“Love” is a word I use in a variety of ways.
- I love my husband.
- I love the sunrise we saw yesterday.
- I love blueberry muffins like Mama made.
- I love when the traffic is reasonable and I get to work on time.
- I love the puppy that dad named First Golden Lady of Rickhaven.
- I love your idea for inviting that new neighbor to the picnic at Fain Park.
- Of course, I love God, our Creator. He deserves my admiration and dedication.
Now, I am supposed to “love my enemy” but . . .
- I do not admire his words of threat and hate.
- I do not appreciate how he has treated other people.
- I do not know what to say that will help him behave himself.
- I do not know how to give him enough time to repent and change.
- I do not trust him, so I am prepared to protect myself the best I can.
- I do not think he is setting a worthy example to the younger generation.
- Of course, I remember this: he is labeled for prayer. I pray for his repentance
And, I am to “love my neighbor as myself” which no doubt means:
- I am to help him when he asks, if I can.
- I am to behave in a friendly and practical way.
- I am to watch his place when he’s gone on vacation.
- I am to speak to him and his family in a nice way with kind words.
- I am to remember that he, and the others too, are labeled for prayer.
- I am to pray for neighbors everyday for God’s protection, wisdom, blessing.
- Of course, I am to set an example of a caring Christian to my neighbors.
So, “love for God” means these important things:
- I acknowledge the actual truth of our Maker.
- I recognize my disobedience to His commandments.
- I confess these sins to Him in prayer and say I am sorry.
- I gladly accept the forgiveness Jesus said I could ask Him for.
- I receive the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit according to the Bible.
- I commit myself to the LORD every day to do what He tells me to do.
- Of course, His love is awesome; I look forward to going to Heaven when I die.
The Bible has the word “love” 759 times, so here are just a few:
Love your enemy. . . . . . Matthew 5:44,43; Luke 6:27, 6:35
Love your neighbor. . . Matthew 22:39; Mark 12:31; John 13:34-35
Love God. . . . . . . . Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30; John 14:15; 14:21
God loves us. . . John 3:16; Acts 5:8; Romans 8:38, 39; Exodus 20:4, 6
By Elaine Hardt ©2015