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The Power Of Love

If you want to live a great life, live a life of great love.  I first wrote those words back in 2017, and they are just as true today as they were back then.



We exist in a love-starved society, and that is one of the reasons why so many people feel down and depressed all the time.  Today, millions of Americans are on antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs.  In fact, it has been reported that more than 250 million prescriptions are issued for antidepressants in the United States each year.  Others try to self-medicate by using illegal drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling or other forms of entertainment to make themselves feel better.  If it seems like most people in the general population are desperately unhappy, that is because most people in the general population really are desperately unhappy.

 

Some people think that if they just had enough money they would finally be happy.


But of course the truth is that many of the wealthiest individuals in the entire world are extremely unhappy.


Ultimately, success in life is not about how much stuff you are able to accumulate before you die.


Rather, it is about how much you are able to love.


We were designed to love and be loved, and love is supposed to be the focus of our lives.


In Matthew chapter 22, we read how Jesus responded when He was asked about the greatest commandment…

36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.38 This is the first and great commandment.39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Some people out there need to read those verses over and over again.


We are supposed to love God greatly, and we are supposed to love others greatly.


In Matthew chapter 5, Jesus said that we are even supposed to love our enemies…

43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

How much of this do we see today?


Not very much at all.


Today, we are trained to hate our enemies.


Our society has never been more divided than it is at this moment.  Those in positions of power use every trick in the book to divide us in just about every way that you can possibly imagine.


We are taught that those that are on “our side” are the good guys, and those that are on the “other side” are worthy of our vitriol and must be defeated at all costs.


I have never seen more hatred than I am seeing right now.  And there is something about the Internet that makes people comfortable saying things that they would never say person to person.

But that is not what Jesus would have us do.


He died on the cross for every single person on this planet.


So who are you to hate someone that Jesus cared enough to die for?


That doesn’t mean that you have to agree with everyone.


There are ideas that are good, and there are ideas that are bad.


But that doesn’t mean that we are to hate those that have bad ideas.


Instead, we are supposed to love them and try to persuade them to see the truth.


Loving others also doesn’t mean that you agree with all of the harmful things that they are doing to themselves or others.


In fact, part of loving others is getting them to see that they should stop harming themselves and others.


We can fight all of the evil that we see all around us and still love those that are being victimized by the evil.


So how do we love those that do not seem to be easy to love?


That is actually very simple.


Love is a choice.


We choose to love because God has commanded us to love, and we trust Him to give us the power to love when we do not feel like doing so.


And it isn’t just enough to love with our words.


Ultimately, love is far more about what we do than it is about what we say.


Do you want someone to know that you love them?


If so, show your love through your actions.


In John chapter 15, Jesus explained what this kind of selfless love looks like…

12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Would you be willing to lay down your life so that someone else might live?


That kind of love does not come cheap.


Recently, a 51-year-old resident of Maine named Kevin Howell and his 4-year-old son fell through the ice as they were attempting to cross a pond.  Howell successfully got his son out of the water, but he remained trapped

Officials are warning Maine residents about ice safety after a father died saving his son on Friday from a frozen pond.On the morning of Jan. 26, Kevin Howell, 51, and his 4-year-old son fell through ice as they were crossing Etna Pond in Carmel, Maine, the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. Howell was able to get his son out of the frozen pond and told him to get his mother, the sheriff’s office said.His son was able to reach their home, 1/3 of a mile from the pond, and inform his mother, according to the sheriff’s office. “The mom told the young boy to stay at home, she called 911, and she rushed to help her husband,” the sheriff’s office said.

Howell’s wife rushed to the pond, and she ended up falling into the water as she attempted to get to her husband…

The mother, armed with an anchor and rope, reached the lake and secured the rope to the shore in an attempt to reach her husband but ended up falling into the frozen water, according to the sheriff’s office.Penobscot Sheriff Detective Jordan Norton, who was in the area and heard the 911 call, spotted Howell’s wife in the water and crawled onto the ice, pulling the mother out of the freezing water using the rope, the sheriff’s office said.

In the end, it was too late to save Howell.


He died saving his son.


Would you die in order to save your own child?


For many of you, the answer to that question is easy.


But what if it was to save a homeless person down the street?


Or what if it was to save the politician that you hate the most?


Needless to say, we are not trained to think like that.


Most of us only want to see bad things happen to those that we consider to be enemies.


But God calls us to love everyone.


Because of God’s radical love for us, we can have radical love for others.


And if we intend to change the world, that is the path that we need to choose.

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