LOVE! This is a topic most of us find relevant. We 'feel' that we are either loved too much or too little, that we have been smothered by love, or starved for love. How we 'perceive' love has a lot to do with how we live our lives. I think we often look for love in 'all the wrong places'. What does the Bible say about 'love'?
I know that all of you who know me personally will have a hard time believing this (ha!), but one morning several years ago, I walked into the kitchen feeling very crabby. You know, one of those days when you just can't be pleased with anyone or anything? Sitting at my place at the table was a half of grapefruit. My husband had carefully cut around each section to make it easier to get it out of the rind. For some reason, that really annoyed me!
"This looks like something you'd do for a child" I told him.
My husband looked at me in surprise. "No, this is something you do for someone you love" he said. I felt like 2 cents! One day recently I walked into the bathroom and sat down at my dressing table, looked out the window at the grapefruit tree and saw a big yellow grapefruit smiling at me! My husband had drawn a 'smiley face' with a marker pen on a big grapefruit. It brought a smile to my face. In fact, every time I see it, I smile! What a sweet way for him to show love. Diamonds make me smile too, but.....none of those.
How often we miss the little evidences of love, subtle and easy to overlook. The Lord's love toward us can be subtle too, expressed in silly little delights; a momentary burst of joy, a feeling of peace, maybe unexpected 'hope', or a fear that is gone. Learn to look for evidence of His love, expect to see and experience it.
Love is an important theme of the Bible.....the word 'love' is used 526 times, 44 times in the Psalms alone. When the subject of love comes up, I'm always drawn to I John. This is the same John who wrote the gospel of John, John II & III, and the Book of Revelation.
I John 2:15 -17 "Do not love the world or anything in the world.......The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever." This speaks of worldly love versus Godly love. All that we struggle with comes from the world; somehow the happiness we're looking for often eludes us. As soon as one problem is solved, there's another to deal with....and on and on it goes. God tells us we can take our eyes off this world and 'rest in Him'. That's the 'good news' (gospel).
Hebrews 4: 9 -10 "There remains then a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his". (refers to creation, on the 7th day God 'rested'.)
And how do we 'enter that rest'? Back to I John 2:17 says the world and its desires will pass away (we die), but the man who does the 'will of God' will live forever. Now, we have to ask, what is the will of God? John 6 describes it very clearly, vs. 40, this is Jesus speaking,
"For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son (Jesus) and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up (given a new body) at the last day."
So, we don't panic when we see those words....'the will of God'. Jesus is God's will, and God's plan is to draw us to Him, the ultimate love gift to the world. This plan of salvation isn't one a human would design but designed by a God who created and loved us. We are told in I John 4:10, "This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us......"
John, chapter 4 says so much about love. When (or if) we come to believe in God's love, we want to obey His commands. Chapter 5 tells us that this isn't going to be a burden because we have been 'born of God' (check out John 3:3 - 'born again'). We have overcome the world! We are safe, tucked into the person of Jesus who overcame the world.
How did He do that? He rose again, He was dead and was resurrected, came back to life. Look at I Corinthians 15.....you will see over 500 people saw the living Christ. To believe this may seem a bit foolish. Come on now, use your head!! Well, 'God has made foolish the wisdom of the world'......look at the first chapter of I Corinthians.
Speaking of love, our precious granddog, Abby is having surgery today. Still a baby, soon to be 11 months. She is one bundle of sweet, energetic love. The doctor just called and said she's ready to be picked up. We dread keeping her 'quiet', not a part of her nature!
Rest in His love, look for His love, expect His love in your life!
Bobbe Van Hise
- Over the past few years my blog has been visited by people from all over the world. Very few know me, or of me, they simply are looking information concerning the Bible and discover my blog. After many years of intense study and teaching, I've come to believe we are vulnerable to misguided and incorrect teaching if we don't understand for ourselves the teaching of God's Word. My 'hot buttons' are - grace, sovereignty, exhortations and sanctification. If you understand these basic principles of Scripture, and apply them to daily life, you will understand what it means to have peace, joy and absolute security in any circumstance.