1 Corinthians 13:4 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”
Today is our wedding anniversary. I married my best friend 31 years ago today and it has been an incredible journey so far. I am praying for the next 31 years to be even better. Our marriage has not been perfect but nothing in this world will ever be perfect. We love each other through the good times and the difficult times. That is the most important part of a marriage, loving no matter our moods or feeling at that moment. I always remember my mother-in-law telling us that a good marriage happens when each person gives 100% to the relationship. We have always tried to follow that advice and I believe that has helped us get this far in our life together.
Bill and I met when we were 17. We went off to college together and then got engaged during our Junior year in college. We were best friends and did almost everything together and we still do things together and enjoy each others company. We do have some time apart but we still prefer to do things together. I feel like something is missing when Bill is not with me. Bill was my biggest supporter when I felt called to do mission work and he quickly became a large part of the mission work also. I can not imagine my life without him. God has blessed me with the perfect husband for me.
1 John 4:7 “Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.”
The other person that has taught me about love is my savior, Jesus. The New American Standard version of the Bible mentions love 348 times. Love is talked about in both the Old and the New Testaments. Jesus preached about love 13 times during His 3 years of ministry on earth. Love one another is a major theme in Christ’s commands to us. Jesus commands us to love one another as Christ loved us. This command is second only to love the Lord your God with all your heart. But I think sometime we forget that we are commanded to love one another. Or at least we like to pick and choose whom we love and whom we do not love. It is so easy for us to love our friends, our families and those that are like us. But where is Christ in that, if we only pick the easy people to love. We must love all those that God puts in our path. I think the song “They’ll Know We are Christian by Our Love” by Peter Scholtes sums this up perfectly (from Spirit and Song website):
1. We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord,
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord,
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored.
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love,
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.
2. We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand,
We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand,
And together we’ll spread the news that God is in our land.
3. We will work with each other, we will work side by side,
We will work with each other, we will work side by side,
And we’ll guard each one’s dignity and save each one’s pride.
4. All praise to the Father, from whom all things come,
And all praise to Christ Jesus, his only Son,
And all praise to the Spirit, who makes us one
We have sung this song often on our mission trips because it reminds us how to live out the love of Christ. Does your life reflect God’s love to the world? I try always to live my life so that others can she the love and light of Christ through me. I still fall short of this command daily but I continue to try. I pray each morning for God to teach me to love my neighbors and all those that cross my path. It is my daily prayer and my daily goal to love all those around me. God can teach you too to love, all you have to do is ask Him for a heart of love. God is ready to change your heart to a heart of love. The change will not occur overnight but by working on it daily it will happen. Jesus will fill your heart with love so overflowing that others will be drawn to it.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, teach us to love the way You loved. Fill our hearts with love for all those around us. Take away our fears and reservations about people that are different from us and replace it with a Holy love. Show me who needs your love today and allow me to reflect Your love to them. I ask this in the name of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
May the Lord Bless you and keep you.
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”