April 2014


Pondering the Clippers Owner Issue

 

L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling was fined 2.5 million dollars and suspended from the NBA for life because of racist remarks he made to his girlfriend.

In full disclosure, I do not watch NBA basketball, never heard of this owner before this started and really don’t have any interest in the L.A. Clippers, or the NBA.

As I understand from the news reports:

  1. This man was already known in the league for racist behavior
  2. He is married, this “girlfriend” is not his wife
  3. These comments were a private conversation between him and his “girlfriend” and not made publically.  She chose to release these words for reasons she only knows.

Here are a few thoughts as I ponder:

  1. Racism is a despicable scourge on our country.
    1. Racism is sin
    2. Racism is wrong
    3. Racism violates the Word of God
  2. I do not know the condition of this man’s soul
    1. I do not know his life or the truth of his character
    2. I do not know what religion he claims, if any
    3. I do not know his profession of faith, if any

i.      I cannot expect a lost person to live like a redeemed/born again soul

ii.      Even if lost, we have a community standard of morality and decency

iii.      Racist behavior, in words or deeds, is abhorrent to both believers and non believers

  1. There are and should be consequences for bad behavior, including this event
    1. Players could ask to be let out of their contracts if they do not want to play for him
    2. Fans should not buy tickets or their products if they do not want to support this behavior
    3. Sponsors should not continue to support the team if they do not want their products associated with this man
  2. I have problems with the NBA actions though
    1. He did not commit a crime
    2. As reprehensible as his words are to the vast majority of mankind, his speech is constitutionally protected.
  3. Each American Citizen has the right to free speech.
    1. Our speech is constitutionally protected
    2. Amendment I – “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
  4. We have no constitutional right to NOT BE offended
    1. Reality is, we will be offended
    2. People say and do things I am offended by on a daily basis.
    3. How can groups like the KKK or Westboro Church remain valid and “First Amendment Approved” and this is criminal?

i.      Courts have ruled that their speech – as disgusting and vile as it is – is protected speech

*How does this not apply to this owner?

  1. If this man’s right to free speech can be limited, maybe your right to free speech will be next.
    1. Should someone be fined and banned for a constitutionally protected speech, even if it is horrid?
    2. What if the “powers that be” decide sharing your faith is wrong and fine, ban, imprison you for speaking the name of Jesus Christ?
    3. I find profanity to be abusive and offensive

i.      Does that mean every person who cusses should be banned/fired/suspended?

ii.      If a player releases an expletive when they are badly injured on the court or field, should they be suspended for life?

  1. If the NBA can expel and fine an owner for his speech, will they do the same for other speech?
    1. Maybe for other speech we consider abusive?

i.      Profanity

ii.      Racist speech about other races?

iii.      Talking bad about an owner, player or commissioner?

iv.      How long before your speech is regulated or banned?

B. Will the NBA ban musicians who use vulgarity, profanity, anti-police statements or racist comments from NBA games and their music from being played at NBA games, practices and locker rooms?

  1. How does an OWNER get suspended?
    1. He is not an NBA employee or contracted player for the NBA
    2. If they expel the owner is the owners team expelled as well?
    3. Could he layoff the players and employees?
    4. Could he simply shut down the L.A. Clippers organization?
  2. Will this owner sue the NBA?
    1. It would seem he has grounds for a federal lawsuit
  3. These tapes are out there.
    1. Who he really is has been exposed to the entire world

i.      He will never be able to run from these comments

ii.      Even if the recordings were made illegally, the truth is out there in his own words

12. I think his words, and the heart and attitudes behind these words, are absolutely gross, disgusting and have no place in our world, country or culture

A. I think our Constitution protects him from punishment for his words.

13. I think, and hope, that the “free market” will prove effective in enforcing our moral standards

    1. I do not think the NBA has the right to punish, even if they somehow have the authority
    2. How people choose to fund and support the Clippers and this owner is their right
    3. I would hope the players have some recourse to not play for the team/owner if they do not want to be on his team.
    4. I would hope that someone with access to Mr. Sterling would take the time to share the gospel with him and show him the love that God has for all mankind.
    5. I would hope someone who has access to his family would minster to them during this difficult time and share the gospel with her.
    6. I would hope that someone with access to this “girlfriend” would minister to her and share the gospel.

Hard thoughts that speak to the depths of our heart, the heart of our faith and the truth of our Constitution.  I do not claim to have any answers that will make everyone feel good or even agree with; but I have the right to think and speak them.

These are my ponderings and I alone am responsible for them.   Thanks    – Pastor Bob Alderman

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“Get off my grass you stinking kids”

I think most of our worlds problematic are reflected in this grouchy old man stereotype

1. You are invading my boundaries

2. You are trampling on what I worked hard to make nice

3. You are showing me no respect

4. You are making me feel old

5. You are making me feel unimportant

6. You are making me feel weak

7. I don’t care what you are doing

8. I don’t care about you

9. You are too loud and rowdy

10. I must have my way

11. There is no love here

12. There is no grace here

13. There is no acceptance here

14. You are not welcome here

15. Leave me alone

16. I do not want you near me

17. MINE!

18. You are not worthy to even touch a blade of my grass

Love the kids more than your grass.

Love those who are different than you.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 “Love is patient andkind; lovedoes not envy or boast; itis not arrogant or rude. Itdoes not insist on its own way; itis not irritable or resentful; itdoes not rejoice at wrongdoing, butrejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things,endures all things.  Love never ends.”  ESV

Galatians 5:13-15 “For you were called to freedom, brothers.Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through loveserve one another.  Forthe whole law is fulfilled in one word:“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.”  ESV

Matthew 22:36-40 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.   And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”     ESV

Matthew 5:43-48 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?   And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?  You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” ESV

 

Jesus died and was resurrected so you could die and find new life

1 Peter 2:21 – 25 “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.  For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”  ESV

  1. Jesus was proclaimed innocent, yet condemned as guilty
  2. Threatened, hurt, mocked, ridiculed, abused
  3. Jesus was murdered

All the junk you came into this place with today you didn’t need to bring with you

Every fear you keep stored deep down inside needs to be released today

All the let downs, disappointments and frustrations that have lined your heart with hardened steel need to be allowed to melt away, here, today

It was for these reasons God sent His only Son through Jerusalem’s meat grinder and on to Calvary’s dark and deadly cross and the dark, deep depths of the grave.

Believe

Jesus did not respond in the same way He was being treated.

Jesus was on mission

Jesus was faithful

Jesus knew the plan

  • It is By His stripes you can be healed
  • If is by His grace you can be saved
  • It is By His love that you can truly know what commitment and dedication truly are
  • God is on your side – God has your back
  • You never have to stand alone again

Believe

Every Mistake

Every Failure

Every rebellion

Every horrible word, vision or sound

Should die, right here – right now!  Given to Jesus for eternal removal.

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness

Let them Die here and now so you, in like fashion of Jesus Christ, may rise again with NEW LIFE!

John 3:2 – 8  “…Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”  Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’  The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Let it go, and find eternal life, eternal hope and eternal peace.

  • Freedom is never free
  • Jesus paid what you could never afford
  • Do not leave what Jesus gave His life for laying on the table.

Believe

John 3:16 – 17 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” 

Standing with the One Who Knows You

John 20 and 21

When Does Jesus Stand With you? 

When Does Jesus Know You?

When Should You Stand With Jesus?

 

  1. When Jesus knows your name
    1. You respond to Him
    2. Mary Magdalene thought He was the gardener until He called her by name

i.               Aside:  Jesus did not first appear to His mother, a disciple or a preacher; but to a woman who had been delivered from 7 demons.  What does this say about the love Jesus has for everyone?

  1. When Jesus knows your doubts
    1. You respond to Him
    2. He invites you to test His reality
    3. He told “doubting Thomas” to touch the holes in His hands and side.
  2. When Jesus knows you are hurting and waiting, wondering if your devotion was in vain
    1. Even if you have to listen to someone society/culture says is lower than you
    2. Even if it means you have to run to see what has happened
    3. Even if what you find is and empty tomb
    4. Even if you have locked the doors in fear
  3. When Jesus knows your physical needs
    1. Even if it is a net full of fish when you are hungry
    2. Even if it is a warm fire and a welcome wave
  4. When Jesus knows your Spiritual needs
    1. You respond to Him
    2. Even if it takes three times for you to understand and find restoration
  5. When Jesus is on your side
    1. Even when He has to submit to evil and corrupt local authorities
    2. Even when the vilest of local religious leaders turn you against Him
    3. Even when He is ridiculed, beaten, abused, violated, mocked, abused and murdered

i.               Even when He was found Not Guilty

  1. Even When His dead body is placed in a borrowed tomb
  2. Even when all of His family, friends and true followers mourn His death
  3. It AINT over yet!

i.               Sundays’ coming

ii.               The Tomb WILL BE EMPTY

iii.               HE IS RISEN

Jesus took a STAND so we would never need to stand alone.

  • He stood for His Fathers will in the Garden
  • He stood by faith in the darkest of times
  • He stood alone against false condemnations and conviction
  • He stood in our place in judgment for our sins
  • He only laid down in death after He had done everything His human flesh could do for us
  • He stood victorious over sin
  • He stood victorious over satan
  • He stood victorious over all things

People often cry for peace, forgetting the reality that true peace comes by two things:

1. Absolute victory

2. Absolute surrender

Jesus stands in absolute victory

Will you now stand in absolute surrender so you will never have to stand alone again?

 

Standing with the One Who Knows You

Easter 2014 – first draft – thoughts-pondering

John 20 and 21

 

  1. When Jesus knows your name
    1. You respond to Him
    2. Mary Magdalene thought He was the gardener until He called her by name

i.      Aside:  Jesus did not first appear to His mother, a disciple or a preacher; but to a woman who had been delivered from 7 demons.  What does this say about the love Jesus has for everyone?

  1. When Jesus knows your doubts
    1. You respond to Him
    2. He invites you to test His reality
    3. He told “doubting Thomas” to touch the holes in His hands and side.
  2. When Jesus knows you are hurting and waiting, wondering if your devotion was in vain
    1. Even if you have to listen to someone society/culture says is lower than you
    2. Even if it means you have to run to see what has happened
    3. Even if what you find is and empty tomb
    4. Even if you have locked the doors in fear
  3. When Jesus knows your physical needs
    1. Even if it is a net full of fish when you are hungry
    2. Even if it is a warm fire and a welcome wave
  4. When Jesus knows your Spiritual needs
    1. You respond to Him
    2. Even if it takes three times for you to understand and find restoration

April 13, 2014

As I pondered Holy Week this year I found myself struggling with a mixture of emotions:  Wonder and Disappointment.  Love and Anger.

We usually enter Palm Sunday with joy – focusing on the “Hosanna!  Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel.”

We lose sight of how these words of praise must have hurt Jesus more than any spike or crown of thorns could have ever pierced Him.

Here is a reality of life:  Not everyone who says they follow Jesus are real Christians.

Here is another one:  Not every Real Christian will act like a real Christian in every situation.

Matthew 7:21 – 23  “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’   And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”

Mark 14:66 – 71 “And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came, and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus.”   But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you mean.” And he went out into the gateway and the rooster crowed.  And the servant girl saw him and began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.”  But again he denied it. And after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.”   But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know this man of whom you speak.”   And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.”

We need to stand together when standing together is not comfortable

John 12:12 – 13 “The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”

John 12:17 – 19 “The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. So the Pharisees said to one another, “You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.”

John 19:14 – 16a “Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.”   So he delivered him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus,  ….”

John 19:25 – 26 “but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.  When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!”

  1. Make sure that those you are standing with are standing for the right reasons
    1. Many are standing only for their own benefit

i.      The crowds yelling hosanna were there because they heard how Jesus could benefit them

  1. Make sure that those you are standing with are Committed
    1. On Palm Sunday the crowds shouted praises to Jesus
    2. On Good Friday they shouted for His death
  2. Make sure that you are standing by FAITH
    1. At the Cross there was very few people of true faith remaining
    2. Very few people walked with real faith in Jesus

i.      Most had ran away

  1. Some as soon as they thought there might be difficulty
  2. Some as soon as they figured out that they may not get what they wanted
  3. Some when they thought it might bring them harm

ii.      Whatever the reason, they fled by sight and did not walk by faith.

Going with the crowd

Peer Pressure

Greed

Pride Arrogance

Go with the flow

Step out of your comfort zone

Don’t stand on the worlds bandwagon

It is not made to last forever

It will age

The wheels will fall off

You will be dumped in humanities incinerator

 

 

 

 

I want to know what love is!  I really want to know!

What is love?

Can it be defined?

But not the way the world defines things.

The world defines love as a feeling, an emotion, a chemical reaction in our brains or a concept of relationship  (get websters, online dictionary and one other definition.)

These are weak definitions at best, and absolutely wrong at best.

1 Corinthians 13: 1 – 13 “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  And if I haveprophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith,so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give away all I have, andif I deliver up my body to be burned,but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient andkind; lovedoes not envy or boast; itis not arrogantor rude. Itdoes not insist on its own way; itis not irritable or resentful; itdoes not rejoice at wrongdoing, butrejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things,endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.  Forwe know in part and we prophesy in part, butwhen the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.  Fornow we see in a mirror dimly, butthen face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even asI have been fully known.  So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”  ESV

The first few lines of this text help us understand how we misunderstand love.

  • Love is not what we say.

o   Saying you love someone is not enough

o   Saying you love is WAY overused and abused

  • You love your car, but in time you trade it in for a new vehicle
  • You love your hobby, but hobbies change
  • You love your job, until a new, better one comes along
  • Love is not what we know.  It is not our wisdom or what we think. 

o   If you only think you are in love then you probably are not.

  • Love is not what we believe.
  • Love is not giving gifts.
  • Love is not sacrifice.

 

These may be part of the results of love, but they are not love.

The next sections of text tell us more about what love is and is not in a real world.

  • Love is patient.

o   As a people, we have no patience.

o   We are a hurry up, foot tapping, red faced people

  • This is because we do not know what love is in a real world

o   We begin to anger and hate when anything or anyone deviated us from OUR plan and purpose

o   Traffic on the highway or the grocery checkout lines reveal how much we love.

  • “I HATE this traffic”
  • I HATE these lines!  Why is the checker so SLOW?
  • Love is Kind

o   I find that simple kindness is lacking in our world

  • I see people walk around an elderly person who has fallen down or needs help
  • I witnessed several videos of people WALKING AROUND people who had been struck by vehicles or are being harmed.
  • I hear the tears of people who knew a spouse or a child were being abused but said NOTHING and the worse happened.

o   Being kind means more than being polite.

  • Being kind sometimes mean stepping out of your schedule toi help someone.
    • Help someone reach an item on the top shelf
    • Stand up for someone being bullied
    • Share a smile, a hug or a dollar bill with someone in need
    • Hold a door open for someone else.
  • Love does not envy

o   “Why do THEY get a new car and I do not”

o   “Why did THAT PERSON get promoted over me?”

o   We think that someone has something we deserve

  • Love does not boast

o   This one is as hard to deal with as it is rampant in our society

  • That desire to tell a better story
  • The need to “one up” someone else

o   We want the glory to be pointed at us and are hurt when someone else shines

  • “They didn’t build that”
  • “Why should they get a medal/award/raise/bonus?”

o   We love to tell others how good of a job we did

o   We love to tell others how great our family/career/hobby/life is

o   We like to point out our triumphs and success; but we hide our failures

o   We are a boastful people

  • We forget that for every word that we build ourselves up with we are putting down someone else.
  • Love is not arrogant

o   You are not better than anyone else

o   We each have the potential to succeed

o   We each have the potential of great failure

  • Often we fail much before succeeding

o   Never look down on another person

  • Look for ways to build them up to where you are

o   Never try to pull someone down to your level

  • Look for ways to succeed and be raised to theirs
  • Love is not rude

o   Here we go

o   We have become a rude people

o   We think life is all about us and anyone who comes across our path is supposed to help us and heaven help them if they do not.

  • I recently witnessed a few people having a conversation and someone else barged into them, pushed some aside and began a new conversation with one of the group.

o   What ever happened to common courtesy?

o   What ever happened to politeness?

o   What happened to ‘please” and “thank you?”

o   We are bullies

o   We forget how to love in a real world

  • Love does not insist on its own way

o   Unfortunately, many are “my way or the highway” people

  • In our workplaces, our homes and our relationships

o   We are quick to dispose of people who fail to comply with our demands

o   We discard marriages simply because one did not do what the other demanded

o   We fire employees because they dared to say there might be a better way

o   We forget that we do not know everything

o   We forget that we are not perfect

o   We forget that other people may actually help us build a successful life for ourselves and our community

o   We forget how to love in a real world

  • Love is not irritable

o   Oh, how I wish God had left out the emotions of anger, frustration and annoyance.

o   Why are we so easily irritated by those we profess to love?

  • Maybe we are so irritated by our life elsewhere but feel we are unable to act on this irritation that we dump the whole load on those we think will take it and stay around?

o   Why are we so quick to anger at a driver who pulls in front of us?

  • So quick to label someone and “idiot” or “stupid”
    • Even though we do not know them or what is going on in their life
  • Why are we so quick to condemn and take so long in loving

o   We forget how to love in a real world

  • Love is not resentful

o   This is a real problem as well

o   Someone did something that hurt us and we hold on to it forever

  • Maybe they do not even realize what they did, and we certainly are not going to tell them
  • Maybe it was long ago and they have forgotten
    • Look for those heated conversations and burning looks at class reunions

o   We forget that we are the only ones being hurt by this resentment

  • Let it go!

o   People will make mistakes, they are fallible – LET THEM

  • If you have a problem go and talk to them
  • As much as you can, seek to build peace

o   Resentment is a poison that destroys

o   Resentment grows like a bacteria – a fungus

  • It will smother whoever it grows on
  • It will grow to hate
  • It will grow to violence
  • It will destroy relationships, families and futures

o   Love releases resentment

  • Love does not rejoice in wrongdoing

o   Sometimes we get to “ushy-gushy” and think we have to accept any and all bad behavior

o   No.  Love is not a doormat

o   Love confronts bad behavior for the purpose of correction and a renewed relationship

  • This may not always be possible, but it is to be attempted

o   One of the hardest realities for some to deal with is that peace sometimes requires war; not only war but an absolute victory and submission of defeat

  • Every place where countries/people have tried to find peace without a victory is still in conflict
    • North Korea
    • Vietnam
    • Iran
    • Middle East

o   These are but a few that tried to work a diplomatic peace but failed and conflict continues

o   Wrongdoing must be confronted and bad behavior stopped

  • Not just talked about
  • Love rejoices in truth

o   Yes, there is absolute truth and absolute false in this world

o   Yes, there are moral absolutes

o   Yes, there are physical absolutes

o   Yes, there are spiritual absolutes

o   Love searches for the TRUTH then rejoices in it!

  • Love bears all things

o   I think of all the nonsense my sweet life has had to bear in our marriage and I shudder at the depth of her love for me

  • I have never cheated on her
  • I have never used a single illegal drug during our marriage
  • I have never drank a single drop of alcohol during our marriage
  • I have never hit her
  • Yet, I am far from perfect and took a long time to figure out how to truly love in a marriage relationship

o   She bore my nonsense

  • My snoring
  • My arrogance
  • My hobbies
  • My desire to reach the top levels in local government no matter the cost
    • She Is truly more than I deserve

o   There is much we will need to bear/to tolerate/to put up with if we are to truly love in a real world

  • Love believes all things

o   Most will misinterpret this

o   Their spouse comes home with the reak of alcohol and cigarettes with disheveled clothing and says they were at Bible study with the guys all evening.

  • Some would say, “I must believe all things”
  • They would be foolish
  • That does not even make sense
  • That defeats the “Love rejoices in truth” text

o   Love has faith

o   Our love for Jesus Christ is the root of our faith

o   If our spouse is an alcoholic adulterer, you can have faith they will not change by your hand – they need God.

  • Love hopes all things
  • Hope is a powerful tool, when rightly applied

o   Many hope for what they cannot change

  • Hope without a pathway to fulfillment is hopeless
  • Hope requires God

o   The reality of understanding some of these will come towards the end of this document – I hope

  • Hope endures all things

o   Because I love someone I am willing to go to any length to help them

o   I will endure low finances if giving helps a needy person

o   I will endure a lack of sleep if giving my time serves someone in need

o   There is much we will endure to love people in a real world

  • Love NEVER ends

o   Here is a summary…or maybe a result of loving lie God would have us love

o   Love never ends

o   How many marriages or relationships have ended with the words “we just fell out of love” or “We stopped loving each other a long time ago?”

  • There was never real love to begin with
    • There may have been a great physical attraction

o   But lust is not love

  • There may have been a strong mutual attraction based on work, hobbies, situations or other issues

o   But magnetism is not love                             

  • Love never ends – it is forever

Can this be summed up somehow?

Love is COMMITMENT

John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”  ESV

1 John 3:11-18 “For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous.  Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.”  ESV

God is COMMITTED to you, and He committed His very best so you could have an eternal love relationship with Him.

Jesus is COMMITTED to you and willingly and joyfully gave up His very life so He could have an eternal love relationship with you.

Do we have any responsibilities in this Love Relationship?

YES!  LOVE and OBEY

John 14:13-17 “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.  “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”  ESV

Obey?  Obey what?

Read the Bible.

Explore the Ten Commandments

Or, keep it simple as Jesus did in Matthew 22:  LOVE

Matthew 22:36-40 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”  ESV

We often say things like “Love is the greatest” and we are correct!

1 Corinthians 13:13 “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” ESV

Oh, before I forget!  I said earlier that some of these things may not make any sense until later in this document.

Hopefully, now that you have read, and hopefully pondered the scriptures I have used here, you have begun to understand one simple truth:  WE CANNOT TRULY LOVE APART FROM A FAITH RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD!

You see, no matter what the editors at Webster’s Dictionary, Dictionary.com or Wikipedia say, love is not just an emotion, a feeling or a chemical response.

Love is a person.

1 John 4:15-16 “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. Sowe have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us.God is love, andwhoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” ESV

Real love is God. 

Know Him, Know Love.

No Him?  No Love.

God is Love.

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