Wednesday 10 July 2013

Love Is.

1 Corinthians 13 is known as the love chapter. Every wedding I have ever been to has used this chapter either in full or in part to give a more or less poetic guide to the upcoming commitment to the marriage.

One of the most contentious words on the planet is the word LOVE.  It's the most used, abused, misused and misunderstood words in the English language. Books are written about it, songs are sung about it, wars have been fought in the name of it.

In the English language the word LOVE covers a multitude of meanings: I love peanut butter, I love my car, I love that movie, I love my dog, I love my brother, sister, uncle, aunt. I love you! I love that song! I love, I love.... What is true love?

All of these are correct in a way.
God so loved that He gave. Love is giving.
Greater love hath no man than he lay down his life for his friend. Love is ultimate sacrifice.
“God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16).
When Jesus said to Peter: Do you love me? And three times Peter replied "Yes"; what was the question and what really was the answer?

Love is affection. Love is emotion. Love is romance.
Are we moved by love? Are we motivated by it?
One is a response, the other is a preempt.
The world is full of confusion between love and lust. Lust wants to have, love longs to give.
Love is a decision. Love is a choice, it is a commitment to a person no matter what the time, circumstance, situation; no matter how I feel...

Love is what I choose to do, more so than what I feel like. The Bible uses the word Agape to describe God's love for us. This is a love that goes beyond feeling and emotion to decision and commitment. It talks of love "out of a sense of duty" not out of reciprocating deserved-ness...
The only reason we can love is because He first loved us. That whole "Greater love hath no man" thing wasn't because he was in a good and generouse gushy feeling kind of mood that day, it took every bit of courage, commitment and guts that Jesus had to go to the cross.
When a soldier goes to war to defend his country, his family, his way of life, his freedom, and dies, that to me is love.

So, biblically, 3 types of love.
Eros, totally motivated by the senses. Physical. Sensual, sexual.
Phileo, the love and dedication I have for my friends, family, children, spouse.
Agape, the unconditional uncompromising unrepentant love of God.
What do you think, about love?

Thursday 4 July 2013

Just Come




I was in church last Sunday, and the prayer went up:" Lord, we just come to you..."
Immediately it started me thinking, how many people here have "just come". People's reasons for coming to church are many and varied.


How many times have we gone to church and it was as if we only just made it there? There are extenuating circumstances in our lives that would "justify"us actually not being there,but we have mustered up every bit of energy and courage we could find to just come...

How many times have we gone to church and we have just come, as if only our attendance was all that was required and sufficed to get us through? Going to church is something we do, whether out of habit or tradition, or because the occasion demands it (like a baptism or Christmas ) so we just come. To fill in the day, to fulfil the religious obligation, or because there is nothing better to do, we just come...

How many times have we heard the voice of Jesus calling: " will you just come, surrender and let Me do what I long to do in you?" God is asking us to come...just come. He has so much more for us than what we could ever ask, think or imagine.

Jeremiah 29:11 says:"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."

Matthew 6:8 says: "...For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him."

And the words of Jesus are these: Matthew 11:28-30: "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”


Jesus wants us to just come; as we are, where we are at, just come and surrender to Him.
When I think about the word surrender, I picture the soldiers of an army, laying down all weapons, the only means of attack or defence, walking out in plain view of the capturing forces with hands raised, totally at their mercy.

But when we do that to God, he takes us, washes us, clothes us, feeds us, shelters us and comforts us.

Are you ready to surrender?

Just come!

Just as I am without one plea
But that thy blood was shed for me
And that thou bidst me come to thee
Oh lamb of God I come.

Just as I am, though tossed about
with many a conflict, many a doubt,
fightings and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
sight, riches, he
aling of the mind,
yea, all I need in thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, thy love unknown
hath broken every barrier down;
now, to be thine, yea thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Hymn by Char­lotte El­li­ott, 1835

Have an overcoming week!