They left the camp standing and ran for their lives.”

2 Kings 7:6-7 (ncv)

My friend, stay true, stay strong even if you think you’re gonna die because God has things going on behind the scenes for your good and His glory! Hallelujah!

II Kings 7:3-8    🎼🎶🎹

“Encamped along the hills of light,

Ye Christian soldiers, rise,

And press the battle ere the night

Shall veil the glowing skies.

Against the foe in vales below

Let all our strength be hurled;

Faith is the victory, we know,

That overcomes the world.

“On every hand the foe we find

Drawn up in dread array;

Let tents of ease be left behind,

And onward to the fray.

Salvation’s helmet on each head,

With truth all girt about,

The earth shall tremble ’neath our tread,

And echo with our shout.

“Faith is the victory!

Faith is the victory!

Oh, glorious victory,

That overcomes the world.”

(John H. Yates)

Crying For Love

OH HOW I’VE CRIED!  As a parent, I would imagine you have cried, too, when you think of how you could have been a better Mom or Dad. When my daughter was born, my son was already 3 1/2 years. My daughter was born with Hyaline Respiratory disease and remained in the hospital for about 3-4 weeks. Upon being dismissed we gave her most of the attention.
One day we were visiting some wonderful people taking with us both children. Of course, the baby, our daughter, received most of the attention due to her age and physical condition. Suddenly we couldn’t find our son. We found him in a corner behind a chair. He looked forlorn and softly crying. I hugged him and asked why he was crying. He settled in my arms and said, “No one loves me.” I cried, too!  I made so many mistakes, yes. Although, perhaps like you, there are so many things I could have done better (especially as a single parent), but through my tears, I did my best at the time.
“Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night.”
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭6:6ff‬ ‭(msg)
LOVE NEVER FAILS!
“We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:12‬ ‭(msg)
Thank you, Lord, for your love and saving grace. Thank you, my
precious Jesus, for my loving children both of whom love you.
🎼🎶 “O love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
that in thine ocean depths its flow
may richer, fuller be.”
(George Matheson)
THANK YOU FOR THIS SEASON OF THANKSGIVING!