"The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?"

- Psalms 27 : 1

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Soul Food : Love

"Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law."

- Romans 13 : 8

This is this week's verse.

Let us lay aside every grudge, forget past wrongs and forgive those who have paid good with evil, cheated us or forgotten us. As Paul said, loving our neighbor, even as ourselves, is the sum of the ten commandments. This is truly the only thing we (should) owe our neighbors. If we love our neighbors, we have accomplished the most part of our earthly ministry because through love, we are kind, caring, generous, peaceful, wise, full of understanding, submitted to God...The list goes on. All this through love? Yes. Love is such a powerful force and even Paul himself said in 1st Corinthians 13 : 1 that one without love is like "a resounding gong or clanging cymbal" and he further goes on in verse 2 to say such a person is "nothing" stating clearly that even if the person has "faith to move mountains" that person would still be "nothing".

 Powerful! I wash shocked the very first time I read this verse. The truth is, our very gospel, through Jesus chris,t was established on love because "for God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16) and if we do not have this love in us, then we are empty. This does not mean faith is useless because "without faith, it is impossible to please God" (Hebrews 11 :6) but with true love in us, there is also faith because the very act of loving proves the manifestation of faith, faith in the God of love, the Father of love.

I don't know about you but I have been in such situations where I have been hurt by someone's words or another person's actions and before I know it, I am binding them in my heart. This is not God's will for our lives. Let us forgive and forget, so we can be forgiven, and let us love everyone, regardless of their color, social status, height, or even beliefs!!! This is the true Christian way. We were all made in the image of God and if God, the great I am can love an individual, regardless of their faults, why can't we? Why should we entertain prejudice in our hearts? Why do we feel grossed out to speak or even touch a brother or sister just because they have a certain type of disease? God loves us all! And we are all brothers and sisters through His Son, Jesus Christ! If we cannot show love now, how will we be able to do so in heaven where we will all praise and worship God as one for all eternity?

Another important point is loving ourselves. There are so many people that are constantly at war with their bodies or that have self esteem problems that are so grave, they cannot stand themselves. This should not be so. Again, we were made in the image of God and two, we are Gods!!! (Psalms 82 : 6). Do not let the devil bring you down or try to destroy you from the inside out by telling you you are nothing because that is a lie! He is the father of lies. Let us fill ourselves up with the word and develop a everyday attitude of love towards all those that make up our surrounding and even towards ourselves! As Paul said in 1st Corinthains 13 : " Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." (v. 4 - 8)

That is the real and true meaning of pure love! Not the love that the world is trying to sell to us these days! Love is always there no matter what! Love is always trustworthy! Love is always caring! Love is always believing the best of another other person no matter what they have already done! This love applies to any kind of relationship, from friendship to the relationship between a parent and a child and even up to marriage. The world today clearly seems void of love but we are the salt and light of the world (Matthew 5 : 13 - 14) and we are supposed to show the example and love no matter what! 

Everyday, or whenever you get a minute, try reading the definition of love out loud and put your name in the place of LOVE or "I am" and you'll see the manifestation of this in your life. My choir coordinator gave us this great tool at church and I used to do it everyday but right now I need to work at it again! 

 May God teach us to love our neighbors and even ourselves, as He wants us to! 

Stay blessed! 

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