First United Methodist Church, Lewistown, PA 17044  ~  717-248-4618   ~  fumc200@outlook.com

Love ya 4-EVA.

November 25, 2016

    I love you. I am of the belief we don't say this enough. If we do say it, we need to mean what we say. Frankly, our love pales in comparison to God's love. In fact, our love needs to step up its game big time. If you think differently, then you must be living in a cave. The unrest and anger people harbor and express toward others is running at an all-time high. I was meandering through some Bible text this morning and stumbled across a benediction Paul offered the Ephesian church. The last sentence really grabbed me.

        "Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love." (Ephesians 6:24, NIV)

First off, Paul acknowledged God's grace is in direct proportion to a person's level of love for Christ. God's grace is immeasurable and If we say we love Jesus and live out this love toward God and people then, God's grace overwhelms and satisfies our soul. This grace is directly connected to our 'undying love' for Jesus. If we say, "I love Jesus" yet our life doesn't reflect our words then, we may want to revisit our motivation for saying, "I love you." 

    Our human attempts to love or even understand love appear so flimsy. We say those cherished words 'I love you." then turn around and do something that would belie our words. Human love struggles to follow through on its best intentions. Wouldn't it be interesting to follow the two people who left their initials and feelings for one another behind at the 'Hawk Watch' on Standing Stone Trail?  

    V.R. & J.B. seem to love one another. I mean, they took the time to deface a wooden platform diligently cared for by the volunteers of the Standing Stone Trail. Yet, one has to wonder what kind of love would prompt a human to vandalize this place. The contemporary cryptic 4-EVA raises another question. How long is forever between these two folks? Is it till they both die and leave this earth? Is it till one of them decides to choose a new path in life? Is it till the fancies of another love interest pull VR & JB apart? Is 4-EVA measured until an argument cannot be assuaged and two people stomp off in opposite directions? How long is 4-EVA? Questions that need to be considered when saying definitive things like 4-EVA (forever).

    Paul was writing to women and men who had professed Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. He offered this benediction (blessing) on each member of the church. Paul used the phrase "undying love" to guide Jesus followers on how to love. Some synonyms for undying are:

*Imperishable                *Unfading                  *Endless                   *Eternal                   *Abiding

*Ceaseless                      *Everlasting               *Perpetual

Believing Jesus Christ is the Son of God requires love and trust from us. If love and trust do not exist, then belief can't gain traction and we fail. In one place in scripture, it says believers who fail to love the Lord Jesus would be "anathematized" (1Corinthians 16:22) and would have no place in the church.

(Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary (2 volumes), Pradis CD-ROM:Eph 6:24, Book Version: 5.1.50)

Join with me as we strive to love Jesus Christ with an undying love and in so doing be able to swim in God's endless grace. 

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