Love Me Tender

When the people who feel their spiritual leprosy come to church, they really do not care about the music or the padded pews. What they really want to know deep down and secretly is, “If I go there, will they really love me? Would they love me if they really knew me?” This is a secret question that unbelievers have and, truth be told, it is a question that many believers have as well.

D.L. Moody, the famous 18th century evangelist, once said, “A man may be a good doctor without loving his patients; a good lawyer without loving clients; a good geologist without loving science; but he cannot be a good Christian without love.”[1]

The Meaning of Love
What do these verses teach us about the meaning of true love?

  • Love is the result of justification by faith and the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Rom.5:1-8)
  • Gifts, knowledge, and service are all valueless without love. (1 Cor.13:1-3)
  • Love is the chief Christian virtue. (1 Cor.13:13; Cf. Gal.5:22)
  • God’s love demands allegiance and loyalty. (1 John 2:15-17)
  • Love is a mark of true knowledge of God. (1 John 4:7-11)
  • If you are hating your brother, you cannot be loving God at the same time. (1 John 4:20-21)
  • Faith in Christ and love for believers are inseparable. (1 John 5:1-3)

The Message of Love
What message does a love for the brethren send?

  • Loving one another is the distinguishing quality of being a true follower of Christ. (John 13:35)
  • Loving other believers is the evidence of spiritual life. (1 John 3:14)
  • Love provides conclusive evidence of the Spirit’s indwelling presence. (Gal.5:22)

The Manifestation of Love
Anyone can say he loves Christ and other believers, but how can you tell? How does a true love for the Lord and believers look and how should it express itself?

  • It is to be an unhypocritical (Rom.12:9)
  • It is to be a fervent (1 Pet.4:8)
  • It is to be a serving (Gal.5:13; Cf. Heb.6:10)
  • It is to be a practical (1 John 3:16-18)


[1] As quoted by John Blanchard, Gathered Gold, p.389

Jesus Loves Me, This I Know

Truth is, I have been wrong about love.

So, writing about love during the month when love is celebrated gave me great pause. Seriously, what do I know about love? So I began to recall the times I thought I felt loved. I thought about The Intellect in college who gave me books instead of roses. No, he loved me not. Maybe, it was The Artist in high school who sketched himself as my charming prince. No, he loved not. You see, unrequited love seemed to be a chorus in a sad song.

Now, no need to break out any tissues because I am indeed written in a “Happily Ever After” kind of love story.

As I am writing this, I remembered the first love song. I’m standing in flower-printed dress, white patent leathered shoes, dress socks with lace fringe in the children’s choir, singing loudly “Jesus loves me, this I know…”

You see, before chocolate became the currency for affection, Jesus loved me. Before I eagerly waited for a Hallmark to express endearing sentiments, Jesus loved me. Before precious stones represented the sincerity of care, Jesus loved me.

How did I know? The verse continues “…for the Bible tells me so.”

As a child I confidently believed that I was loved. Yet I grew up and misdirected the object of my love and began seeking love apart of God. This, I know, was not love. I was searching for unconditional love; yet He was never lost. Too often we try to buy acceptance, when Christ paid our debt on the Cross.

“For God so loved the World that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”—John 3:16

Now, as an adult you must filter through much life, heartbreak, and experiences in order to get to the simple truth of knowing you are loved. In all of the fanfare of Valentine’s Day, it is easy to become overwhelmed with symbols of love and affection. It is easy to become disappointed when worldly expectations of love are not met. I can’t deny being a recipient of such sentiments is desired. You’re right; I could never turn down anything covered with chocolate.

However, I am encouraged that the love of God is incomparable to anything that I have known. He continues to demonstrate His love for me and that makes every day a special occasion. So, when I begin to struggle with loneliness in a city without family, still Jesus loves me. When my best friend tells me she and her husband are expecting baby #3, Jesus loves me. When I see another couple on Facebook, Jesus loves me.

I have found that it is never an issue of God loving me. Rather it is me taking focus from myself and recognizing HOW God is loving me in that very moment. So during this month of love, rejoice in seeing how God demonstrates His love all around and let it be a catalyst to love on others.

For The Bible Tells Me So…..

Loves me on purpose—Romans 8:28-30, Jeremiah 29:11

Loves me unconditionally—Romans 5:8

Loves me with purpose—John15:16

Loves me irrevocably—Romans 8:38-39

Loves me everlastingly—Jeremiah 31:3





Loving Christ More Than Stuff

Last year, my son Stevie was asked to write about how he knew that his parents loved him. He responded that we tell him and show him by giving him hugs and kisses. He also mentioned that we spend time with him and take care of him. I like his definition, and it made me think about my relationship with Christ. By the young Stevie Lack standard, does it seem like I love Christ more than I love my stuff?

First, how do I love Christ with my words? Do I praise Him in song and in prayer? Yes, but not as I ought. Do I praise Him openly to others and with exuberance, as one who is overflowing with gratitude for the one who has purchased me at the expense of His Son? I fall pitifully short here. When I think about the content of my conversations with others, believers and nonbelievers alike, I know it more often addresses “stuff” than God. To be sure, I don’t run around with a megaphone professing my love for money, but I do talk a lot about things that are purchased with money. Even more, I can sure complain when material objects break or wear out or when I feel I have a lack of money. I need God’s forgiveness for not telling Him, and especially others, how much I love Him, and I need His grace to loose my lips so that people will clearly hear whom it is I serve. I also need Him to help me bridle my tongue, which can lead me into frequent unfruitful conversations about money, or the things purchased with it.

So far, I have been found guilty of wasting too many of my words on finances and material “stuff.” What about time and care? When I look at my schedule, do I spend more time and care attending to my job and its needs or to my relationship with Christ? Does it bother me more if I am struggling to meet a deadline more than if I am struggling to meet in quiet fellowship with Christ each day? I in no way am trying to imply that we should not work heartily, as unto God. The Bible tells us to do so, and we need to be responsible. However, if my time and efforts to please my boss (and procure money) are greater than my efforts to spend time with the one I claim to love above anyone and anything else, there’s a problem. I am guilty here too. Thanks be to God, who provides forgiveness and new mercy every morning, for I need to confess that my tie to finances and material goods, though they are temporary and have no eternal value, often occupy my time and efforts more than my Lord.