Blog, Home, Life, Family, Encouragement

The Ultimate Valentine

It’s the time of year where “love is in the air”. Couples showering each other with flowers and gifts in an effort to show the other how much they love them. For others it’s a time of sadness, loneliness, and depression. Often feeling unlovable because they are “alone” and have no one to spend the day with. Feeling as if somehow they aren’t “good enough” to have someone show them love on this specific day.

My hopes in writing this is to bring hope, joy, and the surrounding presence of God’s love to those whom feel “alone”. I am excited to share with you– you are NOT alone. Not on Valentine’s day or any other day for that matter. Let me share with you a love that is unconditional, unfailing, and unchanging!

Deuteronomy 31:8 And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”

The love of Jesus– there is no greater love than that of Jesus Christ– who was tortured and killed for you– yes YOU– so that your sins would be forgiven so you may live eternally– so you would know His love. Perfect- Unconditional- Never Failing Love!

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

There are many people that have the wrong idea of who God is– Thinking that He just wants to take the fun out of life or give you a list of rules that is impossible to follow perfectly. Some think He is mad at them–that He is to blame for the bad things in their life– some even believe that God hates them. As Joyce Meyer says and wrote a book on, God is NOT Mad at you!! I read the book and if you believe God is mad at you–you should read it too.

God doesn’t correct us or give us rules because He is mad or wants to be a party pooper. God corrects us through His word because He loves us! Just as a good parent loves their child– God loves us even more!

Proverbs 3:12 For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.

The Bible is there to instruct, convict, and replenish your soul– not to chastise, condemn, and break you down. God instructs us in Matthew that love is the greatest commandment. This is because God sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins and lack of capability to uphold each commandment in the law. When Jesus was crucified He was sinless His death represented the love of God to all of us.

Matthew 22:34-40

But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”

37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

God never stops loving us even on the days or years we do not choose Him. God authored the concept of love–God is love. God wants us to love Him, love ourselves, and love everyone as He loved us. We love because He first loved us.

You see no one is truly alone– that is a lie the enemy wants you to believe– so that you will remain in bondage to loneliness, sadness, and depression. God is always with us–He goes before us and prepares the way.

If you are feeling alone and vulnerable this Valentine’s Day I encourage you to seek out the Ultimate Valentine– God. He showers you with the perfect love all of the days of your life. He has many gifts (blessings) for you– you only have to receive Him and accept them. God is near to the broken hearted and His strength is made perfect in our weakness. What better valentine to have than the one who authored the concept of love.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for being the ultimate example of unconditional love in Jesus Christ. Thank you for showing us love even when we did not deserve it and in our times of struggle. Forgive us Lord for forgetting that we are never truly alone, You are always with us. Remind us that regardless of what the world says or what our circumstances may seem like we are loved far more than we could ever imagine. Remind us that our relationship with Jesus is far more important and comforting than any relationship we could ever form on this earth. Lord I pray that in this season we remember that we love because You first loved us. Remind us that You are the author of love and we must learn to truly love ourselves and who You created us to be before we could ever show true love to someone else. Lord help us to be vessels for Your kingdom, give us courage and boldness to share the love of Jesus with those who cross our paths daily. Thank you for Your perfect and unconditional love and it is in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

Blog, Devotionals, Home, Life, Family, Encouragement

Love Defined

What is love?

An age old question that people have been seeking the answer to for years- some find it- some never do. In a world full of so much hate and misrepresentation it is easy to get lost in what the world says love is. I say this because I was lost– for many years– due to false beliefs of what it meant to love or feel loved– in my case, this had a lot to do with my life experiences and lack of positive reinforcement to set healthy boundaries and concepts of love itself.

So in the spirit of the upcoming “holiday”- Valentine’s Day- I decided to dig deep into the origins of love-where it came from- what it’s suppose to really mean– and how healthy love is shown and received. The month of February will be designated to articles pertaining to love. I write this in hopes it helps someone fill the missing void and redefine their thoughts on the true meaning of Love.

Dictionary.com defines love in the following ways

  • passionate affection for another person
  • a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection
  • sexual passion or desire
  • Then notes Christianity: Gods benevolent attitude toward man–mans attitude of reverent devotion towards God.

Wikipedia defines love like this:

Love encompasses a range of strong and positive emotional and mental states from the most sublime virtue or good habit, the deepest interpersonal affection and to the simplest pleasure.

Wikipedia goes on to explain that Ancient Greek philosophers identified five forms of love: essentially, familial love (in Greek, Storge), friendly love or platonic love (Philia), romantic love (Eros), guest love (Xenia) and divine love (Agape). Modern authors have distinguished further varieties of love: unrequited love, empty love, companionate love, consummate love, infatuated love, self-love, and courtly love. Scientific research on emotion has increased significantly over the past two decades. The color wheel theory of love defines three primary, three secondary and nine tertiary love styles, describing them in terms of the traditional color wheel. The triangular theory of love suggests “intimacy, passion and commitment” are core components of love. Love has additional religious or spiritual meaning. This diversity of uses and meanings combined with the complexity of the feelings involved makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, compared to other emotional states.

In the Bible love does not refer to an emotion but an attitude or behavior.

If we follow history back far enough it all begins in the same place–In the beginning was God. He created all the Earth, all things that walk the Earth and swim in the sea, every creeping creature, and He created man and woman in His image.

Love is of God. God authored the concept of love. Without the presence or existence of God there is no love.

1 John 4:7-11 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

As you may already be able to see our society’s view on love vs what love was designed by God to be are two different things.

Although they have similarities the biggest difference is the love we learn from society is broken– it can and will fail, it’s usually not an unconditional love, society’s version of love is emotionally charged and can change based on circumstances– where God’s purpose and design for love is based on an attitude or behavior. We love because He first loved us.

Let’s explore more of God’s design for love–a love that is fulfilling, peaceful, joyful, and patient among many other things. God describes love in 1 Corinthians 13 as the greatest gift He has given us.

1 Corinthians 13- Love the greatest gift

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Could you imagine a world where we loved ALL people like God tells us to– no matter their background–no matter their sin. I encourage everyone to put love to the test and love like a 1 Corinthians 13 warrior.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for loving us in a perfect and unconditional way. Thank you for giving us the ultimate example of love through Jesus. God this world is so lost and has distorted the meaning of love so badly that it’s overall meaning and design has been nearly erased. God we know that You are love and without You there is no love. I pray that you touch each persons heart that reads this, open their eyes and hearts to the truth in Your Word. Remind us that regardless of what the world says love is, we know in You there is a perfect love that drives out fear and it renews us from the inside out. God, fill us with Your Holy Spirit and embrace us in Your loving arms. I pray that those who do not know You would seek to know You and would feel your love and presence surround them. It is in Jesus name I pray.

Amen

Blog, Home, Life, Family, Encouragement

The Ultimate Valentine

It’s the time of year where “love is in the air”. Couples showering each other with flowers and gifts in an effort to show the other how much they love them. For others it’s a time of sadness, loneliness, and depression. Often feeling unlovable because they are “alone” and have no one to spend the day with. Feeling as if somehow they aren’t “good enough” to have someone show them love on this specific day.

My hopes in writing this is to bring hope, joy, and the surrounding presence of God’s love to those whom feel “alone”. I am excited to share with you– you are NOT alone. Not on Valentine’s day or any other day for that matter. Let me share with you a love that is unconditional, unfailing, and unchanging!

Deuteronomy 31:8 And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”

The love of Jesus– there is no greater love than that of Jesus Christ– who was tortured and killed for you– yes YOU– so that your sins would be forgiven so you may live eternally– so you would know His love. Perfect- Unconditional- Never Failing Love!

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

There are many people that have the wrong idea of who God is– Thinking that He just wants to take the fun out of life or give you a list of rules that is impossible to follow perfectly. Some think He is mad at them–that He is to blame for the bad things in their life– some even believe that God hates them. As Joyce Meyer says and wrote a book on God is NOT Mad at you!! I read the book and if you believe God is mad at you–you should read it too.

God doesn’t correct us or give us rules because He is mad or wants to be a party pooper. God corrects us through His word because He loves us! Just as a good parent loves their child– God loves us even more!

Proverbs 3:12 For whom the Lord loves He corrects, Just as a father the son in whom he delights.

The Bible is there to instruct, convict, and replenish your soul– not to chastise, condemn, and break you down. God instructs us in Matthew that love is the greatest commandment. This is because God sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins and lack of capability to uphold each commandment in the law. When Jesus was crucified He was sinless His death represented the love of God to all of us.

Matthew 22:34-40

But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”

37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

God never stops loving us even on the days or years we do not choose Him. God authored the concept of love–God is love. God wants us to love Him, love ourselves, and love everyone as He loved us. We love because He first loved us.

You see no one is truly alone– that is a lie the enemy wants you to believe– so that you will remain in bondage to loneliness, sadness, and depression. God is always with us–He goes before us and prepares the way.

If you are feeling alone and vulnerable this Valentine’s Day I encourage you to seek out the Ultimate Valentine– God. He showers you with the perfect love all of the days of your life. He has many gifts (blessings) for you– you only have to receive Him and accept them. God is near to the broken hearted and His strength is made perfect in our weakness. What better valentine to have than the one who authored the concept of love.

Blog, Home, Life, Family, Encouragement

Love Defined

What is love?

An age old question that people have been seeking the answer to for years- some find it- some never do. In a world full of so much hate and misrepresentation it is easy to get lost in what the world says love is. I say this because I was lost– for many years– due to false beliefs of what it meant to love or feel loved– in my case, this had a lot to do with my life experiences and lack of positive reinforcement to set healthy boundaries and concepts of love itself.

So in the spirit of the upcoming “holiday”- Valentine’s Day- I decided to dig deep into the origins of love-where it came from- what it’s suppose to really mean– and how healthy love is shown and received. The month of February will be designated to articles pertaining to love. I write this in hopes it helps someone fill the missing void and redefine their thoughts on the true meaning of Love.

Dictionary.com defines love in the following ways

  • passionate affection for another person
  • a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection
  • sexual passion or desire
  • Then notes Christianity: Gods benevolent attitude toward man–mans attitude of reverent devotion towards God.

Wikipedia defines love like this:

Love encompasses a range of strong and positive emotional and mental states from the most sublime virtue or good habit, the deepest interpersonal affection and to the simplest pleasure.

Wikipedia goes on to explain that Ancient Greek philosophers identified five forms of love: essentially, familial love (in Greek, Storge), friendly love or platonic love (Philia), romantic love (Eros), guest love (Xenia) and divine love (Agape). Modern authors have distinguished further varieties of love: unrequited love, empty love, companionate love, consummate love, infatuated love, self-love, and courtly love. Scientific research on emotion has increased significantly over the past two decades. The color wheel theory of love defines three primary, three secondary and nine tertiary love styles, describing them in terms of the traditional color wheel. The triangular theory of love suggests “intimacy, passion and commitment” are core components of love. Love has additional religious or spiritual meaning. This diversity of uses and meanings combined with the complexity of the feelings involved makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, compared to other emotional states.

In the Bible love does not refer to an emotion but an attitude or behavior.

If we follow history back far enough it all begins in the same place–In the beginning was God. He created all the Earth, all things that walk the Earth and swim in the sea, every creeping creature, and He created man and woman in His image.

Love is of God. God authored the concept of love. Without the presence or existence of God there is no love.

1 John 4:7-11 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

As you may already be able to see our society’s view on love vs what love was designed by God to be are two different things. Although they have similarities the biggest difference is the love we learn from society is broken– it can and will fail, it’s usually not an unconditional love, society’s version of love is emotionally charged and can change based on circumstances– where God’s purpose and design for love is based on an attitude or behavior. We love because He first loved us.

Let’s explore more of God’s design for love–a love that is fulfilling, peaceful, joyful, and patient among many other things. God describes love in 1 Corinthians 13 as the greatest gift He has given us.

1 Corinthians 13- Love the greatest gift

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Could you imagine a world where we loved ALL people like God tells us to– no matter their background–no matter their sin. I encourage everyone to put love to the test and love like a 1 Corinthians 13 warrior.