Many years ago, I was a first grade teacher. It was fun, hard, exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time. Our first graders tested our patience; then seconds later loved us beyond what we expected. We daily got cards or slips of paper with hearts and words of love given to us from these little ones.
I was also a teacher advisor for the new first grad teacher across the hall from me. One day, around Valentines Day, she rushed over with another dilemma that wasn’t taught in college text books. Mrs. Callaway, I need your help! So, I quickly gave my class instructions, opened the door so I could hear my class working and went to the hallway. It seems one of the little girls in her class came to her and said, “Daddy taught me how to make love!” The little girl was so proud and wants to teach the class! The young teacher was horrified and frantic, thinking the worst. She said, “I can’t do this”, asking me how to handle this delicate situation.
“Relax”, I told her. Ask her to come into the hall with a smile on your face so she knows she is not in trouble. Then we will let her tell her story about love. The young teacher brought her out into the hall. I leaned down to this happy little girl and said, “Tell us how you were told to make love, we want to learn, too”. I was smiling the whole time for I had a strong feeling this was not what the young teacher thought it was.
While motioning with her hands, the little girl began, “Well, Daddy said to begin with ‘I’ then draw a heart and end with ‘you’.” “I heart you”. “I love you!” “That’s how you make love!”, the little girl beamed with a big smile on her face. I thanked her for teaching us about love and told her that would be a good thing to teach the class! The young teacher relaxed her body and giggled. I reminded her not to assume the worst just ask questions. I was smiling and giggling all the way back to my classroom who had stayed on task while I was gone.
The Psalmist begins with a request from God asking him to have a love-shaped life that begins with His love in him. How many times have we asked our Daddy, our Father God in heaven to teach us how to make love be first in our lives? John the gospel writer, says, “We love God because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19) So, we learn that love begins with God. “Knowing God, we know Love, real Love”, John relates. John continues this train of thought with clarification;
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4:7-12, NIV
Our very lives are shaped by His love in us. It is in realizing the depth of His love for us and believing that He saved us from death through His Son, Jesus Christ who was the ultimate expression of God’s love for us, that we can love. Love God. Love Others. This is Love. This is revolutionary in a world of hate led by the prince of darkness.
I love you, Lord. I (heart) love you, dear reader of this message of love to you.
Wisdom and Worship, Psalms and Proverbs
Psalm 119:41-48, The Message
Let your love, God, shape my life
with salvation, exactly as you promised;
Then I’ll be able to stand up to mockery
because I trusted your Word.
Don’t ever deprive me of truth, not ever—
your commandments are what I depend on.
Oh, I’ll guard with my life what you’ve revealed to me,
guard it now, guard it ever;
And I’ll stride freely through wide open spaces
as I look for your truth and your wisdom;
Then I’ll tell the world what I find,
speak out boldly in public, unembarrassed.
I cherish your commandments—oh, how I love them!—
relishing every fragment of your counsel.
TRUTH: Lord, shape my life into a heart that loves like you love me. Your love stands up to all the world can dish out. Show me your truth always in a world that lies. I will tell the world of you love always.
Proverb 10:12, The Message
WISDOM: Hatred starts fights, but love pulls a quilt over the bickering.
Thank you for loving us so much that you sent Jesus to lay down His life for us. Thank you, Jesus for completing your mission to seek and to save the lost because of your love for us. Thank you for laying your life down in place of mine for my sins. There are not enough words to tell you how much I love you so I will try to show it each day with my life. Help me to love deeply like you love us. Help me to realize your love for me deeper still for then my love for others grows. Thank you, Lord, God of heaven and earth.
In Jesus Name, Amen. I believe.