This week we are honored to have a few of our students writing for our blog. Today we have Ms. Anna Webb. Anna is a sophomore in high school. I hope and pray that this writing is a blessing to you today! #PursueToday
Thank you Anna for allowing God to use your gifts!
What Is Love?
There is a song by “For King and Country” and it is titled “Proof of Your Love”. I suggest you listen to it and focus on the lyrics. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-2dKOfbC9c The song is based on the verse 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” Love is important, because in 1 John 4:8 says, “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” As Christians, we have to strive to be like Jesus. Being a follower of Christ means you know Him, follow His instruction by doing what Jesus did. I.E. treat people like Jesus treated people, love how Jesus Loves.
If you still don’t understand, since Jesus is love, replace Love with Jesus in 1 Corinthians 13. It makes all the difference, when I did this it really opened my eyes. Jesus is Love, He set an example of what we should be and do, in love. Jesus is the perfect example of what Love is.
For a long time I always heard that we must love one another, I mean I grew up in a church, that taught us to love since the toddler room. I never really knew what that meant. I attempted to be nice, because I thought that was love, but love is so much more. I never knew or understood Love, until a time in my eighth grade year. I was the Middle School Chaplain, God called me to do a devotional on His love, and it really opened my eyes. Now I love talking about His love, it makes me happy. A gooey feeling in my heart rises, it makes me happy knowing that The King of all creation loves me! I mean in hard times, I do struggle and forget this at times, but His Love is always there, never ending, never changing. It doesn’t subside, it is a never ending roaring fire.
There are different types of love; romantic love, family love, friend love, and agape love. The most misused type of love is, romantic love. People throw around this use of love and use it to justify sleeping with their boyfriend. This is a very valuable and important love, it is meant for a husband and wife, in a extremely strong bond and endless devotion to each other til death do them part. Then there is family love and friend love, and then most importantly agape.
What does it really mean, when the Bible says, “God is Love”? As I was researching “God is Love”, I came across this amazing explanation of His love. ThoughtCo.com says about agape love is, “This term agape, defines God’s immeasurable, incomparable love for humankind. It is the divine love that comes from God. Agape love is perfect, unconditional, sacrificial, and pure. Jesus Christ demonstrated this kind of divine love to his Father and to all humanity in the way he lived and died. The Lord shows you how you can reflect his love to others–your friends, your family, even your enemies. God’s love is unconditional; his love is very different from the love we experience with one another because it is not based on feelings. He doesn’t love us because we please him. He loves us simply because He is love. An entire passage found in 1 John 4 speaks of God’s loving nature. Love is not merely an attribute of God, it is his very nature. God is not only loving, he is fundamentally love. God alone loves in the completeness and perfection of love. So, if God is love and we, his followers, are born of God, then we will also love. God loves us, so we must love one another. A true Christian, one saved by love and filled with God’s love, must live in love toward God and others. Love is the true test of Christianity. We believe that the character of God is rooted in love. We receive God’s love in our relationship with him. We experience God’s love in our relationships with others.” Wow! Good, right?
Why Should I Love?
1 John 2:6 says, “Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” That what it means, if you say you are a follower of Jesus Christ, it is essential to do what Jesus did, to strive to know Him, and to make Him known. To show His love to all who you encounter with. To be the Light of the world. John 8:12 says, “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Jesus Christ was the Light of the World, but He called us to be the light as well. Matthew 5:13-16 says, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” When it talks about a lamp stand, it is referring to the olden days at night time. People could only afford one candle, so they would put it on the highest point in the house, if unobstructed, the light would light up the entire house, hitting the darkest corners. So why would you light this light to light up the room, under a basket? You wouldn’t, it defeats the purpose. This is what God wants us to do with our light, let it perforate the darkest corners of the world. Let our love perforate the darkest corners of the world, using our talents and gifts He gave us to show Him, and spread His love. It would be futile to hide your gifts that He gave you under a basket, let your light shine for all the world to see, so that they see your faith and accept that faith and make it their faith become their own.
God calls us to be in this world not of it, that if a person saw you walking down the street they can say, “that person is different”. As God shows us love, we must go out and share that love. God loved us so much, He not only gave His One and Only Son for us. He came to earth for us. He left the Courts for the King of kings, where angels shout “Glory to God in the Highest!” That every time they shout this, the temple shook and rang. He came to the dirty broken and sinful world, to be born in a manger, to be spit on and whipped, to be stripped in front of crowds, to die a horrible death on the cross for us. Jesus could have smitted his accusers, but instead He said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” 1 John 4:19 says, “We love because he first loved us.” As God pours into our cups, we must pour into other peoples cups’. God doesn’t call to love every other day or only when life is going our way. He calls us to love unconditionally 24/7/365. Like in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and the For King and Country song. If you do things but don’t do it in love and for the Glory of God, it is worthless.
In life, it is essential to meditate on God’s Word day and night, let it be in our minds and hearts constantly. I have been struggling to find a story in my life of His love. I prayed about it and then life happened. I have for some time been the topic of many mean and horrible “jokes”. I have trying to show love and hold back words of unkindness, and I succeeded, but actually a little while ago, life happened. My barrier of God, was broken down, I was trying to earnestly talk about God in small groups and was insulted. And I broke down. Then, God’s love poured in, my friends that He gave me, poured out more love than imaginable. And in every class, a verse kept on repeating, over and over again, it was a message from God to me, sent through my friends and my teachers. Imma go on a tangent, choose your friends extremely carefully, they are very influential in your lives. I went to my friends and asked how to do I show love to people who hate me, how can I look at them and see what God sees? Then they answered with, words that could only come from God and be a product of His love. God is good!!!
How Do I Love?
To meditate it to keep His Word on our minds, by studying His Word day and night, in our free time, an audio version of the Bible on the way to school or when you are getting ready for school. Instead of listening to Taylor Swift or an other famous singer, maybe a Christian artist. Keeping your minds on things that pure and righteous. I know it seems hard, but you have to put in a good effort to read and study His Word.
I have noticed when I did not read the Bible, things happened, I was mean, short, and just felt plain horrible. It changes your world. If you can’t read your Bible or listen to music, because you have to do your homework, do it for God because He loves you so so much. Do it to the best of your ability and beyond, do not complain, do it with a smile.
I feel as if God has told me to share my story. In the past I have had problems with my life. In terms of having a hole in my heart or just having a bad and heavy feeling in my heart and stomach every time I breath in. Just having a frowny face on my heart, it doesn’t hurt horribly. It just doesn’t feel good. I may not have shown it but I was messed up. I was not kind and loving to the people at school or to my family or to y’all. I felt horrible. I have had a hard time a school as well, feeling like I was worthless or not enough. I felt I wasn’t good enough and I was stupid and loud, not at all worth anything. I was scared that I would say something stupid, I became quiet. I accepted life and the state I was in. I changed myself for people, I was hurt. Then I went to the Teen Advisor retreat and the message touched my heart and God lit a fire in my heart. I started studying the Bible, and it is still hard to love, but it is getting easier.
You can’t love others until you accept His love and know His love personally, only then can you pour out into others. God’s love for me was huge, in which He gave me the most amazing and loving friends, who lift me up every second of everyday. God poured His love into them and they poured into me and helped me through hard times, making me who I am today. Every second of every day they pointed to God, and that I find my validation in Him and no one else. It is because of God’s love for me, that He gave me them. Over the years, I have changed completely, for the better. I am not there yet, but I am striving to be the Best version of myself to glorify God. I am human I falter, and fall flat on my face. But God is right next to me, sending His Love to me, through the people He has put in my life, to help me find my way back to Him.
He How Does It Benefit Me If I Love?
I had started having better interactions with people, and with God I was been able to be a model and let my light shine for Him. I can not let the things that people say to me stick and affect me. It’s hard to show love without God. You know what it is impossible! There is no way you can beat Satan without God. God has already beaten Satan, so maybe you should trust in the Defeater of death and hell.
It is quite important to study God’s Word, fill your hearts and minds with Him. If you have the same feelings I did, you wanna know what I did? I studied His Word, I may have had to force myself, but I prayed He would light fire in my soul and He did. There is a Fire in my soul, the pain is gone. I can’t wait till I read the Bible again. That burden I had in my heart and stomach, was replaced with this Fire, a Fire for God. A Fire that makes me wanna shout for joy, and tell every person I see.
With God’s help you CAN love others. But because I am human, I do not have this perfected at all! I still suffer in putting my life before reading the Bible. We can only kinda attain the picture perfect example of Christ through prayer and God’s help. When God looks at you, He doesn’t look at our flaws and past transgressions, He sees the potential in us to be the light in the darkness. He sees your uniqueness and awesomeness! He sees the flawlessness of His creation that He had planned if you were boy or girl, athletic or artistic. When He planned you and made you PERFECTLY, He kept you in a special place til your time came. The fact is, YOU are created in His image. If you hurt other people, you are hurting His creation by not showing love but meanness. You are actually saying God did something wrong. You are bashing The King of Kings and His power.
It is essential in your journey as a Christian to love as Christ has loved. It is also essential to look at people as Christ does, to love them unconditionally and move past what the world may throw at you. If you start reading the Bible, studying, taking it to heart, you will see a difference. To start your day off with God, your day will fall into place. Colossians 3:14 “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” When you love, as God loves, when you study His Word and keep it on your heart, your day and life will fall into place, with what God called for us. In the Temple on the Sabbath one day, the Pharisees tried to trick Jesus, Matthew 26:36- 40 says,“‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.’” Love, as God calls you to love.