Love, what is love? When you watch movies, like "Titanic" or listen to the radio-love seem to be the theme that are many people's favorites. However, we can sometimes get the wrong message depending on the source.
For example, I'm (Sal) not trying to point my fingers on anybody, but Hollywood can sometimes give the wrong message in it's sleazy "R" rated high sexually content-manytimes unnecessary movie scenes.
I (Sal) was a victim to this growing-up in my "younger years". I let the movies and music I listened to define what love was. However, I was "blessed" and "fortunate" to having great loving parents that steered me somewhat away from all this. Then in college, I found my "true" love, which was through my personal relationship with my Heavenly Father. He taught me to first love Him through His Word (Matthew 22:37-39).
It was the start of revealing my eyes and heart of the true meaning of love. I wasn't pressured anymore to try and find a "girlfriend" (see singlehood story) and get rushed to get "married". Instead, continue to grow as an individual before God's perfect timing for that "Christ-like" woman.
As I continue to read Scriptures (mentioned 310 times) or "Love Letter" from God, my eyes become more open to the meaning of love and how to love.
Love Letter From God
"Do you have days where you feel lonely, unloved, and not wanted? We all experience days like that, don't we? When I'm feeling down and lonely, I always turn to God in prayer. Here's a Love Letter from God to all of us" *see
Definition of Love?
This is how one (1 Corinthians 13-"Love Chapter")of many chapters in the Bible breaks it down...
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Songs of Love
"The Love of the Lord Endures"
by Joy Williams
Different Levels of Love...
A UMM Student asked a very "good" question the other night (Tuesday, August 16th 2005)-"Can Christians be the only ones that love?"..I responded yes because it's only God that gives love. Well, I brought this up at the weekly small group bible study at PCS and Ruth told me that "everybody can show or give love, but in different levels (e.g. sacrificial love-John 3:16). The example she gave me is that there are very close knit families (e.g. collectivist nations, like Asia) that offer more love than here in America-Western "collectivist" nations". I have to apologize for my answer, which was very narrow-minded.
Then I thought about other close knit Asian families who are not Christians (e.g. Bhuddist), which my friend mentioned about in our conversation. I also thought about a level of love that makes Christianity unique, which is "unconditional love" (agape-loving someone that doesn't love you) and the power of "forgivenss".
Squirrel Singing "I Will Always Love You"
*see creator's site
Today (Wednesday, February 14th of 2007) is Valentines Day-wow! I wasn't able to get through work without sharing (e.g. see examples) God's love to people who appeared hurt/sad today, I was expecting this! I was just chatting with a guy friend of mine yesterday how many women will be having high expectations tomorrow. I saw it today and yesterday already! I was visiting a friend of mine and I witness a young adult women sharing her sadness to a older friend about how she will send a flower to herself tomorrow. I asked her if she had any boyfriends and she replied "no" with a sad face. I knew she wasn't being honest with me because the last time I was around her, she was boasting that she has 3 boyfriends!
Anyways, the story today is...
At my workplace, a young lady asked if I could take her out for pizza with others, like a double date. However, I already knew that this is a "no-no" because we are not allowed to date with people we "serve" in our workplace. I explained to her that I can have another person substitute for me, but this didn't work out. She was very disappointed when I told her this early this morning. Then later on, a co-worker gave me a different story that this particular lady already asked me and gave her permission to take her and her friends for lunch. I realize the desperation of this situation, so I talked with my co-worker and gave the whole story. I wasn't finished yet, so I went to this particular lady and explained to her this. Then I told her that God loves you and He would like you to be His valentine. She responded with a nod and kept her head down as I left. I would later repeat this to a bunch of others as many were heading out home from a city-transit bus. One of the passengers gave me a response of gratitude by saying "thanks Sal". I feel that people who didn't get a "valentine" they were hoping to expect (e.g. flowers, chocolates, etc... saw a co-worker and "client/consumer" we serve get flowers delivered to them in this cold-freezing weather, which they were very happy of course; however, the people around them may not all share the same feeling), we need to just give them a simple message-"God loves you" (John 3:16) with your daily lifestype/actions showing this. I challenge you to do this not only once a year or special occassions, but daily with His help.
If you are single. My challenge to you if you are waiting for someone to give you a "valentine", just ask God how you can give a "valentine" or be a "blessing" to someone less fortunate or someone that may be blessed (e.g. family, friends, physically challenged, elderly, children, or a family in my church that just had a house fire 2 weeks ago-see story). If you are married, then go right now and do something (e.g. give a card like the one down below) special for your love one.
Cross-Daily, with scriptures
Stories of God's Love
The Drawbridge Keeper, from snopes.com
*I remember reading this for the first time during my "early-years" coming to Christ (late 90's)
"There was once a bridge that spanned a large river. During most of the day the bridge sat with its length running up and down the river paralleled with the banks, allowing ships to pass through freely on both sides of the bridge. But at certain times each day, a train would come along and the bridge would be turned sideways across the river, allowing the train to cross it.
A switchman sat in a shack on one side of the river where he operated the controls to turn the bridge and lock it into place as the train crossed.
One evening as the switchman was waiting for the last train of the day to come, he looked off into the distance through the dimming twilight and caught sight of the train lights. He stepped onto the control and waited until the train was within a prescribed distance. Then he was to turn the bridge. He turned the bridge into position, but, to his horror, he found the locking control did not work. If the bridge was not securely in position, it would cause the train to jump the track and go crashing into the river. This would be a passenger train with MANY people aboard.
He left the bridge turned across the river and hurried across the bridge to the other side of the river, where there was a lever switch he could hold to operate the lock manually.
He would have to hold the lever back firmly as the train crossed. He could hear the rumble of the train now, and he took hold of the lever and leaned backward to apply his weight to it, locking the bridge. He kept applying the pressure to keep the mechanism locked. Many lives depended on this man's strength.
Then, coming across the bridge from the direction of his control shack, he heard a sound that made his blood run cold.
"Daddy, where are you?" His four-year-old son was crossing the bridge to look for him. His first impulse was to cry out to the child, "Run! Run!" But the train was too close; the tiny legs would never make it across the bridge in time..
The man almost left his lever to snatch up his son and carry him to safety. But he realized that he could not get back to the lever in time if he saved his son.
Either many people on the train or his own son - must die.
He took but a moment to make his decision. The train sped safely and swiftly on its way, and no one aboard was even aware of the tiny broken body thrown mercilessly into the river by the on rushing train. Nor were they aware of the pitiful figure of the sobbing man, still clinging to the locking lever long after the train had passed. They did not see him walking home more slowly than he had ever walked; to tell his wife how their son had brutally died.
Now, if you comprehend the emotions that went through this man's heart, you can begin to understand the feelings of Our Father in Heaven when He sacrificed His Son to bridge the gap between us and eternal life.
Can there be any wonder that He caused the earth to tremble and the skies to darken when His Son died? How does He feel when we speed along through life without giving a thought to what was done for us through Jesus Christ? "
Samples of Biblical Stories of God's Love
-Parable of the Prodigal Son (WIKIPEDIA)
" 1Now the tax collectors and "sinners" were all gathering around to hear him. 2But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them."
3Then Jesus told them this parable: 4"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' 7I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent."-Luke 15
Many from Song of Solomon/Songs
You know the Bible actually has some good poems to romans your sweet heart. Check out this...
Rebecca St. James & Chris Tomlin - Expressions Of Your Love
You give me meaning
You give me purpose
I find my destiny in you oh God
How high and how deep
Is your love oh Lord
-Your Love (blog) of Happy Slip Productions
Casting crowns Love them like Jesus
"These clips are of several different issues that face the church today. How do we help those who are broken? We just love them like Jesus"
My loving parents, who has and continues to support me in many ways. They first planted the seeds on how to love people as they taught me how to get along with anybody-including my enemies. My dad once said, "Instead of focussing on their weakness, focuss on their strengths. This will help you get along with anybody-especially the ones that are hard to get along with." (some interpretation). This helped me deal with all types of people, which helped me make the person I am today-Sal da pal! Thanks Mom and Dad!
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