Whats your love?

To wrap-up this series, I thought it only fitting to do a post about Love on this Easter weekend.  I know that people everywhere will be blogging about Love and Passion and God this weekend, but I wanted to take this a slightly different way from the way I have written about love in the past.

World English Dictionary

love  (lʌv)
— vb
1. tr ) to have a great attachment to and affection for
2. tr ) to have passionate desire, longing, and feelings for
3. tr ) to like or desire (to do something) very much
4. tr ) to make love to
5. intr ) to be in love
— n
6. a. an intense emotion of affection, warmth, fondness, andregard towards a person or thing
b. ( as modifier ): love song love story
7. a deep feeling of sexual attraction and desire
8. wholehearted liking for or pleasure in something
9. Christianity
a. God’s benevolent attitude towards man
b. man’s attitude of reverent devotion towards God
10. Also: my love  a beloved person: used esp as an endearment
11. informal  ( Brit ) a term of address, esp but not necessarilyfor a person regarded as likable
12. (in tennis, squash, etc) a score of zero
13. fall in love  to become in love
14. for love  without payment
15. used with a negative for love or money  in anycircumstances: I wouldn’t eat a snail for love or money
16. for the love of  for the sake of

I went to dictionary.com and there are even more definitions than what I have listed here.  Then when you do a search at biblegateway.com there are 484 references of the word Love.

John 3:16

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

   16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His [a]only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

Footnotes:

  1. John 3:16 Or unique, only one of His kind

What better show of love is there than what God did for us?  God gave up a piece of himself, as a sacrifice for us to be able to spend eternity with him.  So many times we get a distorted idea of what love really is.  We use the word love about so many different things, we love songs, we love cars, movies, tv shows, etc.  But when it comes to loving people, and being in love with someone, the feeling of love comes and goes.  Look at the high rate of divorce in our country, and when you talk to people that are divorced or separated, a lot of times you will hear them say that they just fell out of love.

But what God did for us, is the type of love that we should be striving for.  True love and passion for God and for others is love that gives up part of yourself, to benefit the other person.  In most cases, the other person will give back and give up part of themselves for you.  A true relationship is not one-sided, and too many times this is not the case, one side does all of the giving.  Too many times we take advantage of the gift of Love that God has given us.  God has only asked for us to listen and follow Him, to love our neighbors as ourselves.  We have so much to be thankful for and so little to do, to show our love back to God.

What are you willing to give up to follow Christ?  What part of yourself are you willing to give up for your spouse, family, friends?   Are you willing to go out of your way to do something for them, to step out of your comfort zone?

Love is not easy, it is to be cherished and fought for.  Jesus told his disciples, that the world would hate them, but to remember that it hated Him first.  And in marriages, you must always be willing to fight to keep your love alive.  The day that you say, “It can’t happen to us…”, is the day that trouble will begin.  You must guard your heart and guard your love.  Stand up for love, and for what matters in life.

God was will to have His own Son die, to show His love for us, what else is there to give up….

What’s your hope?

So last week I started with passion, and this week I want to move on to hope and faith. No not the sitcom, but true hope and faith.
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hope |hōp|noun1 a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen: he looked through her belongings in the hope of coming across some information | I had high hopes of making the Olympic team.• a person or thing that may help or save someone: their only hope is surgery.• grounds for believing that something good may happen: he does see some hope for the future.2 archaic a feeling of trust.verb [ no obj. ]want something to happen or be the case: he’s hoping for an offer of compensation | [ with clause ] : I hope that the kids are OK.• [ with infinitive ] intend if possible to do something: we’re hoping to address all these issues.

faith |fāTH|noun1 complete trust or confidence in someone or something:this restores one’s faith in politicians.2 strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.• a system of religious belief: the Christian faith.• a strongly held belief or theory: the faith that life will expand until it fills the universe.

faith – noun 1 he justified his boss’s faith in him: trust, belief, confidence,conviction; optimism, hopefulness, hope. 2 she gave her life for her faith: religion, church, sect,denomination, (religious) persuasion, (religious) belief,ideology, creed, teaching, doctrine.

hope – noun 1 I had high hopes: aspiration, desire, wish, expectation,ambition, aim, goal, plan, design; dream, daydream, pipe dream.2 a life filled with hope: hopefulness, optimism, expectation,expectancy; confidence, faith, trust, belief, conviction,assurance; promise, possibility. 3 have we any hope of winning? chance, prospect, likelihood,probability, possibility; informal shot. verb 1 he’s hoping for a medal: expect, anticipate, look for, be hopeful of, pin one’s hopes on, want; wish for, long for,dream of. 2 we’re hoping to address the issue: aim, intend, be looking, have the intention, have in mind, plan, aspire.

To me, hope and faith, are the same but different. Faith to me is the belief of things unseen, and hope is what we want to happen. I have faith that the studs in the walls will hold up my house, I have faith that my heart will continue to beat, I have faith that God will provide for me and my family. I hope that my car starts every morning, I hope that my computer works properly everyday, I hope that I save my blog posts… It is also my hope that my daughter will grow up to be a great woman of God, and find a nice christian husband. I hope that I am the father figure that God has called me to be, I am the husband that God has called me to be.

If faith is a belief in the unseen, why do so many people say the the will only believe in things they can see. Do we not have any faith anymore. To me the best description of faith I have ever heard is; “I’ve never seen the wind, but I have seen the effects of the wind… but I still know that there is wind.” So while we can’t see God, we can see his creation all around us. We can see and feel the effects of his presence around us. Just when we don’t know where else to turn, we see a way out. God knows the answers the entire time, we have to look to him to get those answers.

Think about some of the team building exercises that are out there; the trust fall, walking blindfolded while someone else guides you. With all of these exercises you have to hope that people will catch you, and that they will guide you properly. Look at all of the plays that are used during a football game; the quarterback has to hope that his line will keep him protected, and that a receiver is going to get open, and be running the route that he is expected to run so that the quarterback knows exactly where to look.

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It comes down to the fact that we need to have a child-like faith. We just need to trust God that all will be taken care of. As kids, we didn’t care about the things that our parents did, house and car payments, bills, etc. We just wanted to know that mom and/or dad would be there to: pick us up when we fell down, make dinner, and that things were the way they were because that’s how God made it. As we get older, we start applying logic to our thinking, we start questioning faith with logic. It is here that we have to go back to the child-like faith, and realize that the things of God, don’t always make sense in the now. Many times we can look back on situations that happened in the past and see where God was in it, but it is hard to see when it is happening.

The biggest question that I want to pose to you now is, where are you putting your hope? Do you put your hope and faith into people, material things, sports? Do you put your hope and faith in God and Family? Take this time leading up to Easter, and reflect on where you place your hope, and what your passions are.

What’s your passion?

Preface:  I’m starting this post as part of a multi-post set leading up to Easter.  The post series is going to be about Passion, Love, Faith and Hope.  Feel free to comment definitions of these topics in your own words.

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What’s your passion?

passion |ˈpaSHən|

noun

1 strong and barely controllable emotion: a man of impetuous passion.

• a state or outburst of such emotion: oratory in which he gradually works himself up into a passion.

• intense sexual love: their all-consuming passion for each other | she nurses a passion for Thomas.

• an intense desire or enthusiasm for something: the English have a passion for gardens.

• a thing arousing enthusiasm: modern furniture is a particular passion of Bill’s.

2 ( the Passion )the suffering and death of Jesus: meditations on the Passion of Christ.

• a narrative of this from any of the Gospels.

• a musical setting of any of these narratives: an aria from Bach’s St. Matthew Passion.

passion

noun

1 the passion of activists: fervor, ardor, enthusiasm, eagerness, zeal, zealousness, vigor, fire, fieriness, energy, fervency, animation, spirit, spiritedness, fanaticism. ANTONYMS apathy.

2 he worked himself up into a passion: (blind) rage, fit of anger/temper, temper, towering rage, tantrum, fury, frenzy.

3 hot with passion: love, (sexual) desire, lust, ardor, infatuation, lasciviousness, lustfulness.

4 his passion for football: enthusiasm, love, mania, fascination, obsession, fanaticism, fixation, compulsion, appetite, addiction; informal thing.

5 French literature is my passion: obsession, preoccupation, craze, mania, hobbyhorse.

6 the Passion of Christ: crucifixion, suffering, agony, martyrdom.

Passion like love takes on so many different meanings for different people and different times.  It is during this time of year, that we hear a lot about passion.  Churches are preparing for Passion Plays, we hear about the Passion of Jesus, and we hear about the passion of basketball.  As you can see 1 of these is obviously not like the others.  In thinking about this I was trying to come up with my own definition of passion – the way you feel about something so strongly that it is what keeps you going.

That was the best own-word definition that I could come up with.  I also wanted to try and separate passion from love, because you can feel passionate about something that does not fall into the realm of love.  I’m passionate about writing, my family, technology, cars, The Ohio State Buckeyes, and while in a way I love,  those things, I don’t love them in the way I’m taking these posts.  I write because I like to do it, technology is my job – and I enjoy what I do.  Also lets face it, I live in Lexington, around here there is a PASSION for Kentucky basketball.

If passion is what gets you going and keeps you going, what is your passion?  Is it your family, your job, your team? Think about the things that mean the most to you in your life, what would you do to make sure that they/it had your full attention?  This takes me to a deeper thought on Passion; The Passion that God has for us.  Again as we come up on Easter, we are reminded of the sacrifice that Jesus made for us.  He took our place, and took our sins and inequities upon himself, so that we would have eternal life with Him.

What do we do with this passion poured out on us?  Too many times we take it for granted.  We need to have a passion for God in the same way that He had a passion for us.  When you take a look at your priorities, in turn you will see your passions.  Your top priorities, usually turn out to be your passions.

So I leave you with this thought:  Check your priorities, check your passions, check yourself.  Make sure that your passions are what you want to be passionate about, if not its in your hands to make it right.