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        Love Perfected
By: Shirley

     Tossed carelessly about in  today's world with shallow
      sentimentality, the word   'love' has become just that...
a 'word.' We have lost  sight of the fact that the  concept
        originated with God and is a  special gift from Him. God is the
personification of love...1 John 4:9-10 " In this was
manifested the love of God  toward us, because that God sent
His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live
through Him. Herein is love,  not that we loved God, but that
He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for
our sins."  I marvel at this love that
     enabled God to give His beloved Son to die a cruel death for
  a lost, sin-sick world. With the Psalmist, David, I can exclaim:
 " Such knowledge is too  wonderful for me; it is too high,
I cannot attain unto it!"
Love was perfectly manifested in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:2-3..." Be ye,  therefore, followers of
God, as Christ hath loved us,  and hath given Himself for
us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a
 sweet-smelling savor."
No one has ever 'given up'  as much as Jesus. He left His
home with all it's joys  to come to earth to experience
it's sorrows. He came to  identify with man, in the flesh,
laying aside His deity, to accomplish His goal and to
fulfill the will of the Father.  John 1:14..." and the
Word was made flesh and  dwelt among us."
The word 'dwelt' in this verse means; " to pitch a tent."
He did not come to spend the night  or to visit for a while;
He came to live as one with the people. He lived as they
    lived, worked as they worked.
  Our Lord suffered rejection;  His chosen ones deserted
        Him. He was tempted by Satan,  not yielding but saying...
"it is written." He was  beaten until He was
 unrecognizable, mocked and scorned. He was forced
to carry His own instrument of death, a cross He bore
on His back. His hands and feet were then nailed to
  that cross. Yet, even in the midst of all that pain and
      suffering, His thoughts were for others. He prayed;
" Father, forgive them , they  know not what they do."
    Those words were the purest expression of the self-
      sacrificing love He had for man,  for the very essence
of love is self-sacrifice.
Christ is our example in all  things, and He has
     instructed us to love others  as He loves us! John 15:12
        says: "This is my commandment,  that ye love one another,
as I have loved you." This is  a commandment, not an
option. John tells us in  1 John 4:7-8..." Beloved, let
     us love one another, for love is  of God; and everyone
  that loveth is born of God and  knoweth God. He that
 loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."
We see that God is the main focus of Christian love, thus
it's expression is obedience to His command to love. He
       instructs us to have 'unfeigned'  love...meaning a sincere
love, without pretense or  play-acting. Love, therefore,
is the fruit of the Spirit operating in the Christian.
How can we love someone  who has hurt or wronged us?
Perhaps many times, over  and over? This is possible
because love is not merely  a 'warm, fuzzy feeling'
or an emotion, but an act of the will, just as trust
and forgiveness are acts of the will. We must allow
God's Spirit to so control us that His love flows
   through us to others, allowing God to be Himself
(love) in us.
There is real freedom in  knowing we are so love by God,
thus enabling us to show forth that love. Without
love, there can be no real freedom...real freedom
 comes with the experience and practice of genuine
    love....thus freedom thrives and survives in the
      atmosphere of 'giving' love. To be made perfect in love
enables one to cope with the pain and sufferings of
life. 1 John 4:17 says:
        "Herein is our love made perfect."
Those who abide in God are  possessed of the very
character of God, as the Scripture says: "As He is,
so are we in this world."
1 John 2:5 tells us...
 " But whoso keepeth His word,  in Him verily is the love
      of God perfected: Hereby know  that we are in Him."
The wore 'perfected' in
this verse meaning:completing, fulfilling the
 love of God. The giving of the God-kind of
 love is always possible because the Bible says He
 has 'shed abroad His  love in our hearts." He has
implanted His love in our  hearts, ensuring that it be possible
 to love...even the 'unlovely' even the
 ones that have hurt us, and yes, even our enemies....if  
the life of God Himself,  in the Person of the Holy Spirit,
 be permitted to love in and through us. Yes, it
 is possible, for " with God all things are possible."

Today's' Scripture Verse

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Everything Perfect
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