Love

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Love

Being a follower of Christ, I am eager to spread what I have learned. In this life, time seems to slip by rather quickly. For years I drifted trying to find my own path and live my own way. My thoughts would quickly lean towards striving for more. More of this, more of that. More goals and more possessions. More pleasure and more achievement. All of this just led to more questions.

When I was younger I remember being in my apartment in Halifax, where I studied at Dalhousie University for a while. At the time I really didn’t know what I wanted. But I put my hope and trust in the years ahead of me, that in time I would figure out my life. I was twenty. Then the ever inevitable passage of time slips by, and I grew a little older, now twenty-six. Suddenly it seemed time was passing at an ever increasing rate. Granted I am still young, but I began to see how short life is.

My thought process was set that if there was no ultimate meaning to life, really there wasn’t meaning at all. If death is the final resting place for everything, then really why was life here at all? These were questions that haunted me for a couple years. I always buried them down deep inside when I thought of them, trying to ignore them, and distracting myself. I was overwhelmed by death surrounding me, everywhere I looked, in the news, a family member dying, someone’s husband, someone’s father. Wars, and rumors of wars. The finality of death disturbed me.

These burning questions led me to search with a hunger I have never had before. I wanted truth. And wherever it led, I hoped to find it. Perhaps I will go into the evidences and reasons why I am now a follower of Christ in another post, but for now, this is where I’ll lead.

Romans 5:8 - ‘But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’

The apostle Paul writes in his letter to the Romans around 55 AD, speaking of hope, love, peace, and salvation through Christ.

I have found whenever I only follow my own selfish desires, it always leaves me unsatisfied in the end. I leave feeling empty. I feel fear, anxiety, stress. When we follow the desires of the flesh, we fail and we walk on a path towards ruin. Some may think we can run our lives the way we want, but that just leads towards futility and selfishness. The very real problems of the world are caused by greed.

When we live through the desires of Christ, we are set free. We fear nothing, not even death. We live in peace and hope through Jesus.

Romans 8:5-8 ‘5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.’

It is true, that you cannot look at the evidences for God objectively, if you are not willing to surrender yourself. Accepting Christ is already transforming my life in a big way, and to some that risk of unknown change seems scary. But if you leave yourself open, and are willing to surrender, then you will experience the most incredible love and peace no person on earth can give you. If you look at the Bible and the evidence with shutters over your eyes, how do you expect to see it for what it is? You would have already decided.

Therefore, I urge you to be open and willing to see the light. Set aside your insecurities and just step out in faith to find the truth.

Romans 12:14-19 ‘9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[c] Do not be conceited. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] says the Lord.’

Bountiful fulfillment and peace is given when we bless and pray for those who persecute us. Through Christ we are saved, and through Him we are justified.

Last weekend I was driving home from Tobermory with a few close friends. We stopped at a Tim Hortons, went inside and grabbed some hot tea, which is so good after diving in cold water all day. I turned around from the counter and saw an old man on arm crutches. I later learned he was affected by polio when he was younger. I saw him, and immediately felt a pull from my chest to help him. I asked him if he needed help, he turned and said ‘no thank you, I am ok.’ So I respected his answer and went outside with my friends. We stood around talking, another man held the door open for the old man. He slowly made his way out and then started talking to us. I couldn’t help but feel the Holy Spirit guiding me and feeling such love for this man who I barely knew. He was walking towards his scooter, so we offered to help him. He again denied our help. His eyes were so full of light and peace despite his condition. All I remember him saying was this, ‘I am blessed to still be able to move’. Lilly said, ‘amen’. Amen indeed. What a man and what a character.

1 John 3:23-24 ‘And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.’

- GC