WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?
Today, people all over the world celebrate love. Everybody loves the word - love. In one breath we can love ice cream, music, TV shows, our friends, our spouse, and God. Love is a word that is over used, misused, and abused. But it’s a word that God cares very deeply about! So, what does the Bible say about it?
There are four types of love in the Bible. These are expressed in the Greek words – Eros, Storge, Philia, and Agape. Eros is romantic love; Storge is family love; Philia is brotherly love; and Agape, is God’s kind of love, the unconditional, overwhelming, never ending, reckless love of God.
We all have many different ways of saying, “I love you” to the significant people in our lives. Love has a language, in fact, it has 5 languages. They are words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, quality time, and physical touch.
We live in a time and culture where love is all about feeling! People fall in and out of love every season, and when things get tough, their love takes flight. But that is not biblical love. Biblical love is not a feeling. It is a choice, a decision, a commitment and an action. It is love in working clothes, it is dirty, it is smelly, it is costly, and it is others focused.
First Corinthians 13 states: Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. Biblical love is how you treat other people. So, if you are impatient and unkind; if you are jealous or proud; if you are rude and sarcastic; if you are demanding and self-willed, if it’s your way or the highway; and if you have a long memory of past wrongs; it doesn’t matter how you feel, you don’t have the love of God.
The Bible says in Ephesians 4:31-32, Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. There is so much rage, anger, harsh words and slander today. Unkindness is at epidemic proportions. People are raging against others on social media. It is bad enough to see non-Christians lash out and bad mouth one another, but it is absolutely tragic when Christians do. We are the salt of the earth. We are the light of the world. God has placed us strategically on social media to be His representatives, to speak his word, shine His light and display His love.
Do you love God? Do you love people? If you do, how do you show it?
1. Words of Affirmation: Be on the lookout for acts of love from God. When you wake up, if you slept in a bed, thank the Lord, if you opened your eyes, thank God for the gifts of your eyes; if you are able to swing your legs over the side of your bed and stand up, thank the Lord! If you have food to eat, and can taste your coffee and breakfast; if you have an income, and a place to live, if you have clothes on your back and heat in your home; and if you have hot running water, and can take a shower without assistance, say, thank you, Lord.
If your love language is speaking words of affirmation, put your words to work and speak a blessing over the lives of people. The Bible says, never let ugly or hateful words come from your mouth, but instead let your words become beautiful gifts that encourage others. So, determine to speak words that heal and build up. On social media, reject words of anger, sarcasm and criticism. Do not talk back, or cut people down with your words. Rather, speak life!
2. Gifts: If your love language is giving gifts, this is the perfect time to put it to work. What can you give? You can give the gift of forgiveness. Forgive an offense and set somebody free! Give the gift of laughter. Send someone a funny joke or meme. Give the gift of a good memory. Create a good memory for someone this week. Give your spouse and friends the gift of respect. Talk to them with respect. Give them the gift of prayer and call their names before God. Give the gift of peace! Give your family and co-workers the gift of an environment free from stress, strife, argument and contention.
3. Acts of Service: If your love language is acts of service, then, do something to express your appreciation to the people in your life. It doesn’t have to be big things. Do little things with a good attitude, in the name of Jesus.
4. Quality Time: If your love language is quality time, sow the seed of time into another person’s life.
5. Physical Touch: If your love language is physical touch, give your family members a free, heartfelt, hug, without an agenda and that they don’t have to pay for.
If you are struggling today and wondering whether God or anybody loves you, listen to this: “There are many reasons God saved you, but one of the sweetest is because He is fond of you. He likes having you around. He thinks you are the best thing to come down the pike in quite a while. If God had a refrigerator, your picture will be on it. If He had a wallet, your photo will be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning. Whenever you want to talk, he’ll listen. He can live anywhere in the universe and He chose your heart. Face it friend, He’s crazy about you!” Max Lucado.
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