Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Love is a Choice

"Love is a choice - always - to pour yourself into another and never give up, regardless of whether or not they ever love you back, change, thank you, notice, or even seem to desire to be loved. It is a relentless giving of myself to another, without any strings attached or ulterior motives. It is giving another the permission to hurt me and purposing to not pull back or quit when it does hurt. This is Jesus."
This is also what I am attempting to do with my church family. They deserve love just as I do. It hurts to love them because I don't feel they love me or my family in return. When it hurts to love so much we should do it even more. I am searching for ways to show them love yet hide my hurt. I'm find myself seeking God in prayer more. I'm asking Him, the Father of Love, to fill me with His love so much that His love bubbles out of me.  As He shows me ways to share His love with them I will share with you because I want to encourage you to do the same.  What could happen if all of God's people loved each other like He loves them?
I'm going to start with one of the most famous verses in the Bible on love.

1 Corinthians 13
1 If I speak in the tongues[
a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

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

Dear Jesus,  I ask that you help me in this endeavor called love.  Throughout the rest of the week Lord bring to my mind this Scripture. Allow me to meditate on it. I ask Lord that you help me to be patient with the church members.  Lord, they still don't know us very well. Help me to realize this and not judge them too quickly. Lord, let all my actions be ladled with kindness.  Teach me not to boast about myself to them. Teach me instead to allow them to boast to me and show me things that You have taught them. Help me to learn from them.  Take away any pride I may carry in my heart Lord. I fall humbly at Your feet. Do not allow me to dishonor others in the church by participating in gossip. Help me Lord to not get angry with Your people,  but instead Lord,  shower them with compassion.  Help me Jesus. Help me forgive them when they hurt me and my family. As You guide me with Your truth help me to teach them also.  Lord, I will rejoice when Your perfect will is made known. Lord I will rejoice when the truth comes out. Lord I seek Your help and Your guidance.  Help me to protect Your people by gently guiding them to Your wonderful words that  You have given us in the form of the Bible. I trust in Your ways Lord. All of my hope is in You Lord. My strength is in You Lord and only You, Amen

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