H. L. Sheppard
The Year of Love
What is Love? Some scientists say it is a biological response to an external stimulus, while others say it is an emotional state of mind that is the result of some psychological stimulus.
Instead of defining Love a novelist decided he would define Hell. “Hell”, he wrote, “Is the Inability to Love.”
What is love? Poets have penned volumes of verse in a futile effort to define this simple word. Yet, at best, they only tell us how it makes us feel. Composers have written mountains of music that transport us with a rousing crescendo to the dizzying heights of intense, almost surreal, emotion, but even they only succeed in stirring our desire to express more of the feelings produced by love.
What is Love? In order to truly know what Love is we must examine the ultimate reference book to find the incontestable answer.
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. (1 John 4:8 KJV)
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. (1 John 4:16 KJV)
Depending on which group of theologians are compiling the list, God has somewhere between 20-30 attributes (Holiness, Omniscience, Omnipresence, Omnipotence, Infinity, Sovereignty, Providence…Love etc.). An “Attribute” is considered a “Characteristic” of God. A “Characteristic” is a “feature that helps identify” God.
But the Scripture seems to indicate that “Love” must be more than just an “Attribute” or, an identifying characteristic of God. It seems that “Love” must be the very “Essence” of God. So “Love” does not just identify WHO God is, but “Love” identifies WHAT God is.
Think about it: the God of Love created an earth, then a universe, then planted a garden. Then God created a Man whom He surrounded with all this created beauty and majesty and glory in order to exhibit His immense, immeasurable infinite Love for Man.
Consider this: When Adam sinned, God could have just killed him and Eve both…and started over. Instead, he separated man from some good things in an effort to teach him to understand, appreciate and not take for granted the love God had shown to him.
Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
When David sinned with Bathsheba, and had Uriah her innocent loyal solider husband killed, God could have sent an army to wipe out David and his entire family. Instead God allowed him to reap what he had sown, and because David repented God pointed to his kingship as the standard by which all others would be measured. The name “David” means “Beloved”. Even after David’s Sin, he was still a man after God’s Own heart.
1 Sam 13:14 But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee.
Acts 13:22 And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.
And after Jesus Christ Himself had told Peter “By tomorrow morning, three times you are going to deny that you even know me”, why would the Lord call Peter by name and ask His Disciples to bring him to see his risen Savior?
WHY? Because even though mankind probably didn’t deserve a second chance at life after being expelled from the Garden of Eden; because even though David’s Sin should have had him stoned to death for adultery and murder; because even though Peter’s blatant denial of the Lord at the most critical time in His life was so hurtful, God still reached out to man because…GOD IS STILL LOVE!
By the leading of the Holy Spirit I am declaring 2014 to be “The Year of Love”. I am asking every brother and sister to demonstrate the Love of God to others by making the following commitments:
MY COMMITMENTS TO GOD IN 2014 THE YEAR OF LOVE
1) To give LOVE without strings attached
2) To be tolerant without compromising Truth
3) To give something of value every week to someone unrelated (A kind note, word, lend a hand with a need, change a tire, small gift, money etc.).
4) To develop a "lifestyle" of showing love.
THE YEAR OF LOVE!