February 2017

“Beloved, let us love one another” – 1 John 4:7a

I am amazed by the Love of God, which stands in such stark contrast to this world we live in!  The world seems to bubble with insanity; but the world is really an opportunity for the Church to reach out in love.  So, the world is crazy; that’s not exactly new revelation!

Yet, in the midst of this insanity, God calls us to a higher way. In fact, at the end of 1 Corinthians 12, Paul finished talking about how the Body of Christ functions in its various “job descriptions”, and then wrote:

“And yet I show you a more excellent way.”

What follows is “The Love Chapter”; Paul’s beautiful discourse on Love, as the Holy Spirit inspired him:

“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  8 Love never fails”

Throughout the history of the Church, God has raised up leaders, who learned how to love, by watching the example of Jesus.

Mother Teresa, now Saint Teresa, is famous for her incredible love for the impoverished children of Calcutta, India.  Yet some leaders in the Church miss the importance of her example; as they replace humility, with the pursuit of power, influence, prestige and the trappings of success.          We don’t all need to be “important”, but we do all need to be faithful.  Saint Teresa became important, because it was never her goal, to be important … only faithful.  She is famous for saying this:

“Not all of us can do great things.        

But we can do small things with great love.”

Saint Valentine  Was a man who let Jesus transform his life.

Valentinus allowed Christ to prevail over his ego, his pride and his carnal nature; and what resulted, was love.  All we really know about St. Valentine is that he was a Christian who lived in the third century, and yet … the stories that surround him, are stories of Christ-like character.

One legend about Valentine, states that he was persecuted as a servant of Christ and thrown in prison.  When the judge learned of his faith in Christ, he ordered Valentine to pray for his blind daughter and ask God to heal her.  The story goes that when St. Valentine prayed for the judge’s daughter, her sight was restored, and so the grateful judge granted all of Valentine’s requests.

It’s February 2017, and we are God’s people and the sheep of His pasture.  He calls us to love the unlovable; to reach out to those who do not know Him.  He calls us to work with those who can never repay us.  There will always be unbelievers, whose lives are badly off-track.  Sometimes they are difficult to work with, and even difficult to love, but God’s call remains the same:

7 “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.                        8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”  – 1 John 4:7-8.

When we learn to reach out in love, we will win unbelievers with kindness!  In some cases, Christ’s witnesses have been killed by the people they were trying to share the Love of God with.

Elizabeth Elliott chose to forgive the people who murdered her husband; she returned to them, with the unfailing Love of God!  They were so overwhelmed by her marvelous grace, many of them converted to Christianity.

It has been said that the Blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.  Let’s pray for the world around us, and let’s pray for ourselves, to ask God to help us love those who do not know our Glorious God!

In Christian Love,

Pastor Michael

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