A LOVE NOTE

Christ summed up the commandments in this – love GOD and love others!  We (believers) have a tendency to get caught up in doing the “Lord’s work” and following all the “rules” that sometimes we forget to simply LOVE.  God loves us, and that love enables us to love Him, then we are able love others.  It’s that simple.

1 Corinthians 13: The Excellence of Love

If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

I was reminded of this chapter over the weekend while attending a bridal shower.  Each of the guests were asked to give a bit of advice to the bride-to-be. My advice was to memorize and practice 1 CORINTHIANS 13.  This chapter makes the command of loving so much easier.  For me it made love easier to understand and apply (in my opinion).  It’s so profound, yet so very simple.

At times we can get caught up in our feelings, and as we all know those constantly change.  So it is important to keep these verses at the forefront of our minds at all times. We should keep this chapter hidden in our hearts (as God instructs us to do with all of His word).  This makes loving so much easier, particularly when our feelings are telling us otherwise and it is difficult for us to do.  

This chapter does not only apply to married couples, although I will say that I began truly clinging to these verses after getting married.  It actually applies to all believers, in all circumstances and situations.

I appreciate how Paul breaks it down into three different sections for us:

SECTION 1: It doesn’t matter how many good works and/or powerful acts that you peform – if LOVE isn’t your motive, they are meaningless.  This is a great place to  ask God to examine your heart (<-speaking to myself here too people). Psalm 26:2 ~ Examine me, O Lord, and try me; test my mind and my heart

SECTION 2: This section explains what love is and what love is not.  This is what love looks like.  For those of us who may not have been given the best example growing up, God provides us with a very (clear) picture. I love how God does that for us!  Does this section describe you?  Does your love look like this?

SECTION 3:  This section shows us that love is changeless, steadfast, durable and continual.  Love is everlasting. Love will stand the test of time and beyond.  It is something that will outlast everything else in life and never fade away.  Love supersedes all else!  If this is what God says about love, then I definitely want to keep it at the top of my priority list!  Paul also explains that we won’t fully grasp the greatness of love here on Earth, but for those of us who are in Christ, we will know love {true love} completely one day!

I hope you all are encouraged by this little love nugget today!  It is always a good reminder for me and pray that it was for you as well.  When it is difficult for you to love, please remember that it is not done in your own power, but God’s love for us and through us that enables us to love others.  1 John 4:19 ~ We love, because He first loved us.

Love,

~ Melissa

Be Mine

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Today is Valentine’s day – a day to celebrate romance and love!  I celebrate Valentine’s Day, do you?  Although I’ve never really made a big deal out of this day, I do enjoy participating in some of the festivities.  I usually make special goodies for my guys, such as heart-shaped pancakes, and we exchange cards and little treats with each other – always fun!  Other than that, it’s not a huge occasion in our home.  I personally believe that we should express our love for those around us on a daily basis, and not just one day a year.

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s day or not, you can’t help but notice all of the red décor, hearts and cupids everywhere. We are bombarded with all things Valentine’s Day (as is the case with most holidays). While some people appreciate all of the mushy, lovey-dovey stuff, others do notI find it a bit ironic that a day that is supposed to be about love has many people feeling sad, lonely and depressed.  If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone complain about being single on Valentine’s Day…I’d be rich!  I always wondered why being single on Valentine’s Day was any different from being single any other day of the year, but that’s a subject for another day.  Interestingly enough, it’s not only single people who struggle on this day, but married people as well.

As I was thinking about how this day affects each of us differently, the Lord reminded me of something.  He reminded me that ALL OF US have a desire to be loved.  It doesn’t matter who we are or what our gender, race, age or marital status, we long for love. The need to be loved is inside each one of us!  In fact, God put it there.  That’s right, God created all humans with the desire to be loved so that we would come to know Him and experience His love; true love. While I was pondering this, I felt the Lord say “BE MINE.”

Did you know that God wants YOU to be HIS?  Well, He does.  He wants you more than anything else!  And He has this same desire for each one of us.

2 Peter 3:9  ~ The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

Psalm 139:17 ~ How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

God may not give us a little candy heart with the words BE MINE on it, but all throughout His Word, He lets us know that He chooses us.  In fact, He chose us to be His long before the world began.

Ephesians 1:4 ~ Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him in love.

God wants us to experience His love so much that He sacrificed His only Son, so that we could live with Him forever.

John 3:16 ~ For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

How romantic is that!?!?  Someone gave His life just for YOU!  Now that’s a true Prince in Shining Armor!

Romans 5:8 ~ But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

God doesn’t love us based on our actions.  His love doesn’t change just because we make a mistake (or many mistakes).  His love is unwavering…

Micah 7:18 ~ Who is a God like You, who pardons iniquity and passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in unchanging love.

God also assures us that nothing can separate us from His love….

Romans 8:38-39 ~ For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God is our provider, protector and source of everything we need; and desire.  In this way He acts as our Husband…

Isaiah 54:5 ~ For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the Lord of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth.

He even gets jealous for us…

2 Corinthians 11:2 ~ For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.

Lastly, God’s love enables us to love others.  Without His love in us, we cannot truly love other people.

 1 John 4:19 ~ We love, because He first loved us.

These are just a few verses that remind me of just how much God loves us.  There are countless others that talk about just how important we are to Him.  Not only does He love us, but He desperately wants a personal relationship with us.  His love is a love that cannot be compared to anything in this world.  God’s love is satisfying, unchanging, unconditional and REAL!

Whether married, dating someone or single, Jesus Christ loves you and wants YOU to be His Valentine! 

When you feel all alone and want to be loved completely, please know that God is right there with you saying “BE MINE.”  Won’t you accept His invitation and allow Him to fill you with His love?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Love,

Melissa