Pastor's Feb 2019

Pastor’s Corner February 2019
During the month of February romantics all over the world will be finding clever ways to express their love to their Valentine with chocolates and hearts and roses! They will be crowding the Hallmark stores trying to find the right card that says just the right things for
the one they love. Webster defines love as “a gift or greeting sent to someone (special).” It almost always contains a message of love or affection that the sender has for the receiver. What is true friendship and love all about anyway?
In the heart of the gospel of John there are these statements:

“A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another; as I have loved you” John 13:34.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you” John 15:12.

“These things I command you, that you love one another” John 15:17.
Jesus said, “A new commandment I give unto you.” The command to love was not in itself new. It belonged to the instructions given to the Lord through Moses. The command was new in that a new demonstration had been given of love, which the disciples of Christ
were to emulate. By His revelation of His Father’s character Jesus had opened to mankind a new concept of the love of God. The new command required them to preserve the same relationship with one another that Jesus had cultivated with them.How did Jesus love his disciples? He loved his disciples selflessly. We think of the happiness
we will receive or the loneliness we will suffer if love fails or is denied. But Jesus never thought of Himself. His one desire was to give all he had for those he loved. Jesus loved his disciples sacrificially. There was no limit to what his love would give or where it would go. If love meant the cross Jesus was prepared to go there. Jesus loved his disciples understandingly. He knew his disciples through and through. Jesus knew all that was to be known about them. Sometimes we say that love is blind. That is not so, for the love that is blind can end in nothing but bleak and utter disillusionment. Jesus loved hisdisciples forgivingly. They were blind and insensitive, slow to learn and lacking in understanding. But Jesus held nothing against them. The love which has not learned to forgive cannot do anything else but shrivel and die.
God has indeed sent to this world a Valentine, the message of love He has for all mankind. Perhaps one of the best known verses in all the Bible is John 3:16- “For God so loved the world…” Another Scripture reference with the same verse thought,  1 John 3:16, in essence says the same thing: “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down hislife for us…”
We know that God the Father and the Son love us and because of this love we are instructed to love one another. The same John writes, “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.This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins”
1 John 4:7-11.
In Greek mythology and philosophy Eros played manyroles. As a young playful god he was often referred to as ason of Aphrodite and was frequently depicted as causinglove by shooting a gold-tipped arrow. In Roman mythology he was known as Cupid.
But friends, Jesus was no mythical figure. He came as lovepersonified. He shot no gold-tipped arrow to cause love, but a sword pierced his very heart as he died on Calvary’s cross so that we might catch a fleeting glimpse of the greatest lover this world has ever known. Because of God’s love for us we are constrained to send a message of love to the world. We are called to be a Valentine.
We are called to love those around us.
Pastor Barry Taylor
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