November 25, 2019
FROM YOUR PASTOR’S DESK:
LOVE BEGETS LOVE.
Whether accepted by those to whom it is shown or even when ignored or spurned, true love does not expect, much less demand love, attention or respect in return but loves unconditionally. It is not a feeling but a living principle. Such love is only of and from God.
It is impossible for sinful man to love unconditionally for he is yet selfish, self-centered, indulging in self-pity. This love is partial, mercenary, judgmental fitful, largely physical, passionate and sensual, thus fleeting and transitory. It is blind. It is conditional. But by the biblical number of 70 years, I now humbly realize how truly blessed I am to be the unworthy object of the love of the God of love.
Because if that unconditionality and patient importunity, my heart of stone is continuing to be transformed into a softer “heart of flesh.” I have fallen in love with the Lover of my soul through His Word. And by the Word and “the truth as it is in Jesus,” I have fallen in love with my three families: first, my immediate family, then you my “little flock” family, and the remnant “household of God.”
In gratitude to all of you for expressing your love for me and my wife last Sabbath as you genuinely surprised me with totally unexpected amazing birthday greeting/celebration, I share, as I always strive to do by grace, the following verses to encourage us to love God and one another even more: “Beloved, let us live one another, for God is love; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God sent His only-begotten Son of God unto the world that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we lived God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we OUGHT to love one another….And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is LOVE, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God IN Him….We love Him because He FIRST loved us.” 1 John 4: 7, 11, 16. (read rest of the chapter). NMF