"Let all that you do be done with Love." 1 Corinthians 16:14 (NIV)
I carry a card in my wallet, credit card sized, that I picked up a few years ago. Well before the Hutson family was incorporated into the family unit that it is today. It's the 1 Corinthians 13 text that most people, secular or Christian, know enough about to recite to an reasonable degree of accuracy.
We all know that God is LOVE. It is part of His entire being, indicative of His Holiness, and behind the reasoning for His sending us His son Jesus. Jesus, Himself, is pointed to as the ultimate example of LOVE –giving Himself on the Cross for the sinful nature of all mankind. And most heroic acts, like those of so many Port Authority, Fire, Police, and Emergency Medical personnel in the Terrorist Attack on New York's Twin Towers in 2001, are attributed this designation of "greatest love, giving their lives for others."
But LOVE is not just a touchy, feely emotional outburst that some atheists would have you believe. Nor is it a random sampling of chemicals in the body that respond to stimulus as the secular psychologist would have us understand it. It is not a learned response. It is not a hereditary gene. And it is not always pleasant to experience; whether in the form of a broken heart or other such extremes.
Despite the secularization of Valentine's Day as a candy-giving, flower delivering, or expensive babble getting holiday, we find that there is more to this four-letter word used and misused throughout our society. L-O-V-E. The Beatles sing "Love, Love, Love. All we need is love, All we need is love" in one of their multitude of hits during their time. And, as the Bible shows us, it is the one thing that should motivate us in our lives.
LOVE motivated God when He held Adam, and Eve's action, accountable and threw them out of the garden. It was that LOVE that motivated Him to kill animals for their skins to clothe His creation gone wrong. It was LOVE that caused God anguish and anger to the point where He sent the Flood. And that very same LOVE caused Him to make a covenant that He would never do that to mankind again.
LOVE is what brought the nation of Israel to Egypt, for it was Joseph's love and forgiveness during the famine that brought the family back together. LOVE for his people caused Moses to kill the abusive Egyptian and flee, returning under God's direction to set Israel free. LOVE is the motivation behind much of the stories in the Biblical accounts.
LOVE is what causes a husband struggling with his relationship with his wife to seek out counsel and wisdom on how to truly maximize it. LOVE is what causes a father to correct his children, discipline them, and exhorting them to bring them up in the ways of the Lord. LOVE is what causes a son to push himself beyond his self-imposed limitations to succeed. Or a daughter to compassionately minister to her siblings because they are emotionally hurt.
LOVE is what causes people of every walk of life to go well beyond the established norms of kindness and for some to lose the very thing they acted to save; a life.
LOVE is what compelled God to become MAN and DIE on a brutal cross of nails and wood for people who would reject, vilify, and denounce Him and His truth throughout the countless generations that have come since His death and resurrection. It is that LOVE that is expressed in the final words our Savior said on this earth as a man.
"Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do."
Can you say that the level of love that you put into each and every action you do in your life; either to others, yourself, or God, have that level of strength? It should, to the best of our failed human ability.
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