Love The Lord

“We love because he first loved us.”

1 John 4:19 NIV

When you start with this…everything else falls into place.  May His peace be with you.  Amen.

Lord I Need You by Matt Maher

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“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”

Deuteronomy 6:5 NIV

(This photo was taken in March of 2018 in White Sands National Monument in New Mexico)

His Love For You

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

John 15:9-13 NIV

God loves you.  No matter where you are, no matter what you have done or left undone…He loves you.  There is no love in this world as great as God’s love for you.  We don’t earn His love and we don’t deserve it…we can’t get more of it because we are good and He doesn’t withhold it when we sin.  He knows everything about you and your life and guess what…He loves you all the same.  The proof is found at the Cross.  Invite Jesus Christ into your heart and give Him thanks for His love for you.

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You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:6-8 NIV

(This photo was taken in March of 2013 at the Botanical Garden in the Bellagio in Las Vegas, Nevada)

God’s Love Changes Lives

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

1 John 4:7-12 NIV

God’s love is the most powerful thing in our world.  Nothing can compare to it…no matter where you are, no matter what has happened or is happening…God’s love can change what you believe is impossible.  Trust Him, seek His Word, believe, confess your sins and surrender you ways for His way.  Amen.

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For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:14-19 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming)

Our Purpose

Love God

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your strength.”

Deuteronomy 6:5 NIRV

What does loving God look like in your life?

Love God and Love Others

“He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]””

Luke 10:27 NIV

How can we live out what Jesus has said are the first and second greatest commandments in all of God’s Word?  Who is our neighbor in the world and how can we show God’s love to them?

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Share The Good News

So you must go and make disciples of all nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And you can be sure that I am always with you, to the very end.”

Matthew 28:19-20 NIRV

Love God…Love Other People…Share the Gospel

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on the shore of Lake Superior near Ashland, Wisconsin)

Love Conquers All

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV

Jesus Christ is God’s love sent down to do for us what we can’t do for ourselves…to save us from our sinful ways.  There is no person, place or thing in this world that loves you and cares for you the way that God does…put your trust in Him and you will see and understand that love, God’s love conquers all in life.  Amen.

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But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2021 in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado)

Love One Another

“Just as the Father has loved me, I have loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love. In the same way, I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that you will have the same joy that I have. I also want your joy to be complete. 12 Here is my command. Love one another, just as I have loved you.”

John 15:9-12 NIRV

Love.  Love is more than feelings…it is actions and behaviors.  The passage above refers to “If you obey my commands.”  Love is a choice.  Love means sacrifice, humility, serving others and being unselfish.  Love means being willing to admit…it’s not about you.  God has blessed us with free will, we can choose to love…Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself to save us, we are redeemed from sin, and the Holy Spirit is present within us to guide us, our future is secure.  Why?  Because God is Love.  How can you show Love to others this Christmas season?

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You did not choose me. Instead, I chose you. I appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit that will last. I also appointed you so that the Father will give you what you ask for. He will give you whatever you ask for in my name. 17 Here is my command. Love one another.”

John 15:16-17 NIRV

(This photo was taken in OCtober of 2014 at the Nakalele Blowhole on the island of Maui, Hawaii)

Unconditional Love

At just the right time Christ died for ungodly people. He died for us when we had no power of our own. It is unusual for anyone to die for a godly person. Maybe someone would be willing to die for a good person. But here is how God has shown his love for us. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:6-8 NIRV

God loves us unconditionally.  We do not earn His love; we do not deserve it.  There are not certain things you must do or be to receive God’s love.  He offers it to us through His mercy and grace.  Our job is to seek Him, spend time with Him, communicate with Him.  We are to know Him and make Him known.  There is no greater gift you will ever receive in this life than God’s love…turn away from sinful thoughts and ways and trust in the Lord.  Amen.

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Dear friends, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has become a child of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. Here is how God showed his love among us. He sent his one and only Son into the world. He sent him so we could receive life through him. 10 Here is what love is. It is not that we loved God. It is that he loved us and sent his Son to give his life to pay for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God loved us this much, we should also love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love one another, God lives in us. His love is made complete in us.

1 John 4:7-12 NIRV

(This photo was taken in May of 2020 along the North Shore of Lake Superior)

Purpose

Everything has now been heard.
    And here’s the final thing I want to say.
Have respect for God and obey his commandments.
    This is what he expects of all human beings.”

Esslesiastes 12:13 NIRV

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[a] for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28 ESV

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So you must go and make disciples of all nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And you can be sure that I am always with you, to the very end.”

Matthew 28:19-20 NIRV

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on the shore of Lake Superior near Ashland, Wisconsin)

Our Hearts

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”

Deuteronomy 6:5

Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
    bind them around your neck,
    write them on the tablet of your heart.”

Proverbs 3:3

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.”[a]

Proverbs 3:5-6

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“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:7

(This photo was taken in July of 2021 at a park near Sioux Falls, South Dakota)

The Spirit He Gave Us

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.”

1 John 3:21-24

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“This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

1 John 4:13-18

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming)