How do you desire to love?

March 2, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
(1 John 3:18 (NIV))

How many times a day do you say the words, “I love you.”?

Do you always mean it when you say them?

Do you have varying degrees of meaning behind what you say?

If you are like most people, these words could carry a meaning of anything from a strong like to a feeling of complete and total devotion. We say that we love ice cream. We say that we love puppies. We say that we love our families. We say that we love our spouse. We say that we love Jesus, and we say that we love God. When we say any of these, how do our actions reflect the statement? Do we say that we love puppies and then kick the next dog that we see? Do we say that we love our families and then spend all of our time at work? Do we say that we love Jesus and then use His name as a profanity? Do we say that we love God, yet choose to not spend time in His Word and in His presence?

It is said that talk is cheap and that actions speak louder than words. I truly like the following statement about how we are to convey the greatest love of all.

“Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”
(St. Francis of Asisi)

Gospel means good news. It is the good news of God’s great love for us.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:16 (NIV))

God loves us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross as an atoning sacrifice to save us from our sins. Even though Jesus was the Word made flesh, it took action on His part to redeem us and to claim us for the truth. God said that He loves us, but He showed us just how much He loves us through actions. Think about that concept as it applies to your own life. What garners more results? Telling someone that you love them, or going out of your way to show them that you love them? The Lord went way out of His way to show us!

We can follow His example and show love or we can simply utter a few words.

How do you desire to love?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How do you love?

December 1, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even `sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even `sinners’ do that.
(Luke 6:32-33 (NIV))

Exactly what is love?

Do you have a perception of love as a romantic feeling between a man and a woman? Perhaps you have a deeper understanding and realize that it is the feeling a parent has for a child. Perhaps you may even say that it is a feeling of concern for someone else’s well being.

The key word to each of these ideas about what love is can be broken down to one simple word – “feeling.”

It is easy to feel something for those who feel something for you. In essence, you love because you are loved. This is a form of love, but what happens when someone hates you? It requires more than a feeling, for when someone hates you, it is human nature to return like feelings. It requires a commitment. It is at this point that love becomes a decision. It becomes a willful act even when you know that your willful act may not be returned. In essence, you choose to love even when you may not be loved in return. It is at this point that you start to understand how God sees love.

Love is not a feeling. It is a commitment even when there are no feelings.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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.
(1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV))

What is love?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Godly love is tough love calling for repentance!

February 12, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.
(1 John 3:11 (NIV))

I honestly believe that our society has twisted what it means to love each other.

Think about that for a moment. We used to correct and discipline each other because we loved each other. We, as a society, did not want to see each other fall into sins that became habits that became lifestyles. We loved each other enough to try and offer guidance and correction so that no one would stumble and fall. We literally took each other on as a responsibility because we understood the concept that it is easier to guide than it is to recover from a fall. We also understood the consequences of sin, both short term and eternal.

Sadly, in today’s society, we are considered hateful if we try to offer guidance. We are only looked upon as loving if we completely accept everything about each other.

If that is how love works, then we need to be honest with ourselves and admit that we hate ourselves. After all, everybody has something in their lives that they hate. By that logic, if we can’t accept everything about ourselves, then we must hate ourselves.

Human nature proves that statement to be incorrect, after all, self-preservation is a very strong human characteristic.

Godly love is not acceptance, but a desire to see what is best for each other.

Is addiction good for anybody?

Is hatred good for anybody?

Is rebellion against God good for anybody?

Is sin ever in anybody’s interests?

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
(Romans 3:23 (NIV))

Is eternal separation from God good for anybody?

It is for this reason that we must tell people about Jesus, and not the watered down Jesus that accepts our sins without asking us to repent. Jesus showed tough love.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
(Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV))

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Our society has perverted God’s concept of love!

September 30, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this” ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.
(Mark 12:29-31 (NLT))

I believe that our society has perverted this concept!

We are to love our neighbor as ourselves. Do you love yourself in the manner that lets you justify all types of sin within your life?

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 6:23 (NIV))

Do you love yourself differently than you love your neighbor? Would you allow yourself to be put into situations that would result in your death? Most of us would not. We have a self-preservation instinct that kicks into gear. Most of us would run to rescue our neighbor from a calamity, but we fail to run to their rescue when it is sin that is sentencing them to death.

Why?

Unfortunately, it is very simple.

Society has perverted the meaning of the word love to imply that love means acceptance of the person. Since it implies acceptance, then it is society’s conclusion that love means that you accept the sins of the person.

People claim that Jesus is love and that God is love, and they are correct. Unfortunately, they are applying society’s current definition of love to the one who is love. God’s love is forgiving. God’s love is unconditional. God’s love means dying for those He loves. God’s love is not accepting of our favorite sins. We cannot keep them simply because they are part of us and if God loves us, then He will accept us as we are.

What a crock!

If God could accept us in our sin, why were Adam and Eve kicked out of the Garden of Eden? If God could accept us in our sin, why did He mix up our languages and scatter us at the Tower of Babel? If God could accept us in our sin, then why did He have to send Jesus to walk among us?

God cannot associate with sin.

God is perfection. Sin is corruption. God is love. Sin is death. The two cannot meet.

Society has embraced the lie of the enemy. Love is not acceptance. Love is caring for the well being of another to the point of sacrifice. A sacrifice designed to reveal true love to those in need of love and redemption.

God’s love is not accepting of sin. It is accepting of the sinner if we will only turn away from our sin. God’s love looks at eternity. Sin looks at the moment. Please don’t allow the moment to be a false love that leads to an eternity away from God.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Love is a choice!

March 27, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

“Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
(Psalms 91:14 (NIV))

Does God protect you? Think about your answer. The psalmist tells us that God will rescue and protect those who love Him.

What is love?

Do you think of the emotional feeling that you get when you are around that special someone when you are dating? Is it the way your heart skips a beat when you hear the voice of your sweetheart? Is it the commitment that you have made to love and to cherish … until death do you part? Perhaps it is the attachment that you feel when you become a parent.

Godly love is a choice, for all of the other types of love will come and go. Some days you may feel in love and other days you will not. Some days you will love your children and then some days you will wonder what planet that they are from.

God longs for us to love Him because we are committed to His awesome authority and majesty even on the days that we don’t feel that We are His children. When we can honestly call upon the name of the Lord even on days that we don’t feel like we want to, then we can truly say that we love God. We are willing to acknowledge His glorious name even though we may not have the feelings that we rely on to tell us when we are in love.

Love is a choice.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:16 (NIV))

If Jesus had done what He felt instead of what He knew was right in the eyes of God, I would venture to say that He would have said, “I don’t feel like being crucified today.” Thankfully, He loved us with a godly love and not a worldly love.

Love is a choice. Who do you love?

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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