In February, or September, or any month of the year:
For many years Colombia has celebrated the day of love and friendship in September. How nice it would be if each one of us celebrated it in some way every day. Cards, chocolate, stuffed animals and flowers would be optional. What if every day we’d purposely demonstrate our love in action: helping the old lady at the supermarket, bringing coffee to the school cross guard, or even sweeping or cleaning for our neighbor or love one. However, any of this must be done in love, not because we are earning points to go to heaven, but because it comes from the heart. Love is the purest and the most misunderstood feeling of all times. Love is more than words on a card or money spent on a gift. The Apostle Paul gave us a clear picture of what love is in his letter to the Corinthians. “…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. If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. So, no matter what I do, what I say and what I believe, I’m bankrupt without love.
Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self … love 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 … love always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end. Love never dies.” And the last line is certainly true; for God is love and He will never cease to exist. However, it’s very difficult to love this way. Is it actually possible not to get angry or fly off the handle? And what about putting up with anything or keep going to the end (where is the end? Whose end? My rope is usually short). Are there not many who seek to harm us and deceive us? That’s why every day we have to make at least two stops in our life walk. One in the morning to worship God and ask Him to enlighten us and give us insight, patience, self-control, joy, perseverance and all the things that we need to show love; and another stop at night to think about the day, thank the Lord for His blessings and to question the feelings that motivated our actions, to think about what we really hold in our hearts. It’s funny how the heart is more than an organ; it keeps the most intimate feelings: love and hate as opposed as they are from each other, the two at once in the same place, how can it be?
Proverbs 4:23 is the key to keep a heart that loves: “above all else guard your heart for it affects everything you do.” (and I would add what we say and what we don’t do). God delights in a pure heart, which is a heart that is not selfish, a heart that sacrifices and pursues what is heavenly right. We mess up every day, but if we are alert to recognize when we do it, then we can repent; and that is the way to keep a pure heart and stay away from the devil that is like a roaring lion looking for every opportunity to devour us. I serve a living God, who knows my weaknesses and offered His life not only for me but for each one of us; moreover, my God is NOT in the tomb, He conquered death; with a God like that on our side, we shall never perish; He gives us the victory. So do not give up in your quest for loving others (because some people are really hard to love); He has promised to give us the desires of our hearts when we seek Him and His kingdom. All the things the world has to offer will eventually disappear, but love and the word of God will last forever.
I hope these words will give my readers hunger and thirst for Christ. There is a song that says He is the hunger and the bread, He is the thirst and the water. May this be a month to strengthen your relationship with our loving Savior so you may discover new and wonderful things about how deep and great his love is for us.