As the saying goes, Love is in the air. At this time of year the word “love” mostly has one main reference‒romance. Much is spoken about “love,” and cards and red hearts seem to magically appear everywhere. Stores supply red roses, and heart boxes of chocolates mysteriously reproduce.
This manmade emphasis on love, although seemingly shallow, is a great distance from the deeper love that is more lasting and stretches out to a far greater audience. So to benefit from this more endurable and greater “love,” you will want to inhale the following very slowly, for these will enrich you for a lifetime.
1. “Love must be sincere.” We are told, “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love” (Romans 12:10 NIV). If our attitude is all “about me” we hinder ourselves from knowing this devoted and sincere love. Relational “love” produces concern for others, lifts up our sagging spirit, and offers great benefits.
2. “Love is not rude, it is not self-seeking” (I Corinthians 13:15). On many of our communication devices we read and hear rude and caustic comments about leaders, and communicators. Our tongue gets us in trouble; with it we praise people and others we damn. Treat people the way you want to be treated.
3. Can someone command another person to love? There was man in the crowd listening to Jesus who asked, “What is the greatest commandment to follow?” I don’t think this inquirer really expected to hear this command: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). He was seeking something from the law, but he was told a very simple but powerful answer–“love,” the deepest term compared to our shallow one. This love will set you on fire for God’s kingdom.
4. Love has various stages, from the more flimsy word of “like” to one that is sometimes more difficult to comprehend or achieve. The most difficult portion of “love” includes this question: How could God give up His One and only Son to be cruelly treated and then be put to death? John gives us the nearest definition that we can know of the word “love.” “This is how we know what love is; Jesus Christ laid down his life for us” (I John 3:16).
5. Empowering‒love generates a love affair. Paul prays that this love affair may be for every believer: “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being…that you being rooted and established in (His) love…[may] grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge.” Only One can produce such Empowering–Love.
Love is in the air. Why settle for anything less than the best?
Florence Simmons writes to encourage people to invite more of Christ into the moments of their day. Connect with her at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.common-sensewisdom.com and her MOBI www.commensensewisdom.MOBI
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