Monday, February 15, 2016




It’s that time of year again, when love is in the air and all seems right with the world (for about a week and a half).  Why is it that, for many people, waxing nostalgic is so much easier around Valentine’sDay?  We look around at those who are dear to us:  wives, daughters, sons, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, friends and a few neighbors and say, “I’m really glad you’re in my life.”  Then, upon that, rather sappy supposition, we go out and spend copious amounts of hard earned dollars on cards, flowers, candy and other baubles, to prove our undying devotion.  Now that I’ve debunked any notions that I’m a softhearted sentimentalist, I’ll move on to the theme of this month’s article.
            We live in a world that is chock full of all kinds of diversions promising, with the swipe of a credit or debit card, cruises to far-off, exotic destinations where one can bask on sun drenched beaches, swim with colorful fish and sea turtles and be lulled to sleep by waves lapping on the shore.  Or, perhaps you’d feel more at home at one of 500 different channels on your favorite satellite or cable network, which only requires the click of a remote to transport you almost anywhere, without leaving your favorite easy chair. It’s truly amazing what mankind has been able to accomplish in order to put the entire world at his fingertips.  What should we do, now that we have all these choices and diversions?  It boggles the mind, many times, to think of all that awaits us on almost any path we choose to take.  The choices are endless, but the dangers are just as varied and much more damaging.  A life of idleness and ease has its pitfalls. 
            Some of you are thinking, who said anything about “easy living”?  I’m working harder now than ever before and have less to show for it.  That’s a true statement for many people and it’s also true that there are more and more people collecting money for doing nothing.  What do we do with all of these seemingly unsolvable problems?  How do we cope with a nation and world that seem to be coming apart at the seams?  The answer is and always has been love!        
            The apostle, Paul, says in I Corinthians 13:13, “And now abide faith, hope, love these three; but the greatest of these is love.”  The Greek language divides our word love into three different categories: physical love—eros, brotherly love—philia and Godly love—agape.  Let’s examine each type of love and see which one suits our needs the best.  Eros—actually the name of the Greek god of love; known by the Romans as Cupid.  All of his arrows are pointed in the direction of physical attraction.  This type of love is not sustainable and cannot stand the test of time. 
 Philia—affectionate regard or friendship, usually “between equals.  According to Aristotle, this type of love expresses itself as a desire for the best among family, friends and others in general.  This type of love, although lofty in it’s aspiration, is dependent on the good will of one person toward another.  Unfortunately, people don’t always see “eye to eye” and brotherly love is swept aside in favor of pride and self preservation.  What a shame! Agape—the love of God for man and of man for God.  Among Christians agape is used to express the unconditional love of God for His children.  Thomas Aquinas explains it in this way: “to will the good of another.”  The love of God is, first and foremost, constant (never changing) and consistent (unwavering). It stands the test of time.  The Bible tells us, in no uncertain terms, of the deep and everlasting love of God.  I John 4:7-11 tells us: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; 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 has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.  In this is love, not that we loved Go, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (atoning sacrifice) for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 
There is no other love greater than God’s love for you and me.  Certainly we don’t deserve
His love, but He extends it to us nevertheless.  We’ll never be able to fully grasp God’s reasons for loving us, but it’s great to know that His love is real and it’s eternal. 
So, as you think those loving thoughts about your sweetheart this month, remember that the best love you’ll ever know is the love of the One who created you and gave up His life for yours.

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