Love – School, Coffee, God

by: Larry Davies | Dec 4, 2011

Despite the score of the latest football game, I love my Virginia Tech  and win or lose, I will always be a Hokie.

I love Coffee and if you ever see me in person you can bet a fresh cup will be near.

I love my dog, Daisy. She pulled up lame this week, so I stayed up all night worrying over her and helping her.

On a more serious note, I love my wife, Mell and how she fulfills me in so many ways. I love my children and I’m very proud of Lisa and Stephen and his wife, Brandy.

I love my job and the opportunity given to me to serve God and to help the ninety-one churches entrusted to my leadership.

I especially love God and I am forever grateful for the relationship that is such a critical part of my life.

I love my school.

I love coffee.

I love my dog.

I love my family.

I love my job.

I love God.

Each sentence uses the same verb: love. But each use of the verb love has a slightly different meaning. Does it make sense that the same love used to describe my school could even remotely describe the love of Almighty God as well? Not really but in my daily Scripture reading I found a few helpful answers. The Apostle John provides help in understanding the full meaning of the word: love.

My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God. (1 John 4:7-10 – The Message)

Here are some words that stood out for me:

  • “Love comes from God…” All love originates and is created by God.
  • “Everyone who loves experiences a relationship with God…” Love itself is part of our relationship with God.
  • “A person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God…” If you can’t love, you don’t know God.
  • “This is how God showed his love; God sent his only Son…” True love is expressed in our willingness to sacrifice.

For me, this puts the word love in a different perspective. Professing love for school, family and especially for God means that it all originates with God, is part of our relationship with God and is best expressed by our willingness to sacrifice.

The more we learn to love… the more we act like God.

! John went on: “My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!” (11-12)

The more we learn to love and appreciate being loved… the more we act like God.

Then 1 John says: “This is how we know we’re living steadily and deeply in him, and he in us: He’s given us life from his life, from his very own Spirit. Also, we’ve seen for ourselves and continue to state openly that the Father sent his Son as Savior of the world. Everyone who confesses that Jesus is God’s Son participates continuously in an intimate relationship with God. We know it so well, we’ve embraced it heart and soul, this love that comes from God.” (13-16)

This is how we know we are in a right relationship with God.

  • He’s given us life from his life, from his very own Spirit.
  • We’ve seen for ourselves and continue to state openly our love.
  • We participate continuously in an intimate relationship.
  • We’ve embraced it heart and soul.

I love my school.

I love coffee.

I love my dog.

I love my family.

I love my job.

I love God.

Each love is different but each expression can be part of our relationship with almighty God.

The more we learn to love and appreciate being loved… the more we act like God.

Having read this Scripture, I more deeply appreciate my church as the place where I can best learn… how to love and appreciate being loved. I more deeply appreciate God’s motive for providing all of us a place called a church where we could both learn for ourselves and teach others.

The more we learn to love and appreciate being loved… the more we act like God.

Having read this Scripture, I more deeply appreciate the opportunity to be in prayer and have the opportunity to express my love for God and to be still in the presence of God.

The more we learn to love and appreciate being loved… the more we act like God.

Having read this Scripture, I more deeply appreciate the opportunity to express my love in acts of service toward others, whether ringing the bell for the Salvation Army, building a house for Habitat or listening to a friend going through a difficult time.

The more we learn to love and appreciate being loved… the more we act like God.

Having read this Scripture, I more deeply appreciate what it means to forgive and be forgiven. Truthfully no one can measure up fully to this impossible standard of love. We can try our best, be willing to confess our shortcomings and with God’s help keep improving. We can stop judging others for their shortcomings and start looking for ways to appreciate their strengths.

The more we learn to love and appreciate being loved… the more we act like God.

I love my school.

I love coffee.

I love my dog.

I love my family.

I love my job.

I love my neighbor.

I love my church.

I love my community.

I love my country.

I love my world.

I love people.

Most of all…

I love God.

The more we learn to love and appreciate being loved… the more we act like God.

Amen.


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