Lots of things masquerade as love. But knowing true love when you see it can save a lot of heartbreak. How do you know when you are well and truly loved?
I hope that one of the ways you know you’re loved is when someone gets up early in the morning to write and record a biblical lesson for you! Welcome to “Mornings with Bishop Robert” where my goal is to introduce people to the Jesus they never knew, and help them get to know Him and His word personally – and better ! If our time together today makes you feel loved, please like, subscribe and share it with a friend!
I’ve often said that a living love is expressed in actions. Children see things differently, and sometimes much more clearly, than grown-ups. Some younger children were asked to explain how to know when someone really loved another person. Eight year old Rebecca observed, “When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.” I guess that when you love someone all the way down to their toenails, you love them well. Chrissie, age 5, says that “Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French Fries without making them give you any of theirs.” When you’re five, nothing says “I love you” like French Fries do. (If you’re from the UK, she’s talking about “chips.”)
Moving beyond food and toenails, 4 year old Terri knew that “Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.” But I think that Billy, age 7, may have expressed the deepest insight when he said, “When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.” Wow! There’s a word picture for you!
Today’s verse says WHOEVER PURSUES RIGHTEOUSNESS AND LOVE FINDS LIFE
It’s interesting that the verse doesn’t begin with searching for love, but searching for righteousness.
That is because, apart from righteousness, love will never flourish. How could it? Evil arouses the exact opposite side of the emotional spectrum within us. No one hears of the tortures occurring in China’s prisons, Russia’s gulags or Washington DC’s Central Detention Facility and feels all warm and cuddly inside. No, of course not. What is evoked are feelings of anger, rage even. No one reads news stories of people sexually trafficking four year old children and wants to become best friends with the perpetrators. Evil repulses people, whereas purity and righteousness draws them closer.
Righteousness allows for a foundation of trust, not one of fear.
So the quest for true love must begin by a pursuit of righteousness, because it’s only there that love can grow and thrive. Don’t go searching for fish in the clouds or eagles in the depths of the ocean, that’s not where they are found. When you know what you’re looking for, it dictates where you begin your search. Love is found in righteousness, because love (like righteousness) is selfless.
Love is sacrificial, giving of oneself to the one we love. Love is gentle and kind because true love is good; it is birthed in righteousness. Love—true, godly love—is not temporary or transient. Love is a commitment that is meant to last. Love is not based on everything going right or always being happy. Love is not an emotional feeling but rather a choice of the will. Casual commitments do not produce a foundation for deep and meaningful relationships. Instead we should love others as God loves us—with an unfailing love that never ends.
WHOEVER PURSUES RIGHTEOUSNESS AND LOVE FINDS LIFE
If you’re pursuing righteousness and love, you’ll find them both in Jesus Christ. And, when you do, you’ll find LIFE; because to love Christ is to have His life infused within you.
And when you hear Him say your name, you’ll know in your heart that your name is safe in His mouth.