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Week 4, Sunday: Love

Carolyn Franklin

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Immanuel, Immanuel, God is with us, (Isa. 7:14; 8:8-10) Immanuel! The very essence of love! "Micah 5:2 takes Immanuel to be the Messiah, whom Matthew 1:23 identifies as Jesus."(1)

Oh! The awesome wonders, and magnitude of His Love. It is difficult for me to describe it in just a few words. To really know and understand it one needs to experience it.

Jesus, Messiah, born incarnate of a virgin maiden. Truly, God and truly man. God became man. When He did this, He demonstrated to us His love. He loved his friends as shown to Lazarus, Mary and Martha. He showed compassion as we are told Jesus wept, He also showed empathy with their tears. Do you not think that even today when we weep, His heart is touched with compassion for us? He is now at the right hand side of our Father. The word tells us that He is ever interceding for us to our Father. He paid the ultimate price for our salvation. Therefore, He is worthy to intercede and to be heard.

Jesus friends and disciples were very sad when they witnessed their Friend Jesus leaving them and ascending into the heavens. But, He said to them, "Why stand here watching, go tarry in the upper room. I will return to you. I will be with you. I'm sending my Holy Spirit, the Comforter, Helper to you. I promise I will not leave you, wait for me!

Faithful to His promise, He did return to those in the upper room who were obedient to His instructions. We know about this from the story of Pentecost! The Holy Spirit came in a mighty witness of the Rushing Wind and Tongues of Fire. They were empowered to witness in languages so that all could understand about Jesus. They became witnesses to all in Judea and throughout the world.

We today, have our blessed Immanuel, Savior, and Redeemer available to us to fill us with this same infilling, power to become His witnesses so that those in our world will know this wonderful Immanuel.

We are given in 1 Corinthians 13 a description of what His infilling love will empower us to become.

Reading from, "The Message." 1 Corinthians 13; 1-13:

"If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing.

If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut.
Doesn't have a swelled head,
Doesn't force itself on others,
Isn't always "me first,"
Doesn't fly off the handle,
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn't revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompleteness will be canceled.

When I was an infant at my mother's breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.

We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

It is our continual goal to love like 1 Corinthians. describes. We strive and desire these characteristics because we want to be those effectual disciples of the One we love. We can never repay Him for the Gift of Salvation that He gave us, but because we love Him, we want to hear the Great Commission. It is for all, He came and died for all. It is now up to us to return that love as He enables us. He is counting on us to let His Holy Spirit reveal Immanuel, Jesus to everyone who comes into our circle of life.

God is love!

~ Grandma Carolyn Franklin
Mineola, Texas, USA

(1) Pictorial Bible Dictionary, The Southwestern Company, Nashville Tenn. 1976

Daily Scripture Readings*
[Psalms 24, 29] [Gen 3:18-15] [Rev 12:1-10] [John 3:16-21]

Loving Father,

I cannot even begin to understand Your Love. It is so deep, so wide, so long and so high. I cannot escape it. You continually seek me out no matter where I go. When I get there, You are already there ahead of me. Lord, help me not only to be a recipient of Your Love, but also help me to be an agent of Your Love. "Let Your Love flow through me." May I live it well. Let my love bring honor to Yours.


*These readings are adapted from the Daily Office of the Book of Common Prayer, Year 2.  For Year 1 readings, see Daily Readings, Advent 1.

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