Genuine Love

“FROM THE PASTOR’S HEART” February 12, 2019
Love is in the air, so to speak, as we approach Valentine’s Day. Flowers, cards, and romantic dinners are taking place across America the whole month of February in celebration of love. These expressions of love reflect what people desire love to be all about. Expensive gifts and flattering words are too easily expressed in order to, many times, receive what we selfishly want for ourselves. The truest expression of love is not exactly what is found on the latest Hallmark card, but is difficult to give and stomach for many people. Love is not for the faint of heart.
Isaiah records a vision of the greatest expression of genuine love this way, “13 Behold, My Servant shall deal prudently; He shall be exalted and extolled and be very high. 14 Just as many were astonished at you, So His visage was marred more than any man, And His form more than the sons of men; 15 So shall He sprinkle many nations. Kings shall shut their mouths at Him; For what had not been told them they shall see, And what they had not heard they shall consider” (Isaiah 52:13-15, NKJV). This passage describes the purpose and reason of what Christ Jesus did upon the Roman cross to provide satisfaction for the wrath of God on sin (John 19:1-36; Philippians 2:5-8; Hebrews 10:1-16).
Jesus was pretty clear about how to love others by following His example when He said, “…love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (John 13:34, NKJV). The love Christ has showed to us is described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and should be a model to follow and definition of love that must be embraced by God’s children. “4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, NKJV).
This Valentine’s Day let us who worship the One true living God show genuine love that is in accordance with the love God has shown us through Christ. This should be the same love we display to others throughout each day towards everyone we encounter.
Praying beyond the Physical: Father, thank You for revealing what true love is so that I can receive and give love as You do. Jesus, thank You for demonstrating what true love is by the way You have loved and forgiven me of my sins. Spirit, thank You for helping me to continually learn how I am loved so that I can love others as You do. Pastor Tom

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