John 13: A New Commandment to Love One Another

TARA GIBBS|GUEST “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn.13:34-35). Good news: If you have read your Bible much before today, you can skip today’s devotional. You probably already know the foundational role of love in our Christian lives. Perhaps you have it on a t-shirt or a mug. It’s woven throughout the story of Scripture. It’s found in Leviticus, “…you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD,” (Lev. 19:18). It’s found in the teaching of Jesus when he asserts that all the law and the prophets hang on loving God and loving our neighbor (Mt. 22:40). It’s in 1 John 4:8, “He who does not love, does not know God.” As a matter of fact, this is such a basic truth, Jesus says the whole world will be able to identify us by the extraordinary love we show to one another. “By this all people will know that you are my disciples…” Anyone in the world who has access to Christ’s people can testify to “love” being the first adjective that comes to mind when describing them, right? “Wait just a second,” you say. You and I both know this is not always the case.

John 13: A New Commandment to Love One Another2022-05-04T00:43:06+00:00

We Are His: The Great Love of Christ

SHARON ROCKWELL|GUEST The phrase “be my Valentine” conjures up so many different images associated with the celebration of Valentine’s Day: cards with hearts and sugary poems on them, candy and flowers from someone you love, and images of cupids flying around shooting their arrows of affection for their sweethearts. February 14th is represented as the holiday of love, at least by the card and candy companies! A Legend of Love According to tradition, Valentine was a priest in Rome in the third century. At that time Rome was having difficulty getting soldiers to join the military because their spouses objected to them leaving their families. Marriages were therefore outlawed. Valentine defied the government by conducting weddings, but when discovered, was put in jail. One legend has it that Valentine ministered during his jail time. He witnessed to the guards, one of whom had an adopted daughter who was blind. As the story goes, Valentine prayed for the girl and she subsequently regained her sight. The emperor ordered Valentine beheaded, but in his last days, Valentine left a note for the young girl which he signed “from your Valentine.” Valentine was made a saint by the Roman church after his death. By the 18th century, it became popular for those in love to exchange tokens of affection “from their Valentine.” You would think the hearts and flowers of the holiday would turn our heads toward thoughts of love and marriage, but it often has the opposite effect. Those who do not receive some tangible, even expensive, gift may feel disappointed. Those who are single may feel left out. The beauty of love is reduced to a need to receive physical evidence that someone truly cares for us. A Love that Calls Us His Own Christians need to keep a close eye on our feelings during this holiday. Without proper perspective, this holiday can become idolatrous. We are the church, the bride of Christ. Married or single, in love or hopeful, Christ calls believers His bride. We are His...

We Are His: The Great Love of Christ2022-05-04T23:09:46+00:00

What is Real Love Anyway?

As a little girl, I always dreamed of the perfect man that I would someday marry. I mean, what girl doesn’t do that? It started out as me thinking it would be so fun to play house with someone who was like my daddy. Loving, fun, and always looking for ways to help his children.  During my teenage years and even into college, my innocent yearnings for a husband quickly went from cute to obsessed. Thinking about this mystery man for so many years while simultaneously listening to the world and its views of marriage deafened my ears to what God’s word says about love. You see, I was fooling myself into thinking that the “perfect” man would completely satisfy me in every way. Ultimately, I believed my husband would be not only my all satisfying joy in this life, but he would be my savior.  I would never admit that back then though. In my naivety, I truly didn’t believe the deep sin in my heart was even there.  On my wedding day, I couldn’t believe the man I had prayed for so long was finally waiting for me at the end of what seemed like the longest aisle on earth. I just wanted to run down it and jump into his arms. The Lord has been so sweet to me in providing me with a husband who loves Him deeply and leads our marriage in ways that continuously remind me of our end goal on this earth.  Not even a month into our marriage, I experienced many feelings and frustrations that my poor husband so graciously loved me through. So many changes were happening so fast. So many expectations had gone unmet. One morning I was spending time with the Lord and it hit me: I had been expecting my husband to be my savior. I expected him to love me perfectly, keep me full of joy at all times, and satisfy every deep need and desire that was nestled down in my sinful human heart.  Psalm 16:11 tells us “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” The living, breathing Word of God makes it so clear that He is the only one who can provide fullness of joy. I am forever grateful that the Lord chose to draw me to him. Is love and joy being married? Being falsely satisfied by material things? Achieving a certain social status? Not even a little bit...

What is Real Love Anyway?2022-05-07T22:36:22+00:00
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