Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC

Song of Solomon 8:6-7
Set me as a seal upon your heart,
   as a seal upon your arm,
for love is strong as death,
   jealousy is fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
   the very flame of the Lord.
Many waters cannot quench love,
   neither can floods drown it.
If a man offered for love
   all the wealth of his house,
   He would be utterly despised.

The story goes that a wife came into her pastor’s office one day full of hatred toward her husband. “I do not only want to get rid of him, I want to get even. Before I divorce him, I want to hurt him as much as he has me.”

So, the pastor thought for a moment, then suggested an ingenious plan. He said, “Go home and act as if you really love your husband. Tell him how much he means to you. Praise him for every decent trait. Go out of your way to be as kind, considerate, and generous as possible. Spare no efforts to please him, and to enjoy him. Make him believe you love him. After you’ve convinced him of your undying love and that you cannot live without him, then drop the bomb. Tell him that you’re getting a divorce. That will really hurt him.”

With revenge in her eyes, she smiled and exclaimed, “That’s a great idea! Will he ever be surprised!” And she did it with enthusiasm. For two months she showed love, kindness, listening, giving, reinforcing, and sharing. When she didn’t return, the pastor  called. “Are you ready now to go through with the divorce?” “Divorce?” she exclaimed. “Never! I discovered I really do love him.” Her actions had changed her feelings. Motion resulted in emotion. She loved her way into feeling instead of feeling her way into loving.

Love is motion not emotion.  Love is fervent, persistent, selfless actions toward someone else that result in a true depth of feeling and tenderness. So many today talk about falling in and out of love, but nothing could be further from the truth. You don’t fall in and out of love. You choose either to serve, forgive, trust, show grace, and communicate or you don’t. Love dies when self takes over, and sadly we live in a day where self reigns supreme.

There is nothing you can give in place of love. There is no force on earth greater. Scripture goes so far as to say that God is love, and that His love is what draws us to repentance. Love never fails.

With all the divisiveness and hatred in our world today, we must choose love. Love can climb any mountain and cross any ocean. It can bridge any divide and provide stability to anything that’s shaken. Christ showed us what love is by dying for our sin on the cross, and He invites us into a loving relationship with Him if we will simply turn from sin and trust in Him. Love conquers all, so choose love and watch our conquering God work miracles.

Dear Lord, your steadfast love endures forever. You are slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. You are gracious and compassionate. Nothing man desires compares with You. Direct my heart to Your love and Your steadfastness. In Jesus name, amen.  

Jeremiah 10:6
There is none like you, O Lord ; you are great, and your name is great in might.