Monday, January 23, 2012
LOVE THOSE MOUNTAINS!
I’ve been blessed to see the beauty of God’s handiwork in Alaska’s mountains. Denali, the highest point in America, is so awe-inspiring, it brings goose bumps. If you haven’t been there, I recommend a trip to our largest and most beautiful state.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
Love One Another
I love chocolate, classical music, and a good novel. I love to watch the deer, to hike a mountain trail, and to spend time with family and friends. I love a good game of cribbage, a run through a rain puddle, and making silly faces with my grandchild.
Should we love “things” as well as people? There are different kinds of love—love for chocolate, love for family, love for a mate, and “agape” love for others that comes from God.
The saying, “God is love,” is much more than just an old saying. The Bible teaches us that God’s very nature is love. His thoughts and actions are loving. He created the earth and all that is in it—especially mankind—with love. He loves each one of us.
When we create something—a painting, a song on the piano, a quilt—we do so out of love not only for the product, but also for the process and the end result. Even in the imperfections of these things (for only God is perfect), they are loved.
But things we create or enjoy pale next to our love for other human beings. We experience love in its finest form when we love others regardless of their imperfections. When we allow God’s love to fill us, we automatically care more about another’s happiness than our own. When God’s love fills us, the slogan “love one another” becomes more than a slogan. It becomes a daily reality.
Agape love—true and unconditional love from God alone—takes practice. The Bible says we should “Love one another as I have loved you.” (John 13:34) Anything worthwhile takes practice. By intentionally, prayerfully loving others, especially the unloving or unlovable, we begin to develop a new habit that each day will become easier.
It’s not easy to love the person who has maligned us or taken advantage of us. It’s not easy to deliberately show love to someone whom we know will never return our love. But with the help of Christ, it is possible. “With God all things are possible.” (Mark 10:27)
God has promised to do great things through the love He bestows on us, if we give Him the chance. His love in us and through us can cause even the most hardened hearts to be healed.
Lord, as we accept Your love in our hearts, use us in mighty ways to move the hearts of others through our intentional, prayerful expressions of love. May our love for You and for others be evident in our thoughts, our words, and our deeds. In Jesus’ name, amen.