The Power of Love
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
Those who have never experienced true love cannot imagine its power. It is so powerful that Solomon said that it is “as strong as death.” It is not mere emotion but much deeper, cutting to the core of our being. It consumes us, body, soul, and spirit.
Many emotions seem similar to love. Admiration. Friendship. Interest. Lust. But true love strikes deeper. It cannot be extinguished or quenched, no matter how many waters may be thrown onto it. If entire rivers were to be redirected onto love they would not overflow.
It is also priceless. This is a love that cannot be measured or counted. But the Bible tells us that “if a man were to give all the riches of his house for love, it would be utterly despised.” True love cannot be purchased. It is about heart and spirit. Our very lives. Things that money cannot buy.
The Bible tells us true love is not a passing feeling but an entirely new way of living. It is a byproduct not of human emotion but fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). This Spirit-inspired love is patient and kind. Never jealous or arrogant. It “never fails.” Faith, hope, and love may abide, “but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:4-13).
Solomon may seem to have written about romantic love. But ultimately he described a love that can come only from God, the kind of love that He has for us, but also a picture of the kind of love we need to have for Him. A love of passion and selfless devotion. Giving and not receiving. A love that consumes us. That changes our lives.
Father God in Jesus Name
Thank you for loving me so much that You sent Jesus to die for me. I am so grateful for that love. Help me to share that love with others. In Jesus’ name. Amen
The New Year can often bring a mixed bag of emotions and memories for many of us. The events of 2020 including a pandemic, racial tensions, joblessness, and political battles created an unprecedented time of unrest and anxiety. While some may have just experienced the best year ever and look forward to an even greater one looming ahead, others may have just trudged through one deep struggle after another. The fresh calendar year brings desperate hope for things to be better, with an ache for the still-fresh wounds to slowly begin their process of healing. Praying at the start of the New Year doesn't always bring immediate change at the stroke of midnight, but it begins the opening of our hearts to God's Words of hope and peace.
Whether you’ve just walked through the greatest year of your life, or are incredibly glad to see this one finally over, one truth still rings clear amidst it all. You are not alone. Not ever. Scripture is filled with prayers of men and women who reached out to God for a fresh start. Praying is the main source of connection to the one who created you and the one who wants you to experience blessings and promises in the future.
Our God is a “with us" God. On the heels of the celebration of the birth of our King, that reminder has the power to carry us right into a fresh, new start. He is Immanuel, God with us. And though things and people around us shift and change, our God never changes.
Thank you that you make all things new. Thank you for all that you've allowed into our lives this past year, the good along with the hard things, which have reminded us how much we need you and rely on your presence filling us every single day. Help us to be known as great givers, help us to be generous and kind, help us to look to the needs of others and not be consumed by only our own. May we be lovers of truth, may the fruits of your spirit be evident in our lives - your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. It is in Jesus name I pray, Amen.
SCRIPTURES TO MEDITATE ON:
"Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." Is. 43:18-19
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jer. 29:11
This election season, we have an incredible opportunity to live out our faith by standing as people full of hope and joy in a world gone crazy in panic and despair. And here's why:
1) GOD IS SOVEREIGN - God is in control- not just when things are easy, not just when life is predictable, and certainly not just when your political candidate wins the election. God is good and He is faithful. His love remains steadfast - even in a culture that changes with each new political personality
2) GOD HAS FINAL AUTHORITY - Open any history book to see nations rise and fall. Leaders will come and go, but the Lord is forever. God's authority is never threatened by our political situation. God's authority is unshakable, no matter the political outcome. How can we despair when God has the final say?
3) THE END OF THE STORY IS ALREADY WRITTEN - For followers of Jesus, we know how the story ends. As Paul says in Philippians 2:9-11 "...at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord" The end has been written. And for believers, that should provide lasting confidence far greater than any political party or government could offer.
"We wait in hope for the Lord: He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you"