LOVE, Ever New!

        What a joy when I hear my husband say, “I love you!”  How many times have we have spoken these words in 65 years?  Our love story never ends. We see God’s plan in our love.  We are committed to each other because of God’s love. Sometimes my “I love you,” is answered now with a “Thank you!” 

         Some search to find expressions of love through the years. A gentle hug, roses and chocolates, a kind deed, and then I remember where loves come from – God is Love! (I John 4:8b) When we receive God, we truly find Love in our hearts, pouring out to care for others and serve others.
         Everything we know about love comes from God. The way we love is a pattern after God’s love.  His love is steadfast and unfailing.  Love is not a happenstance, it is a commandment. 
         Jesus replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  Matthew 22:37-39.
         We wonder, are we to love the person who puts us down, disagrees with us, and the one who doesn’t appreciate us at all?  Yes, love that one!!!
         That is way too hard!  Love is being vulnerable. We can be and will be hurt, rejected and humiliated.  Yet, we continue to love, for in doing so we glorify God. We forget our purpose is not to glorify the ME, we carry around, but our Lord God.  Psalm 147:12-14 – Glorify the Lord, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion! For he has strengthened the bars of your gates and blessed your children within your walls. He sends peace across your nation and satisfies your hunger with the finest wheat.
         In answer to the question, Who do you think you are? John 8:53. Jesus answered, “If I want glory for myself, it doesn’t count. But it is my Father who will glorify me.” You say, ‘He is our God.’
         If we will not, cannot love God, we lack the quality of humility before the One who made us!  Love is a gift from God.  He loves us unconditionally.  Marketers sell us many products to make us more lovable and appealing. They can only deal with our outward appearance. They promise to make us appear young again. Yet we are destined to become old. It is God’s plan.
         One day someone declared me wise and I wondered why.  I looked in the mirror and saw the beginning of wrinkles, thinning gray hair and wondered if that equals wisdom?  I am the same inside as I was yesterday and the day before. Wisdom in us comes alive through humility and understanding of God’s Great Love.  Wisdom doesn’t descend upon us through potions and pills, but from the everyday giving of ourselves to living in God’s way of Love.  His love is Ever New. Love comes from praising God, renewing our minds, living in Him, and giving our hearts fully to God.
         The faithful love of theLord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. Lamentations 3:22-23.  This is my hope.  In eternity past, the present, and eternity future, our Lord God is ever the same. He loves you and He loves me.  How do I know? 
         “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his One and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16.  Love begins with a relationship with our Lord in that He changes us, fills us, and we give Him the glory.
         In every situation in life, I realize God has a purpose for each of us. When I seek for understanding of His Grace I receive His Peace.  Each day brings another way to live and grow in the love of God.  Understanding His Great Love, Ever New, gives me stability and confidence for the challenges of the day. Each day, Jesus continues to express His love as an alternative way of living to me. All that is left for me is to make a choice.
         Jesus, What a Beautiful Name.  The lyrics I first heard brought me to tears of joy.
         You were the Word at the beginning – One with God the Lord most High
         Your hidden glory in creation – Now revealed in You, our Christ.
         You didn’t want Heaven without us – So Jesus, You brought Heaven down
         My sin was great, Your love was greater – What could separate us now?
         What a wonderful Name it is – The Name of Jesus Christ my King
         What a beautiful Name it is – Nothing compares to this
         What a beautiful Name it is – The Name of Jesus. (Fraser/Fielding)
         What is Love?  The first seven verses of I Corinthians teach us how to love and why it is important! 
         If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.  If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

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