Today’s words of wisdom come from my good friend, who used the phrase I am about to quote in two life changing settings. The first time I heard it was at his best friend’s wedding. Then this last weekend I heard him say these words again as he spoke eloquently to honor his beautiful mother. His notable teaching: “Love is a verb.” What does he mean by love is a verb? Well, it means that love is an action, and is always in action. It’s not a past tense adverb or noun, it’s a never ending pursuit of work and purpose. His family understands that, his mother certainly understood it. She spent a lifetime putting love in action: showing her children extreme patience and care, always placing the family first, being madly in love with her husband for over forty years, and pouring similar devotion into her children. Today’s lesson on living ties in perfectly with today’s devotion.
- If you want friends, you have to be friendly.
- End every conflict with a slow dance.
- Establish a lasting friendship with your kids. Adult kids, do the same with your parents while you still can.
- Love is a verb, a never-ending action to lift up those around us and to constantly care for our family and friends.
8Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. (Romans 13:8-10)
This is Paul’s “mic-drop” statement in his letter to the Roman church. These verses are so important for us to understand that I wrote a small book covering that subject. We will see this point brought up repeatedly in all of Paul’s letters and in all the books of the New Testament. Love is the fulfillment of the law. So why do we not hear that message preached more in congregations around the world? Instead we still focus on all the Mosaic laws, and not even the main laws. We focus on nitpicking certain laws to hang our hats on: homosexuality is a great sin, but it’s okay to eat whatever we want (I’ll be covering that in two days). Murder is a capital offense, but stealing is a misdemeanor crime (God grouped murder as offensive as lying when He first spoke to mankind). So love conquers all of this, because if we love one another, truly love one another as we love ourselves, we will not commit any of these other sins. And I know America loves itself, that is evident through all our selfies and social media posts about how great we are. So love one another as much as you love yourself. Then you’ll quickly see that you do not sin against one another when you love your neighbor. It is that simple folks. That’s the return to common sense I am presenting to this world. It’s time to wake up and step into the simple truth that love is the answer to all our issues.
Reading plan: 1 Corinthians 5, 6
Deeper reading plan: Psalms 137, 138, 139, 140
Prayer and meditation: Pray for our country. Pray for love to conquer all. Pray that Christ infects our hearts and ignites a final fire of revival to sweep this land.
Fitness challenge: Distance run day. Run as far and as long as you want, but make sure you are out there pounding pavement for at least 30 minutes.