Really Relating

LIFE, LOVE, AND THE RELATIONSHIPS THAT MAKE IT ALL MATTER

It’s All About Love 02/03/2010

Filed under: February,God's love,Love,Valentines,Valentines Day — Vickey Banks @ 11:40 am
Welcome to February: The Month of Love!
   
Yes, this is the month that makes greeting card companies and sellers of chocolate dance with glee. Candied conversation hearts and red roses take center stage. Romantic comedies light up the movie screens and singles everywhere get depressed over their lack of a significant other! Fortunately, love is much more than all these things. I’d like to take this entire month to blog about love and the relationships in our lives.
   
To get you in the mood for all things Valentine, first hop on over to http://www.faithclipart.com/video/happy-valentines-day-video-animation.html. It offers some fun-filled Valentine’s Day facts and an inspirational message at the end that will assure you of a breathtakingly beautiful fact:
   
You Are God’s Valentine
   
Read that last sentence again. Let it redecorate your heart. Whether you’re married, divorced, engaged, widowed, or single, you are loved by God.
   
That Bible sitting on your shelf…it’s a collection of His love letters to you. Since it’s far easier to love others when our own love tank is full, lets look at some of my favorite love notes from God:
  
I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. -Jeremiah 31:3
 
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” – 1 John 3:1
 
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8
           
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?…For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:35-39
 
Forever and always. Lavishly. Actively. Knowing your bad side. Inseparable. That’s how God loves you.
 
Take this Love Challenge: Begin every day this month by reminding yourself that you are God’s Valentine AND read a love note from Him!
 
Really Relating
How does it feel to know you are lavishly loved by God?
How should knowing this affect the other relationships in our lives?
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Compassion in Action 12/04/2009

When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion.
  
He was walking in and she was walking out. That simple fact rearranged her world. Her story is recorded in Luke 7 of the Bible, and it never ceases to move me to tears. It’s one of the most compelling examples of compassion in action that this world has ever seen. While He was Jesus, the living breathing Son of God who was somehow walking around planet Earth on a pair of human legs, the Bible simply refers to her as The Widow of Nain.
  
When the Bible says He “saw” her, it implies that He knew her pain like in such a way that He actually experienced it Himself. That’s powerful! And the word “compassion” doesn’t mean he just felt sorry for her. It’s from the Greek, meaning to have the bowls yearn, to feel sympathy, to pity, to be moved with compassion.[1]
 

As I’ve read and listened to your beautiful responses to my last blog post, Legacies in the Making, I was reminded of her story. Thank you for reminding me of Jesus. He is our premier example of what it means to truly care for another. Just as He walked over to the coffin of the Widow’s son and miraculously brought him back to life, He sees our painful situations today and moves to resurrect hope within us. And, since He’s turned in His human arms and legs, He’s allowing you and I to be His hands and feet to others.
  
Thank you for all the ways you’re touching the lives of those around you. May we be so cognizant of God’s overflowing love and compassion for us that we can’t possibly keep it for ourselves! May we be compelled to extravagantly pour it out on someone else. You’ve inspired me this week. Thanks for sharing your stories with me. Keep ‘em coming. A girl can never have too much inspiration!
  
Really Relating:
What is the kindest act of compassion someone has shown you?
Who do you know that needs you to be God’s hands and feet today? What can you do?

[1] Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary, PC Study Bible, CD ROM (Seattle, Wash.: Biblesoft, 1997).
For more on the Widow of Nain’s encounter with Jesus, see the Bible’s Luke 7 or my book, Sharing His Secrets: Intimate Insights From the Women Who Knew Jesus (Multnomah Publishers, 2001), p 34-55.