Saturday, November 23, 2013

Love One Another - Part II

1 Corinthians 13:3 says, "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." I few years ago I led a chapel service for a group of teens at a local mental health and addiction treatment center. From what I had heard from other pastors, the amount of despair was overwhelming. I desperately wanted to give these kids something that would encourage them... not the typical empty motivational pep-talk. The night before chapel, I literally had nothing prepared and was extremely anxious and frustrated. I picked up a devotional book that I had beside my desk and opened it to the according day. I didn't even get to the devotion but was captured by the opening verse: And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." In an almost audible voice from God, I hear Him say, "This is all they need to hear." That's all I needed to hear.

Without any written preparation, I faced this dejected group of young people with one of the most powerful truths that God has ever revealed to me. The exact words escape me, but I reminded them that if they could find a way to grasp hold of faith in a God that was real, cared about them and loved them, then that was enough to give them hope in a future that would be all that they wanted it to be. But above anything else, if they recognized that they were in this together, and learned to love one another, that would be enough to reveal God in their presence.  As I spoke, 1 John 4:8 came to mind and I explained that one of God's essential attributes is love. "If God is love, and He calls us to love one another, are we not revealing God to one another as we love one another? That is why the greatest of these is love, guys!  Love one another! Be God to one another!"  

This is just my perspective, but the purpose of this blog series was to see what others had to say. To connect with contributors, just click on each name.  

“It seems as if loving one another is an ingrained desire in us all. The problem in putting it into practice is that there is a competing selfishness in our nature that is very strong. The answer is closeness to Jesus. As we grow closer to him, it is more and more difficult to be selfish. It becomes easier to follow the instruction Jesus gave us "to love each other as he loved us". Love looks different in each situation. With each situation it may be different. He showed love to some with healing. He loved the 12 by walking patiently with them for 3 years. He loved the pharisees by rebuking them. Different each time. By asking the Holy Spirit, by asking Jesus.... By growing closer ......”
Owner of Maas Nursery, Seabrook, Texas, business man, investor, composer, writer, artist, lover of nature and people, and friend and follower of Christ.

“Oddly, I think it begins with loving ourselves. Tragically, most of us love others like we love ourselves. The more we embrace who we are as individuals in God, the more we're capable of showcasing love toward other people.” 

Blogger, speaker, and author of 'Churched', 'Hear No Evil', and the forthcoming 'Our Great Big American God.

“Loving one another means putting others first. Philippians 2:3-4. When you think of others, think of them as a 10 and yourself a 1. Loving others is Death-Defining! .” 

- Ron Hindt
Senior and Founding Pastor of Calvary Chapel Houston.

“To love another means to be present with them. To love another means to accept them as they are no matter what. To love another means more than words can express, but when your heart yearns for their well being and their presence, you will know you are loving well.”

- Pat Green
 Pat is a cab driving Franciscan in the Chicago area and an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church of America. He is also lecturer, storyteller and public speaker with a monthly column In The Lockport Legend. Pat also founded a youth outreach called YASO (Young Adults Speak Out), a safe place to give voice to young adults and teens. He is currently developing new a ministry vision for people to use their wounds as tools to helping others, based on theologies of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Henri Nouwen. "I'm happiest when with my daughter or driving my cab overnight. It's where love lives."

“To love one another means awareness of another's being and situation and making the space and compassion to accommodate such a person with dignity and care. The heart has the capacity to support and enrich in so many ways. Strengthening not only the recipient but the giver as well”

Owner and shaper at Rabeles Surf Boards. Spiritual healer from Galveston,Island Texas, currently living in Oceanside, California.

“For me loving one another is inspired by a recent reading of Miroslav Volf. Giving and forgiving love is the kind of love that most closely echoes God's love.” 

Disciple of Jesus, husband, father, lover of books, movies and football (the kind played with a round ball)

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