Learning to Love – A Giveaway {Closed}

My husband recently preached an excellent sermon entitled “How To Be Perfect”. Sound intimidating? I thought so when he announced the title. “Oh boy. Get ready for a mile-long list of dos and don’ts!” However, as he got into the message, I quickly saw that my presuppositions had been incorrect. 


Here’s the passage that he preached from:
Matthew 5: 43-48
43Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

 44But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
 45That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
 46For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
 47And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
 48Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Many preachers, pastors and perhaps theologians would say that the word “perfect” here means “complete”. In some passages it does mean that. But, here, the Savior is telling us that we can be “perfect”. It doesn’t mean “completely sinless and wonderful”, though, if I could attain such perfection I would strive to do so. No, we must look at the preceding verses to see what He means. Jesus is talking about loving our enemies. Does God love His enemies? Well, seeing that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to pay for our sins, I would say yes. Seeing that He saved and used the Apostle Paul, a man who had killed those who worshiped the Savior, I would say again, yes. God is perfect in every way, including in His ability to love those who do not love Him in return. Prior to June 12, 1993, this was I! Loving our enemies is one way that we, as Christians, as disciples of the Lord Jesus, can be perfect, just like our Father!

I’ve been re-reading this passage in my devotions. I’ve been mulling it over, trying to determine, what is love? Must I go spend the afternoon with my enemies, hanging out? Is that love? Should I call them daily and chat? Is that love? Or, is love simply not hating them? You know, not wishing evil on them, praying for them, etc.? To be clear, I don’t think I have any enemies, in the traditional sense of the word. I don’t think there is anyone out there slandering me or plotting my demise.(At least, I hope not!) But, I know there are some folks who are not exactly my number one fans. Or even my 2,679,342nd fan. These folks don’t want me to drop by for a coke and they don’t want to chat with me if they see me at the store. So, I’m calling them “enemies” but I feel that word is a bit harsh. The point is, I want to love everyone, even those who don’t exactly like me…at all.

It’s been a while since I had read portions of the book If by Amy Carmichael. I believe it’s no coincidence that I picked it up again just today, when I’m striving to learn how to love. I wanted to share a few passages that convicted me.

If I hold on to choices of any kind, just because they are my choice; if I give any room to my private likes and dislikes, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

If I put my own happiness before the well-being of the work entrusted to me; if, though I have this ministry and have received much mercy, I faint, then I know nothing of Calvary love.


If I am soft to myself and slide comfortably into the vice of self-pity and self-sympathy; if I do not by the grace of God practice fortitude, then I know nothing of Calvary love.


If I do not give a friend “the benefit of the doubt,” but put the worst construction instead of the best on what is said or done, then I know nothing of Calvary love. 


If I take offense easily; if I am content to continue in a cool unfriendliness, though friendship be possible, then I know nothing of Calvary love.


If a sudden jar can cause me to speak an impatient, unloving word, then I know nothing of Calvary love.*
*For a cup brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, however suddenly jolted.


If I feel injured when another lays to my charge things that I know not, forgetting that my Sinless Saviour trod this path to the end, then I know nothing of Calvary love.

I could go on and on. I received a bonus from this book. Not only am I learning how to love my enemies, but also how to better love those who love me in return. I long to share this book with all of my readers! It will be a great addition to your devotional time. However, I do not have the funds available to purchase a copy for everyone. I have decided to give away two copies, of either the book or the audiobook,(winners’ choice) to two readers. I will hold an old-fashioned drawing for the winners on Friday, July 1, 2011, at 6 PM. Winner will be announced immediately after the drawing.

How to Enter:
Do one or more of the following, each item counts as an entry, just let me know in your comment how many you have done. Those already following my blog can also count that for an extra entry! Just let me know you’ve been following!

1. Comment on this post.(If comments are not working, please let me know on my chat box or by e-mail. Thank you!)
2. Post about this giveaway on Twitter.
3. Follow my blog
4. Follow by e-mail
5. Post about this giveaway on Facebook or your blog.

I look forward to blessing two readers with this marvelous and convicting little book!

Photobucket

15 thoughts on “Learning to Love – A Giveaway {Closed}

  1. Trying to comment again…..
    I posted on Facebook.
    I tweeted on Twitter.
    I already follow your blog (with Google Reader).
    I posted on my blog (but just saw that is an either/or with Facebook).

    Anyway, that's four entries.

    Like

  2. I have been having trouble leaving comments on your blog for the last few weeks so I hope this one goes through. If not, I'll just keep trying periodically! 🙂

    I hope you are doing well. I have been reading your blog even though I have not been able to comment although with some of your sorrowful posts I had truly grieved with you and prayed for you (and your friends).

    The excerpts from the book “If” truly spoke to my heart this morning and I appreciate so much your sharing them. You must think I have forgotten about you, but please know I continue to read your entries even though I am not able to leave comments.

    Hope you have a very nice week. God bless you and your family! 🙂

    Like

  3. I wanted to stop by and thank you for visiting my blog and for the lovely comments you left for me. As you say it is *always* a joy to 'meet' another IFB sister in Christ.

    I love this book and I really loved the portions you shared with us….Especially this one:

    If a sudden jar can cause me to speak an impatient, unloving word, then I know nothing of Calvary love.*
    *For a cup brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, however suddenly jolted.

    Yikes! So convicting!!!

    Blessings,
    ~Michele

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s