I am bankrupt without love!
This scripture blows me away. There is a question to be asked. Jesus wants to know.
What is important?
- Not what the economy is doing.
- Not what I give away.
- Not what I get.
I am bankrupt without love. That is the focus. Everything needs to come down to this.
God’s number one goal for me is to love. I am bankrupt without love. That is just the plain truth. I must focus on that every minute of every day. It isn’t always so easy though. Many days are just a whirlwind of activity. Lots of stuff to do.
None of it matters without love.
If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
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God is strong and never grows tired. God is better than the Energizer Bunny. God is energy so God is always energetic. That is just how He rolls.
God’s love brings us peace and calms us. God’s love drives out all fear in our life. Jesus teaches us to be worry free. Why worry? No need. God’s got our back. It is all a part of His plan, even the suffering and pain.
He is tickled pink to delight us. He is in a good mood and not upset with us. Like a loving Father, God disciplines us so we can’t just skate by doing everything we want. Our goal, God’s goal for us, is holiness and sanctification.
Yes, there is always good news with God.
Jerusalem will be told: “Don’t be afraid. Dear Zion, don’t despair. Your God is present among you, a strong warrior there to save you. Happy to have you back, he’ll calm you with his love and delight you with his songs.” | Zephaniah 3:16-17
May I be open to the good news and see that God is with me, powerful and delighted with me.
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Ah, Valentine’s Day.
On a day like this, our thoughts naturally turn to the sentimentality of love. We can’t help it! Since before the Black Friday sales were complete, pink and red hearts have been lining the aisles of stores, and the pop-up banners all over the web are convincing us to buy flowers, jewelry, and chocolate for those we love. The world has trained us well in this sentimental version of love through its movies, novels, music, and marketing.
In effect, you may be feeling lonely. You may not have a significant other in your life. Or perhaps the crazy-in-love-fairytale your marriage was supposed to be isn’t living up to that ideal. Maybe you are anticipating the let-down you know Valentine’s Day will inevitably hold. Perhaps you even feel like the love you’ve shown to others is underappreciated or not reciprocated. Let me encourage your heart today.
I was reading in the book of Ephesians this morning, and my eyes were suddenly glued to chapter 4 verses 1-3. I suppose because The Inn is a forty year-old ministry to the reconciliation of families, I found a new light shining in this scripture:
I, therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
“Life is relationships. If you’re having a good life it’s because you have good relationships. If you’re having a tough life, it’s because you have problematic relationships.” – Jay Fesperman
Jay’s quote is such a truism. Relationships are so vital and central to life that it is a wonder we can be so negligent at times of our relationships – our relationship to God and our relationship to others. It is when we become careless in our relationships that our lives can become tough.