Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Love Has LOTS of Definitions (Maybe You Can Add to My List?)

“Love” is a word I use in a variety of ways. 
  1. I love my husband. 
  2. I love the sunrise we saw yesterday.
  3. I love blueberry muffins like Mama made.
  4. I love when the traffic is reasonable and I get to work on time.
  5. I love the puppy that dad named First Golden Lady of Rickhaven.
  6. I love your idea for inviting that new neighbor to the picnic at Fain Park.
  7. Of course, I love God, our Creator.  He deserves my admiration and dedication.
Now, I am supposed to “love my enemy” but . . . 
  1. I do not admire his words of threat and hate.
  2. I do not appreciate how he has treated other people.
  3. I do not know what to say that will help him behave himself.
  4. I do not know how to give him enough time to repent and change.
  5. I do not trust him, so I am prepared to protect myself the best I can.
  6. I do not think he is setting a worthy example to the younger generation.
  7. 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:

  1. I am to help him when he asks, if I can.
  2. I am to behave in a friendly and practical way.
  3. I am to watch his place when he’s gone on vacation.    
  4. I am to speak to him and his family in a nice way with kind words. 
  5. I am to remember that he, and the others too, are labeled for prayer.
  6. I am to pray for neighbors everyday for God’s protection, wisdom, blessing.
  7. Of course, I am to set an example of a caring Christian to my neighbors.     
So, “love for God” means these important things:
  1. I acknowledge the actual truth of our Maker.
  2. I recognize my disobedience to His commandments.
  3. I confess these sins to Him in prayer and say I am sorry.
  4. I gladly accept the forgiveness Jesus said I could ask Him for.
  5. I receive the indwelling  of God’s Holy Spirit according to the Bible.
  6. I commit myself to the LORD every day to do what He tells me to do.
  7. 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