Romans 8:18 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy o be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
At last Sunday, Pastor Kyle and his wife Lisa announced on the church stage that they were expecting their first child, to the cheers of joy by the congregation or this young couple. We are all happy and excited for them.
In Kyle’s sermon, he explained to us how we are increasingly affected by the world’s definition of love. The English word “love” is quite wide-ranging, where you can love a person and love pizza, but though they use the same word “love”, they do not have the same meaning. The 1828 Webster’s dictionary defines the word “love” as, in a general sense, to be pleased with; to regard with affection, on account of some qualities which excite pleasing sensations or desire of gratification. We love a friend, on account of some qualities which give us pleasure in his society. We love a man who has done us a favor; in which case, gratitude enters into the composition of our affection. We love our parents and our children, on account of their connection with us, and on account of many qualities which please us. We love to retire to a cool shade in summer. We love a warm room in winter. We love to hear an eloquent advocate. The Christian loves his Bible. In short, we love whatever gives us pleasure and delight, whether animal or intellectual; and if our hearts are right, we love God above all things, as the sum of all excellence and all the attributes which can communicate happiness to intelligent beings. In other words, the Christian loves God with the love of complacency in his attributes, the love of benevolence towards the interest of his kingdom, and the love of gratitude for favors received.
Matthew 22:37-39 the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
That almost 200 year of Webster’s dictionary goes on to say that love is an affection of the mind excited by beauty and worth of any kind, or by the qualities of an object which communicate pleasure, sensual or intellectual. It is opposed to hatred. Love between the sexes, is a compound affection, consisting of esteem, benevolence, and animal desire. Love is excited by pleasing qualities of any kind, as by kindness, benevolence, charity, and by the qualities which render social intercourse agreeable. In the latter case, love is ardent friendship, or a strong attachment springing from good will and esteem, and the pleasure derived from the company, civilities and kindness of others.
Between certain natural relatives, love seems to be in some cases instinctive. Such is the love of a mother for her child, which manifests itself toward an infant, before any particular qualities in the child are unfolded. This affection is apparently as strong in irrational animals as in human beings. We speak of the love of amusements, the love of books, the love of money, and the love of whatever contributes to our pleasure or supposed profit. Patriotism; the attachment one has to his native land; as the love of country. The love of God is the first duty of man, and this springs from just views of His attributes or excellencies of character, which afford the highest delight to the sanctified heart. Esteem and reverence constitute ingredients in this affection, and a fear of offending Him is its inseparable effect.
Kyle points out that having the incomplete or wrong definition of love can lead to unrealistic expectations in life and quickly turn into unmet desires of the heart. Love is designed to be a day of encouragement, not a day of discouragement. What a good thing that God, who we serve, does. Keep following God’s purpose and think not about yourself, but about God’s love in your life. What a pure and true blessing!
In Christ, Brian