Love One Another As I Have Loved You

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Love, love, love, love, the Gospel in a word is love. Love thy neighbor as thy brother. Love. Love. Love. Those are the words to a chorus we sang when I was at Indian Lake Christian Service Camp during senior high school. Perhaps you sang it, too? Whether those words come to mind from a song, or from the written Word of God, they are words we need to hold onto, live out, and never abandon, don’t you agree?

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:34-35 (NKJV)

“You should love the Eternal, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.”  The second great commandment is this: “Love others in the same way you love yourself.” There are no commandments more important than these. Mark 12:30-31 (VOICE)

Love does no wrong to anyone. That’s why it fully satisfies all of God’s requirements. It is the only law you need. Romans 13:10 (TLB)

Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. Hebrews 13:1 (NLT)

So. How are we doing in loving others as Christ loves us?

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I may be able to speak the languages of human beings and even of angels, but if I have no love, my speech is no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell. I may have the gift of inspired preaching; I may have all knowledge and understand all secrets; I may have all the faith needed to move mountains—but if I have no love, I am nothing. I may give away everything I have, and even give up my body to be burned—but if I have no love, this does me no good.

Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.

 Love is eternal. There are inspired messages, but they are temporary; there are gifts of speaking in strange tongues, but they will cease; there is knowledge, but it will pass. For our gifts of knowledge and of inspired messages are only partial; but when what is perfect comes, then what is partial will disappear.

When I was a child, my speech, feelings, and thinking were all those of a child; now that I am an adult, I have no more use for childish ways. What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror; then we shall see face-to-face. What I know now is only partial; then it will be complete—as complete as God’s knowledge of me.

Meanwhile these three remain: faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (GNT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Faith and Hope in Jesus

Years ago when I first heard Andrew Peterson’s song, “No More Faith”, it puzzled me.

Aren’t we supposed to walk by faith, not by sight? Isn’t faith the assurance we have that something we want is going to happen? The certainty what we hope for is waiting for us? Didn’t Jesus comment numerous times about people’s great faith, or lack of?

So what’s the deal with a song called no more faith? Faith is what sustains us and gets us through the difficulties of this world, is it not?

And what about hope? When our hearts are plunged into the depths of despair, don’t we cling to hope like a life preserver?

Job declared that even if God slay him, still he would have hope. David declared we are to put our hope in God, and said our hope comes from God.

Well. It’s taken me awhile, but I think I understand what Andrew meant. Maybe. A little.

There is going to come a time, Revelation tells us, when we will see Jesus face to face. At that time, we won’t need anymore faith. Anymore hope. Why? Because in heaven what we were confident would happen; what we hoped, for has come to pass. Those who accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior will stand in his presence, bathed in his glorious love.

And the greatest of these is love. A never ending, everlasting, all encompassing love that can only come from the Father and his Son.

All despair will be removed. There will be no need to have faith or hope that things will get better, because in heaven everything will be perfect.

When we reach heaven, Christ’s love will prove he has wiped away every tear, every heartache, and every disease.

Glory hallelujah!

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What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead. Hebrews 11:1 (TLB)

 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. Romans 8:24-25 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Harnessed By God’s Love

courtesy bing imagesby Sandy Kirby Quandt

In a recent Max Lucado UpWords Daily Devotional he described God’s love as a harness binding us to him. Max explained that the Hebrew word hasaq meant tethered, attached to something or someone. Harnessed.

This harnessed love served two purposes … yanking and claiming.

When I was a toddler I wanted to explore. That meant I wandered. That meant I was hard to keep track of. That also meant my wandering could put me in danger.

Of course, I had no idea what that meant, nor did I care, the day I walked out of the downtown Sears store on my own and decided to take a look around.

courtesy pixabayTo remedy the problem of my incessant wandering my mother purchased a pink harness to keep me bound to her when we went out.

To this day I have vivid recollections of retrieving the hateful thing, handing it to her, and standing still while she strapped it around my chest.

I didn’t understand the purpose of that harness was to keep me safe. I didn’t understand it showed my mother loved me enough to keep me close, despite my efforts to run away. I didn’t understand it bound me to her to show I was her child and belonged to her.

All I saw was a loss of freedom.

If we think of God’s love as a hateful thing that takes away our freedom, keeps us restricted and unable to enjoy life, like I did with my pink harness, we’re missing the true reason for his harness.

God’s tether of love shows the world we belong to him and are his children.

It says his love is beyond measure and he wants to keep us safe.

Being harnessed by the ropes of God’s love means he chose us and we are precious to courtesy pixabayhim.

Chafing against the tether of God’s love?

Perhaps we need to see it from his point of view and realize he tethers us because he loves us and claims us as his own.

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Look around you: Everything you see is God’s—the heavens above and beyond, the Earth, and everything on it. But it was your ancestors who God fell in love with; he picked their children—that’s you!—out of all the other peoples. Deuteronomy 10:14-15 (MSG)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Speak the Truth

Bing PhotosThe truth hurts sometimes, doesn’t it? We like to think we have it all together. There’s no area in our lives that needs correction. It’s the others in our lives who need help. Boy, howdy, do they ever. And we are more than eager to point out their flaws. Tell it like it is. Get right to the point. Shoot straight. Let the chips fall where they may.

Maybe others do need correction, just as we might, but it’s all in the way we handle it, that makes the difference.

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Bing PhotosWhile I was in the hospital recently, following surgery to place three screws into my left femur due to a hip fracture, I had two nurses who administered my much-needed medication into my IV line differently. Each had their own way. One inserted the needle into the line, took her time, and gently pushed the plunger until all the medicine flowed through my veins. Nice.

The other nurse inserted the needle into the line, then jammed the syringe plunger like she was setting a new speed record. EEOOWW! Man, that hurt. Burned like fire, and left my head spinning.

Both nurses accomplished the task they were assigned…they administered the medication I needed into my body. And I appreciate them both, equally. But, one did it gently. The other, not so much.

Paul wrote to the Ephesians, and to us, that we are to speak the truth in love. Paul pointed out the sins of the people so they would put off their unrighteous ways, and follow Jesus more closely. His intent was to instruct. To support. To help.

What is our motive when we feel the need to correct others? Is it out of love for that Bing Photosperson? To draw them closer to the LORD? Or to prove ourselves right, and prove them wrong?

When we need to confront others we have a choice. We can speak the truth gently, in love. Or we can deliver the same truth, by jamming down the plunger. It’s our choice.

I pray we all choose wisely. In love.

What are your thoughts on the subject?

Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. Ephesians 4:15 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Love You Forever

Bing PhotosFor better. For worse. In sickness. In health. Oh, yeah. I’m all for the better and health part, aren’t you? But, what happens when the worse and sickness hits? Well, you show up. That’s what happens.

You put the closest hospital into the GPS after the accidental fall…just in case.

You pull into the drugstore on the way, and buy over the counter meds and a cane…because the pain’s real, and I can’t walk on my own.

You stand at the fast-food, women’s bathroom door…and wait for a knock, to open it from the outside…because I can’t open it.

You drive to the Emergency Room, get a wheelchair, and push me into the hospital…not knowing what might come next.

Bing PhotosYou tell the ER doc, after he shows you the x-rays of my broken hip, he’ll have to get permission from me, not you, to operate…you know me too well.

You hold my hand as they wheel me to surgery…and kiss me one more time.

You accompany me to the rest area family handicap restroom on the drive home…hunt down someone who has a key…only the key doesn’t fit…so you help me hobble to the women’s restroom.

You put foam on the handles of my walker to stop the blisters from forming on my hands. You put the orthopedic stockings on my legs because I can’t reach my feet. You make sure the bath chair is warm before you help me into the shower. You diligently place the bandage over my incision, even though that’s not in your comfort zone. You help me get dressed. You fix all my meals, and make special treats. You fill my water bottles day and night, so I can take my pain pills. You help me get into and out of the bed, until I’m able to do it on my own. You take time off work to drive me to my doctor appointments, and much, much, more. Why?

Bing PhotosBecause twenty-two years ago, you made a vow to love, honor, and cherish. In sickness. And in health. And because you put your love into action.

Thank you.

Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that still stands when all else has fallen.                            1 Corinthians 13:7-8 (Phillips Translation)

My prayer for each of you reading this, is that you have people in your lives who show up, and that you do the same.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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