Pastor's Pen for 05/22/2018

Now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Valentine's Day. Gentlemen, time to buy your beloved gifts. Chocolate, flowers or maybe something that sparkles. Do not fall into the worlds trap in regards to LOVE. The world seeks love in all the wrong places.

What is LOVE? In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4)

LOVE is NOT a feeling or emotion that comes and goes like a mist. Many times people will describe love as something that they have fallen into. As if you have fallen into the ditch. Falling describes being out of control. God is LOVE. You, the Lord's Church, are the RECIEVER of God's LOVE. The church is described as “the Lord’s Beloved Bride."

God's LOVE looks like Jesus going to the Cross. God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. (Romans 5)

Christ’s Passion for His Church – Christ gives His Life for you. The Cross and Empty Tomb of Jesus is God's LOVE for you, forgiving all your sins. God's STEADFAST LOVE that endures forever. . The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who LOVED ME and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2)

Christ the GIVER – YOU the Church are the RECIEVER OF GOD’S LOVE. The Baptized Children of God are now the New Creation in Christ.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. (Ephesians 5)

Christians live in Christ’s LOVE – in FAITH toward God and LOVE for your neighbor. Be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Ephesians 5) Walking in love means to serve, give, and sacrifice on behalf of your neighbor. So gentlemen, the flowers and chocolate are fine. But to serve your spouse is more than one day a year, then check it off your list. The life of a Christian is one that is marked by LOVE and SERVICE to your neighbor.

For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. (2 Corinthians 5)

The best way you can love your spouse and children is to serve them with what you SAY and DO. Love your family by serving them with God's Word. Love your family by bringing them to church. Forgiving one another as the Lord has forgiven you. Now because of God's LOVE, you love your family unconditionally. Without limits. Without conditions. We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4) Happy receiving God's LOVE for you in the Good News of the Gospel. Happy loving one another as Christ has loved you. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. (1 John 4)