Posted by: pastortomvabeach | January 16, 2018

Thought for the Week January 21, 2018

Once again this week we are waiting for the potential of snowfall in our area. The weather reports are saying it will not be as bad as the blizzard we experienced two weeks ago, but it’s still snow and we know what that four letter word does in this little coastal area of Virginia. So as we wait, I’ve been thinking.

On Sunday, my colleague, Pastor Doug spoke about the command that Jesus gave us which is to love one another. In his talk, he cited some other references in the Bible that describe what love is like and how it functions. One in particular with which many are familiar is I Corinthians 13:4-7. It goes this way: Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited, does not act improperly, is not selfish, is not provoked, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

As he was reading this description, I began to think about what life would be like if we, those of us who are Christians not necessarily the whole world, would actually love others in the ways this verse describes.

What would Christian marriages look like if we were really patient and kind with our spouses? If we refused to act improperly towards them and never approached the relationship with selfish motives, what might happen? If we stopped being easily provoked and erased every record we diligently keep of supposed wrongs against us, how would that make a difference?

The vows we take in marriage seem to say that we are in this for the long haul no matter what. Wouldn’t that mean we would bear whatever comes our way, believe in the good intentions of our spouse, always hope for the best and endure even confusing or hard to explain circumstances? What would it say to the watching world if the divorce rate among Christians was impacted because we actually practiced the kind of actions Paul describes that love does?

Along with marriage, how might some real actual authentic love actions affect every other relationship we enjoy in life? Relationships in families (siblings, parents and children, extended family); relationships at work; relationships in school; relationships in our neighborhoods and recreational pursuits, and, yes, relationships in the church would surely be different if we, the Christians, in whom the Spirit dwells, who are enabled to love because the One who is love lives in us, loved like we are created to love.

I have been convicted by this thought that I don’t really love my wife all the time like I should love her. I don’t demonstrate love to my colleagues and friends like Jesus would show them love and, if Jesus truly lives in me, like I should be doing. I have asked the Lord to renew the outpouring of love in my heart which He gives through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5) so that I can and do really act in love

I figure that if I do my part in loving like Jesus loved (John 15:12), that someone might notice and they might be spurred on to also let God’s love come through them (Hebrews 10:24). And if enough of us can begin to get this right, we might have a powerful impact on the watching world so that Jesus becomes well known wherever we go. If you really think about this it’s a thought worth chewing on.

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