Saturday, December 12, 2015

ABC's of Godly Character - L

L is for Love! Love is NOT a feeling or something we fall in and out of. Love is reserved for ONLY God and people – not for stuff.

How many times do we abuse the word love?!?..."Oh, I love your outfit!" I love that car", "That movie was great, our family loved it!" We are to love God and people not objects! Once I felt convicted about my misuse of the word "love" my sons even picked up on it and now we all try not to use it unless referring to people or God, and maybe our dog...he is family too! We cannot ever truly love someone until we have the love of Christ in us. The Bible commands us to love God above all else and then to love others. Matthew 22:36-39 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love has nothing to do with how you feel. Love is a command given to us by God. Love is a decision that requires unconditional commitment. The Bible is full of scriptures about love but 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 gives the perfect definition of love. "Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends." Wow, what a definition! LOVE IS A VERB...IT IS AN ACTION!  
We must be doing something to demonstrate love. Do you have patience with others? While you're thinking about that also ask yourself if you are envious of others? What about pride? Pride is something all of us struggle with on some level. Pride will cause us not to admit we are wrong. Pride will even make us believe we are always right. Pride will keep us from apologizing when we have offended. Pride will even make us say, "I'm not prideful." Love is not inconsiderate or always thinking "but if I do that, what am I going to get in return?" Love is not agitated easily and it has a short memory when it comes to the sins of those who wrong us. That means we are not constantly reminding them of their past offenses. Love means we don't do a victory dance when wrong is done to others, even if we think they had it coming. Real love does not rejoice in wrong doing, it rejoices in what's right. Love puts up with everything, and still trusts, is hopeful, and enduring. Everything will someday come to an end, buy love will never end.

Prayer starter: Dear Lord, You are the perfect example of love. Help me to have Your kind of love and not the world's definition of love. Create in me a pure and loving heart that shines Your Love in this dark and sinful world. Amen.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to show Christ-like love to others. Love the unlovable today!

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