Love Like Jesus

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
   I Corinthians 13:13

Today is Valentine’s Day.  I was just on Facebook and there are thousands of people declaring their love for their spouses, their children and each other.  It’s a sweet day.  It seems like today most everyone is willing to say to at least someone … “I love you.”  Chocolates and roses and special cards are being exchanged today.  Love is in the air … as the old song states.

In 1 Corinthians 13, called The Love Chapter, Paul talks about love.  He has written a letter to the church in Corinth, giving them instruction and encouragement on their journey with Jesus.  They are a lot like we are today,  wanting to do right, but somewhat confused on how to stay on track.  As a result they dealt with problems like immaturity, instability, divisions, jealousy, envy, lawsuits, marital problems, sexual immorality  and the misuse of spiritual gifts.  Sound familiar?

But Paul doesn’t beat them up, he simply writes a letter to encourage them and help them get back on track.  And in the midst of that letter, he shares with them that no matter how great they think they are or what wonderful things they do, if they were not motivated by love, it means nothing.  He explains that love is the most excellent way.  He goes on to share that:

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. (I Corinthians 13:4-8)

At the Last Supper, the night before Jesus was crucified, he told his disciples:  A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.  (John 13:34,35)

If we are followers of Jesus, we must love one another.  We are to be love. It wasn’t a suggestion.  He told them it was actually a new commandment.  So now, go back to the Love is section above and replace love with your name.  Are you patient, kind, not envious, not boastful, not proud, not dishonoring, not self-seeking, not easily angered.  Do you not keep records of wrongs?  Do you not delight in evil but rejoice in truth?  Do you protect?  Do you hope?  Do you persevere?  Are you unfailing?  Do you love?  Ouch …not so easy is it?

I want to be like Paul.  I don’t want you to feel beat up if you fail in some areas, because we all fall short, but rather do this exercise to take inventory, see what needs some work.  I encourage you to seek God in the areas that you struggle with, release them to him and let him fill you with His love, which will then overflow from you into those around you!

Father, thank you for your unfailing love.  When the world is fickle, when one day it loves me and one day it loves me not, you are faithful and true.  You don’t just love me, but rather you are love.  It is your nature.  It is who you are.  I honestly cannot even fathom the depth of your love. Forgive me Father for not loving as you do, help me to remove the planks out of my eyes, so that I can see others as you see them and love them as you love them.

I love you Jesus!
In Your name I pray,
Amen

God’s Blessings Upon You!
Love,
Joyce

The Choices You Make Today …
Will Affect Your Tomorrow!
http://www.alifedecision.org/

True Love

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

February 14th is always a day that brings to mind flowers, hearts, chocolate and love.  I woke up yesterday to a sweet card from my sweet husband. I gave my boys their own special box of chocolate.  We played the movie, Fireproof, at church.  It was definitely a special day.

I was curious as to how this all started, so I looked up the history of Valentine’s Day. There are 3-4 stories explaining its origin,  I like this one:

Around the year 270 AD, the Roman Emperor Claudius II, issued an order forbidding marriage. The Roman Empire was being attacked on all sides by its enemies, and the Emperor felt the men would be better soldiers, more dedicated to their task, if they did not have wives and families at home waiting on them. So … no marriages were allowed. There was a priest near Rome, named Valentine, who commiserated with these young men, and married them in secret.

When Claudius learned of the priest performing secret marriages, he had him thrown in prison. While there, he met and fell in love with the jailors daughter. Just before his execution, he wrote her a letter declaring his love for her and signed it “From Your Valentine”, a phrase that is still widely used today.

Now, this love story may or may not be true.

But I do know a love story that is true. It’s a story of a God who loves us so very much, that he sent his only son to this earth to die for us. So that we could live with him, forever.

I have two little boys. I can tell you this. I would not let my sons die for anyone. I can’t love as God loves because God is love, according to I John 4:8.

The Bible tells us in Romans 5:8, But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

God’s love is unconditional, and it’s not based on feelings or emotions. He doesn’t love us because we’re lovable or because we make Him feel good; He loves us because He is love.

If you’ve never experienced this love – true love — maybe it’s time for you to get to know God?

Father, thank you for your love. A love that really is beyond measure. I know I cannot grasp it, but I am so very thankful for it.

In Jesus Name I Pray,
Amen
 
God Bless You!

Love,
Joyce

The Choices You Make Today
Will Affect Your Tomorrow!
http://www.alifedecision.org

What’s In My Heart.

Hubby and I have a fun tradition where we only buy “stocking” gifts for each other for Christmas. What makes it so fun is finding creative gifts that will fit in a sock, but still have the big surprise value. There are exceptions to the rule … this year, I had to cheat just a little and hide his twenty-pound kettle ball behind the sock. I would have ripped it stuffing that crazy thing inside. My favorite gift this year was stuffed at the very bottom, inside the toe. My family went shopping together to pick this one out. I was VERY surprised! I unwrapped a beautiful heart locket with the words “What’s In My Heart” engraved on the outside. Inside the heart, tiny charms that symbolize what’s in my heart. They knew exactly what to put inside: R- for my hunky hubby, four birthstones for each of my children (we have a precious son in heaven) and a cross. What’s really special, they can add charms inside my heart anytime they want.  I’d love to hint for a few more for my b-day coming up this month- adoption, friendship, scones and blogging:)

Yep, I cried. It’s so meaningful to a mommy when her family takes the time to choose the perfect gift. It made me think hard about all the things deep in my heart. My faith in God is the ultimate treasure that I couldn’t live without. He has made my life complete and utterly miraculous with blessings indeed. I thank God daily for the precious treasures that He has entrusted me with. I do not take them for granted. I thank Him for the pain in my life. It’s my core belief that He turns all pain to treasures. It’s a promise I believe with all my heart. I have experienced pain at all levels—physically, emotionally and spiritually. Holding my son before he died was the single most painful moment of my life. It made me the person I am today. God wrecked my life. He has stripped me and disciplined and pruned me the past forty-two years to continue to grow as a wife, mom, daughter, and friend. I’m a work in progress. I challenge myself constantly to seek my purpose in life. I love asking Him—why did you create me?

What I love most about my necklace—I’m in control of what I want to put in my heart. The things in my heart can change constantly or remain the same. The really important things that once were in my heart, that are not so important anymore, I have taken those “charms” out; they are gone now. I don’t miss them at all. I have replaced them with new charms that make me feel passionate, adventurous, radical, and a little crazy.  Now, how can I convince them to make an adoption charm- I think we could sell those here like hot cakes!

I would love for you to share with me, what’s in your heart?  I love reading your comments and being inspired by your words.  Please contact me at www.mycrazyadoption.com

Kari Gibson, mom