Bible verses to build your life on
Jesus said: “… whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock…” ~ Matthew 7:24
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Is it ‘ushy-gushy’ or tangible? I guess you’ll have to read this to find out! ~
Is it the 'ushy-gushy' type, where we say 'I love you', yet it means nothing and shows nothing beyond words? Is it something trivial we say (to others or God) when we want something? Is it a 'catchall phrase' that we hope will help the person we have hurt to just easily overlook the pain we caused them? Is love simply an 'affectionate' gesture, like a a hug or a kiss, or a hand on the shoulder? Is it a phrase we use with no meaning to someone we don't care about or pray for? Is love giving someone everything they want and trying to fix all of their 'felt-needs'? Are there '5 love languages' that include greediness and selfishness? Is love something we show someone as long as we can see that we can get something back from them? Is love fickle: 'I love you today' and 'I hate you' the next? Is love something temporal, or is it something that is eternally focused and will last forever? Is it a way to manipulate someone into doing what we want them to do?
Or, is love something tangible - something that's felt as well as a heard, something that flows out in everything we do, words, actions, thoughts, motives, (even rebukes)? Isn't love something that cares about the eternal condition of a person enough to tell them the truth, rather than leave them in lies and fantasy? Isn't love something we give everyone around us (at varying levels), not to get something back, but to love them, because God loves us? Isn't love speaking the truth with our friends and brethren - not to hurt them, but to help them to step back and say: 'hey, wow, how did I get here?...' and to repent?
Some verses to ponder as you consider the depth of the questions above:
"In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation [sacrifice, substitute] for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit." ~ 1st John 4:10-13
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God." ~ John 3:16-21
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends." ~ 1st Corinthians 13:4-8
"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you." ~ John 15:14
"Jesus answered him, 'The first of all the commandments is: "Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength." This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these.'" ~ Mark 12:29-31
"If you love Me, keep My commandments... He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me." ~ John 14:15, 24
"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." ~ Matthew 6:24
"This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it." ~ 2nd John 1:6
"This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth." ~ 1st John 1:5-6
Jesus' example ~ Jesus showed the same quality of love in both of these situations:
"But Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.' And He laid His hands on them and departed from there." ~ Matthew 19:15
"When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers' money and overturned the tables." ~ John 2:15
"For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?" ~ Matthew 5:46
"... but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ." ~ Ephesians 4:15
"Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men." ~ Romans 12:9-17
"Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart..." ~ 1st Peter 1:22
"For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother's righteous. Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you." ~ 1st John 3:11-13
"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God... He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit." ~ 1st John 4:7-13
To all who read this - let's get back to really loving, the way God does shall we? :) I want to grow deeper in this as well. I think we all probably find ourselves to drift from this, from time to time, and it's going to take time to get back to this, and a lifetime of growing in it!
And to my fellow young men and women: let us all keep in mind that a kiss is a promise, a hug is a commitment. Does the way you show your affection to those of the opposite gender (and same gender) show genuine godly love, or something else? When we find it's something else, we need to work quickly to correct it, so that we might (once again) feel God's Love and be able to share that, with His Word and truth!
Something to keep in mind and cherish during the holidays, as we interact with and fellowship with brethren and family! ~ your bro and a growing servant/life-salve of Jesus, SH :)