Monday, December 10, 2018

Pastor's Ponderings, December 10, 2018

Let Us Love One Another In Deed

I remember watching the 1966 movie, Alfie, and not really understanding what Michael Caine’s character was trying to say.  Recently, I read some of the title song’s lyrics, which said, “I believe in love, Alfie. Without true love we just exist, Alfie. Until you find the love you've missed, you're nothing, Alfie.”  Many of us will spend our years just existing and not understanding the power of and the necessity for love.  Many will get into relationships as if they were a zero sum game in which we will win only if the other loses.

The Bible tells us that we should not love merely in theory giving lip service to compassion, but in practice and in sincerity, because practical acts of love are more than words (1 John 3:17-18).  1 Corinthians 13 has been called the Love Chapter.  It states that in spite of people’s sacrifice, gifts of faith, or prophecy, there is no benefit without love (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).

Those who are full of God’s love are kind, patient, keep no record of wrongs, rejoice with the truth, protect, trust, always hope, and always persevere (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).  We will never produce this love on our own. We must ask God to come into our hearts so that we can love like He loves.  

We live in a world where real love is scorned and pretend love is praised. We know that because it soon passes away and reveals itself that it is not God’s love. The scripture in 1 Peter 4:8 begins with “Above all.”  What does God say is above all?  We are to love each other with His love because His love covers all of our challenges in life (1 Peter 4:8).  Let us endeavor to love each other with God’s love.

1 John 3:17-18
New International Version (NIV)
17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 

18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

1 Corinthians 13:1-7
New International Version (NIV)
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 
If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 
If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Peter 4:8
Amplified Bible (AMP)
Above all, have fervent and unfailing love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins [it overlooks unkindness and unselfishly seeks the best for others].

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