ENDURING TO THE END #7b
In Rhythms of the Heart, Phil Hook writes:
My mother and I did not "mix." I chose a typical teenage solution to the problem—silence.
I would leave for school in the morning, come home to eat, then leave again. When I was finally home late at night, I read books.
Invariably, my mother would come downstairs and ask me if I wanted a sandwich. I grunted my assent. She cooked egg and bacon sandwiches for me night after night until I left home for good.
Years later, when our relationship was mended, she told me why she had made all those sandwiches. "If you would ever talk to me, it was while I made that sandwich," she said.
Hook writes, "I've learned love is found in a consistent display of interest, commitment, sacrifice, and attention."
Child Rearing, Kindness, Mothers, Teenagers John 13:1-17; Titus 2:4-5
On the morning of Sunday, November 8,1987, Irishman Gordon Wilson took his daughter Marie to a parade in the town of Enniskillen, Northern Ireland.
As Wilson and his twenty-year-old daughter stood beside a brick wall waiting for English soldiers and police to come marching by, a bomb planted by IRA terrorists exploded from behind, and the brick wall tumbled on them. The blast instantly killed half a dozen people and pinned Gordon and his daughter beneath several feet of bricks. Gordon's shoulder and arm were injured. Unable to move, Gordon felt someone take hold of his hand. It was his daughter Marie.
"Is that you, Dad?" she asked.
"Yes, Marie," Gordon answered.
He heard several people begin screaming.
"Are you all right?" Gordon asked his daughter.
"Yes," she said. But then she, too, began to scream. As he held her hand, again and again he asked if she was all right, and each time she said yes.
Finally Marie said, "Daddy, I love you very much."
Those were her last words. Four hours later she died in the hospital of severe spinal and brain injuries.
Later that evening a BBC reporter requested permission to interview Gordon Wilson. After Wilson described what had happened, the reporter asked, "How do you feel about the guys who planted the bomb?"
"I bear them no ill will," Wilson replied. "I bear them no grudge. Bitter talk is not going to bring Marie Wilson back to life. I shall pray tonight and every night that God will forgive them."
In the months that followed, many people asked Wilson, who later became a senator in the Republic of Ireland, how he could say such a thing, how he could forgive such a monstrous act.
Wilson explained, "I was hurt. I had just lost my daughter. But I wasn't angry. Marie's last words to me—words of love—had put me on a plane of love. I received God's grace, through the strength of his love for me, to forgive."
For years after this tragedy, Gordon Wilson continued to work for peace in Northern Ireland.
Love can do miracles. Just as Marie Wilson's last words to her father lifted him onto the plane of love, so God's love for us lifts us onto a whole different plane, enabling us to love others no matter how they treat us.
Bitterness, Enemies, Forgiveness, Peace Matt. 5:38-48; Rom. 12:21
Bruce Thielemann tells the story of a church elder who showed what it means to follow Jesus.
A terrible ice storm had hit Pittsburgh, making travel almost impossible. At the height of the storm, a church family called their pastor about an emergency. Their little boy had leukemia and he had taken a turn for the worst. The hospital said to bring the boy in, but they could not send an ambulance, and the family did not own a car.
The pastor's car was in the shop, so he called a church elder. The elder immediately got in his car and began the treacherous journey. The brakes in his car were nearly useless. It was so slick that he could not stop for stop signs or stop lights. He had three minor accidents on the way to the family's house.
When he reached their home, the parents brought out the little boy wrapped in a blanket. His mother got in the front seat and held her son, and the father got in the back. Ever so slowly they drove to the hospital. Says Thielemann:
They came to the bottom of a hill and as they managed to skid to a stop, he tried to decide whether he should try to make the grade on the other side, or whether he should go to the right and down the valley to the hospital. And as he was thinking about this, he chanced to look to the right and he saw the face of the little boy. The youngster's face was flushed, and his eyes wide with fever and with fear. To comfort the child, he reached over and tousled his hair. Then it was that the little boy said to him, "Mister, are you Jesus?" Do you know in that moment he could have said yes. For him to live was Jesus Christ.
People who piddle around with life never know moments like that.
Loving as Jesus loved requires courage.
Courage, Risk, Sacrifice Matt. 25:31-46; Luke 10:30-37; John 13:34-35; 15:13
In his book The Ten Laws of Lasting Love, Paul Pearsall describes an important episode in a battle he faced against cancer.
Any time a doctor came with news of my progress, my wife would join with me in a mutual embrace. The reports were seldom good during the early phases of my illness, and one day a doctor brought particularly frightening news. Gazing at his clipboard, he murmured, "It doesn't look like you're going to make it."
Before I could ask a question of this doomsayer, my wife stood up, handed me my robe, adjusted the tubes attached to my body and said, "Let's get out of here. This man is a risk to your health." As she helped me struggle to the door, the doctor approached us. "Stay back," demanded my wife. "Stay away from us."
As we walked together down the hall, the doctor attempted to catch up with us. "Keep going," said my wife, pushing the intravenous stand. "We're going to talk to someone who really knows what is going on." Then she held up her hand to the doctor. "Don't come any closer to us."
The two of us moved as one. We fled to the safety and hope of a doctor who did not confuse diagnosis with verdict. I could never have made that walk toward wellness alone.
According to the "love chapter" in the Bible, love protects.
Cancer, Faith, Hope, Marriage, Protection Mark 5:35-43; 1 Cor. 13:7; Gal. 6:2
Mother Teresa of Calcutta, India, was the keynote speaker at the 1994 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. The scene was unforgettable: On either side of the podium sat President Clinton, Vice President Gore, and other dignitaries. Aids rolled the frail, eighty-three-year-old Mother Teresa to the podium in a wheelchair and had to help her stand to her feet. She stood on a special platform, and even with that the four-foot-six-inch woman could hardly reach the microphone.
Nevertheless her words sent shock waves through the auditorium. She rebuked America and its leaders for the policy of abortion.
"Mother Teresa said that America has become a selfish nation," writes Philip Yancey, "in danger of losing the proper meaning of love: 'giving until it hurts....'"
Mother Teresa said, "If we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill each other? ... Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love but to use any violence to get what they want."
Mother Teresa pleaded with pregnant women who don't want their children: "Please don't kill the child," she said. "I want the child. Please give me the child. I want it. I will care for it."
She means what she says. Mother Teresa has already placed three thousand children with families in Calcutta.
She is a model of self-sacrificing love, speaking out on behalf of the weak and giving herself to serve them.
Abortion, Conviction, Courage, Sacrifice
In The Christian Leader, Don Ratzlaff retells a story Vernon Grounds came across in Ernest Gordon's Miracle on the River Kwai. The Scottish soldiers, forced by their Japanese captors to labor on a jungle railroad, had degenerated to barbarous behavior, but one afternoon something happened:
A shovel was missing. The officer in charge became enraged. He demanded that the missing shovel be produced, or else. When nobody in the squadron budged, the officer got his gun and threatened to kill them all on the spot.... It was obvious the officer meant what he had said. Then, finally, one man stepped forward. The officer put away his gun, picked up a shovel, and beat the man to death. When it was over, the survivors picked up the bloody corpse and carried it with them to the second tool check. This time, no shovel was missing. Indeed, there had been a miscount at the first checkpoint.
The word spread like wildfire through the whole camp. An innocent man had been willing to die to save the others!... The incident had a profound effect.... The men began to treat each other like brothers.
When the victorious Allies swept in, the survivors, human skeletons, lined up in front of their captors ... (and instead of attacking their captors) insisted: "No more hatred. No more killing. Now what we need is forgiveness."
Sacrificial love has transforming power.
J. Allan Peterson, in The Myth of the Greener Grass, writes:
Newspaper columnist and minister George Crane tells of a wife who came into his office full of hatred toward her husband. "I do not only want to get rid of him; I want to get even. Before I divorce him, I want to hurt him as much as he has me."
Dr. Crane suggested an ingenious plan. "Go home and act as if you really loved your husband. Tell him how much he means to you. Praise him for every decent trait. Go out of your way to be as kind, considerate, and generous as possible. Spare no efforts to please him, to enjoy him. Make him believe you love him. After you've convinced him of your undying love and that you cannot live without him, then drop the bomb. Tell him that you're getting a divorce. That will really hurt him."
With revenge in her eyes, she smiled and exclaimed, "Beautiful, beautiful. Will he ever be surprised!"
And she did it with enthusiasm. Acting "as if." For two months she showed love, kindness, listening, giving, reinforcing, sharing.
When she didn't return, Crane called. "Are you ready now to go through with the divorce?"
"Divorce!" she exclaimed. "Never! I discovered I really do love him." Her actions had changed her feelings. Motion resulted in emotion. The ability to love is established not so much by fervent promise as often repeated deeds.
Ian Pitt-Watson adapts this portion from A Primer for Preachers:
There is a natural, logical kind of loving that loves lovely things and lovely people. That's logical. But there is another kind of loving that doesn't look for value in what it loves, but that "creates" value in what it loves. Like Rosemary's rag doll.
When Rosemary, my youngest child, was three, she was given a little rag doll, which quickly became an inseparable companion. She had other toys that were intrinsically far more valuable, but none that she loved like she loved the rag doll.
Soon the rag doll became more and more rag and less and less doll. It also became more and more dirty. If you tried to clean the rag doll, it became more ragged still. And if you didn't try to clean the rag doll, it became dirtier still.
The sensible thing to do was to trash the rag doll. But that was unthinkable for anyone who loved my child. If you loved Rosemary, you loved the rag doll—it was part of the package.
"If anyone says, I love God yet hates his brother or sister, he is a liar" (1 John 4:20).
"Love me, love my rag dolls," says God, "including the one you see when you look in the mirror. This is the finest and greatest commandment."
Booker T. Washington was born a slave. Later freed, he headed the Tuskegee Institute and became a leader in education. In his autobiography, he writes:
The most trying ordeal that I was forced to endure as a slave boy... was the wearing of a flax shirt. In that portion of Virginia where I lived, it was common to use flax as part of the clothing for the slaves. That part of the flax from which our clothing was made was largely the refuse, which of course was the cheapest and roughest part.
I can scarcely imagine any torture, except, perhaps, the pulling of a tooth, that is equal to that caused by putting on a new flax shirt for the first time. It is almost equal to the feeling that one would experience if he had a dozen or more chestnut burrs, or a hundred small pin-points, in contact with his flesh. But I had
no choice, I had to wear the flax shirt or none.
My brother John, who is several years older than I am, performed one of the most generous acts that I have ever heard of one slave relative doing for another. On several occasions when I was being forced to wear a new flax shirt, he generously agreed to put it on in my stead and wear it for several days, till it was "broken in."
Rubel Shelly tells this story:
Jason Tuskes was a 17-year-old high school honor student. He was close to his mother, his wheelchair-bound father, and his younger brother. Jason was an expert swimmer who loved to scuba dive.
He left home on a Tuesday morning to explore a spring and underwater cave near his home in west central Florida. His plan was to be home in time to celebrate his mother's birthday by going out to dinner with his family that night.
Jason became lost in the cave. Then, in his panic, he apparently got wedged into a narrow passageway. When he realized he was trapped, he shed his yellow metal air tank and unsheathed his diver's knife. With the tank as a tablet and the knife as a pen, he wrote one last message to his family: I love you mom, dad, and Christian. Then he ran out of air and drowned.
A dying message—something communicated in the last few seconds of life—is something we can't ignore. God's final words to us are etched on a Roman cross. They are blood red. They scream to be heard. They, too, say, "I love you."
God's Love, Christ's Blood
In 1996 Disney came out with the movie 101 Dalmatians, and it was a box-office success. Many viewers fell in love with the cute spotted puppies on the big screen and decided to get one for themselves. When they brought those adorable little puppies home, however, they found that living with a dalmatian is an entirely different experience from watching one on the movie screen. Soon, according to the Associated Press, all over the United States dog shelters saw a dramatic increase in the number of dalmatians being abandoned by their owners. A Florida organization called Dalmatian Rescue took in 130 dalmatians in the first nine months of 1997; usually they get that many dogs in two and a half years.
Dalmatians can be a challenge to own for several reasons. Dalmatians grow to be big dogs, weighing as much as seventy pounds. They are rambunctious and require a lot of exercise. They can be moody, becoming restless and even destructive if they don't get enough activity. They shed year-round, and 10 percent of dalmatians are born deaf.
Tracey Carson, a spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Humane Society, says, "Although Dalmatians are beautiful puppies, and can be wonderful dogs, you have to know what you're getting into."
Whether with pets or with people, infatuation with someone's appearance is a poor foundation for a relationship.
Appearance, Commitment, Expectations, Faithfulness, Illusions,
Infatuation, Marriage, Relationships, Romance
Rom. 12:10; 1 Cor. 13:7-8
Rita Price writes in a 1995 issue of the Columbus Dispatch:
Katie Fisher, 17, pulled her unruly lamb into the arena of the Madison County Junior Livestock Sale last July. With luck the lamb would fetch some spending money—and she wouldn't collapse as she had during another livestock show the day before.
Fisher had been battling Burkitt's lymphoma, a fast-growing malignancy, since February. She had endured many hospitalizations and months of chemotherapy. "Sometimes, in the beginning, it hurt so bad all she could do was pace," said her 12-year-old sister, Jessica.
Selling the lamb did raise pin money for Fisher.
"We sort of let folks know that Katie had a situation that wasn't too pleasant," said auctioneer Roger Wilson, who hoped his intraduction would push the price-per-pound above the average of $2. It did—and then some.
The lamb sold for $11.50 per pound. Then the buyer gave it back. That started a chain reaction. Families bought it and gave it back; businesses bought it and gave it back.
"The first sale is the only one I remember. After that, I was crying too hard," said Katie's mother, Jayne Fisher. "Everyone kept saying, 'Re-sell! Re-sell!'"
"We sold that lamb 36 times," said Wilson. And the last buyer gave back the lamb for good. The effort raised more than $16,000, which went into a fund to help pay Katie's medical expenses.
It is blessed both to give and to receive.
Giving, Mercy, Sacrifice Acts 20:35; Gal. 6:2; 1 John 3:16-18
How do we love someone who stumbles?
In a Leadership profile of pastor and author Stu Weber, Dave Goetz writes:
Growing up, Weber developed a temper, which blossomed in high school and college. "And then I went in the military," Weber said, "which doesn't do a lot to curb your temper and develop relational skills."
Early in his ministry, he stopped playing church-league basketball altogether; his temper kept flaring, embarrassing himself and the church. A decade passed. "I hadn't had a flash of temper for years," Weber said. "I thought, the Lord has been good. I'm actually growing."
Then his oldest son made the high school varsity basketball squad. "I began living my life again through my son." Weber terrorized the referees. On one occasion, seated in the second row, Weber wound up on the floor level, with no recollection of how he got there. He received nasty letters from church members, who, he says now, "were absolutely right on."
But then he got another note: "Stu, I know your heart. I know that's not you. I know that you want to live for Christ and his reputation. And I know that's not happened at these ballgames. If it would be helpful to you, I'd come to the games with you and sit beside you."
It was from one of his accountability partners.
"Steve saved my life," Weber said. "It was an invitation, a gracious extension of truth. He assumed the best and believed in— When we love others, we believe in and hope the best for them even when they fail.
Accountability, Anger, Belief, Community, Devotion, Discipleship,
Failure, Forbearance, Loyalty, Men, Stumbling, Support, Temper
Rom. 12:10; 1 Cor. 13:7; Col. 3:8,12-14
One evening just before the great Broadway musical star, Mary Martin, was to go on stage in South Pacific, a note was handed to her. It was from Oscar Hammerstein, who at that moment was on his deathbed. The short note simply said:
"Dear Mary, A bell's not a bell till you ring it. A song's not a song till you sing it. Love in your heart is not put there to stay. Love isn't love till you give it away."
—James Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited
L—listening when another is speaking,
0—overlooking petty faults and forgiving all failures;
V—valuing other people for who they are;
E—expressing love in a practical way.
—Denis Waitley, Seeds of Greatness
Stay fervent in love. Fervent is a word that speaks of intensity and determination. It is an athletic term for stretching to reach the tape. Have you watched the fellows and gals who run the dash? When they come around that last turn and they're pressing for the tape, they'll get right to the end and then they'll lunge forward. I've even seen them fall right there on the track, because they're pushing to reach the tape ahead of the one they're competing against. It's the idea of intensity at the tape, stretching yourself. Those who do the long jump leap into the air and throw their feet forward and they, with intensity, stretch every muscle of their body to reach as far as they can. The same with the high jumpers, or with the pole vaulters. They stretch to the uttermost to reach the limit. That's the word fervent.
What does it look like? It has hands to help others, feet to hasten to the poor and needy, eyes to see misery and want, ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.
Heat makes all things expand. And the warmth of love will always expand a person's heart.
Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O, no it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
—William Shakespeare, "Sonnet 116"
THAT IS LOVE AS GIVEN IN STORIES, POETRY, EXAMPLES.
IN THE WORD OF GOD, THE KJV BIBLE, THE WORLD “LOVE” IS FOUND ABOUT 132 TIMES IN THE OLD TESTAMENT.
IN THE NEW TESTAMENT THE WORD “LOVE” IS FOUND ABOUT 180.
IN BOTH THE OLD AND THE NEW THERE ARE VARIOUS DIFFERENT HEBREW AND GREEK WORDS FOR OUR ENGLISH WORD “LOVE.”
BUT THE BOTTOM LINE IS THE OVERALL MAIN POINT OF THE “LOVE” WORD MEANS THE SAME.
YOU COULD, BY YOURSELF, OR WITH OTHERS——DO A ONCE A WEEK READING OF ALL THE PASSAGES THAT CONTAIN IN THE KJV, THE WORD “LOVE.”
MAYBE STOP AT TIMES AND TALK ABOUT WHAT THAT VERSE IS TELLING YOU; WHAT THE SPIRIT OF GOD IS REVEALING TO YOU, AS YOU MEDITATE ON IT.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE MOST STRIKING VERSE IN THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT CONCERNING LOVE! [FROM THE KJV BIBLE].
LOVE OF MAN FOR GOD:
Ex. 20:6. Shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Deut. 5:10.
Deut.6:5. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
Deut. 7:9. Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations.
Deut. 10:12. What doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul.
Deut. 11:1. Therefore thou shalt love the Lord thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes.
Deut. 13:3. The Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
Deut. 30:6. The Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.
vs. 16, 20.
Josh. 22:5. Take diligent heed to . . . love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deut. 11:1,13,22.
Josh. 23:11. Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the Lord your God.
Psa. 18:1. I will love thee, O Lord, my strength.
Psa. 31:23. O love the Lord, all, ye his saints:
Psa. 37:4. Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Psa. 63:5. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: 6. When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.
Psa. 69:35. For God will save Zion, and will build the cities of Judah: that they may dwell there, and have it in possession. 36. The seed also of his servants shall inherit it: and they that love his name shall dwell therein.
Psa. 73:25. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. 26. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
Psa. 91:14. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
Psa. 97:10. Ye that love the Lord, hate evil.
Psa. 116:1. I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.
Psa. 145:20. The Lord preserveth all them that love him.
Prov. 8:17. I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.
Prov. 23:26. My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.
Isa. 56:6. The sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant. 7. Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar.
Mark 12:29. Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is. Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 32. And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: 33. To love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. Matt. 22:37,38.
Luke 11:42. Ye tithe mint and rue, and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Rom. 5:5. And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us.
Rom. 8:28. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God.
1 Cor. 8:3. But if any man love God, the same is known of him.
Phil. 1:9. I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment.
2 Thess. 3:5. The Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
2 Tim. 1:7. God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
1 John 2:5. Whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 15. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1 John 3:17. Whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18. My little children, let us not love in word [only], neither in tongue [only]; but in deed and in truth.
1 John 4:12. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 16. We have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 17. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19. We love him; because he first loved us. 20. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21. And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
1 John 5:1. Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born [begotten] of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. 2. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
3. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.
2 John 6. This is love, that we walk after his commandments.
Jude 21. Keep yourselves in the love of God.
OF MAN FOR JESUS:
Matt. 10:37. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. v. 38.
Matt. 25:34. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36. Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38. When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee ? 39. Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40. And the King shall answer and say unto them. Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Matt. 27:55. And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: 56. Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children. 57. When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple: 58. He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. 59. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60. And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. 61. And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre.
Mark 9:41. Whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.
Luke 2:29. Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: 30, For mine eyes have seen thy salvation.
Luke 7:47. Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
John 8:42. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither camel of myself, but he sent me.
John 14:15. If ye love me, keep my commandments. 21. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 23. If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our- abode with him. 28. . . . If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father.
John 15:9. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you; continue ye in my love.
John 16:27. The Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me.
John 17:26. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.
John 21:17. Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee.
Acts 21:13. I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.
Cor. 16:22. If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.
Cor. 5:15. And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
Gal. 5:6. In Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love. 22. The fruit of the Spirit is love.
Eph. 3:17. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18. Maybe able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19. And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Eph. 4:15. Speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.
Eph. 6:24. Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.
Phil. 1:9. I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment.
Phil. 3:7. What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.
Col. 1:8. Who also declared unto us your love in the Spirit.
2 Thess. 3:5. The Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.
2 Tim. 1:13. Hold fast the form of sound words ... in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
2 Tim. 4:8. Henceforth there is laid up for me a Crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
Philem. 5. Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints.
Heb. 6:10. God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
Jas. 1:12. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
Jas. 2:5. Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
I Pet. 1:8. Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
Rev. 2:4. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
WE HAVE SEEN EXPOUNDED THE 7 [NUMBER 7 IS PERFECTION AND COMPLETENESS USED BY GOD IN THE BIBLE] THINGS THAT WE NEED TO ADD TO FAITH—— TO NEVER FAIL OR FALL—— VIRTUE, KNOWLEDGE, TEMPERANCE, PATIENCE, GODLINESS, BROTHERLY KINDNESS, LOVE.
ALL OF THIS IS THE REAL CHRISTIAN. IT CANNOT BE ANY OTHER WAY. A TRUE CHILD OF GOD MUST HAVE ALL 7 OF THESE CHARACTERISTICS IN THEIR LIFE, BUILT UPON THE FOUNDATION OF FAITH. IT DOES NOT MEAN WE ARE PERFECT IN ALL 7 AT ALL TIMES. WE ARE FLESH; WE MISS THE MARK; WE DO SIN AT TIMES; BUT THE TRUE CHRISTIAN GETS UP AND MARCHES ON TO AIM FOR THESE 7 ATTRIBUTES.
IN SO DOING THE WORLD AND ITS WRONG WAYS AND SINS; THE FORCES OF SATAN THE DEVIL, CAN NOT BREAK THROUGH WITH THEIR DEADLY ARROWS TO KILL US. WE STAY ON THE STRAIGHT AND NARROW PATHWAY TO ETERNAL LIFE; WE MAKE OUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE.
HERE IS HOW PETER SUMMED IT ALL UP:
“FOR IF THESE THINGS BE IN YOU, AND ABOUND, THEY MAKE YOU THAT YOU SHALL NEITHER BE BARREN OR UNFRUITFUL IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. BUT HE THAT LACKS THESE THINGS IS BLIND, AND CANNOT SEE A FAR OFF, AND HAS FORGOTTEN THAT HE WAS PURGED FROM HIS OLD SINS. WHEREFORE THE RATHER, BRETHREN, GIVE DILIGENCE TO MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE: FOR IF YOU DO THESE THINGS YOU SHALL NEVER FALL. FOR SO AN ENTRANCE SHALL BE MINISTERED UNTO YOU ABUNDANTLY, INTO THE EVERLASTING KINGDOM OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST” [2 PETER 1: 8-11].
DOING THESE THINGS IS NOT EARNING SALVATION BY WORKS; YOU ARE SAVED BY GRACE [FOR THAT GREAT TRUTH YOU NEED TO READ MY STUDY “SAVED BY GRACE” UNDER “SALVATION, LAW AND GRACE” SECTION ON THIS WEBSITE].
CHRISTIANITY, FOLLOWING CHRIST, BEING A CHILD OF THE HEAVENLY FATHER, IS A WAY OF LIFE. WHAT WE HAVE SEEN IN THESE 7 ATTRIBUTES WE NEED TO HAVE AS A MIND-SET, IS THAT WAY OF LIFE.
WE SHOULD BE DOING THEM FOR THEY ARE THE NATURE OF GOD THE FATHER AND CHRIST JESUS HIS SON.
IN SO LIVING WE SHALL REMAIN FAITHFUL, WE SHALL NEVER FALL FROM OUR CALLING. AND ONE DAY JESUS WILL SAY TO US, “WELL DONE, GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT, ENTER YOU INTO THE JOY OF YOUR LORD.”