Celebrating, Caring, Community

Bible Verse of the Day

God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.

Yesterday’s Love

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day! Celebrating a special Day to express love is a good tradition. I hope you gave and received a meaningful something that said, “I love you” or “I remembered you today.”

     Watching Hallmark Christmas movies (with my wife) was ‘interesting’. We noted (REPEATEDLY!) someone longing for true love, or longing for the renewal of yesterday’s love.

     Hallmark and Hollywood often portray a flawed view of love. Love is not purely emotional, instantaneous, or measured by sexuality.

     True love grows as it is nurtured; nurturing our character and our ability to give love takes time and intentional EFFORT.     The intentionality, the spirit, the freshness of Valentine’s Day’s love ought to set the stage for today’s love. A continuing maturing love is desirable.

    Perhaps it is helpful to remember:

1. Love is a CHOICE

     Each of us need to be initiators of love. We choose to love, or we choose to withhold/neglect being loving. I need to take personal responsibility.

     Sometimes I find myself reminding struggling couples, “You loved at first. You took personal responsibility to initiate acts of love toward the other.” Yesterday’s love was alive and fresh because of personal choices. Yesterday’s love continues as we choose to love TODAY.

2. Love is not SELFISH

     Count on it – struggling relationships indicate that someone got selfish. There is a natural tendency in all of us toward self-fulfillment rather than serving our partner. We stop asking, “How can I help you?” But relationships grow as the giving of love is MUTUAL.

     Dr. Gary Chapman’s book ‘The Five Love Languages’ teaches that our sensitivity to the “love language” of others helps them feel loved. Love is expressed in many ways: Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Giving of Gifts, and Quality Time. We need to discover our partner’s primary love language so our message will get through – “I love you.”

3. Love is POSSIBLE

     In our bent toward selfishness and bad choices we neglect one another; we use hurtful words; we withhold love. Self-pity and blame easily become the norm, along with resentment and anger. Relationships can deteriorate to a ‘toxic’ vicious cycle.

     To know God is to truly know love. The Bible tells us that God daily persists to love us even when we are slow to reciprocate. He is gracious and kind. His love is marked by forgiveness, mercy, peace-making, and fresh starts. He shows us repeatedly how communication can begin again, along with renewed efforts to serve each other. We get ‘unstuck’, and yesterday’s love is renewed day by day.

     His love is not selfish: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins…since God SO LOVED us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:10, 11)

     That God loves me in spite of myself motivates me to love Him and others. His words and actions call me to follow his example: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

     Yesterday’s love is easily forgotten. With God’s help we can rediscover and renew our love for one another EVERY DAY.

     “Are you with me?”

Pastor Bill Terris