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Love

 

Love

In a boiler room, it is impossible to look into the boiler to see how much water it contains. But running up beside it is a tiny glass tube, that serves as a gauge. As the water stands in the little tube, so it stands in the great boiler. When the tube is half full, the boiler is half full, if empty, so is the boiler. How do you know you love God? You believe you love him, but you want to know. Look at the gauge. Your love for your brother is the measure of your love for God. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Example of Love

Once on a railway train an elderly man accidentally broke a minor regulation and was unmercifully bawled out by a young train employee. Later a fellow passenger nudged the old gentleman and suggested he give the employee a piece of his mind.. But the old man just smiled. “Oh,” he said, “if a man like that can stand himself for all of his life, I surely can stand him for five minutes.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Example of Love

A thirty-six-year-old mother was discovered to be in the advanced stages of terminal cancer. One doctor advised her to spend her remaining days enjoying herself on a beach in Acapulco. A second physician offered her the hope of living two to four years with the grueling side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. She penned these words to her three small children:

“I’ve chosen to try to survive for you. This has some horrible costs, including pain, loss of my good humor, and moods I won’t be able to control. But I must try this, if only on the outside chance that I might live one minute longer. And that minute could be the one you might need me when no one else will do. For this I intend to struggle, tooth and nail, so help me God.” – Cited in Focus on The Family

 

Example of Love

A young lady walked into a fabric shop, went to the counter, and asked the owner for some noisy, rustling, white material. The owner found two such bolts of fabric but was rather puzzled at the young lady’s motives. Why would anyone want several yards of noisy material? Finally the owner’s curiosity got the best of him and he asked the young lady why she particularly wanted noisy cloth.

She answered: “you see, I am making a wedding gown, and my fiancé is blind. When I walk down the aisle, I want him to know when I’ve arrived at the altar, so he won’t be embarrassed.”

Such love the young woman had for her man! ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Example of Love

One night a two-month-old baby kept his mother and father awake with his fussing and crying. The father was at wit’s end and had lost all patience. The mother, though, in her deep maternal love, picked up her son and, cuddling him, said, “That’s all right. I’m sorry you don’t feel better!” What an object lesson in self-giving love. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Example of Love

After the U.S.S. Pueblo was captured by the North Koreans, the eighty-two surviving crew members were thrown into a brutal captivity. In one particular instance thirteen of the men were required to sit in a rigid manner around a table for hours. After several hours the door was violently flung open and a North Korean guard brutally beat the man in the first chair with the butt of his rifle. The next day, as each man sat at his assigned place, again the door was thrown open and the man in the first chair was brutally beaten. On the third day it happened again to the same man. Knowing the man could not survive, another young sailor took his place. When the door was flung open the guard automatically beat the new victim senseless. For weeks, each day a new man stepped forward to sit in that horrible chair, knowing fullo well what would happen. At last the guards gave up in exasperation. They were unable to beat that kind of sacrificial love. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Example of Love

During the season of Super Bowl I, the great quarterback Bart Starr had a little incentive scheme going with his oldest son. For every perfect paper Bart Junior brought home from school, Starr gave him ten cents. After a particularly rough game against St. Louis, in which Starr felt he had performed poorly, he returned home weary and battered, late at night after a long plane ride. But he couldn’t help feeling better when he reached his bedroom. There attached to his pillow was a note: “Dear Dad, I thought you played a great game. Love, Bart.” Taped to the note were two dimes. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Power of Love

A man who had been the superintendent of a city rescue mission for forty years was asked why he had spent his life working with dirty, unkempt, profane, drunken derelicts. He said, “All I’m doing is giving back to others a little of the love God has shown to me.”

As a young man, he himself had been a drunkard who went into a mission for a bowl of chili. There he heard the preacher say that Christ could save sinners, and he stumbled forward to accept the Lord Jesus as his Savior. Though his brain was addled by drink, he felt a weight lifted from his shoulders, and that day he became a changed person. A little later, seeking God’s will for his life, he felt the Lord calling him to go back to the gutter and reach the people still wallowing there. The power of redeeming love enabled him to carry on his ministry for forty years. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Hatred

A pastor in Ireland told this story:

“I was telling a Protestant group of a boy in our city, Paul McGeown, age two, who on summer days loved to go with his mother to the park to watch the birds. ‘Birdies! Birdies!’ he would say with glee. On his way to the park one day, the blast of a terrorist bomb hurled Paul right across the road, inflicting severe head injuries. For sixteen days, he lay unconscious in the Belfast Children’s Hospital. A brain surgeon operated, and when Paul regained consciousness, he could not see. Then a month later, a miracle happened. The nurse was holding Paul at the window. Suddenly he pointed. ‘Birdies! Birdies!’ Paul could see again.

“What was the reaction from the people to whom I was telling this story? Nearly all felt happiness for the child whose sight had been restored, I’m sure. But one woman angrily asked, ‘But wasn’t he a Roman Catholic?’” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Kindness

It takes a long time to fill a glass with drops of water. Even when the glass seems full, it can still take one, two, three, four, or five or more additional drops. But if you will keep at it, there is at last that one drop that makes the glass overflow.

The same applies to deeds of kindness. In a series of kindnesses there is at last one that makes the heart run over. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Kindness

”You can accomplish by kindness,” wrote Publilius Syrus in the first century before the birth of Christ, “what you can cannot by force.”

William B. McKinley, President of the United States from 1897 to 1901, was a man who understood that principle. During one of his campaigns, a reporter from an opposition newspaper followed him constantly and just as persistently misrepresented McKinley’s views. Eventually during this campaign, the weather became extremely cold, and even though the reporter didn’t have sufficiently warm clothing, he still followed McKinley. One bitter evening, the president-to-be was riding in his closed carriage, and the young reporter sat shivering on the driver’s seat outside. McKinley stopped the carriage and invited the reporter to put on his coat and ride with him inside the warm carriage. The young man, astonished, protested that McKinley knew that he was opposition and that he wasn’t going to stop opposing McKinley during the campaign. McKinley knew that, but he wasn’t out to seek revenge. In the remaining days of the campaign, the reporter continued to oppose McKinley, but never again did he write anything unfair or biased about the future president. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

LOVE

Newspaper columnist and minister George Crane tells of a wife who came into his office full of hatred toward her husband. "I do not only want to get rid of him, I want to get even. Before I divorce him, I want to hurt him as much as he has me."

Dr. Crane suggested an ingenious plan "Go home and act as if you really love your husband. Tell him how much he means to you. Praise him for every decent trait. Go out of your way to be as kind, considerate, and generous as possible. Spare no efforts to please him, to enjoy him. Make him believe you love him. After you've convinced him of your undying love and that you cannot live without him, then drop the bomb. Tell him that your're getting a divorce. That will really hurt him." With revenge in her eyes, she smiled and exclaimed, "Beautiful, beautiful. Will he ever be surprised!" And she did it with enthusiasm. Acting "as if." For two months she showed love, kindness, listening, giving, reinforcing, sharing. When she didn't return, Crane called. "Are you ready now to go through with the divorce?"

"Divorce?" she exclaimed. "Never! I discovered I really do love him." Her actions had changed her feelings. Motion resulted in emotion. The ability to love is established not so much by fervent promise as often repeated deeds. ── J. Allan Petersen.

 

LOVE

In his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote, "Do not waste your time bothering whether you 'love' your neighbor act as if you did. As soon as we do this, we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more. If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less." ── Our Daily Bread, February 14.

 

LOVE

Two weeks after the stolen steak deal, I took Helen (eight years old) and Brandon (five years old) to the Cloverleaf Mall in Hattiesburg to do a little shopping. As we drove up, we spotted a Peterbilt eighteen-wheeler parked with a big sign on it that said, "Petting Zoo." The kids jumped up in a rush and asked, "Daddy, Daddy. Can we go? Please. Please. Can we go?"

"Sure," I said, flipping them both a quarter before walking into Sears. They bolted away, and I felt free to take my time looking for a scroll saw. A petting zoo consists of a portable fence erected in the mall with about six inches of sawdust and a hundred little furry baby animals of all kinds. Kids pay their money and stay in the enclosure enraptured with the squirmy little critters while their moms and dads shop.

A few minutes later, I turned around and saw Helen walking along behind me. I was shocked to see she preferred the hardware department to the petting zoo. Recognizing my error, I bent down and asked her what was wrong.

She looked up at me with those giant limpid brown eyes and said sadly, "Well, Daddy, it cost fifty cents. So, I gave Brandon my quarter." Then she said the most beautiful thing I ever heard. She repeated the family motto. The family motto is in "Love is Action!"

She had given Brandon her quarter, and no one loves cuddly furry creatures more than Helen. She had watched Sandy take my steak and say, "Love is Action!" She had watched both of us do and say "Love is Action!" for years around the house and Kings Arrow Ranch. She had heard and seen "Love is Action," and now she had incorporated it into her little lifestyle. It had become part of her.

What do you think I did? Well, not what you might think. As soon as I finished my errands, I took Helen to the petting zoo. We stood by the fence and watched Brandon go crazy petting and feeding the animals. Helen stood with her hands and chin resting on the fence and just watched Brandon. I had fifty cents burning a hole in my pocket; I never offered it to Helen, and she never asked for it.

Because she knew the whole family motto. It's not "Love is Action." It's "Love is SACRIFICIAL Action!" Love always pays a price. Love always costs something. Love is expensive. When you love, benefits accrue to another's account. Love is for you, not for me. Love gives; it doesn't grab. Helen gave her quarter to Brandon and wanted to follow through with her lesson. She knew she had to taste the sacrifice. She wanted to experience that total family motto. Love is sacrificial action.── Dave Simmons, Dad, The Family Coach, Victor Books, 1991, pp. 123-124.

 

LOVE

You can see them alongside the shuffleboard courts in Florida or on the porches of the old folks' homes up north: an old man with snow-white hair, a little hard of hearing, reading the newspaper through a magnifying glass; an old woman in a shapeless dress, her knuckles gnarled by arthritis, wearing sandals to ease her aching arches. They are holding hands, and in a little while they will totter off to take a nap, and then she will cook supper, not a very good supper and they will watch television, each knowing exactly what the other is thinking, until it is time for bed. They may even have a good, soul-stirring argument, just to prove that they still really care. And through the night they will snore unabashedly, each resting content because the other is there. They are in love, they have always been in love, although sometimes they would have denied it. And because they have been in love they have survived everything that life could throw at them, even their own failures.── Ernest Havemann, Bits & Pieces, June 24, 1993, pp. 7-9.

 

LOVE

It's very human to begin looking for something and then forget what you're looking for. Tennessee Williams tells a story of someone who forgot -- the story of Jacob Brodzky, a shy Russian Jew whose father owned a bookstore. The older Brodzky wanted his son to go to college. The boy, on the other hand, desired nothing but to marry Lila, his childhood sweetheart -- a French girl as effusive, vital, and ambitious as he was contemplative and retiring. A couple of months after young Brodzky went to college, his father fell ill and died. The son returned home, buried his father, and married his love. Then the couple moved into the apartment above the bookstore, and Brodzky took over its management. The life of books fit him perfectly, but it cramped her. She wanted more adventure -- and she found it, she thought, when she met an agent who praised her beautiful singing voice and enticed her to tour Europe with a vaudeville company. Brodzky was devastated. At their parting, he reached into his pocket and handed her the key to the front door of the bookstore.

"You had better keep this," he told her, "because you will want it some day. Your love is not so much less than mine that you can get away from it. You will come back sometime, and I will be waiting." She kissed him and left. To escape the pain he felt, Brodzky withdrew deep into his bookstore and took to reading as someone else might have taken to drink. He spoke little, did little, and could most times be found at the large desk near the rear of the shop, immersed in his books while he waited for his love to return.

Nearly 15 years after they parted, at Christmastime, she did return. But when Brodzky rose from the reading desk that had been his place of escape for all that time, he did not take the love of his life for more than an ordinary customer. "Do you want a book?" he asked.

That he didn't recognize her startled her. But she gained possession of herself and replied, "I want a book, but I've forgotten the name of it." Then she told him a story of childhood sweethearts. A story of a newly married couple who lived in an apartment above a bookstore. A story of a young, ambitious wife who left to seek a career, who enjoyed great success but could never relinquish the key her husband gave her when they parted. She told him the story she thought would bring him to himself.

But his face showed no recognition. Gradually she realized that he had lost touch with his heart's desire, that he no longer knew the purpose of his waiting and grieving, that now all he remembered was the waiting and grieving itself. "You remember it; you must remember it -- the story of Lila and Jacob?"

After a long, bewildered pause, he said, "There is something familiar about the story, I think I have read it somewhere. It comes to me that it is something by Tolstoi." Dropping the key, she fled the shop. And Brodzky returned to his desk, to his reading, unaware that the love he waited for had come and gone.

Tennessee Williams's 1931 story "Something by Tolstoi" reminds me how easy it is to miss love when it comes. Either something so distracts us or we have so completely lost who we are and what we care about that we cannot recognize our heart's desire.── Signs of the Times, June, 1993, p. 11.

 

LOVE

Ted Stallard undoubtedly qualifies as the one of "the least." Turned off by school. Very sloppy in appearance. Expressionless. Unattractive. Even his teacher, Miss Thompson, enjoyed bearing down her red pen -- as she placed Xs beside his many wrong answers.

If only she had studied his records more carefully. They read:

1st grade: Ted shows promise with his work and attitude, but (has) poor home situation.

2nd grade: Ted could do better. Mother seriously ill. Receives little help from home.

3rd grade: Ted is good boy but too serious. He is a slow learner. His mother died this year.

4th grade: Ted is very slow, but well-behaved. His father shows no interest whatsoever.

Christmas arrived. The children piled elaborately wrapped gifts on their teacher's desk. Ted brought one too. It was wrapped in brown paper and held together with Scotch Tape. Miss Thompson opened each gift, as the children crowded around to watch. Out of Ted's package fell a gaudy rhinestone bracelet, with half of the stones missing, and a bottle of cheap perfume. The children began to snicker. But she silenced them by splashing some of the perfume on her wrist, and letting them smell it. She put the bracelet on too.

At day's end, after the other children had left, Ted came by the teacher's desk and said, "Miss Thompson, you smell just like my mother. And the bracelet looks real pretty on you. I'm glad you like my presents." He left. Miss Thompson got down on her knees and asked God to forgive her and to change her attitude.

The next day, the children were greeted by a reformed teacher -- one committed to loving each of them. Especially the slow ones. Especially Ted. Surprisingly -- or maybe, not surprisingly, Ted began to show great improvement. He actually caught up with most of the students and even passed a few.

Time came and went. Miss Thompson heard nothing from Ted for a long time. Then, one day, she received this note:

Dear Miss Thompson:

I wanted you to be the first to know. I will be graduating second in my class.

Love, Ted

Four years later, another note arrived:

Dear Miss Thompson:

They just told me I will be graduating first in my class. I wanted you to be first to know. The university has not been easy, but I liked it.

Love, Ted

And four years later:

Dear Miss Thompson:

As of today, I am Theodore Stallard, M.D. How about that? I wanted you to be the first to know. I am getting married next month, the 27th to be exact. I want you to come and sit where my mother would sit if she were alive. You are the only family I have now; Dad died last year.

Miss Thompson attended that wedding, and sat where Ted's mother would have sat. The compassion she had shown that young man entitled her to that privilege.

Let's have some real courage, and start giving to "one of the least." He may become a Ted Stallard. Even if that doesn't happen, we will have been faithful to the One who has always treated us -- as unworthy as we are -- like very special people.── Jon Johnston, Courage - You Can Stand Strong in the Face of Fear, 1990, SP Publications, pp. 111-113.

 

LOVE

During the 17th century, Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, sentenced a soldier to be shot for his crimes. The execution was to take place at the ringing of the evening curfew bell. However, the bell did not sound. The soldier's fianc?had climbed into the belfry and clung to the great clapper of the bell to prevent it from striking. When she was summoned by Cromwell to account for her actions, she wept as she showed him her bruised and bleeding hands. Cromwell's heart was touched and he said, "Your lover shall live because of your sacrifice. Curfew shall not ring tonight!" ── Our Daily Bread.

 

LOVE

During World War II, Hitler commanded all religious groups to unite so that he could control them. Among the Brethren assemblies, half complied and half refused. Those who went along with the order had a much easier time. Those who did not, faced harsh persecution. In almost every family of those who resisted, someone died in a concentration camp. When the war was over, feelings of bitterness ran deep between the groups and there was much tension. Finally they decided that the situation had to be healed. Leaders from each group met at a quiet retreat. For several days, each person spent time in prayer, examining his own heart in the light of Christ's commands. Then they came together.

Francis Schaeffer, who told of the incident, asked a friend who was there, "What did you do then?" "We were just one," he replied. As they confessed their hostility and bitterness to God and yielded to His control, the Holy Spirit created a spirit of unity among them. Love filled their hearts and dissolved their hatred.

When love prevails among believers, especially in times of strong disagreement, it presents to the world an indisputable mark of a true follower of Jesus Christ. ── Our Daily Bread, October 4, 1992.

 

LOVE

She was lying on the ground. In her arms she held a tiny baby girl. As I put a cooked sweet potato into her outstretched hand, I wondered if she would live until morning. Her strength was almost gone, but her tired eyes acknowledged my gift. The sweet potato could help so little -- but it was all I had.

Taking a bite she chewed it carefully. Then, placing her mouth over her baby's mouth, she forced the soft warm food into the tiny throat. Although the mother was starving, she used the entire potato to keep her baby alive. Exhausted from her effort, she dropped her head on the ground and closed her eyes. In a few minutes the baby was asleep. I later learned that during the night the mother's heart stopped, but her little girl lived.

Love is a costly thing. God in His love for us (and for a lost world) "spared not His own Son" to tell the world of His love. Love is costly, but we must tell the world at any cost. Such love is costly. It costs parents and sons and daughters. It costs the missionary life itself. In his love for Christ the missionary often must give up all to make the Savior known. If you will let your love for Christ, cost you something, the great advance will be made together.

Remember, love is a costly thing. Do you love enough?── Dick Hills, Love is a Costly Thing.

 

LOVE

Show me a church where there is love, and I will show you a church that is a power in the community. In Chicago a few years ago a little boy attended a Sunday school I know of. When his parents moved to another part of the city the little fellow still attended the same Sunday school, although it meant a long, tiresome walk each way. A friend asked him why he went so far, and told him that there were plenty of others just as good nearer his home.

"They may be as good for others, but not for me," was his reply.

"Why not?" she asked.

"Because they love a fellow over there," he replied.

If only we could make the world believe that we loved them there would be fewer empty churches, and a smaller proportion of our population who never darken a church door. Let love replace duty in our church relations, and the world will soon be evangelized. ── Moody's Anecdotes, pp. 71-72.

 

LOVE

No more convincing evidence of the absence of parental affection exists than that compiled by Rene Spitz. In a South American orphanage, Spitz observed and recorded what happened to 97 children who were deprived of emotional and physical contact with others. Because of a lack of funds, there was not enough staff to adequately care for these children, ages 3 months to 3 years old. Nurses changed diapers and fed and bathed the children. But there was little time to hold, cuddle, and talk to them as a mother would. After three months many of them showed signs of abnormality. Besides a loss of appetite and being unable to sleep well, many of the children lay with a vacant expression in their eyes. After five months, serious deterioration set in.

They lay whimpering, with troubled and twisted faces. Often, when a doctor or nurse would pick up an infant, it would scream in terror. Twenty seven, almost one third, of the children died the first year, but not from lack of food or health care. They died of a lack of touch and emotional nurture. Because of this, seven more died the second year. Only twenty one of the 97 survived, most suffering serious psychological damage. ── Charles Sell, Unfinished Business, Multnomah, 1989, p. 39.

 

LOVE

I stand by the bed where a young woman lies, her face postoperative, her mouth twisted in palsy, clownish. A tiny twig of the facial nerve, the one to the muscles of her mouth, has been severed. She will be thus from now on. The surgeon had followed with religious fervor the curve of her flesh; I promise you that. Nevertheless, to remove the tumor in her cheek, I had to cut the little nerve. Her young husband is in the room. He stands on the opposite side of the bed and together they seem to dwell in the evening lamplight, isolated from me, private. Who are they, I ask myself, he and this wry mouth I have made, who gaze at and touch each other so generously, greedily? 

The young woman speaks. "Will my mouth always be like this?" she asks.

"Yes," I say, "it will. It is because the nerve was cut." 

She nods and is silent. But the young man smiles. "I like it," he says, "It is kind of cute." All at once I know who he is. I understand and I lower my gaze. One is not bold in an encounter with a god. Unmindful, he bends to kiss her crooked mouth and I am so close I can see how he twists his own lips to accommodate to hers, to show her that their kiss still works.── Richard Selzer, M.D., Mortal Lessons: Notes on the Art of Surgery, 1978, pp. 45-6.

 

LOVE

To love at all is to be venerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin or your selfishness. But in that casket--safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable...The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers...of love is Hell. ── C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves, Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1960, p.169.

 

LOVE

"I have no misgivings about or lack of confidence in the cause in which I am engaged and my courage does not falter. I know how American civilization leans upon the triumph of the government. I know how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the suffering of the Revolution. And I am willing, perfectly willing, to lay down the joys of this life to help maintain this government and to help pay that debt. 

Sarah, my love for you is deathless. It seems to bind me with many cables that nothing but Omnipotence can break. And yet my love of country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly with all those chains to the battlefield. The memory of all those blissful moments I have enjoyed with you come crowding over me, and I feel most grateful to God and you that I have enjoyed them for so long. And how hard it is for me to give them up and burn to ashes the future years, when God willing, we might have loved and lived together, and watched our boys grow up around us to honorable manhood. If I do not return my dear Sarah, never forget how much I loved you nor that when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield it will whimper your name."── Major Sullivan Ballou, of the Union Army, to his wife Sarah. One week later, Major Ballou was killed at the first battle of Bull Run.

 

LOVE

For 36 years Jeno and his wife delighted in one another. But one day Jeno suffered a stroke. For weeks he lay in the hospital, slipping in and out of a coma. Day and night his wife sat at his side. One evening, she put her head on his hand and fell asleep.

Jeno awoke during the night and seeing his wife, picked up an envelope and pencil and scribbled these words: "Softly, I will leave you, for my heart would break if you should wake and see me go. So I leave you. Long before you miss me. Long before your arms can beg me stay for one more hour, one more day. After all of the years, I can't stand the tears to fall, so I leave you softly." ── Today in the Word, February, 1991, p. 32.

 

LOVE

Is there a hell?

Once upon a time a person was touched by God, and God gave him a priceless gift. This gift was the capacity for love. He was grateful and humble, and he knew what an extraordinary thing had happened to him. He carried it like a jewel and he walked tall and with purpose. From time to time he would show this gift to others, and they would smile and stroke his jewel. But it seemed that they'd also dirty it up a little. Now, this was no way to treat such a precious thing, so the person built a box to protect his jewel. And he decided to show it only to those who would treat it with respect and meet it with reverent love of their own.

Even that didn't work, for some tried to break into the box. So he built a bigger, stronger box--one that no one could get into--and the man felt good. At last he was protecting the jewel as it should be. Upon occasion, when he decided that someone had earned the right to see it, he'd show it proudly. But they sometimes refused, or kind of smudged it, or just glanced at it disinterestedly.

Much time went by, and then only once in awhile would one pass by the man, the aging man; he would pat his box and say, "I have the loveliest of jewels in here." Once or twice he opened the box and offered it saying, "Look and see. I want you to." And the passerby would look and look, and look. And then he would back away from the old man, shaking his head.

The man died, and he went to God, and he said, "You gave me a precious gift many years ago, and I've kept it safe, and it is as lovely as the day you gave it to me." And he opened the box and held it out to God. He glanced in it, and in it was a lizard--an ugly, laughing lizard. And God walked away from him.

Yes, there is a hell.── Lois Cheney, God is no Fool, p. 33-4.

 

LOVE

If we discovered that we had five minutes left to say all we wanted to say, every telephone booth would be occupied by people calling other people to stammer that they love them. Why wait until the last five minutes? ── C. Morley, in Homemade, July, 1990.

 

LOVE

The teacher in our adult-education creative-writing class told us to write "I love you" in 25 words or less, without using the words "I love you." She gave us 15 minutes. A woman in the class spent about ten minutes looking at the ceiling and wriggling in her seat. The last five minutes she wrote frantically, and later read us the results:

"Why, I've seen lots worse haridos than that, honey."

"These cookies are hardly burned at all."

"Cuddle up-I'll get your feet warm."

── Charlotte Mortimer, in February 1990 Reader's Digest.

 

LOVE

In The Christian Leader,  Don Ratzlaff retells a story Vernon Grounds came across in Ernest Gordon's Miracle on the River Kwai. The Scottish soldiers, forced by their Japanese captors to labor on a jungle railroad, had degenerated to barbarous behavior, but one afternoon something happened.

"A shovel was missing. The officer in charge became enraged. He demanded that the missing shovel be produced, or else. When nobody in the squadron budged, the officer got his gun and threatened to kill them all on the spot . . . It was obvious the officer meant what he had said. Then, finally, one man stepped forward. The officer put away his gun, picked up a shovel, and beat the man to death. When it was over, the survivors picked up the bloody corpse and carried it with them to the second tool check. This time, no shovel was missing. Indeed, there had been a miscount at the first check point.

"The word spread like wildfire through the whole camp. An innocent man had been willing to die to save the others! . . . The incident had a profound effect. . . The men began to treat each other like brothers.

"When the victorious Allies swept in, the survivors, human skeletons, lined up in front of their captors . . (and instead of attacking their captors) insisted: 'No more hatred. No more killing. Now what we need is forgiveness.'" ── Don Ratzlaff, The Christian Leader.

 

LOVE

Sacrificial love has transforming power. Genuine love is volitional rather than emotional. The person who truly loves does so because of a decision to love. This person has made a commitment to be loving whether or not the loving feeling is present. It if is, so much the better; but if it isn't, the commitment to love, the will to love, still stands and is still exercised. Conversely, it is not only possible but necessary for a loving person to avoid acting on feelings of love. I may meet a woman who strongly attracts me, whom I feel like loving, but because it would be destructive to my marriage to have an affair, I will say vocally or in the silence of my heart, "I feel like loving you, but I am not going to." My feelings of love may be unbounded, but my capacity to be loving is limited. I therefore must choose the person on whom to focus my capacity to love, toward whom to direct my will to love. True love is not a feeling by which we are overwhelmed. It is a committed, thoughtful decision.── Dr. M. Scott Peck.

 

LOVE

On ingenious teenager, tired of reading bedtime stories to his little sister, decided to record several of her favorite stories on tape. He told her, "now you can hear your stories anytime you want. Isn't that great?" She looked at the machine for a moment and then replied, "No. It hasn't got a lap." ── Source Unknown.

 

LOVE

Some years ago, Dr. Karl Menninger, noted doctor and psychologist, was seeking the cause of many of his patients' ills. One day he called in his clinical staff and proceeded to unfold a plan for developing, in his clinic, an atmosphere of creative love. All patients were to be given large quantities of love; no unloving attitudes were to be displayed in the presence of the patients, and all nurses and doctors were to go about their work in and out of the various rooms with a loving attitude. At the end of six months, the time spent by patients in the institution was cut in half.── Source Unknown.

 

LOVE

A young man said to his father at breakfast one morning, "Dad, I'm going to get married." 

"How do you know you're ready to get married?" asked the father. "Are you in love?" 

"I sure am," said the son. 

"How do you know you're in love?" asked the father. 

"Last night as I was kissing my girlfriend good-night, her dog bit me and I didn't feel the pain until I got home."

── Source Unknown.

 

LOVE

Years ago Father John Powell told the story of Norma Jean

Mortenson: "Norma Jean Mortenson. Remember that name? Norma Jean's mother, Mrs. Gladys Baker, was periodically committed to a mental institution and Norma Jean spent much of her childhood in foster homes. In one of those foster homes, when she was eight years old, one of the boarders raped her and gave her a nickel. He said, 'Here, Honey. Take this and don't ever tell anyone what I did to you.' When little Norma Jean went to her foster mother to tell her what had happened she was beaten badly. She was told, 'Our boarder pays good rent. Don't you ever say anything bad about him!' Norma Jean at the age of eight had learned what it was to be used and given a nickel and beaten for trying to express the hurt that was in her.

"Norma Jean turned into a very pretty young girl and people began to notice. Boys whistled at her and she began to enjoy that, but she always wished they would notice she was a person too--not just a body--or a pretty face--but a person.

"Then Norma Jean went to Hollywood and took a new name-- Marilyn Monroe and the publicity people told her, 'We are going to create a modern sex symbol out of you.' And this was her reaction, 'A symbol? Aren't symbols things people hit together?' They said, 'Honey, it doesn't matter, because we are going to make you the most smoldering sex symbol that ever hit the celluloid.'

"She was an overnight smash success, but she kept asking, 'Did you also notice I am a person? Would you please notice?' Then she was cast in the dumb blonde roles.

"Everyone hated Marilyn Monroe. Everyone did.

"She would keep her crews waiting two hours on the set. She was regarded as a selfish prima donna. What they didn't know was that she was in her dressing room vomiting because she was so terrified.

"She kept saying, 'Will someone please notice I am a person. Please.' They didn't notice. They wouldn't take her seriously.

"She went through three marriages--always pleading, 'Take me seriously as a person.' Everyone kept saying, 'But you are a sex symbol. You can't be other than that.'

"Marilyn kept saying 'I want to be a person. I want to be a serious actress.'

"And so on that Saturday night, at the age of 35 when all beautiful women are supposed to be on the arm of a handsome escort, Marilyn Monroe took her own life. She killed herself.

"When her maid found her body the next morning, she noticed the telephone was off the hook. It was dangling there beside her.

Later investigation revealed that in the last moments of her life she had called a Hollywood actor and told him she had taken enough sleeping pills to kill herself.

"He answered with the famous line of Rhett Butler, which I now edit for church, 'Frankly, my dear, I don't care!' That was the last word she heard. She dropped the phone--left it dangling.

"Claire Booth Luce in a very sensitive article asked, 'What really killed Marilyn Monroe, love goddess who never found any love?' She said she thought the dangling telephone was the symbol of Marilyn Monroe's whole life. She died because she never got through to anyone who understood." ── Dynamic Preaching, June, 1990.

 

LOVE, example of

On May 2, 1962, a dramatic advertisement appeared in the San Francisco Examiner: "I don't want my husband to die in the gas chamber for a crime he did not commit. I will therefore offer my services for 10 years as a cook, maid, or housekeeper to any leading attorney who will defend him and bring about his vindication." 

One of San Francisco's greatest attorneys, Vincent Hallinan, read or heard about the ad and contacted Gladys Kidd, who had placed it. Her husband, Robert Lee Kidd, was about to be tried for the slaying of an elderly antique dealer. Kidd's fingerprints had been found on a bloodstained ornate sword in the victim's shop. During the trial, Hallinan proved that the antique dealer had not been killed by the sword, and that Kidd's fingerprints and blood on the sword got there because Kidd had once toyed with it while playfully dueling with a friend when they were both out shopping. The jury, after 11 hours, found Kidd to be not guilty. Attorney Hallinan refused Gladys Kidd's offer of 10 years' servitude. ── From the Book of Lists #2, p. 157.

 

LOVE, feigned

I was attending a junior stock show when a grand-champion lamb, owned by a little girl, was being auctioned. As the bids reached five dollars per pound, the little girl, standing beside the lamb in the arena, began to cry. At ten dollars, the tears were streaming down her face and she clasped her arms tightly around the lamb's neck. The higher the bids rose, the more she cried. Finally, a local businessman bought the lamb for more than $1000, but then announced that he was donating it to the little girl. The crowd applauded and cheered. 

Months later, I was judging some statewide essays when I came across one from a girl who told about the time her grand-champion lamb had been auctioned. "The prices began to get so high during the bidding," she wrote, "that I started to cry from happiness." She continued with: "The man who bought the lamb for so much more than I ever dreamed I would get returned the lamb to me, and when I got home, Daddy barbecued the lamb--and it was really delicious." ── Joe Wagner, in Reader's Digest.

 

LOVE, law of

Dr. Mitchell was impressing upon us that we are not under the Law when we're in Christ, but we're under a new law -- the law of LOVE. He used this to illustrate: In America there is a law stating a woman must take care of her child. So, a man comes to a new mother's home. He says "Are you taking care of your baby? The Law says you have to." The woman, tenderly holding her baby, said, "I don't need a law to make me take care of my baby." Why? Because she loves her baby! She feeds him, holds him, changes him because she loves him. I no longer need the Law because I'm under Christ -- a law of LOVE.── Source Unknown.

 

LOVE OF ENEMIES

In The Grace of Giving,  Stephen Olford tells of a Baptist pastor during the American Revolution, Peter Miller, who lived in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, and enjoyed the friendship of George Washington. In Ephrata also lived Michael Wittman, an evil-minded sort who did all he could to oppose and humiliate the pastor. One day Michael Wittman was arrested for treason and sentenced to die. Peter Miller traveled seventy miles on foot to Philadelphia to plead for the life of the traitor.

"No, Peter," General Washington said. "I cannot grant you the life of your friend."

"My friend!" exclaimed the old preacher. "He's the bitterest enemy I have."

"What?" cried Washington. "You've walked seventy miles to save the life of an enemy? That puts the matter in different light. I'll grant your pardon." And he did.

Peter Miller took Michael Wittman back home to Ephrata--no longer an enemy but a friend.── Lynn Jost.

 

Love

In a boiler room, it is impossible to look into the boiler to see how much water it contains. But running up beside it is a tiny glass tube, that serves as a gauge. As the water stands in the little tube, so it stands in the great boiler. When the tube is half full, the boiler is half full, if empty, so is the boiler. How do you know you love God? You believe you love him, but you want to know. Look at the gauge. Your love for your brother is the measure of your love for God.

 

Love

This was the reaction of the unbelieving Greek writer Lucian (A.D. 120~200) upon observing the warm fellowship of Christians:

        “It is incredible to see the fervor with which the people of that religion help each other in their wants. They spare nothing. Their first legislator (Jesus) has put it into their heads that they are brethren.

 

Love

“It is our care for the helpless, our practice of lovingkindness, that brands us in the eyes of many of our opponents. ‘Look!’ they say. ‘How they love one another! Look how they are prepared to die for one another.’” –Tertullian

 

What is Love?

        It’s silence when your words would hurt.

        It’s patience when your neighbor’s curt.

        It’s deafness when the scandal flows.

        It’s thoughtfulness for another’s woes.

        It’s promptness when stern duty calls.

        It’s courage when misfortune falls.

 

Example of Love

Once on a railway train an elderly man accidentally broke a minor regulation and was unmercifully bawled out by a young train employee. Later a fellow passenger nudged the old gentleman and suggested he give the employee a piece of his mind.. But the old man just smiled. “Oh,” he said, “if a man like that can stand himself for all of his life, I surely can stand him for five minutes.”

 

Example of Love

A thirty-six-year-old mother was discovered to be in the advanced stages of terminal cancer. One doctor advised her to spend her remaining days enjoying herself on a beach in Acapulco. A second physician offered her the hope of living two to four years with the grueling side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. She penned these words to her three small children:

        “I’ve chosen to try to survive for you. This has some horrible costs, including pain, loss of my good humor, and moods I won’t be able to control. But I must try this, if only on the outside chance that I might live one minute longer. And that minute could be the one you might need me when no one else will do. For this I intend to struggle, tooth and nail, so help me God.” –Cited in Focus on The Family

 

Example of Love

A young lady walked into a fabric shop, went to the counter, and asked the owner for some noisy, rustling, white material. The owner found two such bolts of fabric but was rather puzzled at the young lady’s motives. Why would anyone want several yards of noisy material? Finally the owner’s curiosity got the best of him and he asked the young lady why she particularly wanted noisy cloth.

        She answered: “you see, I am making a wedding gown, and my fiancé is blind. When I walk down the aisle, I want him to know when I’ve arrived at the altar, so he won’t be embarrassed.”

        Such love the young woman had for her man!

 

Example of Love

One night a two-month-old baby kept his mother and father awake with his fussing and crying. The father was at wit’s end and had lost all patience. The mother, though, in her deep maternal love, picked up her son and, cuddling him, said, “That’s all right. I’m sorry you don’t feel better!” What an object lesson in self-giving love.

 

Example of Love

After the U.S.S. Pueblo was captured by the North Koreans, the eighty-two surviving crew members were thrown into a brutal captivity. In one particular instance thirteen of the men were required to sit in a rigid manner around a table for hours. After several hours the door was violently flung open and a North Korean guard brutally beat the man in the first chair with the butt of his rifle. The next day, as each man sat at his assigned place, again the door was thrown open and the man in the first chair was brutally beaten. On the third day it happened again to the same man. Knowing the man could not survive, another young sailor took his place. When the door was flung open the guard automatically beat the new victim senseless. For weeks, each day a new man stepped forward to sit in that horrible chair, knowing fullo well what would happen. At last the guards gave up in exasperation. They were unable to beat that kind of sacrificial love.

 

Example of Love

During the season of Super Bowl I, the great quarterback Bart Starr had a little incentive scheme going with his oldest son. For every perfect paper Bart Junior brought home from school, Starr gave him ten cents. After a particularly rough game against St. Louis, in which Starr felt he had performed poorly, he returned home weary and battered, late at night after a long plane ride. But he couldn’t help feeling better when he reached his bedroom. There attached to his pillow was a note: “Dear Dad, I thought you played a great game. Love, Bart.” Taped to the note were two dimes.

 

Mature/Immature Love

            Infantile love follows the principle:

              “I love because I am loved.”

            Mature love follows the principle:

              “I am loved because I love.”

            Immature love says:

              “I love you because I need you.”

            Mature love says:

              “I need you because I love you.”—Erich Fromm

 

Power of Love

            A man who had been the superintendent of a city rescue mission for forty years was asked why he had spent his life working with dirty, unkempt, profane, drunken derelicts. He said, “All I’m doing is giving back to others a little of the love God has shown to me.”

            As a young man, he himself had been a drunkard who went into a mission for a bowl of chili. There he heard the preacher say that Christ could save sinners, and he stumbled forward to accept the Lord Jesus as his Savior. Though his brain was addled by drink, he felt a weight lifted from his shoulders, and that day he became a changed person. A little later, seeking God’s will for his life, he felt the Lord calling him to go back to the gutter and reach the people still wallowing there. The power of redeeming love enabled him to carry on his ministry for forty years.

 

Power of Love

He drew a circle that shut me out-

        Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.

        But Love and I had the wit to win:

        We drew a circle that took him in. –Edwin Markham

 

Hatred

            ”Hate at its best will distort you; at its worst it will destroy you; but it will always immobilize you.”—Alex Haley

 

Hatred

            A pastor in Ireland told this story:

            “I was telling a Protestant group of a boy in our city, Paul McGeown, age two, who on summer days loved to go with his mother to the park to watch the birds. ‘Birdies! Birdies!’ he would say with glee. On his way to the park one day, the blast of a terrorist bomb hurled Paul right across the road, inflicting severe head injuries. For sixteen days, he lay unconscious in the Belfast Children’s Hospital. A brain surgeon operated, and when Paul regained consciousness, he could not see. Then a month later, a miracle happened. The nurse was holding Paul at the window. Suddenly he pointed. ‘Birdies! Birdies!’ Paul could see again.

            “What was the reaction from the people to whom I was telling this story? Nearly all felt happiness for the child whose sight had been restored, I’m sure. But one woman angrily asked, ‘But wasn’t he a Roman Catholic?’”

 

LOVE

Whoever loves much, does much. ── Thomas a' Kempis.

 

Kindness

One of the most difficult things to give away is kindness, for it is usually returned. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Power of Love

He drew a circle that shut me out-

        Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.

        But Love and I had the wit to win:

        We drew a circle that took him in.

── Edwin Markham

 

Hatred

”Hate at its best will distort you; at its worst it will destroy you; but it will always immobilize you.”— Alex Haley

 

Mature/Immature Love

            Infantile love follows the principle:

              “I love because I am loved.”

            Mature love follows the principle:

              “I am loved because I love.”

            Immature love says:

              “I love you because I need you.”

            Mature love says:

              “I need you because I love you.”

── Erich Fromm

 

Love

It is our care for the helpless, our practice of lovingkindness, that brands us in the eyes of many of our opponents. Look! they say. How they love one another! Look how they are prepared to die for one another.’” Tertullian

 

What is Love?

        Its silence when your words would hurt.

        Its patience when your neighbors curt.

        Its deafness when the scandal flows.

        Its thoughtfulness for anothers woes.

        Its promptness when stern duty calls.

        Its courage when misfortune falls.

── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Love

This was the reaction of the unbelieving Greek writer Lucian (A.D. 120~200) upon observing the warm fellowship of Christians:

It is incredible to see the fervor with which the people of that religion help each other in their wants. They spare nothing. Their first legislator (Jesus) has put it into their heads that they are brethren. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

LOVE

Looking for a gift or just a unique way to say "I love you?" What do you give when his dresser is full of cologne and you're both on diets? When she thinks flowers die too soon, and you've already spent next month's paycheck? Here are 21 great inexpensive ways to tell the love of your life just how much you care.

1. Make a homemade card with a picture of the two of you on the cover. Get ideas for a verse by spending a few minutes browsing through a card shop.

2. Write a poem. It doesn't have to rhyme.

3. Send a love letter listing the reasons "Why I love you so much."

4. Pledge your love for a lifetime. Write it on calligraphy or design it on a desktop computer and print it out on parchment paper and have it framed.

5. Plan a surprise lunch, complete with picnic basket, sparkling grape juice and goblets.

6. Bake a giant cookie and write "I love you" with heart shaped redhots or frosting. (Don't worry about the calories, it's not for eating!)

7. Make a coupon book and include coupons for a back rub, a compromise when about to lose an argument, a listening ear when needed, and doing the dishes when the other cooks.

8. Kidnap the car for a thorough washing and detailing.

9. Design your personal crest combining symbols that are meaningful to both of you.

10. Compose a love song.

11. Arrange for someone to sing a favorite love song to you and your love when you're together.

12. Call a radio station and have them announce a love message from you and make sure your love is listening at the right time.

13. Make a big sign such as: "I Love You, Kristi. Love, Joe" and put it in front of your house or her apartment complex for the world to see.

14. Buy favorite fruits that aren't in season, like a basket of strawberries or blueberries.

15. Hide little love notes in the car, a coat pocket, or desk.

16. Place a love message in the "personal" section of the classified ads in your local paper.

17. Florist flowers aren't the only way to say "I love you." Pluck a single flower and write a message about how its beauty reminds you of your love. For greater impact, have it delivered at work.

18. Prepare a surprise candle light gourmet low-calorie dinner for two.

19. Write the story of the growth of your relationship from your perspective, sharing your emotions and your joys. What a treasure!

20. Make a paperweight from a smooth stone, paint it, and write a special love message on it.

21. Promise to change a habit that your love has been wanting you to change.

── Family Matters.

 

LOVE

The Greek word agape (love) seems to have been virtually a Christian invention -- a new word for a new thing (apart from about twenty occurrences in the Greek version of the Old Testament, it is almost non-existent before the New Testament). Agape draws its meaning directly from the revelation of God in Christ. It is not a form of natural affection, however, intense, but a supernatural fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). It is a matter of will rather than feeling (for Christians must love even those they dislike -- Matt. 5:44-48). It is the basic element in Christ-likeness.

Read 1 Corinthians 13 and note what these verses have to say about the primacy (vv. 1-3) and permanence (vv. 8-13) of love; note too the profile of love (vv. 4-7) which they give.── James Packer, Your Father Loves You, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986.

 

LOVE

What is love?

Asks the child untouched

Whose mother's hand he clutched

His tender heart knows only Trust

Feels only love, knows not of Lust.

What is love?

Asks the blossoming soul

Questioning her life's role

Struggling to separate

Infatuation from love's fate.

What is love?

Asks the youth enlightened

Remembering passion heightened 

Wondering if is was an act of Love

Or if not approved by those Above

What is love?

Asks the united one

Whose ring reflects the golden Sun

Hoping it will last forever

That they will always remain Together

What is love?

Asks the furrowed face

Moving at a withering pace

"It has remained all around me.

To its treasure I've not found

The key."

What is love?

I cannot explain

It includes extremes of

Happiness and pain

I will never understand love's

Many hues

Yet I will always know that I

Love you...

Anna Smith - Lind High School, 1993.

 

LOVE

If a man loves a woman for her beauty, does he love her? No; for the small-pox, which destroys her beauty without killing her, causes his love to cease. And if any one loves me for my judgment or my memory, does he really love me? No; for I can lose these qualities without ceasing to be. ── Pascal.

 

LOVE

There is not much difference lexically between agapaO and phileO. Both involve a voluntary (I've decided to love you) and involuntary (I can't help but love you) response. One point: there is no command to love in scripture that ever uses phileO.── Source Unknown.

 

LOVE

In essentials, unity.

In non-essentials, liberty.

In all things, charity.

── Augustine.

 

LOVE

What is love?

It is silence--when your words would hurt.

It is patience--when your neighbor's curt.

It is deafness--when a scandal flows.

It is thoughtfulness--for other's woes.

It is promptness--when stern duty calls.

It is courage--when misfortune falls.

── Source Unknown.

 

LOVE

It is natural to love them that love us, but it is supernatural to love them that hate us.── Source Unknown.

 

LOVE

He prayeth best who loveth best

All things both great and small;

For the dear God who loveth us,

He made and loveth all.

── Samuel T. Coleridge.

 

LOVE

Love ever gives.

Forgives, outlives,

And ever stands

With open hands.

And while it lives,

It gives,

For this is love's perogative--

To give, and give, and give.

── Oxenham.

 

LOVE

On the whole, God's love for us is a much safer subject to think about than our love for Him. ── C.S. Lewis.

 

LOVE

Love-letter lament:

Dearest Jimmy,

No words could ever express the great unhappiness I've felt since breaking our engagement. Please say you'll take me back. No one could ever take your place in my heart, so please forgive me. I love you, I love you, I love you! Yours forever, Marie.

P.S., And congratulations on willing the state lottery.

── Source Unknown.

 

LOVE

Love at first sight is easy to understand. It's when two people have been looking at each other for years that it becomes a miracle.── Sam Levenson, You Don't Have to Be in Who's Who to Know What's What.

 

LOVE

Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing...Love...is a deep unity maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habits reinforced by the grace which both partners ask and receive from God...On this love the engine of marriage is run; being in love was the explosion that started it.── C.S. Lewis.

 

LOVE

There is nothing you can to do make God love you more! There is nothing you can do to make God love you less! His love is Unconditional, Impartial, Everlasting, Infinite, Perfect!── Richard C. Halverson.

 

LOVE

Many years ago a shabbily dressed boy trudged several miles through the snowy streets of Chicago, determined to attend a Bible class that was conducted by D.L. Moody. When he arrived, he was asked, "Why did you come to a Sunday school so far away? Why didn't you go to one of the churches near your home?" He answered simply, "Because you love a fellow over here." ── Source Unknown.

 

LOVE

Unconditional love does not equal uncritical love--Phil 1:9-11 "I love you. Period." Or it could be extended to say, "I love you in spite of ..." or, "I love you anyhow..." or "I love you for no good reason." Now how do you think your ego could handle that? Do you really want to be loved for no good reason? Isn't that what unconditional love is? More often than not, the statement, "I love you," is responded to with the question, "Why?" And when you ask for a "why" are you not asking for some condition? It sounds like, "Please love me unconditionally, but tell me why." That's the double bind. ── Dave Grant, Homemade, June 1982 .

 

LOVE

Despotism, and attempts at despotism, are a kind of disease of public spirit--they represent, as it were, the drunkenness of responsibility. It is when men begin to grow desperate in their love for the people, when they are overwhelmed with the difficulties and blunders of humanity, that they fall back upon the wild desire to manage everything themselves. This belief that all would go right if we could only get the strings into our own hands is a fallacy, almost without exception. But nobody can say it is not public-spirited. The sin and sorrow of despotism is not that it does not love men, but that it loves them too much, and trusts them too little.── G.K. Chesterton.

 

LOVE, sacrificial

William Gladstone, in announcing the death of Princess Alice to the House of Commons, told a touching story. The little daughter of the Princess was seriously ill with diphtheria. The doctors told the princess not to kiss her little daughter and endanger her life by breathing the child's breath. Once when the child was struggling to breathe, the mother, forgetting herself entirely, took the little one into her arms to keep her from choking to death. Rasping and struggling for her life, the child said, "Momma, kiss me!" Without thinking of herself the mother tenderly kissed her daughter. She got diphtheria and some days thereafter she went to be forever with the Lord. Real love forgets self. Real love knows no danger. Real love doesn't count the cost. The Bible says, "Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it."

Source Unknown.

 

LOVE.

“God is Love” (1.John 4:8,16)

We have the—

Ⅰ. God of love (2.Cor.13:11). Source of love.

Ⅱ. Love of God (Rom.5:5). Love overflowing to us.

Ⅲ. Love of the Father (1.John 3:1). Manner of His love.

Ⅳ. Love of Christ (Rom.8:35). Manifestation of His love.

Ⅴ. Spirit of love (2.Tim.1:7). Power of His love.

Ⅵ. Comfort of love (Phil.2:1). Consolation of His love.

Ⅶ. Labour of love (Heb.6:10). His love constraining.

── F.E. MarshFive Hundred Bible Readings

 

LOVE.

Ⅰ. Love is the evidence of faith in Christ. “ We love Him, because He first loved us” (1.John 4:19).

Ⅱ. Love is the proof of life in Christ. “ We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren” (1. John 3:14).

Ⅲ. Love is the stamp of genuineness. “ Though I have all faith……and have not charity(love) I am nothing” (1.Cor.13:2).

Ⅳ. Love is the motive power in service. “ The love of Christ constraineth us” (2.Cor.5:14).

Ⅴ. Love is careful to obey. “ If ye love Me, ye will keep My commandments” ( John 14:15,R.V.).

Ⅵ. Love is the fruit of the Spirit. “ The fruit of the Spirit is love” (Galatians 5:22).

Ⅶ. Love is the queen of graces. “ Now abideth faith……greatest of these is charity(1.Cor.13:13).

── F.E. MarshFive Hundred Bible Readings

 

LOVE.

Love is a debt we own to all, and a payment ever to be rendered. Love is a duty. The highest form of duty (Rom.13:8,9,10). He that loves not, believes not; and he that believes not, loves not.

Ⅰ. Love is the Divine mark that we are born again (1.John 4:16,17).

Ⅱ. Love is the unanswerable testimony of allegiance to Christ (John 14:15)

Ⅲ. Love is the legible seal that we know the love of God (1.John 4:17).

Ⅳ. Love is the unmistakable evidence that we are taught of God (1. John 4:9).

Ⅴ. Love is the beautiful livery of heaven (Col.3:14).

Ⅵ. Love is the royal badge of discipleship (John 13:35).

Ⅶ. Love is the plain assurance of having passed from death unto life (1.John 3:14).

── F.E. MarshFive Hundred Bible Readings

 

LOVE’S CHARACTER.

The character of His love—

Ⅰ. Great (Eph.2:4).

Ⅱ. Inexpressible (John 3:16).

Ⅲ. Free (Hosea 14:4).

Ⅳ. Inconceivable (Eph.3:19).

Ⅴ. Unselfish (1. John 4:10).

Ⅵ. Unchanging (John 13:1).

Ⅶ. Inseparable (Rom. 8:35-39).

Ⅷ. Everlasting (Jer.31:3).

Ⅸ. Unquenchable (Song of Solomon 8:7).

Ⅹ. Strong (stronger) as death (Song of Solomon 8:6).

Ⅺ. Perfect (1. John 4:18).

── F.E. MarshFive Hundred Bible Readings

 
The Fruit Of The Spirit - Love
 
INTRODUCTION
 
1. Having considered the manifold works of the flesh, we now focus our
   attention to "the fruit of the Spirit"
 
2. Have you noticed that the word "fruit" is singular, while "works" is
   plural?
   a. This suggests that the individual works of the flesh are varied
      and not necessarily related
   b. But the fruit of the Spirit, though possessing various 
      characteristics, is in reality ONE, made possible by the 
      combination of all nine characteristics in these verses
   c. A person may be guilty of the works of the flesh when only 
      committing one of the works
   d. But a person cannot be said to be producing the fruit of the 
      Spirit unless all nine qualities are demonstrated together in his
      or her life
      1) Similar to the graces as listed in 2 Pe 1:5-8
      2) Where the expression "add to your..." implies the graces are 
         intricately connected to each other and are all necessary to 
         growing in the knowledge of Jesus Christ
 
3. So while a person may possess one or more of these graces listed in 
   Ga 5:22-23, that alone does not constitute the fruit of the Spirit;
   one who is led by the Spirit will produce them all!
 
4. As we begin our examination of the fruit of the Spirit, it is only 
   natural that the virtue of "love" should head the list...
   a. For God is love - 1 Jn 4:8
   b. Love is the greatest virtue of all - 1 Co 13:13
 
[But what is love?  What place does it have in the life of the 
Christian?  How can we best demonstrate our love toward God and man?
 
These are some of the questions we shall seek to answer in this lesson
as we begin with...]
 
I. THE DEFINITION OF "LOVE"
 
   A. THE GREEKS HAD FOUR WORDS WHICH WE TRANSLATE "LOVE"...
      1. EROS - carnal, sexual love
      2. PHILIA - the love of close friendship
      3. STORGE - the love of family relationships
      4. AGAPE - that love which seeks only the highest good of others
         a. It is this love that is Paul mentions in our text, and 
            defines in 1 Co 13:4-8a
         b. Jesus uses the same word in Mt 5:43-48
 
   B. TAKING A CLOSER LOOK AT "AGAPE"...
      1. "Agape has to do with the mind:  it is not simply an emotion 
         which rise unbidden in our hearts; it is a principle by which
         we deliberately live.  Agape has supremely to do with the 
         will." (Barclay)
      2. It is not an uncontrolled reaction of the heart, but a 
         concentrated exercise of the will
      3. It is a caring love one which becomes involved with the need 
         of others
      4. It is does not depend upon the one being loved having to earn
         such love
      5. It is not an exclusive love...
         a. Expressed only to select few
         b. But an all-embracing benevolence, shown toward all
 
   C. THE PERFECT ILLUSTRATION OF "AGAPE"...
      1. It begins with the God of love - cf. 2 Co 13:11
         a. His love is a completely undeserved love - Ro 5:8
         b. His love is an inseparable love - Ro 8:35-39
         c. Indeed, His love is a great love willing to save sinners! 
            - Ep 2:4-7
      2. It finds its complete fulfillment in Christ
         a. God's love reaches its peak in His Son Jesus Christ - cf. 
            Ro 8:39
         b. Jesus has fully demonstrated such love - Jn 15:13
         c. Therefore we come to know what love really is when we look
            at Jesus Christ - cf. 1 Jn 3:16
 
II. LOVE IN THE LIFE OF THE CHRISTIAN
 
   A. THE PLACE OF LOVE...
      1. It is to be the "atmosphere" in which the Christian walks 
         - Ep 5:1-2
      2. It is to be the "tie that binds" the "garment" the Christian 
         is to put on - Co 3:12-14
      3. It is to be the "universal motive" for all that we do - 1 Co
         16:14
      4. It is to prevent our Christian liberty from turning into
         destructive selfishness - Ga 5:13
      5. It is to characterize our preaching and teaching of the truth 
         - Ep 4:15
   
   B. THE DEMONSTRATION OF LOVE...
      1. Demonstrating our love toward God
         a. Improper demonstrations:
            1) Some think we prove our love by shouting from the roof 
               top
            2) Others, by putting it on a bumper sticker and honking if
               they love Jesus
            3) And others, think that whatever they do "in the name of
               the Lord" will be pleasing to Him
            -- Yet consider Jesus' words in Mt 7:21-23
         b. Proper demonstration of love toward God:
            1) Keeping His commandments - Jn 14:15,21,23-24; 15:10,14
            2) Loving our brethren - 1 Jn 4:20-21
            -- Do we really love God?  What is our attitude toward
               keeping His commandments and loving the brethren?
      2. Demonstrating our love toward man
         a. Showing love toward those who are brethren in Christ
            1) Love for one another is fundamental to the doctrine of 
               Christ - 1 Jn 3:11; Jn 13:34-35
            2) We best demonstrate our love toward our brethren by...
               a) Helping them when they are in physical need - 1 Jn 3:
                  16-18
               b) Helping them when they are in spiritual need - 1 Pe
                  4:8; Ja 5:19-20
               c) Loving God and keeping His commandments - 1 Jn 5:2
         b. Showing love toward those who are not Christians
            1) Love for others must go beyond loving those who love us
               - cf. Lk 6:27-36
            2) We demonstrate that we are truly the children of God 
               (and led by the Spirit) when out of love we:
               a) Do good to them that hate us
               b) Bless those that curse us
               c) Pray for those that spitefully misuse us
               d) Don't resist them when they do evil to us
               e) Do unto them as we would have them do unto us
               f) Treat them as our Father in heaven treated us!
 
CONCLUSION
 
1. It should not surprise us to learn that one who produces the fruit 
   of the Spirit demonstrates the virtue of love in his or her life
   a. The Father demonstrated love in offering His Son as a sacrifice
      for sin
   b. The Son personified love in the way He lived and died for us
   c. The Spirit of God revealed what love is through the Word
   -- Shall not the one born of God and walking by the Spirit manifest
      love in both his attitude and actions?
 
2. Even if we already excel in the matter of love...
   a. There is always room for growth - cf. 1 Th 4:9-10
   b. There is always the need for prayers such as this one:
 
      "And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one
      another and to all, just as we do to you" (1 Th 3:12)
 
We have spoken of God's wonderful love for us;  have you yet responded
to that love? - cf. Ro 2:4-5

 

--《Executable Outlines