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True Love
| Mary Lawler

Remember elementary school?  Suddenly we no longer found certain others had cooties.  We noticed a special someone.  We wanted to express our interest in a safe way. Before we declared our interest, we had to check for mutual interest.  So we sent notes with boxes to check. 

 Like you____  Like you a LOT____  Love you____ Love you a LOT ____

Then we would trust our friend to deliver it and return with an answer!  How we anticipated the answer.  It couldn’t come fast enough. You learned to recognize those in love by that grin, their energy, focus and actions. 

You can see someone in love with God.  They have spent time getting to know God.  They talk to Him.  They read His story, The Bible, and talk to others about Him.  They listen to His still small voice. And they have quiet confidence, joy, and peace.  

God desires me to enter into a relationship with Him - to love Him. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matthew 22:37)  He loved me first. He offered His love in a concrete way when He accepted Christ’s sacrifice on my behalf. My penalty for sin was paid to satisfy a just God. That happened about 2000 years ago.

 How do I show God I love Him?  I love God by obeying Him. John tells us “Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.’”  (John 14:23)  Obeying God results in my sinning less.  Sinning less means fewer negative consequences and/or discipline.  I like that.  He even helps me to not sin. “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us.”(2 Peter 1:3) Notice the word “everything”.  From words of encouragement to armor He offers what I need. 

God also commands that I love others – not just the easy ones to love, but those hard to love too.  “Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (I Corinthians 13:4-7) 

If I can insert ‘God’ for the word love, I better understand Him for He loves this way.  He is love.  Want a challenge? Try to insert your own name for the word love.  When that shows a disconnect I know what I need to work on.

Loving means I put others first.  I seek what’s in their best interests first rather than insisting on mine.  Paul writes, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others.”  (Phil 2:3-5)

We need to love now more than ever.  Recent events show our terrible condition.  Join me and choose to love more.

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