Posted in encouragement, theology

What is Love?

By Elizabeth Prata

Valentine’s Day is done and in the books. When you work in an elementary school in a lower grade, V-day as the kids call it, is almost as popular as Christmas. Even more so, because we’re in school for the cupid holiday and out of school for the Santa one.

The kids are so cute exchanging cards and little candies and they get excited over all of them. My teacher had brought in donuts and a juice box and they ate their snack and drank their drink and watched an old Disney movie for a few minutes, continued from the Christmas party. They considered the Valentine’s day ‘party’ a huge success.

But the day of love brings about thoughts on What is Love? as Haddaway sang in 1992. (Yes I’m that old). My notion of love was certainly different back then, as I was not saved. I often asked that question. I Wanna Know What Love Is, Foreigner asked and so did I. I was a child of divorced parents. I saw adultery, abuse, open marriage, betrayals, and disownments within the family and out. Growing up in the 1950s and 70s was confusing and a child of the world certainly had no clue about what love was. Cupid and Aphrodite didn’t help explain it, either.

Well, if one is saved by the grace of Jesus through the cross, one knows what love is. It’s not the ephemeral, cupid-like arrow dart Shot Through the Heart, which fades away. Eros is a fickle friend. It’s not the false promises that Whitney Houston sang in I Will Always Love You, because the flesh only loves itself.

Love is the love that Jesus gives and is. (1 John 4:7-21). It is sacrificial, endless, and pure. It will never die and will always surround us with its promise and never fade away. Jesus loved His disciples to the end and (John 13:1) He loves His people forever. (Romans 8:39). And so we love Him because He first loved us.

Here are a few resources for you about love-

The Prominence of Love (sermon)

You say, “Well, where does it [love] come from?”  Well, we’ve said this last time, I’m simply going to remind you of it:  When you walk in the Spirit – and to walk in the Spirit means you turn your life to His control, you confess your sin, you allow the Spirit of God to govern your thought patterns – as the Spirit of God controls you, He produces fruit, and the fruit of the Spirit is love, and love will only come in that way.  So the way you approach it is not in a self-righteous determination of your own mind; the way you approach it is simply to yield your life to the Spirit of God, “Holy Spirit, control me today, take over my life, live through me,” and the fruit of love will be manifest.

To Those Who Crave Controversy (Essay by John Newton)

If you account him a believer, though greatly mistaken in the subject of debate between you, the words of David to Joab concerning Absalom, are very applicable: “Deal gently with him for my sake.” The Lord loves him and bears with him; therefore you must not despise him, or treat him harshly. The Lord bears with you likewise, and expects that you should show tenderness to others, from a sense of the much forgiveness you need yourself. In a little while you will meet in heaven; he will then be dearer to you than the nearest friend you have upon earth is to you now. Anticipate that period in your thoughts; and though you may find it necessary to oppose his errors, view him personally as a kindred soul, with whom you are to be happy in Christ forever.

How does a person love Jesus? What does it mean to love Jesus?

Jesus said that there is no greater love than to lay down your life for your friends (John 15:13). Jesus did this and more by dying for us while we were still His enemies in order to make us His friends (Romans 5:8). Much of what it means to love Jesus comes from understanding and appreciating what Jesus has done and is doing for us. We love Jesus because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).

How Can I Love Christ More? (essay)

In his book, The True Christian’s Love to the Unseen Christ, the Puritan Thomas Vincent offers nine directions that will lead you to your desired destination. Meditate on Christ – Direction 1: “Be much in contemplation of Christ.”

Still (!!!!) Single

I am 25 years old. I have been single for the past…25 years. I have never been kissed. I have never gone on a date. I have never received a note in class that said, “Do you like me? Check yes or no.”

 

love verse 4

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