Saturday, February 14, 2009

True Love

Today is Valentines Day. This is the national "love" day. We just got a new book here in our home titled Do Hard Things. I am sure several of you have read it and love it. We (as a family) decided however that one of the hardest, most painful things to do is to love. Love is a difficult thing and I am no means the expert on how to work it. In my few years down here on earth, I have come to the conclusion that there are several different kinds of love. There is the love that a married couple share. There is a love that parents have for their children. There is the love that siblings have for each other. There is the love that children have for their parents. There is the love that a child has for their first crush. Then, there is the love that Christ has for us. This is called agape love. I looked up the definition of agape in the dictionary. The results?

1. the love of God or Christ for humankind.
2. the love of Christians for other persons, corresponding to the love of God for humankind.

The love of God or Christ for humankind. In the bible we read about God's great love, Him sending His only Son to die for us filthy wretches. That is extreme love. The other part of the definition is "the love of Christians for other persons, corresponding to the love of God for humankind". Wow! If that doesn't place a load of responsibility on your shoulders, I don't know what would. We are supposed to love EVERYONE just as Christ loved us. He was not a respecter of persons, no person was better than another. He loved those that persecuted Him, who spat on His face, who betrayed Him, and who hung Him on that cross. Here in America we have the freedom of speech and can say what we want and worship as we please. We don't face the physical kind of persecution that Jesus faced. There are many though who do face an almost mental persecution in their own homes and we need to love those who persecute us. Love them with the agape love, the same kind of love Christ loves you with.

Today, I exhort you to reach out to someone who is in need of love. They may be an old neighbor, an enemy, or a friend. Reach out and love them with agape love. It may be hard, so ask God to help you. He loves you too!

Here are a few verses to encourage you all!

Proverbs 10:12

Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs.

Proverbs 17:9
Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a and 13

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails....And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Colossians 3:14
And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.



American Way Farm said...

Very thoughtful post Bethany. Just remember that to God you're not a filthy wretch. Because He loves you so much that makes you of worth above all the riches of the earth. You are His daughter. And I'm sure He's very proud of you. -Sandy

Bethany said...

Thank you for your kind words. I was once a filthy wretch but Jesus came and died for me. Once I accepted His wonderful gift he forgave me and wiped me clean of my sins. Now I am His daughter and so thankful for it!
In Christ,

Jenna said...

What a powerful post Bethany! I am so thankful that Christ died for me and that He loves me:) I too, was a filthy wretch; but now I am washed with His blood and I am blessed to have Him as my saviour.

Great encouragement! Thank you!!

Your friend,

Ryan said...

Great post sister.

I'll give my two cents, Do hard things is one of the best books I've read.

God bless you Bethany,

Rachel M. said...

God bless you, dear Bethany. :-) 1 Corinthians 13 is such a wonderful passage. God loves us so much that He sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins. What love. :)

American Way Farm said...

Bethany, God never thought of you as a filthy wretch. He's loved you always. You have always been His child, even when you didn't know it. Be happy in the knowledge that you are His. Nothing else matters. -Sandy

Bethany said...

Sandy, I am sorry we disagree in this matter. I was not God's child before I accepted His wonderful gift of salvation. I was as much a sinner as the worst murderer in the world. I was His creation, but not His child. Once I accepted His gift He accepted me as His child. For that, I am so thankful!
In Christ,

P.S. if you would like to discuss this any further, please leave me a comment and I won't publish it.

Josh said...

Great post Bethany,
Very thought provoking. It's hard for me to imagine the love God must have for us, to send his only son to die for our sins.
I will go forth challenged!!!

Smithies said...

Great post Bethany!!! There is lot's of truth in what you are saying, and I agree that the hardest thing to do is love...the way that Christ wants us to.