Posts Tagged ‘God’

2 John 8-10 (NIV):

8 Watch out that you do not lose what we[a] have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. 9 Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them.”

During my quiet time God showed me how in “today’s church” that we compromise and conform to this world far to often to keep “peace” (it’s a false peace because Jesus is the only true peace), to keep our governmental tax exempt status, to keep from being litigated against, to keep from being accused of bigotry, or to not offend people.

The truth is that we are an imperfect people that God chooses to use to spread the message of salvation of our perfect Jesus and lately many “churches” are preaching “a different Jesus” that is found within the Holy Bible.

This false jesus (false so no BIG J!) that is being taught…often in churches that many of us attend is “okay” with or gives sin a pass, approves of current feministic or chauvinistic teachings being taught the church that are NOT found in God’s Word, approves of the murder of His created handi-work via abortion, approves of disrespect towards our national leaders depending on which party they are affiliated with or which “color” they are, that it is okay to “accuse” someone today of things that their ancestors did, that it is okay to align against His chosen people Israel with nations/peoples who do not serve our God, and among other things allow other “teachings” (people from other faiths or within our midst) to stand in our pulpits and preach a foreign message than the one that we are taught is the truth.

This should not be dear brothers and sisters so let’s be encouraged today to repent of this sin of allowing sin and untruthful messages to be given access to the world through our pulpits and/or out of our mouths.

Let’s ask forgiveness today of the Lord for walking in agreement with the world on issues to simply “keep the peace” when Jesus (in love but most certainly ferociously) confronted these issues (and whether you like it or not) so that sinners, the church that they make up, and the world has a chance to walk eternally in TRUE PEACE with Him.

He loves you today and so do I!!

Be blessed, have a Jesus-filled day, and If I don’t speak to you again this year via the blog have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Ron “Big Black” Garrett

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‘God loves you unconditionally, wholeheartedly and continually.’ These were the words of the late Alex Buchanan, described as a pastor to the pastors.

He was partially blind and suffered a stroke that affected one side of his face. I remember hearing him speak about God’s love and he kept repeating the words, ‘God loves you unconditionally, wholeheartedly and continually.’

When he finished his talk he came up to me and said, ‘Do you believe that God approves of you?’ I said, ‘Actually, I really struggle with that because I know things about myself that mean I find it difficult to believe that God approves of me.’ He replied, ‘We all struggle with that. But God wants you to know that he approves of you. He wants you to know he loves you unconditionally, wholeheartedly and continually.’

If I were asked to summarise what I thought the Bible was all about in one word – apart from the word ‘Jesus’ – I would choose the word ‘love’. Twice in today’s New Testament passage John writes, ‘God is love’ (1 John 4:8,16). The word ‘love’ is used widely in our society. Nowhere in the Bible does it say, ‘Love is God’. In other words, it is God who defines what love is rather than the other way around. God is love.

This is the message you need to understand yourself, meditate on constantly and speak about to the world: ‘God is love’.

Here is the answer to the greatest longing of the world today. People are looking for love. Their hearts are searching. When you really know God’s love for you, your life is transformed. As we will see in the New Testament passage for today, God’s love is at the heart of each of the four keys to overcoming unhealthy fear in your life: ‘There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear’ (v.18).

Psalm 138:1–8

1. Thank God for his love

‘Thank you! Everything in me says “Thank you!”’, writes the psalmist, ‘Thank you for your love, thank you for your faithfulness’ (vv.1–2, MSG).

God is loving and faithful in answering our prayers: ‘When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stout-hearted’ (v.3).

In this life we face many ‘troubles’ (v.7b) – sickness, opposition, temptation, exhaustion, trials and attacks. God, in his love and faithfulness, preserves us. ‘Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life’ (v.7a).

I think verse 8 is one of the most encouraging verses in the entire Bible: ‘The Lord will fulfil his purpose for me’ (v.8a). God, in his love and faithfulness, has a purpose for your life and he will fulfil that purpose.

Human love can be fleeting, but ‘your love, O Lord, endures forever’ (v.8b).

As God’s love and faithfulness go hand in hand, so should our love for one another – in marriage, and in all our other relationships.

Lord, thank you so much for your amazing love and faithfulness towards me. Thank you that you promise to fulfil your purpose for me. Help me to live a life of love and faithfulness.

1 John 4:7–21

2. Live in the love of God

‘God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us’ (v.17, MSG).

The words ‘love’, ‘loves’ and ‘loved’ appear twenty-seven times in this short passage. Here is the heart of the New Testament. Here is the heart of the Bible. Here is God’s heart.

Love is the antidote to fear: ‘Perfect love drives out fear’ (v.18). Or, ‘perfect love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror’ (v.18, AMP).

Love is the opposite of fear. They are like oil and water. Love is something everyone wants. Fear is something everybody wants to get rid of. We see in this passage four keys to overcome unhealthy fear in your life.

• Understand God’s Love

• ‘This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins… so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment… there is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love’ (vv.10,17–18).

• Unhealthy fear entered the world when Adam and Eve sinned. They hid from God. When God asked, ‘Where are you?’ Adam replied, ‘I was afraid… so I hid’ (Genesis 3:10). Adam was afraid that God would punish him.

• The deepest root of fear is condemnation – the feeling that God is cross with you. But God ‘sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins’ (1 John 4:10). Jesus took your condemnation. God wants you to have confidence before him.

• Experience God’s Love

• ‘We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his spirit… we know and rely on the love God has for us’ (vv.13,16).

• You truly start living when you know you are unconditionally loved by God. The Holy Spirit gives us the experience of God’s love for us. When Pippa was a little girl, whenever she was frightened, her father would pick her up in his arms and sing, ‘Daddy’s got you now’. This is the work of the Holy Spirit – God picks us up in his arms and reassures us of his love for us.

• Believe God’s Love

• ‘We know and rely on the love God has for us’ (v.16). The Greek word used for ‘rely’ is the same word as for believe. Even when we know and have experienced God’s love, we need to keep on believing.

• Object permanence is an expression used by psychologists of a child’s ability to understand that objects still exist even if they are no longer visible.

• Up to about four months old, babies don’t have the capacity to believe something exists if they can’t see it. If you hide a toy it no longer exists as far as they are concerned. They reach a stage where if you hide a toy, they will keep on looking for it. They realise that objects exist even when you don’t see them.

• This is a sign of Christian maturity: when we continue to believe in God’s love even when we don’t see it or feel it. We remember and recall. As we believe in the sun even when it is not shining, we continue to believe in God’s love even in times of darkness when we don’t feel his love.

• Perfect God’s Love

• ‘No-one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us’ (v.12). ‘Perfect love drives out all fear’ (v.18).

• The more you love him and demonstrate that reality by loving one another – the less you are prey to fear. Develop a culture of love – giving and receiving love. This is the opposite of competition and gossip. The more love you give to others – the more fear disappears.

Lord, thank you that you love me unconditionally, wholeheartedly and continually. Thank you that perfect love casts out all fear.

Daniel 11:2–35

3. Stand firm in the love of God

People who know their God (v.32) are people of love. Love is not weak. The people who really know God resist evil leaders. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a man who knew God and firmly resisted Adolf Hitler whilst praying, ‘Give me such love for God and men, as will blot out all hatred and bitterness.’ Over the centuries many people who have known their God have stood firm and resisted evil.

Once again this prophecy has different levels of fulfilment. The immediate historical fulfilment concerns the various kings and rulers who reigned between 530–150 bc, many of whom were evil and ungodly in their actions.

However, there is also a long-term fulfilment. As we saw yesterday, Jesus referred to the abomination that causes destruction (9:27; 11:31; Matthew 24:15). He was probably referring to the destruction of Jerusalem in ad 70, which was a foreshadowing of the end times.

In the midst of all this evil ‘the people who know their God will firmly resist [the evil one]’ (Daniel 11:32b). As the RSV puts it, they will ‘stand firm and take action’. Or as The Message puts it, ‘those who stay courageously loyal to their God will take a strong stand’ (v.32b). It goes on, ‘those who keep their heads on straight will teach the crowds right from wrong by their example… The testing will refine, cleanse, and purify those who keep their heads on straight and stay true’ (vv.33,35, MSG).

Today, thank God for his love, live in the love of God, overcome your fears, stand firm and resist evil.

Lord, help us to be a people of love who know their God and stand firm, overcome our fears, resist evil and take action.

Pippa Adds

1 John 4:18

‘There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…’

I have found comfort in this verse thousands of times.

Youth leaders often stand in the gap for youth who have parents who are too busy for them.  

They stand in the gap for parents who simply don’t care for or who abandon their children.

They also stand in the gap for parents who are not too busy and love their children as a “help” or assist to their children in their spiritual development or simply to walk beside both the parent and the youth as they navigate through this thing called life.

All of these roles and many more define the youth leader of today yet know and understand that we do not simply stand in the gap for our youth.

Our real mission is to first lead them into a life filled with Christ and then as Paul did for Timothy mentor them to become leaders themselves to replace us so that they can in turn mentor the next generation of our youth to do the same.

This is mine and any Jesus-fearing youth leaders passion and is what drives us to spend our time, prayers, and quite often resources on this segment of society that is often ignored because they are quite often “hard to deal with”.

So I want to encourage all youth leaders and those who have mentored, helped, or supported them (we ALL have a hand in their development BTW) to continue to “dig in” and invest in our youth in the Name of Jesus Christ.

The weariness that you often feel and the pain that you feel when a youth in your care is harmed, dies (for whatever reason), abused, and the list goes on of the terrible things that we walk through them and their families with is worth it and is recognized by Jesus!

So strengthen yourself in the Lord Jesus today ESPECIALLY that youth leader that He had me pen this for this morning who is contemplating quitting because it has become “too hard” to continue.

God is about to refresh you with some of the youth that you have mentored as you see how you have impacted their lives so stop focusing on the “lost ones” and focus on Jesus and the ones that you’ve mentored to good growth in Jesus!

He loves you and last but not least I want to thank all of the parents out there for allowing us to mentor your children and I apologize for those who evily abuse your trust by abusing the privilege of mentor ship of your children by committing unspeakable acts or who only do what they do for selfish reasons.

We who take this deal seriously and simply love your children wanting to see them flourish and allowing the Holy Spirit to use us to do so thank you for this privilege and we vow to not let this honor given to us by you go to waste.

Love and blessings on this awesome day!

Ron “Big Black” and always a youth leader at heart “Garrett

Pray AS you read His Word

Posted: October 24, 2017 in Articles, Religion
Tags: , , , ,

Most people seem to want to pray more.
Over the years I’be found that one way to actually do this is to while reading my daily word that I pray about the things that God through His word as I read it come to my mind.
For instance today as I was reading Jeremiah as he spoke on false prophets God gave me a mental picture of those prophets and it made me wonder in my heart how many times that I may have falsely prophesied in pride or simply because I wanted to look more “Holy” to people.  
Now I know that I’m not the only one guilty of this (😂) but the point is it is no condemnation here but God uses these convictions as we read His word like fertilizer for our growing spirits to help us grow into maturity IF we shun our pride and allow Him to do so.
So as I read His word and issues that I’m convicted of running afoul of His heart on come up I simply pause for a second and say a simple prayer.
For example…on the issue of falsely prophesying I simply say “Lord, forgive me for if and when I have falsely spoke words claiming that they are yours. Help me to lose pride and say ONLY what you would have me to say and I thank you for this correction. In Jesus Name Amen!”
I try to do the same as I read His word and anything on any issue comes up AND also as people or myself come to mind as I read the texts and things come to mind about I.e, health, worries, fear, anxiety, grieving over death, etc., because in that moment I have a scriptural prayer point right in front of me to that God for AS I pray to Him about the exposed issue that came to light while reading His Word.
Of course this will expand your reading time a little but the benefit is that your prayer time will also increase and you don’t have to be religious about it either as some days nothing comes up for me.
Simply put this came to mind as I read today so I wanted to share as it may be helpful to someone’s growth as it has mine.
Be blessed and I love You with the art of Jesus that bears within me.
Oh yeah, this only works IF you actually take the time to read His Word. So make time since nothing else fosters that exponential growth in spirit that so many claim to want than reading and praying God’s Word over ours and those whom we pray for/about lives.
Ron “Big Black” Garrett

https://www.facebook.com/powerofpositivity/videos/10154500437397371/
Just as it was with Thomas Edison in the linked video my life was filled with negative words that were spoken over me yet when positive ones were spoken they one out because the positive will always defeat the negative.
I was told over and over again that I was “dumb” and “wasn’t going to amount to nothing” by many of the generation of my family that came before me and since they were my elders I believed them.

When I joined the Army I had men and women in my leadership chain that told me how smart that I was and since they were my leaders I believed them.

One of these stories in my life was positive and one was negative yet the positive one once spoken exponentially outran the negative and I have since no matter if it is a job, college, or whatever have always been viewed by peers, leaders, and subordinates alike as a man of intelligence.

Now, know that while that story ended up well it pales in comparison what happened in my life when I heard what God said about me and BELIEVED it!!!

Choose this day to refute the negative that anyone is speaking over your life and instead go to God’s Word to see what HE has to say about who and what you are to HIM.

You are the “apple of His eye” and “chosen” by Him purposely to do great things in His Name.

You are a prince or princess and co-heir to the throne with Jesus Christ so stop believing the world’ foolish obsession with finding ones self-worth and seek Jesus today and you will find your “God-worth” which is eternally more valuable than anything that the world has to offer.

Everything that I have is granted to me by God and the simple knowledge that He loves me means more to me that every book of “knowledge” that this world has to offer.

Besides, once I chose Him He opened up His storehouse of wisdom and made it available to me and that is when the “true intelligence” in my being began.

Ron “Big Black” Garrett

Colossians‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭(NIV‬‬): “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.”

I often softly 😂 (lol) when I see all of the posts on social media, hear it on tv/radio, or have conversations with people who say that we are not to “judge” (admonish) people.

 The Bible is clear that we are to not judge ones’ heavenly eternity with our earthly eyes/minds and as we read the scripture above from the letter that our brother the Apostle Paul sent to the Colossi and as we read other scriptures in the Bible it clearly teaches us to among many other things to also admonish one another.

It’s in there folks….yet we should remember to do admonish with the caveat of doing so knowing that we ourselves must FIRST remember the “mud” in our own eye before judging the “speck” in our brother or sister’s eye AND IN LOVE.

This will enable us to judge with a higher level of grace and mercy that Christ has shown us while also coming at it from a place of love which will immediately or eventually “bless” instead of cursing the situation.

I have failed in this area numerous times over the years BUT PRAISE AND THANK JESUS that He has been patient with me and has grown me each year to be more and graceful towards others by using those closest to me to show me the “mud” in my own eye as I judged the “speck” in their eye eye  (I have also had to consider that constantly judging others made me feel better about myself as I judged them and ignored the areas of my life that I should be judging and correcting and IJS that when God made me consider this I either had to change course or stop growing…I can also see that many reading this also face this challenge today from the posts that I read on social media or hear from the mouths of many brothers/ sisters).


Thank you (and sorry at the same time but He has used me for you guys the same way 😂) Tracy Gowen Garrett Sarah Elizabeth Masters Mariah Ann Garrett, Devonte’ Townsend, and Kegan Masters as well as the rest of my family/friends.
I praise God for admonishments because they are not only catalysts for proper change in my life but they also are fertilizer for spiritual and more Jesus-like growth in me as I humble myself before God (He just gave me this as I was typing this btw…had never thought of it this way) He then grants me more wisdom because He know that I won’t “puff up with pride” and use it unwisely.

Even if I do He has seen that I have a history of humbling myself before Him so even when I do become prideful in that way I will repent and to my amazement He STILL grants me even more wisdom and my growth then becomes even more exponential ( didn’t even mean to go this way with this but He gives so I take and pass it on 😂).

SO, admonish others if you must through the prism of God’s grace/mercy granted to you as it does harm to the message of Christ when we don’t i the brother or sister that it’s directed at.  

Even worse not kearning  to admonish in love can entirely close up the hearts of the non-believer to the message of Jesus’s salvation for them and I must add that you will be held accountable for it (note: I say this so that you will take this seriously because God has shown me that He also takes into account our missteps due to the level of growth we are at and even forgets them entirely when we truly repent, ask for forgiveness and allow Him to work on us in this area).

Have a Jesus filled day and go and love on someone today will ya!!!

Ron “Big Black” Garrett 

“LOVE”

Posted: September 1, 2017 in Articles, Religion
Tags: , , , , ,

When I view my life through the prism of the verses found in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 I wholly realize how much work Jesus has to do in me.  

1 Corinthians 13:4-7: (NLT):

“4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

In my devotional this morning (which I will post in its entirety in a bit) i felt challenged to place my name in the place of “love” when reading these scriptures to see how closely I match it (for example: “Ron is patient”) and I soon figured out that I have a long way to go because there are still so many of these areas that Paul describes as attributes that I should have in “love” that I either don’t have yet, only partially have, or struggle in acquiring.  

The good thing is that this exercise doesn’t bring my joy down but builds up my faith that I AM growing since I had almost none of these when I started my walk with the Lord some 12-13 years ago.  

I encourage all of us to try this exercise and keep it in mind as we go throughout each day so that we can find areas to get better in the process of loving each other.

Pray and ask God to expose the “loveless” or “love-lacking” areas that have residence in your heart and also ask Him to strengthen the areas even more that you already are good in loving others in.

Have a love and Jesus-filled day!

Ron “Big Black” Garrett 

(The devotional from the one-year reading plan on the Youversion app):
Sixteen Characteristics of Love
I tried following the example of a missionary I once heard about who, each day, would read the four verses from today’s New Testament passage, which lists the sixteen characteristics of love. For the word ‘love’ she would substitute her own name. When she reached a characteristic that she knew was not true of her, she had to stop. Her aim was, one day, to get through the whole list.
The four verses (1 Corinthians 13:4–7) start with ‘love is patient’. So I substituted my own name and started with ‘Nicky is patient’. I do not think it will come as any surprise to those who know me well that I had to stop there!
The great evangelist D. L. Moody was once staying with a group of friends in England. One evening they asked Henry Drummond to read and expound on a portion of Scripture. After some urging, Henry drew a small New Testament from his pocket, opened it at 1 Corinthians 13 and began to speak on the subject of love. D. L. Moody wrote in response:
‘It seemed to me that I had never heard anything so beautiful. The one great need in our Christian life is love, more love to God and to each other. Would that we could all move into that love chapter and live there.’
We get an idea of what Henry Drummond must have said that evening in his book The Greatest Thing in the World. He writes: ‘What is… the supreme good? You have life before you. Once only you can live it. What is the noblest object of desire, the supreme gift to covet? In 1 Corinthians 13 Paul takes us to Christianity at its source; and there we see ‘the greatest of these is love.’
God is love. We deceive ourselves if we think we can love God and hate other people (1 John 4:20). Love should be number one on your spiritual priority list. It should be the main thing in your life. It is, in the words of St Paul, ‘the most excellent way’ (1 Corinthians 12:31). 
Psalm 100:1-5
1. Enjoy God’s love for you
The psalmist exhorts us to ‘Shout for joy to the Lord… Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs’ (vv.1–2). He tells us to ‘enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name’ (v.4); ‘Enter with the password: “Thank you!”’ (v.4, MSG); ‘Be thankful and say so to Him’ (v.4, AMP).
Why? What is the reason for such joy, thanksgiving and praise? The psalmist gives the answer in verse 5: ‘For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.’
God is good and he loves you. This pretty much sums up the message of the entire Bible. It is his love that is the source of our love: ‘We love because he first loved us’ (1 John 4:19). Understand, believe and accept that he loves you and enjoy his love.
Lord, I thank and praise you for your amazing love for me. Thank you that your love endures forever. Help me to enjoy your love today.
1 Corinthians 12:27-13:13
2. Embrace a life of love
Henry Drummond explains that at the beginning of this chapter we have love contrasted; in the heart of it, we have love analysed and towards the end we have love defended as the supreme gift.
Love contrasted

The description of love in 1 Corinthians 13 is one of the most beautiful and best-known passages in the entire New Testament. Many non-churchgoers would recognise it as being read at weddings. Paul places it in the middle of his teaching about the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ.
He lists nine gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:27–30. At the start of chapter 12 he also listed nine gifts. There is an overlap of five. So thirteen gifts of the Holy Spirit are listed in all. Paul has been describing the importance of these gifts for the body of Christ to function fully.
He is not diminishing the importance of gifts by talking about love. Rather, he is saying, ‘gifts are very important but love is even more important.’ We desperately need the gifts of the Holy Spirit to be properly exercised in the church today. However, as in Paul’s day, love is even more important. It is ‘the most excellent way’ (v.31).
In fact, Paul says if we have all the gifts and give everything we have to the poor and die the death of a martyr but we have not love, we gain nothing (13:1–3). He is not criticising the use of the gifts, such as speaking in tongues and prophecy (vv.1–2), anymore than he is criticising philanthropists or martyrs (v.3). He is simply stressing the importance that everything you do should be done in love.

Love analysed

Paul then lists sixteen characteristics of love. Every time I read this list I feel deeply challenged. I know how far short of all these characteristics – not just the first one! – I so often fall. I like The Message translation:

            ‘Love never gives up [‘Love is patient’, NIV]

            Love cares more for others than for self.

            Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.

            Love doesn’t strut,

            Doesn’t have a swelled head,

            Doesn’t force itself on others,

            Isn’t always “me first”,

            Doesn’t fly off the handle,

            Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,

            Doesn’t revel when others grovel,

            Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,

            Puts up with anything,

            Trusts God always,

            Always looks for the best,

            Never looks back,

            But keeps going to the end’ (vv.4–7, MSG).
Love defended

Love is permanent. Everything else is temporary. All the gifts of the Spirit will one day be unnecessary. Some have argued that what Paul is saying here is that the gifts of the Spirit (such as speaking in tongues) would cease at some point in history. In fact, he is saying the very opposite. He is saying that the gifts of the Spirit will not cease until we see Jesus ‘face to face’ (v.12). As yet we do not see Jesus ‘face to face’ and therefore the gifts of the Spirit have not yet ceased. We still need them desperately.
But, the greatest thing in the world is love. Faith, hope and love are a great trilogy, but ‘the greatest of these is love’ (v.13).

Lord, we desperately need this kind of love in the church today. Help me grow in love to reflect the way St Paul describes. May I make my love for you, and for others, the highest priority of my life.
Song of Songs 5:1-8:14
3. Ensure that love is the main thing
The word ‘love’ or ‘lover’ appears over and over again in the Song of Songs. It is all about romantic love between a lover and his beloved. They are overcome by love for one another. The beloved says that she is ‘heartsick with love for him’ (5:8, MSG).
There is a strong element of physical and erotic love. Both describe the physical beauty of their marriage partner (5:10–16; 6:4–9). As one commentator put it, ‘The Song of Songs is a long, lyric poem about erotic love and sexual desire – a poem in which the body is the object of desire and source of delight, and lovers engage in a continual game of seeking and finding… sexual gratification.’
But their love goes way beyond the physical and the erotic. The beloved says, ‘This is my lover, this is my friend’ (5:16c). There is nothing better in marriage than having someone as your partner, your lover and your best friend.
In yesterday’s passage the lover says, ‘You are a garden fountain, a well of flowing water’ (4:15). Each human being has a never-ending flow of beautiful and wonderful resources.
As the Song of Songs draws to an end, there is a beautiful description of the never ending quality of love: ‘Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave’ (8:6). And now, after the resurrection of Jesus, we can say that love is even stronger than death: ‘Love never fails’ (1 Corinthians 13:8).
Again, I like The Message version:
‘The fire of love stops at nothing –

   it sweeps everything before it.

Flood waters can’t drown love,

   torrents of rain can’t put it out.

Love can’t be bought, love can’t be sold –

   it’s not to be found in the marketplace’ (8:6c–7, MSG).
Thank you, Lord, that your love for me is like a fire that stops at nothing. May my love for you be the highest priority in my life. Thank you that your love cannot be bought or earned, but only gratefully and humbly received.
Pippa Adds
1 Corinthians 13:1–7
These extraordinary verses need to be read constantly in homes, schools, businesses… everywhere. They should be studied, learnt and practised.