This series of blogs to my audience has been a difficult one. There are so many passages in the Bible about love. Even with three long blogs, I still haven't even broken the surface of topic yet. Love is more than feelings and words. Many people (including myself at times) have let the media make them cynical about this day dedicated to love. As much as we hate to admit it we all need love. Valentine's Day, oh how they've mistaken you. 

 GOD Is Love
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
 13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

   God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister." 1 John 4:7-21

Love One Another (Fellow Believers)
"11 For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. 13 Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. 14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15 Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.

 16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
 19 This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us." 1 John 3:11-24

When love is mentioned in the verses above it is in the purest form, not the skewed way of excusing yourself to date and sleep with everybody. Although we are called to love everyone we have also been called not to love the world.

"15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever." 1 John 2:15-17

The interpretation? We shouldn't love the temporary things of this world nor become deeply/romantically involved with the people who are not believers (if you are one). Why?

Concerning Friends and love life: 
"You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God." James 4:4
"Do not be misled: 'Bad company corrupts good character.'" 1 Corinthians 15:33
"Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?" 2 Corinthians 6:14

With all the talk of love coming from everywhere today we must decipher the roots of the message. As Christians we have to be careful not to fall prey to anyone's teaching which would lead us away from Christ. The Lord tells us to test the spirits (teachings) and that includes my own. Take what I say and put it against the Word of the Lord and if it doesn't line up don't listen to me.

Everything written above is written to my brothers and sisters in Christ because these reminders of the Word won't work for a person who doesn't believe in Christ as our Savior. To live the life of a Christian without Christ is impossible. You're living a religion based on rules. God is more than do this and not that, as I've stated above God is love but He's also justice and perfection. No matter how good you are if the Holy Spirit isn't indwelling within you there's no pleasing God. 

Sin, Confession, and Redemption
Isaiah 59

" 1 Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, 
   nor his ear too dull to hear. 2 But your iniquities have separated
   you from your God;
your sins have hidden his face from you,
   so that he will not hear. 
3 For your hands are stained with blood,
   your fingers with guilt.
Your lips have spoken falsely,
   and your tongue mutters wicked things. 
4 No one calls for justice;
   no one pleads a case with integrity.
They rely on empty arguments, they utter lies;
   they conceive trouble and give birth to evil. 
5 They hatch the eggs of vipers
   and spin a spider’s web.
Whoever eats their eggs will die,
   and when one is broken, an adder is hatched. 
6 Their cobwebs are useless for clothing;
   they cannot cover themselves with what they make.
Their deeds are evil deeds,
   and acts of violence are in their hands. 
7 Their feet rush into sin;
   they are swift to shed innocent blood.
They pursue evil schemes;
   acts of violence mark their ways. 
8 The way of peace they do not know;
   there is no justice in their paths.
They have turned them into crooked roads;
   no one who walks along them will know peace.

 9 So justice is far from us,
   and righteousness does not reach us.
We look for light, but all is darkness;
   for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows. 
10 Like the blind we grope along the wall,
   feeling our way like people without eyes.
At midday we stumble as if it were twilight;
   among the strong, we are like the dead. 
11 We all growl like bears;
   we moan mournfully like doves.
We look for justice, but find none;
   for deliverance, but it is far away.

 12 For our offenses are many in your sight,
   and our sins testify against us.
Our offenses are ever with us,
   and we acknowledge our iniquities: 
13 rebellion and treachery against the LORD,
   turning our backs on our God,
inciting revolt and oppression,
   uttering lies our hearts have conceived. 
14 So justice is driven back,
   and righteousness stands at a distance;
truth has stumbled in the streets,
   honesty cannot enter. 
15 Truth is nowhere to be found,
   and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey.

   The LORD looked and was displeased
   that there was no justice. 
16 He saw that there was no one,
   he was appalled that there was no one to intervene;
so his own arm achieved salvation for him,
   and his own righteousness sustained him. 
17 He put on righteousness as his breastplate,
   and the helmet of salvation on his head;
he put on the garments of vengeance
   and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak. 
18 According to what they have done,
   so will he repay
wrath to his enemies
   and retribution to his foes;
   he will repay the islands their due. 
19 From the west, people will fear the name of the LORD,
   and from the rising of the sun, they will revere his glory.
For he will come like a pent-up flood
   that the breath of the LORD drives along.

 20 “The Redeemer will come to Zion,
   to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,”
            declares the LORD.

 21 “As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD. “My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever,” says the LORD."

If I didn't love my God I wouldn't have added this. If I didn't love you I wouldn't be reaching out.

"3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time." 1 Timothy 2:3-6


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