Love: A Daily Reminder by Heather H.

What is love?

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 “Love is patient, love is kind, love does not envy, love does not parade itself, it is not puffed up. Love does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil, does not rejoice in iniquity but rejoices in truth, bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”

I want to take this time to say Happy Valentine’s Day to everybody in my wonderful & beautiful family and amazing awesome friends. To all of y’all who have a “significant other” (boyfriend or husband) I am very happy for you & wish you a wonderful day filled with love, laughter, and time together.You don’t need a special holiday to show someone you love them, do it everyday!  Don’t ever take each other for granted.

To all my single friends & family (including me) don’t let all this love talk and valentine commercialism make you hate being single or negative…it’s not that bad. We have all heard it called “SAD” (aka Singles Awareness Day). God is preparing a perfect man or just for you, they won’t be perfect, neither are you, we all have flaws its what makes us unique. When you find the right person who accepts you for who you are it will be worth the wait. So why not spend time praying for your future spouse as well. Don’t focus so much on finding the right one, but becoming the one that He created you to be. Or maybe God has called you to lifelong singleness, not everyone gets married in their life! There are many single people who have lived a full life, but that doesn’t mean you don’t give and receive love.

Back to our Scripture passage:

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 “LOVE suffers long and is kind; LOVE does not envy; LOVE does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in truth; bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things. LOVE never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.”

Okay so here’s the thing, each time you see the word “LOVE” when reading this passage, replace it with GOD (example: God never fails) then the second time you read it, replace the word LOVE with JESUS (Jesus is long-suffering/patient…) then the third is the hardest to do because its a reality check..since we are supposed to follow Christ’s example, replace the word LOVE with YOUR name…Are you patient? Are you kind? Do you not get jealous, or become puffed up and self-seeking? Do you rejoice in the truth? Just a little awesome reminder of LOVE, becoming more like HIM.

So let’s take a closer look at some more verses that point to what true love really is:

John 3:16 “For God so LOVED the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but eternal life.” {He loved us so much that He sacrificed His beloved Son. True love is sacrifice. True love is eternal.}

1 John 3:16 “This is how we know what LOVE is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our life for our brothers and sisters.” {He loved us unto death and into eternity He still loves us! Love is something we must give away. Once again, love is sacrifice.}

Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” {Before we even knew Him, while we were out being natural born sinners ignoring His love and affection for us. Even before we existed He loved us.}

1 Corinthians 16:14 “Do everything in love.” {Well if that ain’t plain and simple itself. Everything you do: all of your thoughts, words, deeds, actions…do it in love.}

1 John 4:9 “We love because He first loved us.” {Love must be given away, not selfishly gripped in our own needs and wants. It must be freely given like His unconditional love for us.}

John 15:9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” {Jesus’ love note to you, abide in MY love He says}

1 Peter 4:8 “Above all, love each other deeply  because love covers a multitude of sins.” {Deep love is rooted in forgiveness. Love covers sin. It did at the cross and it does still today.}

Hebrews 13:1 “Let brotherly love continue.” {Simply put: Love others}

Don’t forget to spend time with the one who gave you life, the breath you’re breathing right now, the heart that’s beating in your chest, GOD. He loved us before we even existed. He created to love and be loved. The one who knows you better than anyone even better than you know yourself.

I’ll leave you with this: celebrate with random acts of kindness. Or better yet if you are still searching for love; look no further. Love doesn’t come in a heart shaped box, it’s at the cross. True unconditional love, came with blood, sweat and tears and the words written in red are proven love letters. Let your heart be captivated by the One who created it. Love is at its finest moment when its given away, one kind word or act of kindness can change someone’s day or even save a life. Give love away. One more thing…I LOVE YOU with the love of Christ 🙂

The Real Story of St. Valentine {Martyr} Check out the history of how we got Valentine’s Day. He was a Christian who stood up for his faith and defended marriage.

-Happy Valentine’s Day

your sister, Heather

 

 

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“Grudges vs. Grace: How One Holds You Back & The Other Sets You Free” By Heather H.

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Revenge is sweet they say. When someone does us dirty the first thing we want to do is pay them back, or give ‘em a dose of their own medicine! The “Golden Rule” is one that we all know “Treat others as you want to be treated.” That one rule we are taught as kids in school, along with the “If you can’t say anything nice, be quiet.” Too often as kids we’ll pitch a full blown hissy-fit if we don’t get our way, or even as adults we fly off the handle when we get offended. Well, we are human…meaning we are flawed, imperfect, and sinful. It’s the spirit vs. flesh daily battle. Grudges vs. Grace. One of these can slowly eat away your joy, tarnishing your soul, a bitter poison that only hurts you more than the one who hurt you. One of these sets you free, lifts that unmistakeable weight off your shoulders, your heart is free to feel joy, and to live and love without fear of hurt again. If we look at others the way God sees them and really the way He sees us as well, then we experience grace in a different. It really lays on a foundation of one core element, a life changing element; a gift-FORGIVENESS. There’s an old saying that goes like this “Not forgiving someone is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Forgiveness can be tough thing to do, just like ripping off a bandaid or getting a shot in the arm. Forgiveness can be an easy thing to do when you love someone. But either way, forgiveness is necessary. Scripture itself says “For if you forgive others their trepasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trepasses, neither will your Father forgive your trepasses.” (Matthew 6:14-15 ESV). If we look past the hurt and try to figure out why someone may have acted out or hurt us? We may begin to understand each other. If we look in the mirror and see our own flaws, we can also begin to understand each other also. Dishing out anger and vengence fixes nothing. Forgiving is one thing, but forgetting is alot harder. I always say “Forget the past but not what it has taught you.” The best to do is move on and let it go (not to sound all cheesy like Elsa but hey the icy Disney Princess has got a point!) When you hold onto to unforgiveness, you build a prison cell for yourself while the guilty walks free. The hardest apology to give is to the one who thinks they did nothing wrong. However you do it, whether face to face reconciliation, a phone call, a letter, a peace offering or extending a little bit of extra kindness their way, or maybe even just simply forgiving them in your heart and moving on…forgiveness is vital. It can save your life, and theirs. Grace upon grace is what He has lavished upon us, how can we call ourselves followers of Him if we don’t extend that same grace to others on a daily basis? The bottom line, we all need grace sufficient enough for each day. The past is covered in grace. Your present is sitting in grace. Your future extends grace. So go and give a lil bit today.

In His grace,
your sister Heather

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