As you may know, our Ladies Bible Study meets Fridays! Oh, how I love to meet with these ladies. Their sweet spirit and excitement to be used of God continually encourages my heart! However, I would like to offer a weekly devotion to those afar or whom would like a weekend devotion. Enjoy!
Mugs & Muffins!
Today’s Muffin is Banana Nut.
My <a href="http://<a href="https://www.christianbook.com/page/gifts/mugs?event=AFF&p=1212977"> MugsMuffins Devotion Gear mug is filled with steaming Raspberry tea (with a spoonful of honey)! Do you have your muffin and mug? What are you enjoying?
OH! What Sweet Love!
Main text reading for today:
“The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Jeremiah 31:3 & 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Amazing Love! God loves us so much, he sent his son to die on the cross for our sins. Forms of the word “LOVE” are found in our Bibles 546 times. God meant “love”. The creator and God of the universe loves you. God whom created the beautiful sunset, created you. More powerful than anything ever was or is, yet he chose to create and love you. God doesn’t just love people, he loves you. Try to wrap your mind around that. Oh, how sweet it is to be loved by HIM! What is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen or witnessed? God said he loves you more. You were more important, it was placed here for you. HE loves you personally. OH! Oh! Oh! HE is so precious! Look at how he loves us. God is love. Each time you see the word charity, replace it with “God”.
“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”
The greatest commandment given in service next to loving our Lord God, is to love one another as Christ loves us. God even warns us that Love can be hot or wax cold due to iniquity. Have you ever been loved like this? Everyone needs this kind of love. However, it is a love that is hard to find. Even among the best of Christian friends, we are frail and can blunder greatly in these areas. Place your name or your very dearest friend’s name in the above passage in place of “charity” like you did with “God”. Is it true? Always true? Sure, friendship and relationships can be restored, but that’s the key. Our sin keeps us in a state of never being able to love like this without a mistake or sin. Our sinful nature produces an imperfect love or a direct choice to love as described above.
God’s Love is Perfect.
Yet, there is one that always loves like this. HE always thinks of YOU first! HE suffereth long, because even if you did NOTHING but run from HIM your whole life; he would still be waiting for you with open arms! *sigh* When we expect this kind of love from others, it will leave us disappointed, “let down” or even “discouraged”. Not necessarily because of you or even them, but because mankind is sin cursed AND only God can love perfectly!!! Amen!
Mankind is cursed with sin, therefore as hard as we strive, we will never love perfectly like God.
After we except that only God can love perfectly, we can however strive to love a more perfect love that reflects Christ’s love. Unlike Christ’s love, which relies nothing on the recipient; loving people depends at least partly on the person being loved. Although we may try to reflect God’s love, we do not truly grasp or understand the depths of HIS love. This in return, guarantees we will fall short compared to Christ’s love.
We lack understanding of real love.
Kind. Not jealous. Not proud. Not selfish (‘seeketh not her own’). Steady and even tempered. (‘not easily provoked’) Willing to go to all lengths for. Endureth. Joyful. Have you ever had a relationship that was nothing but joyful- I didn’t say happy, but joyful? When is the last time you honestly heard a teenager express his love and thankfulness towards his parents when they said ‘NO’ to an outing with friends mother or father didn’t approve of? Some sinfulness, but in part- sometimes that young adult honestly doesn’t foresee the possible dangers ahead like an adult may. Even among the most obedient children, I have heard. “I truly wasn’t trying to break the rules, I just didn’t think about it.” or “I just wasn’t thinking, I’m sorry!” How often as adults, we just sometimes do not think. God has a perfect love. A perfect plan for our life, why do we try to line everything up for him, to help? Why? When HIS way is perfect already?
We can still love to the best of our ability.
Just like God’s love encourages us and places a protection of safety around us, our love does the same for others. Even in our weakest moments we can love and treasure people. Our expression of love may not be like God’s, but it is powerful. It moves people. Love binds families. Love allows people to change. Love encourages people to grow. We improve our life and the lives of others when we love. Using God’s example of HIS perfect life, we can do our best to love others in accordance to this passage and God’s word.
Loving is a command.
“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy hear, and with all they soul, and with all they mind, and with all they strength: this is the first commandment.” Mark 12:30
John 15:17 states: “These things I command you, that ye love one another.”
God’s Love is Personal. Let us personally love.
God is a personal God. HE does not place us each in a cookie cutter mold and say, “Pah-Dah, Go on your way now.” HE is so much more than that! HE knows every intricate detail of your life and even your thoughts. He knows the things that make you the happiest and the things or words that cut deep. He weeps when you weep. (Even when it’s our own fault.) He gives us the Holy Spirit when we are his because he wants us to be filled with God’s love. He wants us to know we’re loved. As a parent, I live for this statement. I tell me children I love them, but I want them to feel it not hear it. I want to love my children so deeply pure that they literally can say, I know mom, even in their hardest and darkest moments. I truly believe every person needs this kind of love from God! However, if everyone had one other person in this world that loved them as close to this same love as possible- we would have revival. By that, if everyone did this for one other person outside their family, I believe it would sweep across our nation and seas like wildfire. Let’s just be honest, if all parents loved their children and their spouses like this, there would be less need for out of the home services. (Court systems, Foster care, juvenile homes, etc.) This is not a “out of the box statement or fix all” I’m simply saying it would rid the world of a lot of problems and more importantly in reflection to Christ, build our families, churches and communities. (Which in return builds better states, nations and mankind in the world.) God is so GOOD! He wants to present in every moment of our lives. He wants a relationship with you. He wants to love you with a love so pure and holy! He wants to bring us joy, comfort and peace, self control, and be with us in our darkest and most wonderful moments in life. Isn’t he amazing? God is so mighty!
So, if we are Christians. Or in other words, we can recall a time we trusted in our Lord and Savior- and asked HIM into our hearts and became his children, how do we love others better? Well while referencing the passage we read, here are a few ideas.
- Bring someone flowers
- Bring someone a coffee at their work in the morning.
- Deliver pizza to a single parent for dinner to ease her load that night.
- Offer to give rides to those that need it.
- Take a new friend out for a slice of pie at the local diner.
- Be present.
- Make someone dinner. Drop it off with paper plates and utensils.
- Bring someone their favorite treat.
- Offer to give relief to a family- babysit.
- Drop of your favorite christian book or cd to someone shut in that cannot get out and about.
There are so many ways we can show love through our actions. Whether we communicate via in-person, phone, by letter and/or computer, we can reach out to someone to be a blessing.
So what can we take from all this:
- God’s Love is Perfect!
- Mankind can try to replicate God’s Love, but will always fall short.
- We lack understanding of the depths of God’s true love.
- We can still do our best to love one another as God exemplifies.
- It is a command to love.
- God’s love is personal. And although it leaves us vulnerable, a true love towards others, is personal.
Leading text for our next study:
“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.” Matthew 5:44
Romans 12:9 “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.”
“Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” Romans 13:10
How can it be?
That God would die for me?
Oh how sweet it is, to be loved by YOU Lord!!!