Happy Serve Day Thursday, SHINE girls! Today serve someone in your path! Be the hands and feet of Jesus to someone. Make a difference in someone's life!
The strangest thing: I'm sitting on my back porch listening to the breeze blowing in the trees. Birds are chirping, nature is doing it's beautiful thing. All week I have been ready to write this post about Love. It was going to be my Fun Friday Challenge post.
Well, guess what? Today is THURSDAY! We are reading chapter 12 today, and the post that I wanted to write about is in chapter 13 of our reading--which we will be reading tomorrow.
So, there must be something to this. I am just gonna go with it. God purposefully planted me here on the back porch surrounded by His Presence at this very second to write this post. So, here goes. Hopefully He will lay something fresh on my heart for tomorrow. I'm trusting You, Lord!
Let's talk about Love. There's a lot of talk about love, isn't there? Books are written, songs are sung, movies are made surrounding this one 4 letter word. L-o-v-e.
What is love?
Well, Paul breaks it down for us in 1 Corinthians ch. 13 (tomorrows reading!) ;)
Here it is:
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." 1 corinthians 13:4-8
So, we kind of know this verse pretty well. I mean, it is spoken at almost every wedding I have ever been to. It is quoted a lot. Agree?
Well, let's bring it into reality for a minute.
I want us to insert our names everywhere the word "Love" or "it" is in this verse. Got it?
For example: : "Jill is patient, Jill is kind. Jill does not envy, Jill does not boast."
Now, you do the same with your name.
Whoa. Kind of speaks loudly doesn't it?
Here's the thing, girls. If we have the Spirit of God inside of us, we have this fruit of the Spirit inside of us at ALL times. Just so you remember here is the proof: "Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself" 1 corinthians 6:19
Remember that verse? We just read this chapter last week.
Love. Love is the very first fruit of the spirit listed in Galatians 5:22. The FIRST one!
So, stick with me here. If it is a fruit of the Spirit, then it is not just a gift that some of us have, it is a gift that ALL of us have that are believers in Christ. Right? (I know that you are thinking of someone in your life and shaking your head in disbelief!) :)
This kind of Love is not based on feelings, emotions, and circumstances. This kind of Love comes only from the Holy Spirit inside of us!
Girls, this is so important to me. This to me, is the make-or-break in our journey with Him. If we can wrap our little hearts and minds around this, things will CHANGE. Mountains that have been in your life for decades will crumble.
Why do we get stuck in our faith journey? Why does it seem that others are "getting it" while we remain super-glued to the same spot?
With all of my heart, I believe that it has EVERYTHING to do with our Love walk. I will be bold enough to say that when we are spiritually stuck--somewhere along the way, our love walk has taken a fork in the road instead of trudging through the "hard" and shaky dirt road that Love often leads us down.
We take that fork in the road when the love part is just too hard. We have been too hurt. We have been too abused. We have been too rejected. We have been too broken.
Girls, I want to look you in the eye--or in the computer screen--and tell you this: NOTHING is so big that Love cannot cover. NOTHING. "Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others]."
1 Peter 4: 8
With our own strength and flesh, this is impossible. However, with the Spirit of the Living God living inside of us ANYTHING is possible. "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26
"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. (8) Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love."
1 John 4:7-8
"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. (13) Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends. (14) You are my friends if you do what I command you."John 15:12-14
Or how about this little doozie:
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. (39) And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
If you were to google the words "scriptures about Love", you would get hundreds. He teaches Love in His Word over and over and over.
Think back to all of the stories we have read or that you have heard from the Bible over your sweet little life time. What is the common thread of the heroes: David, Moses, Daniel, Esther, Peter, Samuel, Mary? Most of all, the biggest hero of all: Jesus.
The common thread they all shared was LOVE. In some way, form or fashion, they made a choice to Love when faced with life's toughest trials. They pushed through. They endured. They did not take the well-traveled fork in the road.
Starting today, let's grab the Father's hand and walk down the narrow dirt road which is less traveled. Only blessings and life to the fullest you will find at the end of that path, sweet girls. Trust Him to carry you when you feel like you cannot go on because your feet are tired and you need a break. Oh, sweet girl, He's got you.
Let's get this Love thing down, once and for all. When we get to His Throne one day, I want us to all be able to say, "Oh, but I loved, My King. I Loved just like You commanded."
I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another.
Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another."
John 13: 34
lacing up my walking shoes,