Jeff Long: Love really is the key

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 16, 2016

Well, Spring is here. Reminders of new life and new beginnings bring a certain feeling to my mind and I’m sure to many others — “love.”

What a complex four letter word. Webster’s Dictionary definitions range from “a brotherhood” to that of a more mature nature of sexual desires. Each has its appropriate place in society, though many people utilize the wrong actions for the intended definition. As we read and watch the news, we notice love of power, money and love of only oneself. These are not healthy examples of love — but very real ones. They are not at all what God intended love to be but rather the results of our human desires driven by the evil of satan.

In Matthew 22, a lawyer who I believe was a Pharisee asked Jesus (v36), “Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law?” Jesus answered (v37-40), “Jesus said unto him, ‘thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thy self. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’” Wow! Jesus’ words took more than 600 laws and reduced them to two. Both of which are based almost entirely on love with the definition most closely to that of brotherhood.

Paul’s writings in I Corinthians 13 refer to charity in place of love, which Webster’s defines, “The love of God for man or of man for his fellow man.” This chapter tells how if someone has “the tongues of angels,” “gift of prophesy,” “understanding of mysteries,” “all knowledge” or “faith that could remove mountains,” have nothing without charity (love). You see, if we use love for our selfish desires utilizing the tools God has given us in distorted and malicious ways, this is not love, but rather satan’s desire of “self serving.”

If you have the chance, read I Corinthians 13, it’ll open your eyes. The last verse, 13, says “And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity (love).”

Paul also writes of the coming of the last days in II Timothy3:2-4: “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than coveters of God.” Wow, for a minute I thought I was watching, reading or listening to current news. Could this be a sign from God through Paul describing the present times, as the coming of the last days? I believe the words of the Bible, and when compared to current events, I’ll let you be the judge.

Don’t hesitate on your judgment. God’s love can save you from eternal punishment. As stated in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Now admit you’re a sinner, believe in Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection and receive God’s love and the gift of eternal life. I believe that we can take this four letter word ‘love’ and make a huge difference in what we see and hear going on in our society. So spread a little love by God’s definition.

God bless all!

Jeff Long lives in Salisbury.

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