Wake The Churches

Love

 

LoveRight now, at this time, are You in Love?

Do you remember being in Love?

Do you remember when you first fell in Love with your wife or yourhusband? That giddy wonderful feeling, when you first knew you were in love and more then that, that she or he was in love with you too.

Oh what a feeling. The world is brighter, the colors warmer, the breeze sweeter. You’re in Love and they Love you too. Wow!!!

You walk into school or work and people look at you as you float by, with a smile that’s seeming permanently etched into your face. There’s a glow about you and everything is perfect.

If someone cuts you off in traffic, you don’t yell at them. You just smile and say, God Bless you and watch over you.

If you get your grades and see a D-, who cares, you’re in love.

If the boss calls you in and loads you up with extra work, No problem, you’re in Love.

Ah, Life is Great, you’re in Love, you’re loved. She Loves you, He Loves you.

When we first fall in love with that special someone, it’s wonderful, it’s remarkable. With all your faults, she or he loves you… Wow!!

And a awesome thing happens. That love we feel for the other person and receive from them in return, that warm glow spills out and shines on everyone around us. You’re in Love with someone who Loves you too, how can you help but love everyone around you. The Love just spills over, it gushes from you like water over flowing from a never ending fountain.

Isn’t Love Great?

Guess what…

I want you to think about something. There is someone who loves you so much He gave everything He had for you.

John 15:13

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

John 3:16

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

We’ve all heard or read those verses before, but I want you to think about them again, think of how much Love God has for you, you personally. That He laid down His Life for you.

And here’s a couple of verses you might not have thought about or read very often. In them Jesus is praying to the Father in the garden the night before His crucifixion.

John 17:22-23

22: And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Look at that last phrase again… “that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”

Did you catch that… God, the Father Loves US as Much as He Loves His Son. Think about that, God, the Father, creator of heaven and earth, Lord of all, Loves YOU as much as He Loves Jesus.

God, who is all powerful, all knowing… Loves You, with all your faults, in the same way and as much as He loves His Son.

If that doesn’t make you want to jump for joy, I don’t know what will.

What else matters when you realize that the God who created everything and holds it in the palm of His hand, Loves you, really Loves you, just as if you were His only begotten Son.

Remember that feeling of first being in Love, that high you felt, that walking on air feeling. That, all’s right with the world, feeling you had? How much greater should that feeling be when we realize just How Much God Loves you.

You should be able to float right out of this building, float through the week ahead, the month, the year, float through the rest of your Life.

God, Loves You… Really Loves You…

And what happens when we know we are loved that Much?

Just as our love for that special person over flowed to everyone around us when we first were falling in love, the Love we feel from GOD and toward God, should be OVER FLOWING to all those we see or meet or work with or live with.

When we’re in love, we can’t help ourselves, we just Love everybody.

John 13:35

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

When we come to know how much God Loves us, that love should, will spill over to all those we come in contact with, and that’s what this life is all about… LOVE…

1st John 4:8

“He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love.”

God is LOVE.

Love is all the matters.

We all love our wife’s, our husband’s, our children and others members of our family, father, mother, brother, sister, uncle, aunt and maybe even a cousin or two.

But… we also love or say we love many Things, our car, house, boat and some even say they love their jobs.

On a warm summer day, we say, We love the weather. And there are some of us, who love to look at softly falling snow. We love the fall colors and the sweet smell of spring and the signs of new life.

And we do love those Things. We love many Things.

But what is the love that lasts?

For all Things shall pass away, even this earth and the seasons shall pass away. The house, the car, and the boat shall pass away. Your job will pass away or go to another. If we had all the money in the world and could buy all things, it would all still pass away.

What is the one thing that doesn’t pass away?

In Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21, Jesus tells us:

“Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.”

John 1:1 reads,

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

So if the Word was and is God and God is Love, then Love shall not pass away. God’s love shall also never pass away, never leave us.

We never have to be afraid of Loving God. We Never have to be afraid He will not Love Us. No matter what we do or don’t do or how we mess up. We never have to worry about God saying, “That’s it, I’ve had it with you. It’s over, I’m out of here.” Never, God Loves us, no matter what. He Loves US, He Loves You and He Loves Me. And I Never, We Never, have to be afraid of Loving Him or of that Love not being returned.

March 6th, 2003 my second wife of almost 17 years went home to be with the Lord. Quite suddenly and unexpectedly. She had been, we had been, dealing with chronic back and neck pain and depression for ten years, and all that ended in a moment.

The years before and after, I came to understand some things. The things I wanted, didn’t matter, taking care of her was all that mattered, loving her was all that mattered. My former dreams and goals were left behind as I looked to her care and the care of our son Matthew.

When she died on that Thursday night, she took nothing with her, not her CD’s, not her car, not her clothes, not her perfume, not her jewelry. None of the Things we say we love.

What did she take with her? My Love, God’s Love.

And that’s what I came to know, to understand. The only thing that matters in this life is LOVE, The Love of God for us, our Love for Him, the Love we feel for each other and the Love they feel for us.

Paul tells us in Galatians 5:14,

“For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

The Psalms tell us, that Gods Love is Eternal, his Mercy endures forever.

The last commandment of our Lord Jesus in John 15:12,

“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”

And again in verse 17 He tells us,

“These things I command you, that ye love one another.”

And what kind of love is He talking about? If you look at 1st Corinthians 13:4-7 you will see the kind of Love He’s talking about. The Greek word that is used in the original, is the word, “Agape,” it’s that all consuming selfless kind of love, not lust or a love we feel for Things, but true love… The King James translation uses the word Charity for this kind of Love.

4: Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5: Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6: Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7: Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Now, re-read these verses and replace Love with the name God or add His name where love is talked about.

4: God suffereth long, and is kind; God envieth not; God vaunteth not Himself, is not puffed up, 5: God Doth not behave Himself unseemly, God’s Love seeketh not his own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6: God Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7: God Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

That is the kind of Love God has for you, for me, for all of us.

There is only one term in this version that doesn’t quite fit. For God is an envieth or jealous God. He loves us to much to see us chase after faults gods that will not satisfy and will cause us hurt. If we turn away from Him and toward other gods, whether they be wealth, possessions, people or the pagan gods man has built, the One True God, is Hurt. Not for Himself, but He hurts for Us. It grieves Him to see one of His Children walk away from Him, because He knows there is no other god which can save us or satisfy our needs. He knows, no matter what god we worship other then Him, we are the ones who will suffer. And because He sees what’s ahead if we walk away, He is hurt deeply when we do.

But does He punish us if we walk away? No, we punish ourselves by putting distance between us and God. And while He is hurt by our leaving, He is patient and waits for us to see where we have gone wrong, and come back to Him, where He welcomes us, gladly back into His outstretched arms.

As I look back over the years and things I gave up to help my wife, do you think I have any regrets?

Do I regret the times I spent with her at Doctors offices, or driving her to and from Doctors offices?

The dinners I cooked for her or the house cleaning or laundry?

Do I regret the times I over looked and forgave the harsh words that came from her through her pain and depression?

Do you think I regret the time or money I missed out on because I stayed home to be with her?

You might as well ask if I regret the times I made her laugh or smile? Or the countless times she said, “I Love You.”

It has been said, that no one lying on their death bed ever regrets not spending more time at work.

Mark 8:36 asks this question,

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

There’s a story of a very rich man who just couldn’t bear the thought of leaving all his gold behind when he died. And so over the years, he pleaded with God to let him take one brief case with him to heaven. And finally God got tired of listening to him, and so God said, “Okay, you can take one brief case.”

So the man filled his brief case with as much gold as he could. And for years, he carried that brief case everywhere he went, not wanting to be taken to heaven suddenly and not have it with him.

Finally his time came, and as he was standing at the gates holding his brief case, so proud of himself as he showed St. Peter all the gold in contained, two Angels hovered near by. And one Angel said to the other, “Why did he bring a brief case full of paving stones?”

The Things of this world pass away, but God’s Love shall never pass away.

God Loves You, He gave Everything so You could be saved and live forever with Him.

I can’t say it better than this from Matthew 22:37-40, when Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was:

37: Jesus said unto him, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38: This is the first and great commandment. 39: And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40: On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

And so I say this to you, there is Nothing more important in this life then Love. Love of God and Love of those He sends our way. Nothing else lasts. Nothing else matters.

Take the Love of God with you wherever you go, float through this life giving the Love God gives to you to others.

I give you one last verse to think about, 1st John 4:19,

“We love because He first loved us.”

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