From the Pastor

Jesus declared that all the wisdom and direction of the Bible depends on two responses: love God unreservedly, and love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:36–40).

A famous study followed hundreds of men who graduated from Harvard from 1939 to 1944 throughout their lives—into their 90s. The researchers wanted to know who flourished, who didn’t, and the decisions they had made that contributed to that well-being. The lead scholar on the study for many years was the Harvard psychiatrist George Vaillant.  He summarized the results in his book Triumphs of Experience. Here is his summary, in its entirety: “Happiness is love. Full stop.”

In one of his famous summaries of the gospel, the Apostle Paul bases our assurance in times of suffering on the hope that we have, “because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:5 ESV).

At a Christian school, 4th graders were asked the question, “What is love?”  Here are their unedited answers:

“Love is that first feeling you feel before the bad stuff gets in the way.”

“Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go and smell each other.”

“Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents for a minute and look around.”

“When you’re born and see your mom for the first time. That’s love.”

“I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.”

“When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.”

“When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.”

“God could have said magic words to make the nails fall off the cross, but He didn’t. That’s love.”

Pay attention to all the examples of love around you today. Listen to the love God has placed in your own heart with his Holy Spirit. Put love into words and actions, and see how God’s Word and Spirit rush in to supply your strength.

1 Corinthians 13:13,
Bro. Rick

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