Who is Worthy of our love? Is this really a question worth asking?
This past Sunday it was my turn to take the children back to children’s church. I had no idea what I wanted to share/teach them. I pondered my options and thought about what sort of lesson could keep their attention long enough for me to teach them something. That’s when I thought about the fruits of the spirit! This could work and I could easily do one the different fruits of the spirit for different Sundays.
“But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the spirit.”
Galatians 5: 22-25 (NIV)
What better fruit of the spirit to begin with than love?
Valentine’s Day was just around the corner.
When the first half of church was done I escorted my children’s church kiddies back to the classroom. On the way there I heard, “Can we play on the playground?” ( nope, we have something to do), “Can we have free time?”(Nope, I have something planned) and “I’m hungry. I’m thirsty”(I don’t have any food but, there is water). Once all questions were answered they sulked at the table while I went and got the paper out and gave them each a piece and something to write with.
I told them to write down the names of people that they hate.
Gasp Hate? Really? Yes, I told them to write down people they hated!
I got a couple of funny looks from some of them but, most of them dove right into the assignment no questions asked. The ones that gave me a funny look questioned the use of the word hate. I told them they could write down the names of people they disliked. From here I got these questions: “Can we use initials?” (yes, this is your list no one is going to see it). “Can I just write the mean stuff they have done to me?” (Same answer as above).
I gave them ten minutes to complete their list and it still wasn’t enough time for them. My children’s church kiddies really got into their lists. Once they finished they all looked at me; waiting for the next bit of instructions.
What I asked them to do next was to take their list and tear it up in to little bitty pieces and throw it into the trash. Wasting paper to get my point across. Yes, I was okay with this. These list did not matter because God tells us to love him firstly but, to also love each other, our neighbors and our enemies as much as we love ourselves.
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Matthew 22: 36-40 (NIV)
“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 2bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
Luke 6:27-31 (NIV)
When Valentine’s Day rolls around every year we focus on what we should get for our loved ones. How we can top the pervious years. However, maybe we should focus on how God says we are to love each other. Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be just another holiday.
What is love according to God?
“If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”
1 Corinthians 13: 3-8 (NIV)
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
1 Corinthians 13:13
Hope y’all have a great Valentine’s Day!