January 22, 2018

Tell Me Why

psalmshymnsspiritualsongskjv

~  Listen while you read, please!  ~

Tell me why the ivy twines 
Tell me why the stars do shine 
Tell me why the oceans blue
And then I’ll tell you why I love you
Because God made the ivy twine 
Because God made the the stars to shine
Because God made the ocean blue
Because God loves you…that’s why I love you

~  Author, unknown / Performed by Eddie Cochran  ~

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And that’s the Truth!  I love the questioning…and then the sweet response in this little song!  Y’know…”if you tell me why (the stars shine, the ivy twines, and the oceans blue) THEN I will tell you why I love you!”  And such should always and forever be our determination.  Really, love is all about love…it’s not about the other person <shocking, I know!> or how we feel or how they feel about us.  We love because God loves…simple as that!

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God,
and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
In this the love of God was made manifest among us,
that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us
and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
No one has ever seen God; if we love one another,
God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
1 John 4:7-12

And any capacity that a heart would have to truly love—with the love of God—comes from having Christ Jesus living in our hearts. The Scriptures make this clear.  Now that doesn’t make me the bearer of good news…unless…you are ‘born of God’ and Jesus lives in you.  And perhaps the day before we celebrate Valentine’s Day (or Happy Hearts Day, as we like to call it!) isn’t the most convenient time to make these statements. But these are God’s words…His Truth…not mine.

God IS love.  And every single person ever born or who ever will be born has been loved by God.  And being loved by God makes them accepted and gives them value and worth.

For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that
He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son,
so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.
John 3:16 AMP

When Jesus knew the time was quickly approaching that He would be tortured and crucified, He so loved those closest to Him and wanted them to be well-equipped to continue on together.  By His example and His words, He encouraged and admonished them.  Here are His words from John, the Apostle He loved best.

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

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.
If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love,
just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
John 15:9-10

Jesus had tried to make it clear to them all along that love was a requirement. They might not have understood at the time but surely they did within a very short period of time.

John also reminded the believers later on in the First Century Church of what Jesus (and the Apostles) had taught them. They, just like us, have the command to love one another. As the song goes, ‘Because God loves you…that’s why I love you.’

For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning,
that we should love one another.
And this is His command: to believe in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ,
and to love one another as He <Jesus> commanded us.
1 John 3:11, 23

So, y’know, the Beatles were correct (at least about this!): All you need is love! I’m just sayin’!

16 Day Love Challenge: Chapter 6 – Love Is Not Rude

16daylovechallengeloveisnotrude

“Oh, dear Lord, please forgive me!” were my words when I looked at that list of adjectives that Rebecca used to define the word, rude. “Lord, I am so deeply convicted in my heart! Not only have at least one of those words been directed towards me but I clearly recognize more than one that can describe my behavior at times!  Please forgive me, Lord!  I so want to be loving…and that my love can speak of just Who You are!  And, Lord, I realize that sometimes I think these things in my heart—not necessarily out loud.  Please help me to not be a hypocrite.   Change my heart, please God…please help me to change my heart!  I need You…in Jesus’ name.  Amen.”

Love is not…rude
1 Corinthians 13:5

Well now, THAT had to happen first.  How about you?  Might I ask if any of you had a similar response of crying out to God, seeking His forgiveness, His mercy, His help as you recognized the sin of being rude?  Oh, how easily it happens…but that is not an excuse. We have the ability to love as Jesus loved.  Our Lord made it clear to His disciples (and us who followed!) that love was the standard.

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

And, Paul and John (both of whom clearly lived in submission to Jesus), themselves wrote about the need for Christians to love.

Owe no one anything, except to love each other
for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
Romans 13:8

Little children, let us not love <merely> in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
By this we shall know that we are of the Truth and reassure our heart before Him;
1 John 3:18 and 19 <addition mine>

My granddaughter, Kaylie Joy, and I were talking about rudeness and what it means. After talking together and my relating to her a few Scriptures, she said to me, “TaTa, then being rude means not caring about somebody else’s feelings…and being mean, too!” There it is!  Rudeness thinks about me…while love thinks about others.  If we love others the way that Jesus loved while He was here on this earth then we will not be thinking about ourselves.  We will not be impatient, or unkind, or envious, or boastful, or proud—all the things we talked about last week.

I encourage you to take Rebecca’s challenge to heart today…perhaps right now. We have a loving heavenly Father Who never withholds His forgiveness when we ask. He will guide you and help you, giving you wisdom and courage to truly be loving and seek the forgiveness of others you may have sinned against by being rude. (And, if I can be of any help to you…perhaps pray with you as you handle this matter…please message me; I would love to walk through this with you!) <3

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Lord, we thank You for the blessing of Cherie and Rebecca, and their obedience to the Holy Spirit in the writing of this beautiful book.  Thank You for working in them to hold a standard up to us that cannot be denied—all that LOVE truly is (and is not)!  We are so thankful for their willingness to write and say the hard things that would confront and challenge Your daughters who would read this book.  Bless them for their obedience, Lord!
And, Lord Jesus, please continue to work a work in our hearts to rise up to this higher standard of LOVE that You set for Your followers.  Father, we thank You for Your forgiveness where we have sinned; we thank You for Your help in changing our hearts. You are so good to us…we love You!  In Jesus’ name, we pray.  Amen.