Author: Bruce Cook
For some time now I have been thinking about the word love. I couldn’t sleep the other night and sometimes I spend some of that time praying for someone or something, but this night I started to think about the word love and how many ways it can apply to ones life. As I thought about it I decided that there are different levels or stages of love just as I believe that there are different stages of grief. Our first and greatest level of love should be the love we have for God. Then there can be different levels of love such as: love for your spouse, love for your children and grandchildren, love for your brothers and sisters, love for your parents or grandparents or other relatives, love for a boy or girl(puppy love) (teenage) (adult love and marriage), love for material things or possessions, love for life, love for a good friend, love for our nation, love for your neighbors, love for your church, and the list goes on.
The thirteenth chapter of I Corinthians tells us how important love is in our lives. This chapter tells us that though we speak in tongues of men and of angels but do not have love, we become a sounding (piece of) brass or a clashing cymbal. If we have the gift of prophesying all the sacred secrets and all knowledge and have all the faith to transplant mountains, but do not have love, we are nothing. If I give all my belongings to feed others, and hand over my body that I may boast, but do not have love, I am not perfected at all.
Verse 4, tells us that: love is long suffering and kind, love is not jealous, does not brag, does not get puffed up, does not behave indecently, does not look for its own interests, does not become provoked, does not keep account of injury, does not rejoice over uprightness but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are gifts of prophesying, tongues, or knowledge it will be done away with. For we have partial knowledge and prophesy partially. But when that which is complete arrives, that which is partial will be done away with. For at present we see in a hazy outline by means of a mirror, but then it will be face to face. Then I shall know. Now however, there remains faith, hope, love, these three. But the greatest of these is love.
We all say and hear how God loves you and me. I can’t remember a time during Billy Graham’s sermons when he didn’t tell people that God loved them. So it almost becomes routine or just accepted and passes over our heads with very little thought. But do we ever take the time to stop to think about how much he really loves us? Do we really know how much he loves and cares about you and me?
Let me ask you this question. Could you give up your son or even your daughter, or maybe even your grandchild to die on a cross for the sins of the homosexuals, rapists, murderers, child molesters, abortionists, thieves and all other sinners in the world? Think about it! Could you really do it? I can’t even begin to imagine trying to make a decision like that. But God did when He gave up His Son to die on that cross for all of our sins, and He did it for each one of us. What a tremendous love this is, His agape love. How can we not love Him in return and want to serve Him.
Aren’t we fortunate that we don’t have to pass the test like Abraham did with Isaac in Gen. 22:2 when God said, “take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah, sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.” You all know the rest of the story, but how may of us would or could even take the test, let alone pass it.
The next time someone tells you or you read that God loves you. STOP! Think about it, and try to drink it all in and understand just how deep His love for you really is. That He gave His only begotten Son to die on that cross for your sins and mine. So how much do you love God in return? How much do you love your wife, children and family? Do you love your neighbor or your co-worker? God’s love is the greatest and most perfect love of all.
I have heard someone tell a person that they love him or her, and in no time at all they are talking about them. What kind of love is this?
Let me close by saying this, if you have never felt the joy of loving someone, or feel that no one loves you, draw near to God, study the bible and see how much he loves you and wants you to love Him in return, and watch the change that will take place in your life.
However if you do not, or will not accept His love you automatically accept His wrath at judgment by the Law and order angels that punish sinners that have not repented. So please don’t let this happen to you. Accept His love and love Him in return. You will be glad you did.
May God bless you as He has me.
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