Bible teaches generous lessons about love
The Rev. Tom Brady, senior pastor, First United Methodist Church, 946 Vt. and 867 Highway 40:
I have two favorites. The first is I John 4:7-21. “Let us love one another, because love is from God ... for God is love. Those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.” There is much more in these verses, and I encourage you to read the whole fourth chapter. It simply states where love comes from (God) and how we are called to share God’s love with others. We are to love as God loves, without limits or conditions.
My other favorite is I Corinthians 13. “Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” Again, please read the whole chapter.
I like this passage because it emphasizes the action that is required in love. Love is a verb. Love is as love does. We often speak about love as a feeling, and we use the word “love” to express our feelings to others — but love is best expressed when we put our love into action.
We are to show our love to others through patience, kindness, honesty, generosity and service. The old saying “actions speak louder than words” is definitely true when it comes to love.
— Send e-mail to Tom Brady at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Love more about actions than words
The Rev. Rob Martin, pastor, Lawrence Vineyard Church:
Most would agree that love goes beyond the physical. When we think of great examples of love, we think of someone giving their time, giving gifts, performing services, expressing affection or proclaiming devotion.
My favorite Scripture about love is from Isaiah, chapter 43. Isaiah was a prophet sent by God to tell his followers, among many things, that he loves them.
The Message translation reads:
“Don't be afraid, I've redeemed you. I've called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you're between a rock and a hard place, it won't be a dead end — Because I am God, your personal God, the Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you: all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in! That's how much you mean to me! That's how much I love you! I’d sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you.”
He would trade in all of creation just for you. That is crazy love. But it doesn’t end there. Isaiah continues to tell about God’s love through His promise of the coming one that would redeem us. In chapter Isaiah 61, he tells us this coming Messiah would heal broken hearts, set captives free, release prisoners from darkness and proclaim favor to us.
We hear how Jesus died for our mistakes; the pain we have caused others and God. But it is more than that — he came to heal our pain, set us free from our past, release us from the things that keep us down and to tell us that he favors us. God will trade all of creation to be in relationship with us. That is is the ultimate example of passionate love and true devotion.
— Send e-mail to Rob Martin at email@example.com.