There are so many topics on love.
So much to be said.
Love is what gives us life. It is what makes life worth living. It is because of love that we have breath in our lungs, a beautiful world to live in, the ability to relate and connect with other humans; it is because of love that we have freedom, hobbies and passion.
Love is also the reason we can feel loneliness, despair and loss. The lack of having love or not being able to express love brings fear to most.
This past week Pastor Chris Hanna, Highlands College Professor and Master of Divinty, said that the passage in scripture that we know so well as the marriage or wedding scripture, because it focuses on love, “is not about marriage at all. In its original context, 1 Corinthians 13 is actually about ministry leadership.” I found this concept perplexing and convincing.
Pastor Chris Hanna taught our Highlands College first semester evening students on Tuesday night that 1 Corinthians 13 actually tells us how to not only lead, but live. This scripture of truth (that we normally read with heart eyes) actually tells us without love all we say is ineffective, all we love is insignificant, all we believe is insufficient, all we give is incomplete, and all we accomplish is inadequate. In Paul’s letter, he tells us how important it is to love well, not just in loving our significant other, but in loving all people in all that we do, all that we say, all that we give; to love first and foremost in all things, and in that scripture he tells us how.
It is vital that we understand the importance of love and it’s role in our life. It is of the utmost importance that we steward our love well. After all, the ability to love is a spiritual gift. Our God so loved that He created (us and all that surrounds us), He loved so He gave (His son, crucified so that we have a way back to Him, despite the times we’ve failed Him); He first loved us.
Today marks 3 years since my grandfather’s eternal homecoming. He left this world on Valentine’s Day three years ago. My Pawpaw was a great man. He was everything a wife searches for in a husband. He was everything a daughter wants in a father. He was good. He was kind. He knew how to love and let himself be loved. His life and most everything he did was an expression of love.
I spent last night on the phone with my grandmother for a while. We laughed, we cried, we told stories and dreamed of what life today would be like if Pawpaw was still here. How he would have been over the moon with all of the great-grands he now has roaming the Earth. Oh, how those little boys and my little mini-me would have loved their Pawpaw.
But on this day, three years ago, on the day that the whole world celebrates acts of love, God chose to take His good and faithful servant home. This life in it’s day to day activities (especially in today’s day and age as we hustle and grind), it is easy to lose focus, easy to forget that this is not the end game, but it is the pre-game. This is only the beginning, and it is so very important to do it well and with purpose.
I pray that I get to live this pre-game long enough to see my great-grands, or see Jesus return. If He does not come to take us home during my lifetime, I pray my great-grands reflect on my life with the words I used to describe my grandfather’s life – loving, good, faithful servant.
I am blessed to come from a lineage on both sides of my family with that a man of this caliber gave life and love to women that would pour those values and beliefs into me. I have walked many trials and tribulations, but thinking of my maternal grandfather and my paternal great-grandfather, my Papaw, are sweet reminders that God is the great orchestrator. He knew what I would face, and He made sure that I had strong women in my life to lead and grow me spiritually. He knows. God is such a good good father.
As we celebrate today, Valentine’s Day, may we reflect on the gift, art, act and charge we have from God to LOVE, and love well. May we remember the motive behind this day, Saint Valentine, a man that was a martyr and a legacy celebrated by people all around the world, Christian and non-believers, by showing others kindness and generosity, and acts of love.
I share, from my heart to yours, words and an “attitude of gratitude” (#HCFamily) that I hope imprint in your heart and mind, as they have mine. May they empower and encourage you. Words to live by, “Our Life + Our Love = Our Legacy” – Pastor Chris Hanna.
We <get> to love, because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).
What an honor it is to love and be loved.
The Greatest Of These Is Love13 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3 If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;[a] but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. 4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 8 Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages[b] and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! 9 Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10 But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless. 11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.[c] All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. 13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13, – Paul’s letter to the Church at Corinth