Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Choosing to Love


Luke 10:27
He answered, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"

Last Sunday, Pastor Wallace delivers a sermon entitled, "Priority One - Love."  I am all ears!  As many of you know, I declared this year, 2013, to be the year of "Love."  So, I'm anxious to hear what Wallace has to say, wondering if I've been on the right track, hoping to gain new insight when it comes to truly loving others as ourselves.

Wallace begins with John 3:16 - For God so loved the world . . . Love, he explains, is God's first priority.  And, it should be ours, too.  It's not I'll love if I feel like it, or I'll love this neighbor, but not that one, or I'll love him/her if he/she loves me back.

No!  It's all-out, selfless, unconditional love we are to show our neighbors, friends and enemies alike.  It is what Jesus commands us to do.  Yet, because we have free will, we can choose not to love as Christ loves us.  How we break God's heart when our Priority One is anything but love!

Pastor Wallace beautifully illustrates how giving love top tier in our lives changes everything for the better.  Softens our hearts.  Enlarges our souls.  Draws us closer to the Lord.

A young husband, jaded with his marriage, visits a divorce attorney.

"I want a divorce," he declares angrily, "but, not just any divorce.  I want her to hurt.  Really, really hurt!  I want this to be the most painful thing she'll ever go through."

The lawyer studies the man's face for a few moments before he responds.

"I'll handle your divorce," he says at last, "but, you must first do what I ask of you."

"What's that?"  asks the man.

"I want you to go home to your wife and, for one entire month, you must treat her like a queen.  Put her up on a pedestal.  Show her the love you would like to be shown.  Then, when the month is up, if you still feel the way you do now, come see me and I'll start the proceedings."

The husband is startled by the lawyer's advice, but he agrees to the terms.

It is three months later.  The attorney bumps into his potential client in a coffee shop.

"Why haven't you come to see me?"  he asks the husband.  "Didn't you want a divorce?"

"Divorce?  Are you kidding me?  My wife is a queen!  I'd never dream of divorcing her."

~

Because this young man took the lawyer's advice to heart and chose to love, his life was transformed.  Are you choosing to love your spouse, your children, your friends, your enemies, your family, your God in a way which transforms you?

Will you pray with me?
We can only love one another, Father, because first, You loved us.  While we were yet sinners, You sent Your beloved Son, Christ Jesus, to die for us that we might have life eternal with You.  Let us love one another as Jesus commanded.  Amen.

10 comments:

  1. I love the message of this post. If the whole world had the love that Jesus did it would be like heaven on earth.

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    1. Yes, Jessica, it certainly would be heaven on earth. The Kingdom wouldn't be in the "some day", it would be "here and now."
      Thanks so much for visiting!
      Love and blessings, my friend!

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  2. We get what we give, Martha.
    We see what we look for.

    Perfect example in the "divorce story." If we can change our thoughts, change our view then our entire world will change,

    Give love to get love.

    Excellent column today.
    --
    Chris

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    1. Yes, indeed, Chris - give love to get love . . . It works every time!
      Thanks so much for coming by today, my friend!
      Many blessings to you!

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  3. beautiful! oh and how easy it is to love people who love us back...it's the people who get under our skin and rattle our nerves that are the hardest!!

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    1. Oh, yes, Annmarie, loving our enemies is no easy feat. I'm still working on this one!
      Thanks so much for stopping by today!
      Blessings and love!

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  4. Great story about the divorce that didn't happen. So true that we choose to love. And yes, the commandment is to love everyone. When I talk about this in groups, in connection to compassion or judgment or forgiveness, there is always some example that someone wants to bring up to see if there is anyone we can exclude. A pedophile? A murderer? A terrorist? The standard favorite -- Hitler? Nope, we are commanded to love everyone, to forgive everyone, to judge no one.

    I'm learning that this is not something I can do myself from my ego. I can only do it successfully when I have yielded the floor to the Holy Spirit. God's love is perfect in the way that my ego love is not. It's a relief in a way to turn it over!!

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting, Galen!
      You are so right - we cannot love like we are commanded to through our egos; it is only when we let go and let God work through us that we can even hope to accomplish this.
      And, yes, we are to love without reservation or exclusion.
      Blessings and love!

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  5. I've been reflecting on this and it's the 'choosing' part that I like most. Loving God and others are God's commandments but whether to do it or not is always our choice.

    I also like the change of heart ~ it's amazing that everybody in your story cooperated... it would've taken another direction if the husband or the wife didn't agree to this.

    I am also amazed how at one point one could love somebody... then get tired of doing it and worse, would even curse the relationship...My SD told me that love could wane so we have to put the log in everyday to keep the fire burning. But love will never reach zero level unless it 's indifference.

    I pray with you Martha...Lord, I might not be 'successful' in loving You or everybody everyday, thank you for reminding me that I could struggle and keep on going and trying to love You. And if people do not reciprocate, help me to continue loving them just as much as You do because You have experienced it Yourself.

    Help me to always choose You.

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    1. Oh, Melissa, your comment here so moved my heart and soul . . . Choosing to love in a deliberate way does change our perspectives. The miracle in this story, for me, was the fact that everyone cooperated. Doesn't happen very often. What if the young husband had just refused the proposal and gone to look for another lawyer? He certainly could have, as our Father gives us free will. But, oh, how happy He is when we give love, real love, a committed try!
      Thank you for sharing in prayer, dear friend. The Lord will help us to remain faithful. He will remind us to always choose Him.
      Blessings and love always!

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