February, 2017 – GOD IS LOVE

February, 2017 – GOD IS LOVE

This is the ‘Love Month’!   :)   Not only this month, but sometimes I am just flooded with thoughts of all the people I love – too many to mention here.   But, included in those is family, of course.  I have just spent considerable time with my grandbabies, and oh, how we love each other!   And then, outside the ‘norm’, I think of how much I loved, and still love all the homeless folks I worked with for three and a half years in Providence, RI.  I know you know how much I love ‘my’ babies and kids (orphans) in Romania.  I am IN love with them!  And, way ‘outside the box’, people I don’t even know but of whom I read – including Prisoners for Christ in countries around the world.

As head of ‘Missions’ for several years at First Baptist Church in Foxboro, MA, I presented a letter to the church addressed to an imprisoned Christian in Eastern Europe, the Middle-East, Asia, or Africa every second Sunday of the month during ‘Missions Moment’.  The entire congregation signed it, and the next day I mailed the letter to that specific one who would desperately need encouragement.  The apostle Paul said in Hebrews 13.3a to ‘remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them . . .‘    I literally prayed over them as if I were in bonds with them, and grew to love them.

I am also blessed with so many activities, things, situations that I just ‘love’ – none more than Love From Above Ministries, but there are many.  I find that I have to keep a real check on where each of these place in my life.  Sometimes, one or the other – person or activity can loom high in my life.  I mean, too high.  There is nothing wrong with any of what I have mentioned, but the first two commandments listed in Exodus 20 is ‘you shall have no other gods before Me’ and ‘you shall make no idols’.

Recently, I heard a pastor say the following:  ‘When you give anything else your love, your first love, that which you spend the most time on, or think about the most – there is a word for that.  It is called an idol.  An idol is not necessarily a stone, brass, or plaster of Paris image that one can bow to.  An idol can be your car.  An idol can be your job.  An idol can even be your shoes or clothes – your house – your talent or giftedness – your success – your money, movies, things, stuff – even your family.  Anything we love,  giving priority over God becomes an idol.  Once again, these are all wonderful things, but they should not be deserving of first place in our lives’.

Oh, I wish I could say along with the Psalmist in 73.25b – ‘And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.’  Is that where my heart always is?  Sadly, no.  But, it IS the desire of my heart!   What a wonderful thing it is to be loved, and have the capacity to love.  I just have to keep checking my priorities . . .

‘GOD IS LOVE’ . . .  We love, because He first loved us.’   –  I John 4.16,19