Wednesday, February 14, 2018

God's Love Tester

Valentine’s Day—a day to celebrate the love in our lives. The love Dick and I share is probably the greatest love possible between two human beings. It is rock-solid, yet as beautiful and tender as the petals of an African violet.

The love between my children and me, and between my mother and me, deepens daily, even though we no longer live under the same roof. It changes and matures as we all grow a little older and a lot wiser.

For me, the love of friends fills in the gaps when family is too far away—whether physically or emotionally. A cup of tea and a few minutes to chat can ease the ache in our hearts, relieve our anxieties, and bring healing laughter.

However, the greatest love offered to us is the love of God. His love is greater than the sum total of all the earthly loves we have ever received. His love is pure, unconditional, and eternal.

Remember the Love Tester arcade game at the amusement park? For a quarter we grabbed its metal handle and the machine would “sense” the level of our affection. An arrow on the meter would waver back and forth and then indicate if we were “Blah” or “On Fire”. If God put His hand on the Love Tester, the indicator would fly right off the machine!

In 1 Corinthians 13, God offers us His own tester for love, describing the characteristics of true love:
  • Love is patient and kind.
  • Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
  • Love does not demand its own way.
  • Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged.
  • Love is never glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth.
  • Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

 When we compare what is touted as “love” today to God’s standards for measuring love, it certainly doesn’t raise the indicator arrow very far. What is the key to loving as God would have us love?

It all starts with a relationship with Him. God craves a real connection with us; but, since God is holy and we are sinful, the separation between us is huge. The good news is that God loves us so much He made a way for us to bridge that gap. On the cross, Jesus took on our sins and bore the punishment for them that we deserved! We now can live in fellowship with God! As we grow and mature in our relationship with God, He will equip and empower us to love others with the same characteristics of love He spelled out for us in 1 Corinthians 13.

Want to make this the best Valentine’s Day ever? Begin a relationship with God today and He will fill your heart to overflowing with love.

Be encouraged!

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©2018 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

We're Moving!

Three little words that I have heard often in my marriage still stir up a myriad of emotions: “We are moving!”

Beginning July 1, 2018, Dick will become the pastor of Grace United Methodist Church in Lewistown, PA. Lewistown is only 22 miles from Mt. Union, the town where Dick and I grew up. Many of my family members still live in the area, including my mom! So, I am elated!!!

At the same time, I am a bit nervous about getting to know so many new people, learning hundreds of names, familiarizing myself with the church’s ministries, establishing a new “normal”. Ambivalent feelings always accompany change.

As Dick and I anticipate starting a new appointment, I decided to remind myself of several Biblical promises that have held true for us over the years:

God always has a plan. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

God is always with us. Deuteronomy 31:8 “The Lord himself will lead you and be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you, so do not lose courage or be afraid."

God always has a purpose for me, a job for me to do. Ephesian 2:10 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

God always brings about good. Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Perhaps you, too, are facing a big change—a move, a new job, parenthood—and are feeling the same excitement, anxiety, joy, uncertainty that I have been. Take a few moments to ponder the Scriptures and allow God’s Word to speak peace into your heart and mind.

I KNOW God’s got this move and He’s got whatever you are facing, too.

Be encouraged,

©2018 Pamela D. Williams

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