14th February 2013

Love Is…

“God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.”
1 John 4:16 (NIV)

February 14th is Valentines Day and the thoughts of many turn to love.  Most of us are probably familiar with the humourous expressions beginning ‘Love is…never having to say you’re sorry…a many splendoured thing…blind…a necessity, not a luxury…enjoying life in the slow lane…tough on the outside, soft on the inside…when you become his screensaver!’  These were made famous by New Zealand cartoonist Kim Casali in a comic strip that first came out in the late 1960s.

Someone sent me a selection of children’s answers when asked ‘What does Love mean?’  Some of my favourite ones include:
“Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.”  Terri,  aged 4
“Love is what’s in the room with you if you stop opening presents and listen.”  Danny, 7
“If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate.”  Nikka, 6
“Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.”  Elaine, 5
“Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.”  Mary Ann, 4

The famous love chapter in the Bible says, “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…It always protects, always trusts, always hopes…Love never fails”  (I Corinthians 13:4-8)  Love is the fruit of God’s Spirit and encompasses “joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23)  Although we know that there are three different categories of love–brotherly love, romantic love and Godly love, perhaps in the light of the above scriptures it follows to say that if you ‘fall out of love’, you are no longer kind, patient and gentle?

Note that the beginning of 1 Corinthians 13 (MSG) tells us that even if we speak God’s Word with power, have faith to move mountains, give everything we own to the poor, and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, we can do those things and still not have love.  So as we go about showing our love with gifts of chocolates and flowers, think about the response of one wise 8 year old, “You really shouldn’t say, ‘I love you’ unless you mean it.  But if you mean it, you should say it a lot.  People forget.”  Jessica

Father in Heaven, thank you so much for showing us your way of love.  Help us to live in love, to live in you, the one who IS love, whose love for mankind gave his son for the sins of mankind.

Study by Nancy Silcox

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