…"But the Word of God is not chained or imprisoned!" 2Tim. 2:9
The word love has been so tossed around in our world today, that its lost its true meaning. Much like the word, “Christian,” which everyone claims to be, it just doesn’t hold, nor have the same effect on a person when you say, “I love you”. Do you love me?
If we get our meaning of love from Hollywood, you will definitely have the wrong meaning of what love is. People from the movie and cinema world, fall in and out of love so many times, they wouldn’t know love if it hit them in the face like a wet squirrel. To them love is sleeping with the next leading lady of the next movie that I’m in.
Before we discover what love really is, let’s first see what love is not.
Love is not just a feeling that passes over us for a moment and then its gone. Now I’m not saying that love doesn’t have it’s feelings, because it most certainly does. Who doesn’t know and get excited when you experience those warm fuzzy love feelings. It’s all part of falling in love.
Those feelings are never more real and present then when you first meet that very special person. There is something different about this person that you’ve never felt from anyone else before. You not only see them as the most beautiful person in the world, but you do feel that chemical reaction taking place deep down inside.
Notice how many times I said the word felt and feel, because at this very early stage in the love game there are a lot of feelings and emotions that are going on. Now it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re truly in love, nor that this is the right person for you, because all of these kinds of encounters start the same way. It’s what you do in the next few steps that will determine if you have a future with this person or not.
Now what the world and Hollywood teach you do at this point, is jump into bed with this person and have sex. This will determine as to whether you will be happy with them, and if they are the right fit for you. Sex is the means of measure that they take to see if they are really in love. If it’s good sex than they are right for me and, let’s get married. How many marriages, using this philosophy, last in Hollywood today.
Sex and the physical part of a love relationship should never be the determining factor, nor the measuring stick, to see if you’re in love. It should always be LAST thing on the list. Sex is not love.
Once you’ve met someone who you find attractive, sit down with them and talk. Yes, I said talk and listen. Discover who they are, what they like and, what they don’t like. Learn about who this very attractive and intriguing person really is. This is the stage where love’s foundation really starts to form. If you sit and talk for three or four hours and it feels like you’ve only been there for about thirty minutes, you just might be onto something good.
When you find and start to connect with a person on this level, friendship is formed, and that is the solid foundation that love is built on. Do you enjoy being with them? Do you enjoy talking and listening to them? Do you share many of the same things? Now this doesn’t mean that you are going to agree on everything , but you agree on lots more than you disagree on.
The physical part comes in stages. You have to earn the permission of the other person to advance into these physical stages, if you don’t, than you could derail the whole process.
You start by earning the right to even look into the person’s eyes. Think about the level of intensity that this means. There is something physically alluring and intimate when you look deep into someones eyes. If you were to go to the mall and stare at a total stranger, see what kind of results that will bring you. (I don’t advise you to do this)
Next stage is holding hands. After that it’s putting your arm around a person’s waist, and then a very strong bear hold, these are all a part of the physical process that will give you and your partner the strong solid foundation that real love is built on. The kind of love and respect that real love needs to germinate and grow into a strong solid tree, that will last a lifetime for you and the rest of your whole family, that you and your partner will be making together, this is the whole process of falling in love.
If any of these steps are skipped or passed over, there will be consequences to pay. Now don’t fret if you’ve already messed up during this process, who hasn’t? Remember its a process. We all make mistakes and do the wrong thing, but isn’t it wonderful that we have a savior that’s full of mercy and compassion, His love for all of us is new every morning, great is His faithfulness.
I wanted to set these very important steps for all of you to see, whether you are just starting this process or maybe you’ve been in it for quite sometime now. It’s never to late to make corrections and changes that will enhance your relationship.
Love is not just a feeling, it’s a commitment. Once you’ve gone through this process and you’ve married that very special someone, this process doesn’t stop or end. It’s up to you to continue to fan the flames of the passion and the feelings that you started out with.
This is where so many people fail, and why so many marriages end in divorce. We just quit at this point and the other person starts to feel unloved and unwanted. The connection disappears and the long talks that used to last for hours don’t last but one or two minutes, and it’s usually just a set of instructions for something that you want them to do for you.
Have you ever felt unloved? Have you ever lost that person that you so enjoyed being a part of, and now their gone? You’re not alone my friend, because God has felt that very same thing. He knows what you’re going through.
During one of the worst times that Jesus was going through, all of his friends that loved him and had sworn their alligence to him, all ran away and left Him alone. Peter, who was one of His closest friends, even denied that he knew Him. But something took place that would affect Peter and his relationship with Jesus.
Right after Peter denies knowing Jesus, for the third time, Jesus and Peter’s eyes find each other. Remember what I was saying about the intimacy of looking into someones eyes means…listen to what God says about this encounter with Peter.
“And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crows, thou shalt deny me three times. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.” Luke 22:61-62
The word, looked upon, means to “fix your gaze upon”. Jesus locked His eyes with Peter and He looked right deep down inside Peter, with His eyes. He knew what was in Peters heart and He knew what Peter’s real intentions were. As you can see, looking into someone’s eyes has a very deep intimate meaning to Jesus.
It affected Peter so much, that he went out and wept bitterly. The word bitterly means violently. In other words Peter went out and he cried uncontrollably and violently.
Even though everyone ran away and left Jesus all alone, to go through this terrible time… alone, He never stopped loving His disciples. He loved them right to the end.
“Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end“. John 13:1
Jesus, who is the true measure and meaning of what real love is, loved His disciples and He loves you and me right up to the end, that means always and forever. His love never stops.
Now, after all this, Jesus meets up with Peter and the disciples, on the shore, after He was resurrected back from the dead, and He asked Peter a very pointed question. Peter, do you love me?
“This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.
When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”
He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”
He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.” John 21:14-17
Everyone wants to be loved. It’s the one thing that we as humans, need and have to have, is love. We can’t survive without it. You know what… God wants it too. God wants your love and devotion also. Jesus asked Peter three times, “Do you love me?” If you do Peter than feed My lambs.
Love is not only a commitment but it also is an action word. It will always bring you into action. Just like when you fell in love with your spouse and you talked to them, you spent time with them, and you couldn’t stop thinking about them, because that’s what love drives you to do…take action. It should never stop!
Feelings will come and go, feelings will rise and fall, but real love will never fail…real love will continue to grow and it will last forever. God is real love and He loves us with His real love, but we have left Him, and He feels unloved like He did with Peter.
Did Peter love Jesus, yes he did and Jesus knew that, but there was a teaching period that was going on between Jesus and Peter.
How about you? Do you know what real love is? Has your relationship with your spouse been based on the principles and foundation of the truth of love and the author and creator, who is love…Jesus Christ Himself?
My prayer is that you do. Remember that it’s never to late. Read 1 Corinthians 13 to get the total view of what real love is all about.
May God bless you in your endeavor to find and build on the true foundation of love.
Trust is a very fragile flower. It can take years to build and yet in just one short moment of indiscretion can all come tumbling down, and there is nothing you can say or do to change it. Have any of you been there? I think all of us have at one point or another.
The main ingredient in any solid relationship is trust. Without trust there really is no relationship. You see, trust sets a relationship apart from all the others.
A young man who is going to college or out making his path in the world, sees and dates other young women. He’s just looking around not really for anything in particular, he’s just having fun making his way in the world, getting his direction as to where he wants to go…but then it happens.
Of all the people he’s enjoying and having a good time with there is this one that stands out from the crowd. He’s attracted to her and she is to him, and most important of all, they enjoy each others company.
They spend hours on end just talking and learning about each other. Every single detail comes out. They laugh, they cry, and they get to know just what makes the other tick.
This is a place that we don’t usually let other people in, but when someone opens the door to their heart and say’s, “I care about you, I love you, and I trust you to come in and make yourself at home,” that is and should be treated as a very special moment, because something is born at that moment inside the hearts of both of these people. It’s called trust.
If handled the right way, this trust will build into a strong unit and a force that nothing can knock over or penetrate through. There are four pillars that have to be present and born in the right order for all this to take place.
You have to bridge these four pillars together to make a solid unit that you will be able to build on for years to come. These are going to be the foundation pillars of what your relationship, and the relationship of your children and grand-children for generations to come, will be built on. When you think of it that way, you can see how so very important all this is.
Our society today doesn’t hold to these truths anymore, and the selfish, I want what’s best for me, attitude is what is control instead of this process.
The results are very evident… divorce, broken homes, teen suicide, and lots of lonely people who think that sleeping with every women in town, is being open and free, and in reality their heart is cold and empty, and they don’t know the first thing about truth or trust.
There is always the initial attraction that we go through. We may be attracted to a lot of different people, but through the talking period and sharing of truth, you will know if this is the one or not.
Once you have established that this person is willing to open themselves truthfully and honestly to you, this will open up the next bridge to trust that you must cross. Without truth there can never be any trust.
This is where many relationships fail. Truth is not as free flowing in our society today as it once was. People don’t think twice about lying or stretching the truth, but the bottom line is truth and integrity are the only ways to build a solid relationship that will last a lifetime. There is no other way… period.
Jesus said to His disciples in John 8:32, ” you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” When you know the truth about anything it does set you free. There is no more doubting or wondering which way to go…when you know the truth. When you know the truth and the solid rock of trust is built you can whether the strongest of storms.
Follow these pillars and you will find that right person that will fit you like a glove, and then continue to build on the truth and trust that you have established, and your marriage will be one that will last a lifetime and one that will be emulated in your family for generations to come.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Rom_8:35-37.
When considering the triumphant Christian life, we may wrongly think that victory depends upon getting out of impossible situations. Actually, we are already “more than conquerors” even while we are in the midst of the impossibilities.
For us to be ultimately defeated, we would have to be separated from Christ’s love for us. We would have to be cut off from the loving care of our victorious Lord. Can any foe or any situation accomplish that? “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? ” This question is answered in Rom_8:38-39. “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
No spiritual foe can enforce such a separation. Neither can any circumstance of impossibility separate us from our loving God. Rom_8:35-36 list some of the impossibilities that make us feel as though we are being defeated. “Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter’ .”
When troubles and pressures arise, when we are attacked or are lacking resources, we may be tempted to think that victory is no longer available. When our experience is like a lamb being led to the slaughter, we may think that victory could never be ours. Nevertheless, the truth is that “in all these things we are more than conquerors.”
Yes, right in the middle of the impossibilities of life, we are already more than a spiritual victor. Actually, we have already been made participants in a mighty, eternal, abundant victory, the victory that Christ accomplished on the cross and in the resurrection. “We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
Our victorious position in any situation is not circumstantial. It is relational. We are united by faith to the victorious one, the Lord Jesus Christ!
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1Co_15:57).
I don’t know how many of you are married but if you are married or you may be planning a wedding, you remember that there is a lot of preparation and planning that goes on to make sure this very special day goes on without a hitch.
God is planning a wedding and He is preparing for a marriage feast. Now when God puts things into motion, I guarantee that they will go on without a hitch. There won’t be any last minute complications that will throw His plans off.
The greatest romance novel is the Bible. If we go back to the beginning, the book of Genesis, the book of beginnings, we see God talking to someone when He said,
“Then God said, “Let us make
humankind in our image, after our likeness, so they may rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move on the earth.”
God created humankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them,
male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:26-27
There is a very distinct difference that we bear from all the rest of God’s creation. We bear the image of God Himself. We are image bearers for God as we walk in this world.
You see, God made the world for us and He made us for Himself. We bear His image because we belong to Him. I’ve had so many people come up to me and say, “you look just like your father.” Well we can say that about all of us, because we bear His image. Now Satan comes along.
“Now the serpent was more shrewd
than any of the wild animals that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Is it really true that God said, ‘You must not eat from any tree of the orchard’?”
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit from the trees of the orchard;
but concerning the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the orchard God said, ‘You must not eat from it, and you must not touch it, or else you will die.’ ” Genesis 3:1-5
Satan comes along and he challenges God’s love for Adam and Eve. He tells her that God is holding back on you. He’s not telling you the truth. How can He love you if He would do this to you? I won’t do this to you. I will give you everything. You can trust me. Come with me, and Adam and Eve ate from the tree and plunged all humanity into sin.
That tree was kind of like a wedding ring. We were betrothed to God and we ran off with another lover…Satan. Sin is a rupture in the love-relationship between God and us. The ability to love God well and love others well came undone.
“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God moving about in the orchard at the breezy time of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the orchard.
But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”Genesis 3:8-9
God was the first missionary looking for the lost. Did He know where Adam and Eve were? Yes He knew. He knows where you and I are today my friends. This is the whole theme of the Bible. If you don’t understand this, you won’t understand the rest of the Bible. God lost something and He wants it back!
“And I will put hostility between you and the woman
and between your offspring and her offspring;
her offspring will attack your head,
and you will attack her offspring’s heel.” Genesis 3:15
God became the first prophet and made the first promise that He would fight to win back our love.
“The LORD God made garments from skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.” Genesis 3:21
“The next day John saw Jesus coming to him and said, Look! There is the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29
God becomes the first priest to offer a great sacrifice to remove the sin problem. God could as easily walked away and said, “you’ve run off with another lover, I will go make me a new one. I don’t need you. You’ve made your choice.” He didn’t do that. He told Satan, “You’ve stolen from Me what was mine and I will win her back.”
“You were bought with a price.” 1 Corinthians 7:23
“Let us rejoice and exult and give him glory, because the wedding celebration of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.” Revelation 19:7
There is going to be a great wedding feast that God is preparing for His bride. You can read all about at the end of the book of Revelation. He has already paid the price, He has already bought us back from the Evil One, and now His offer goes out to everyone.
Are you getting yourself ready for the wedding day? Are you inviting your friends, family, and everyone you know to this great celebration?
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.” Revelation 21:1-3
This is an old hymn, that you don’t hear very much anymore in church. I just had to print it out here for you. Read the verses and take in the message of the song. There is a little side note at the end, about the song, that I didn’t know.
As you read the lyrics, think about the extreme love that God lavishly pours out on you and me every moment of every day of our lives. This incredible love can never really be understood be the unregenerate heart and mind. We can only begin to come to the very fringe of understanding God’s great love for us, as He comes into our lives and starts to change us to be more like Him. It is this great love of God, that even starts to take this tremendous task of changing your heart and mine, as His gracious gift to you and me.
Verse 3 was penciled on the wall of a narrow room in an insame asylum by a man said to have been demented. The profound lines were discovered when they laid him in his coffin.
Here is a link to the song with the words right in front of your eyes to read along. Be blessed