True Love

We are led to believe that love is easy. But is it? To truly love is more than saying the right words and doing the right things. It isn’t all warm cuddles and hugs. Sometimes loving means saying and doing things that are hard and hurt in the present but lead to better tomorrows. Loving isn’t always saying yes sometimes it is saying no.

Children can say the word no powerfully and loudly when they don’t want to do something but they don’t like to hear the word no. Parents know that the word no is needed to protect children and to teach them right from wrong. Often as adults, we act the same when God says no to us. Like children, we need protection, direction and discipline to mature and become the people He created us to be.

Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him.https://pixabay.com/en/tree-trunk-forest-floor-trunk-roots-569275/
Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.
Eph 3:17 nlt

Like children, we crawl spiritually before we walk straight and steady. The deeper our relationship with God becomes the more we understand true love, His love. The reality of His love is so great it takes a lifetime to know it fully or as fully as we can while living in this world.

And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should,
how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.
May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully.
Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of
life and power that comes from God.

Eph 3:18-19 nlt

God is patient with us. What a blessing! All He asks of us is to stay on the path with Him.

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
Mi 6:8 niv

My prayer for all;

May the Lord lead your hearts
into a full understanding and expression of the love of God
and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.
2 Thes 3:5 nlt 

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

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Agape

We are told by Jesus to love one another. I have been thinking and praying about this lately.  There are three perspectives of love;

  • storge–the natural affection of family members
  • phileo–friendship of individuals, mutual affection, and understanding
  • agape–love given requiring nothing in return, deliberate principled and moral, not impulsive or from feelings or emotions

Storge is the first love we experience. Most of us are born into loving families. Some families are small some are large but all are united in the caring for one another. True, we may be closer to some family members than others but there is the common bond of belonging to each other.

Phileo is a love we develop over time with people who come into our lives as strangers that we find some interest or belief that ties us together. These are our friends. Friendships can be shared for a lifetime or be for a brief period or season of life.

These two types of love are the loves that nurture and teach us, comfort and strengthen us. We live, work, and play with these people sometimes in complete harmony and other times with disagreements and arguments. These two aspects of love are purely human and imperfect and they can come to an end. They can end in anger or by agreement, with respect or disdain. Or they can come to an end because of simple changes of life, the distance brought by a move,  passage of time or the change of interests.

Then we come to agape. This is the love God has for us. It is given to us though we don’thttps://pixabay.com/en/infinity-infinite-repeating-loop-1837430/ deserve it and it never comes to an end. We come into this world loved by God and we will leave loved by Him. Whether we acknowledge Him or even know Him doesn’t change the fact He loves us. It is a perfect love and it has no end.

When we know Jesus as our Lord and Savior there is something so important to Him that He commands us to do this;

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other.
Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.
John 13:34 nlt

I don’t know about you but I struggle with this. He says that just as He loved us we should love each other. I would like to say I have mastered this. I have not. There are just some people I find difficult to love or to be honest I just don’t love them. There are people I can say I love with my whole heart without reservation. But there are others I cross paths with that Jesus and I have some serious talks about. One of the things He said to me is that He wants me to love these people but it’s ok not to like everything about them.  I know there are more than a few things Jesus doesn’t like about me but still, He loves me. I have a lot of work to do!

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

Be Kind, Tenderhearted, Forgiving

The other day I was asked to help someone.  The person doing the asking is not a close friend, more of an acquaintance, and the person needing help I know only slightly. I was asked to help because I have some experience with the problem at hand. I don’t think of myself as one who holds grudges but the first thought I had was, why come to me, when have you helped me? And I don’t even know the person you want me to help! The minute after that thought was in my head this came to mind,

Put up with each other, and forgive each other if anyone has a complaint.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Col 3:13  (gwt)

That stopped me from saying the ugly words.  It was awful of me to think those words but saying them would have been worse than awful. Jesus heard my thoughts and knows my heart and He stepped in to keep me from causing someone pain…again. Thank you, Jesus!

Later on, I was getting comfortable for a chat with Jesus and this was brought to mind,

But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against,
so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.
Mark 11:25 (nlt)

You see I was holding a grudge against this acquaintance of mine.  I had forgotten all about the day I asked her for help and she said she couldn’t help. Or I should say I thought I had hard-694733_640forgotten. Obviously, I held that day in my heart and let it fester until I was reminded of it and then let the ugliness come forward. I hadn’t forgiven her this little thing. I know better than this. I want to be like my Lord.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
as God in Christ forgave you.
Eph 4:32 (esv)

What have I learned from this?

  • I can be resentful and unforgiving
  • I am not examining my heart as I must
  • My prayers are more self-centered than I thought
  • Jesus wants us to be better than we are and helps us get there

 The Word has been given to us to teach us what we need to know to be like Christ.
All we have to do is let it into our hearts and use it as needed.
Everyday.

Blessings this day of grace,
patricia

Image:pixabay