January 22, 2018

Jesus’ Love IS

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Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8

How these verses ring true!  My husband and I have known each other for 10 years and, in April, we will have been married for 8 years.  I was patient in waiting on God to show me the right one.  We have both helped each other overcome some things and issues that were holding us back—be it in the realm of love or just life in general.

Now my husband and I try to be patient with each other.  We try to please one another, but there are some days when that just does not happen.  One of us will get over whatever we are arguing about, and the other will hold a grudge for a while.  Yet, we get over it.  Our parents have been married over 30 years—somewhat of a rarity now days.  They have been there for one another when bad things happened.  They have weathered the rough storms, and they have come out stronger on the other side.  We pray that our marriage will be as strong.

Jesus’ love is the same way.  It is patient and kind.  Jesus’ love is slow to anger, and it keeps no record of our wrongdoings because we are forgiven by that love.  We are saved by that love.  It protects us from evil, and it always perseveres.  This is why Jesus’s love will win in the end.

*  ~  ♥  ~  ✞  ~  ♥  ~  *

Dear Heavenly Father: Thank You for Your patient and protecting love.  Thank You for the protection that Your love provides.  Thank You for the healing and strength that it provides.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

With Every Act Of Love

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Sitting at the stoplight
He can’t be bothered by the heart-cry
Written on the cardboard in her hand
But when she looks him in the eye
His heart is broken open wide
And he feels the hand of God reach out through him
As Heaven touches earth

Oh – we bring the Kingdom come
Oh – with every act of love
Jesus, help us carry You
Alive in us, Your light shines through
With every act of love
We bring the Kingdom come

There’s silence at the table
He wants to talk but he’s not able
For all the shame that’s locked him deep inside
But her words are the medicine
When she says they can begin again
And forgiveness will set him free tonight
As Heaven touches earth

God put a million, million doors in the world
For His love to walk through
One of those doors is you
I said, God put a million, million doors in the world
For His love to walk through
One of those doors is you

Singer/Songwriter Jason Gray along with Jason Ingram

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *  

As I was listening to these lyrics, I realized that there is one act of love…in my opinion the greatest act of love…that makes all this possible. The one time that Heaven came to earth—the real reason we celebrate Christmas.

Look at the following verses:

Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth,
while Christ, the second man, came from heaven.
1 Corinthians 15:47 NLT

He Who comes from above (heaven) is [far] above all [others];
he who comes from the earth belongs to the earth,
and talks the language of earth [his words are from an earthly standpoint].
He Who comes from heaven is [far] above all others.
John 3:31 AMP

Christ came from Heaven for us.  No other reason.  He brought His Kingdom to earth so that we might join Him one day in Heaven.  Because He did, we who believe have Christ within us.  We can let His light shine through us.  In fact, 1 Corinthians 15:49 (AMP) states:  “And just as we have borne the image [of the man] of dust, so shall we and so let us also bear the image [of the Man] of heaven.”

In Zechariah 7:9 (HCSB) we are given these instructions:

The Lord of Hosts says this: ‘Make fair decisions.
Show faithful love and compassion to one another.

And 2 Thessalonians 3:5a (AMP) says:

May the Lord direct your hearts into [realizing and showing] the love of God….

When we reach out with Christ’s unconditional love we bring a piece of Heaven to earth. It doesn’t have to be a big production. Simple words of kindness and forgiveness can have a huge impact. A small gesture like a smile or a touch could change a life. It is in the acts that come from the heart that others are able to see Christ’s heart. John 13:35 (HCSB) states: “By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” And, of course, Matthew 25:40 (HCSB) reminds us:

And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you:
Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’

I want to carry Jesus alive in me. I want His light to shine through. I want to be the bridge that allows Heaven to touch earth once again.

*   ♥  ~  ✝  ~  ★    *  

Abba, I am so amazed by Your selfless act of unconditional, unfailing love. Let me carry You alive in me, allowing Your light to shine through me. Remind me that with every act of love, Heaven touches earth. In the precious name of Jesus I pray, Amen – IT IS SO!

Crazy Love: Chapter 7 – “Your Best Life…Later” (pp 119-124/Kindle LOC 1537-1606)

We know what real love is because Jesus gave up His life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion – how can God’s love be in that person?

Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings and he knows everything.

1 John 3:16-20 (emphasis mine)

There is one major theme that I pulled from this passage of Scripture.

Real love is an action, not a feeling.

Jesus gave up His life for us, SO we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters (1 John 3:16, emphasis mine).

The principles Jesus taught are contrary to the way our world works.

  • The world says we should look out for #1—ourselves. 
  • Jesus says that “there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13)

Often when we are called upon to help someone in need, we are looking at how it will help us—maybe we will get paid, or receive accolades/glory, or it will give us something to boast about to our family or friends. In other words, we are motivated by selfish desires rather than by love. But Jesus’ way says that serving others should come from a selfless, sacrificial heart. The closer we can align our heart with His by reading His Word and letting Him change us, the easier it will become to love others the way He loves us.

It is worth repeating that we absolutely cannot do this on our own. We need God to help us love others like He loves. We must ask Him to help us.

As Christians, we carry a huge responsibility—to show and to share the truth of God’s love to the rest of the world (Matthew 28:19-20). This is an incredibly difficult task when the world wants us to be like them—talk like them, act like them, and just “fit in” with them. But Jesus calls us to be different. His ways do not make sense to the rest of the world.  Followers of Christ should be known for the way they love—without judgment, criticism, or selfishness, but with compassion, selflessness, and sacrificial giving.

Let’s act on this selfless love that was so graciously poured out on us.

 

reallove

 


Let’s Pray:
Heavenly Father, thank You for showing us what REAL LOVE truly is. Thank YOU for sending Your Son. Lord, we want our actions to show that we truly love others. Provide us with opportunities to pour love onto others this coming week. If we are struggling with this concept, Father, we ask that You help us see where we are having trouble and to help us work through it. Lord, we know that Love comes from You and we love because You first loved us. Thank You for that, Father. It’s in Jesus’ name that we pray, Amen.

Your Assignment:
Do you struggle with the idea of “giving up your life for your brothers and sisters” or “laying down your life for your friends?” What do these passages mean to you? I encourage you to read them for yourself and see what the Lord reveals to you as you work through this concept.



If you would like to send a private message to Jennifer in regards to this blog post, you may send it to: Jennifer@GirlfriendsCoffeeHour.com