Circumstances lead to sharing thoughts on real love, then I’ll finish what else I believe from last week. Circumstances – we all experience them every day, yet when those circumstances are out of the ordinary, and may even be an opportunity God is using to speak to us, what do we call them then?
Have you ever made a sacrifice, maybe many sacrifices, for someone you love? Were you disappointed when the sacrifice was not recognized and there was no gratitude? Did you ever offer advice, based on your many more years experience, to someone you love? Were you disappointed when the person ignored your advice, maybe even did the exact opposite? How many times should we, in our love, try to help someone that we love, even when we get no gratitude and the advice is not followed? Do you want to give up?
Have you ever had a loved one call you, and tell you that they just can’t go on any longer, that it seems hopeless, that it just isn’t worth it any more, that they just want to go to sleep, forever. Have you ever maybe had those thoughts yourself? As I shared previously, we say that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger (and the Spanish, when they find a foreign object in their food, say what doesn’t kill you makes you fatter). Were you able to share the fact that it is never hopeless, or did someone share that with you?
Have you ever had the opportunity to visit a loved one who might have died but didn’t, in the hospital, and upon arriving the room number is your favorite number, the one you use for all your phone and computer passwords? Were you about to give up, and a friend called with news that prompted you to renew your efforts to help someone you love?
Have you ever lost touch with a loved friend for years, someone who gave you support and understanding, and then you came into contact with them again, and you felt an encouragement you hadn’t even realized you coveted?
Well, at the heart of all those questions is Real Love, True Love, the Best Love. When Peter asked Jesus how many times to forgive a brother, maybe seven, Jesus responded no, seventy seven times (Matt 18:21, 22). This is True Love, not a flower for one day, as Perales sings. Why did you do it – to get gratitude, to get love in return, or to act on your love for the other person? (actions speak louder than words)
Well, allow me to finish my story from last week, to share my testimony. I was working in Tampa, and one day some folks came by to ask some questions, and share what they said were the answers from the Bible. I invited them in, and listened. I invited them to return, and later informed my wife they would be coming for a Bible study. She knew I had been reading a book about the beliefs of the world’s religions, but thought this was a little strange. Well, over the next few visits, these folks shared more answers, more “truth,” based on the group’s own translation of the Bible.
But some of the questions and answers, even with their translation of the Bible didn’t quite ring true, and it didn’t seem that my questions got complete answers. So I asked a contractor at work, that I had heard say “religious” things, like “Jesus Christ is the answer” what he knew about this particular group that was coming to my house to study the Bible. He replied that he knew that the group was a cult.
That led to more discussion, and visits to his church, a Christ-centered and Bible-centered community church in Tampa. I came to a point where I realized that Jesus had made a sacrifice for me, and that He offered through God’s grace eternal life and entrance into a holy heaven, even for me, regardless of everything wrong I had ever done. I prayed to God, accepting his gift, and did not have to think about “giving my heart to Jesus” or “letting Jesus into my heart,” although I can see how those phrases might be appropriate.
The biggest difference between what I believe, based on the Bible, and what this pseudo-Christian cult was proposing as the truth, is that the Bible shows us that Christ was divine, and that he physically resurrected on the third day. And that there is an eternal soul that is part of all of us – that we don’t just simply cease to exist upon physical death. And I like a web site with parallel Bible translations – I often look at 15 different translations at a time of one verse, and sometimes with other languages as well, like Spanish. But nowhere on that web site is the translation of this cult included. There must be a reason for that.
Share some Good Love and Better Love with someone today. Not because they’ll necessarily return the love in kind, or tell you of their gratitude – no, because that is how we get close to Best Love, the real True Love, the true Real Love – God’s Love.