This is the Advent Wreath at our church.
JOSHUA 22:5 -- But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses, the servant of the Lord gave you: to love the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to obey his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and all your soul.
2 Thessalonians 3:5 -- May the lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance.
1 John 3:1 -- How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
ADVENT CANDLES - LOVE
Around the base of our Advent candle ring are the words Hope, Peace, Love and Joy. Four simple words. Four extreme goals.
I have written about peace and hope and how, from the beginning, they were a part of God's plan. This week the simple word is love.
In my Bible concordance, I counted 519 entries for the word love. And those entries did not include the other forms of the word. Bible Gateway had 697 verses that contained the word love. I think God is very serious here. He definitely wants LOVE to be a part of his plan.
As I looked at these entries, I find that we are supposed to love God and Jesus. We are to love the saints and the church. We are to love the word of God. We are to love our parents, our spouse, our children and our brothers and sisters. It would be easier if the list would stop there. Then the Bible includes neighbors. And our enemies.
This loving thing is complicated. Some family members are hard to love, but they are family. Neighbors? They can be like family. Some are easy to love and others - - - not so easy. Enemies? That is the hard. How do we love our enemies? Or the neighbor that allows their children to play loud music until all hours of the night? Or the family member that tries our patience?
Joshua told us how. "to love the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to obey his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and all your soul."
God's love plan - We are to love God with all our heart and soul. And when we do that, we will also love His children. All of them.
QUESTIONS OF THE DAY
Do you have trouble loving some people? (Remember it says love. It does not say you have to like them.) Do you feel loved? If you are feeling a bit blue or like no one cares, please remember that God loves you!
LET US PRAY
My dear loving God, Direct my heart into your love and into Christ's perseverance. With this love and perseverance, my goal will be to love you, to walk in your ways, to obey your commands, to hold fast to you and to serve you with all my heart and soul. I am so blessed and humbled, but I do accept the love you have lavished upon me. I am so honored to be a Child of God. As you love me, let me love others. Amen