Return to Love
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Revelation 1:3 Gives us every indication that this epistle is to us and can be understood by us to the point of reading, hearing, and heeding.
1:7 As with all church epistles, it was first sent to the churches that existed then, but it is also relevant today.
2:1-5 This is first in influence or principal, not in order. They did well in preserving the doctrine but slipped in loving God, Jesus, and their fellowman.
Acts 19:1-10, 17-20 Within two years and three months, they had the most remarkable outreach ever. All the other churches John writes to were founded during this time. Their former love was for God, their Lord, and humanity. They were great lovers. When those 12 men received the holy spirit, a radical transformation took place, which happens with the realization that God loves you.
1John 3:16 Knowing that God loves us is the foundation of our faith. Everyone has the need to be loved and the need to love. Both can be satisfied only by Godís unconditional love.
Knowing God loves us is the only thing that will give us our identity and our security in this life. Our security and identity do not come from the conditional loves from others, from our accomplishments, or from our circumstances, but only from knowing that God loves us personally and unconditionally.
Godís love is the only basis, the only foundation, upon which we are to build our lives.
Acts 20:17-38 On Paulís last visit with the Ephesians, he warns them about wolves. Apparently, they heeded his warning (according to Revelation), but they lost their passion. They protected the gospel and lost their heart of love.
Ephesians 1:15; 2:1-5; 3:19-21; 4:1-3, 15 & 16; 5:1 & 2, 28-33; 6:23 & 24
Have you lost the zest for life? Have your passion, vision, and dreams faded, and has your life become humdrum? Is love foremost in your life?
John 12:24 and 25 Our need to love is just as strong as our need to be loved. Only by loving as God desires, will our lives have the meaning and purpose that we are all seeking.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 To love like God loves requires we die to self and live for Him.
So many of us have spent our entire lives trying to fulfill these two basic needs in every other conceivable way, rather than the way God intended and designed them to be fulfilled. We have sought for our husbands, our wives, our children, our families, and our friends to meet our needs for identity and security. We have looked to our careers, our accomplishments, our prestige, and our wealth to meet our needs for meaning and purpose. Other people, things, or accomplishments can never satisfy these two needs completely. Momentarily, on the outside, our desires might be touched; but inwardly, lastingly, these needs will never be completely met.
Love can change your entire life. When we allow God to love through us in a 1Corinthian 13 way, itís the most exhilarating, most meaningful, and most fulfilling experience of life.
1 Timothy 1:1-ff
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