Love Never Fails

I don’t like to talk politics and I’m not going to start now.  However, I do like to talk about God and His Word.  Considering recent events, I decided to take a hard look at what I’m teaching my children regarding how they treat other people.  They know the song, Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.  They know that God loves each of us, no matter where we live or what we look like.  But, have I been teaching them enough about how THEY should love others? 

I decided to dig into God’s Word for guidance.  What I rediscovered is this, God’s Word is full of direction about how we should love others.  The following are just a few scriptures I’d like to share on the topic:

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.  John 13:34-35

This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. John 15:12

 Love your neighbor, owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.  Romans 13:8

 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous.  I Peter 3:8

 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins.  I Peter 4:8

 For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.  I John 3:11

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  I John 4:11

If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?  I John 4:20

 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this:  You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  Galatians 5:14

My God is a God of love, mercy, compassion, and grace.  My God is a God who fights injustices and wrongs – for those are the things He hates.  Not a person or a group of people…maybe their actions but never them, for we are all created in His image.

The main take away is this:  Love others just like God loves you!  So, how does God love us?  For starters, He gave His only Son, who committed no wrong, to die on the cross for our sins.  What greater example of love could there be?  He loved us, even when we didn’t love Him.  He loves us no matter where we were born, no matter the color of our skin, no matter what we look like, no matter what we know or don’t know, no matter what we can or cannot do.  There is nothing and no one that can separate us from His love.  I Corinthians 13:4-8, 14 gives us a very detailed description of what love truly is.

 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails.  And now abide faith, hope, and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

So, back to the question I originally asked myself.  Am I teaching my children how to truly love others the way God has commanded us to?  At six years of age, I watch how they interact with other people, especially other children, and they don’t care what their abilities or disabilities are, what they look like or the color of their skin.  They see them as friends and playmates.  Their sweet tender hearts have not been contaminated by the ugliness in this world.  They see others as being just like them.  Oh God, help me to always see others as my children do right now.  

hqdefaultI know as parents, we can’t protect them from everything, but I will be vigilant in monitoring what they see and hear as long as I can.  I am not naive in thinking that I can protect them forever, but I am confident they will have a good foundation upon which to form their own opinions and beliefs.  Let us earnestly search our hearts to discover if we are truly loving others as God has commanded us to.  We will most likely find an area that could be improved upon.  I’m sure of that in my life.  Make a commitment today to join me in loving others the way God does and in teaching our children how to do the same because love never fails.

Dear Lord,

Thank You for Your unwavering love in our lives and the lives of our children.  Thank You for forgiving us when we fall short and instead of condemning us, wrapping us in your mercy and grace.

 Help us to see ALL others through Your eyes of love and understanding.  Give us each the desire to treat others with respect and to seek out the best in them.  Make us a people who are generous with kindness and overflowing with compassion.  Help us to love others the way You love us.

In Jesus’ Name ~ Amen

 

Keep Swimming

Do you ever feel overwhelmed with to-do lists, appointments, responsibilities, and other obligations?  I know there are days and even weeks I experience this.  I sometimes feel as if I can’t get my head above water, and I struggle to prioritize everything that is calling my name.  There are times I continue for several days on this path before I finally settle myself down and seek God.  Not only seek Him for answers and direction but for rest. 

According to Merriam-Webster.com, one of the definitions of “rest” is peace of mind or spirit.  Additionally, one of the definitions of “at rest” means free from anxieties.  This is the type of rest that I’m referring to.  There is a true rest only God can provide to us.  As mothers, rest is often scarce; however, we should remember that this is a gift God desires to give us.

In Psalm 46:10, God tells us to “Be still and know that I am God,” and Psalm 62:1 tells us that our soul finds rest in God alone.  In Matthew 11:28, Jesus tells us to “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”  In Mark 6:31, Jesus tells His disciples, “Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” 

downloadWhen you feel like you are drowning, I want to encourage you to reach out and take the hand of the One who can walk on water.  He is our quiet place, and He is our rest.  He is our strength to keep swimming.  The storm may not pass swiftly over at that moment, but God’s peace will fill your soul and provide you with the strength to rise above what is pushing you down.