Happy Valentines Day!

If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.
1 Corinthians 13:1 | MSG

And He said to him,  ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets. Matthew 22:37-40 | NASB


Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them! If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run–of–the–mill sinners do that. If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden–variety sinners do that. If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that’s charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that. “I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God–created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind. Luke 6:31-36 | MSG
My dear friends, don’t let public opinion influence how you live out our glorious, Christ–originated faith. If a man enters your church wearing an expensive suit, and a street person wearing rags comes in right after him, and you say to the man in the suit, “Sit here, sir; this is the best seat in the house!” and either ignore the street person or say, “Better sit here in the back row,”  haven’t you segregated God’s children and proved that you are judges who can’t be trusted? Listen, dear friends. Isn’t it clear by now that God operates quite differently? He chose the world’s down–and–out as the kingdom’s first citizens, with full rights and privileges. This kingdom is promised to anyone who loves God. And here you are abusing these same citizens! Isn’t it the high and mighty who exploit you, who use the courts to rob you blind? Aren’t they the ones who scorn the new name—“Christian”—used in your baptisms? You do well when you complete the Royal Rule of the Scriptures: “Love others as you love yourself.” But if you play up to these so–called important people, you go against the Rule and stand convicted by it. You can’t pick and choose in these things, specializing in keeping one or two things in God’s law and ignoring others. James 2:1-10 | MSG

Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father.  1 John 2:15 | MSG

I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s what I’ve done—kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in his love.  I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends.

John 15:9c-13 | MSG
What marvelous love the Father has extended to us! Just look at it—we’re called children of God! That’s who we really are. 1 John 3:1a | MSG
We are LOVED.

We LOVE.

We are LOVED. So we can LOVE.

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