Romans 12:9-10 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
My wife and I had the honor and privilege to attend a wedding this past weekend. As a pastor, I greatly enjoy the opportunity to preform many wedding ceremonies, but this was one of those rare occasions I got to attend as a guest. It gave me that unique occasion to be part of the crowd, enjoying a love promised, a love declared. See, that’s what weddings are: two people who love each other with such intensity they are willing not just to make a life long promise to each other, but to declare that love with great effort and detail. They wanted all their closest family and friends know their promise to love is genuine and sincere, and that they would hold fast and be devoted to the goodness of this love. They were saying this promise is sure, and so very ceremoniously they made their declarations that they would love, honor, cherish and outdo each other in showing honor to the other. It was heartwarming as vows were shared with tears, and joyful as rings were exchanged as tokens of a love promised, a love declared. The last line of the exchanging of rings was “…I ask that you wear it so that all may know we are one.” A love promised, a love declared.
God intended we would love each other this way of promise and declaration. Yes, in a marriage, but also our family, friends, coworkers, neighbors and those fellow human beings we encounter each and every day. In the Bible verse mentioned above, Romans 12:9-10, the word genuine means to be pure, sincere, but also without hypocrisy, meaning to be of such quality where its value, its worth, its shine is irrevocable. It is to love others with an honest love. Here is how…
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
Wow! That is huge, for love is selfless.
Philippians 2:3-4 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
God gave us the greatest example in this by what Jesus has done for us 1 John 4:7-11. This love was both promised and declared.
Romans 8:38-39 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Declaring love is a good thing. Declarations have the power to encourage, empower, guide, bring security, settle a troubled heart, and help us see our value.
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
Proverbs 15:4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
Proverbs 16:24 Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
Proverbs 18:4 The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.
This young, newly married couple is now enjoying the blessing of a love promised and a love declared. We, too, can share in the blessing of love promised and love declared by not only sharing it with our loved ones, but by making that promise to be kind to others and declaring thoughtful words of affirmation. Why not give it a try this week?
A great place to hear of God’s love declared and promised is at church. If you don’t already have a church you regularly attend, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or any of our branch churches. Our website has more information: http://www.cypresschurch.net.