I am always amazed that the cup supernaturally refills! Sometimes...I forget that love comes from God and you can't out-give the ultimate source.
When we act - with the expectation of a return - that is a job. It can be volunteer work, a paying job or even a relationship. Have you ever heard someone say "that relationship is work"? Now, some relationships are chosen, like a mission, hoping to build, encourage or mentor another person. Such relationships can be precious and priceless. Ask anyone who works with children, the sick or the aging.
Some relationships may be God assigned...and we go...not always without a fight..but He is persistent. He can be down right bossy!:) I am SO GRATEFUL for those who let the Spirit guide them and have loved me when it is hard work and inconvenient. <3 span="">3>
LOVE in it's purest form - isn't seeking the return. The payoff... if we want to call it that... is seeing the recipient impacted by simply being loved. Love changes everything. As Faith Hill sings...a baby changes everything. That song fills my heart with so much emotion - as a mom....and as a believer.
LOVE - the gift that goes on...lives on...and plants hope in barren hearts.
LOVE - came as a baby and persisted through much adversity...He was bullied, picked on, laughed at, thought strange and and rejected. Not even some of his own family members accepted him until after his death and resurrection.
LOVE never picked a fight - and the few times Jesus chose to outwit his opponents or silence them with his brilliance... and the people were amazed. One of my favorite responses he gave when he rescued a woman caught in adultery. She was dragged to the court yard to be convicted and stoned. (Note - only the woman was the one being stoned...it does take two, doesn't is?). Jesus spoke confidently - "He is who without sin, cast the first stone." No one picked up a stone.
None of us is without sin or fault. He calls us to love. To teach. To endure all things. He does not call us to judge. If we love and teach... the Holy Spirit is perfectly capable of being a "spirit of correction". That was not a fruit of the spirit assigned to us. Conviction is his to dole out. Love softens and opens the heart. What hearts have I hardened... instead of softened... because I did not choose love above all else?
This world is confused about love. It has, unfortunately confused love and sex. Physical intimacy in a marriage is an amazing and precious part of that relationship, but it is not the key to happiness. It is an expression of love, but it is not love. Love serves. Love takes a breath and asks, "Do I need to be right more than I need to love this one I have chosen to be mine?" Love says, "I am with you."
Love is present. That is why that night in Bethlehem is called a holy night. God arrived in human form to be with us. A baby changed everything.
LOVE saves. LOVE restores. LOVE lives and shines in a world that seems so full of darkness and hatred this year. LOVE came for us...chose us...and died for us. Will we choose Him back?
Today - I am grateful for the gift of LOVE . It is not always easy, but it is always good.Love always wins.