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17. Love II

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Transformational Love

Love—II

 

 

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“Transformational Love”

Love―Part II

 

 

A couple were watchinga popular television talk show. The host got into an animated dialogue over the definition of love and then proclaimed, “Whatever love decrees has to be right.” She continued, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Then the host expressed her opinion that free love is always justified, and furthermore, marriage is never obligatory. She concluded the show with, “I have to love me first before I can love others. Love has to be selfish.”

 

The camera faded, and the evening news came on. There were reports of highway fatalities, murders, strikes, political maneuvering, and wars. The news closed with a human-interest story from a veterans’ hospital. Patients who would probably never return home were interviewed. One elderly man spoke of his wife’s passing several years before. “She had a leg amputated. I took care of her for nine years. They told me I couldn’t do it for one month with my own disability. I did it for nine years. She was a beautiful woman. Every morning I got her up, dressed her, and took her out in her wheelchair. As she got more helpless, I fed her. She was no trouble to me. Those were nine short years. She was wonderful. She finally died of cancer, but she never complained. Wonderful.” The old veteran never mentioned the word love, but there was no need. It was defined. It was not selfish. What a contrast to the earlier definition of love.

 

What does the Bible say about various kinds of love?

 

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There are different kinds of LOVE

  • PHILIA love ─friendship

 

 

PHILIA love is a warm, friendship love. The Bible uses the word philia when it describes the church of Philadelphia, which was characterized by “brotherly love.”[1]

 

 

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  • EROS love

based on the attractiveness and the desirability of the one loved, based on self interest

 

 

Although the word eros is not found in the Bible, yet the Bible describes this kind of love in many of its characters, such as Gomer, the unfaithful wife of Hosea, and Solomon, who loved and had sexual relationships with hundreds of women.

 

AGAPE love is:

 

 

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  • Unconditional
  • Shown by loving the “unlovable”
  • Generous
  • Not motivated by self-interest
  • Self-sacrificing
  •  

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Agape is the most important kind of love. It is based on God’s principle of love and not feelings and passion alone. This is the love described by Jesus: “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.’”[2] It is the “love one another as I have loved you” kind of love.

 

Lovingneighbor as self

Mattie is learning that kind of love. When Mattie rushed in to visit her neighbor Beverly in a nearby hospital, she discovered that the nurses were too busy to care for all of Beverly’s needs. As Mattie observed the situation, she was moved with compassion by Beverly’s helplessness. She was in severe pain, moaning with each slight movement, was thirsty, couldn’t get the cup to her face or the straw to her lips and was unable to feed herself. It was then that Mattie canceled her afternoon’s busy schedule to minister to Beverly’s physical needs. Mattie gently held the straw to her parched lips for her to sip the cool water, patiently fed Beverly (who had a difficult time even chewing her food), answered her telephone calls, tucked the sheets and light blankets around to keep her cozy and warm, and tidied up the room. Mattie’s thoughts went to, Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these . . ., you did it to Me.[3]

 

 

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She also thought, If I were the one in Beverly’s feeble condition, I would be so thankful to have someone do these things for me.

 

 

Mattie realized that caring for Beverly that afternoon was part of God’s plan. Right there in that quiet hospital room, Mattie understood that to love your neighbor as yourself means caring for someone just the wayyou would like being cared for. It is often easy to talk about this thing we call love, but it is not easy for many of us to apply the love principles in our personal lives. Often we think that we are too busy. God needs His spiritual team of believers to give loving care to His earthly children in need, even when it is not convenient to do so.

 

The Bible also tells us, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31). This is another example of agape love.

 

Self-centered love versus self-giving love

Self-centered love is the norm—the usual kind of “love” chosen by most of the world’s population. Self-centered love is characterized by competitiveness, a spirit of “me first,” greed, corruption, prejudice, seeking my “rights.” The Prince of Darkness inspires these. Pure love cannot blossom from the roots of self-love. But when we start on God’s spiritual journey and are guided by the Holy Spirit, we shift away from self-centered love to self-giving love for God and others.

 

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TRANSFORMATIONAL LOVE

Difference between a Self-Centered Love and a Self-Giving Love

 

 

We call this transformational love. It is the most difficult kind of love to cultivate, but it is the most rewarding. It is not just love talk, but like Richard Kirkland, the kind soldier in the US Civil War, showed, it is love “with actions and in truth.”[4] We have a double love challenge: (1) to make sure that the root of transformational love nourishes us; and (2) to develop skills in expressing that love. So how do we start? We receive this love as a free gift from the source of all love—God.

 

The apostle John tells us, “Everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”[5] Not only did Jesus so love us that He died for us, but His life on earth was an example of how we also can love in all the circumstances of life. Agape is a “reaching out” love. This is the love we can share with others. When we share it, we are actually sharing God, because love is the most fundamental attribute of God.

 

1. How can we love as Jesus loved?

2. In which ways did Jesus demonstrate love while He walked the dusty paths of earth?

 

“Reaching out” love

 

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Reaching Out Love

 

 

The classic story of the Good Samaritan[6] tells how a traveler of a despised race reached out to a man who had been mugged and who lay dying on a lonely stretch of wilderness road between Jerusalem and Jericho. Although two religious leaders passed by, the Samaritan man put the wounded man on his donkey and cared for him.This was “reaching out” love.(The story is given in greater depth in Chapter 19, “Social Support.”)

 

 

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Haveyoueverseen a person in real needandyoufelttornbetweenstoppingtohelphimorgoingon by? Whatdidyou do?

 

 

Jesus in His healing ministry reached out not just to one but to thousands of individuals. He touched the exploited, poor, blind, lame, leprous, afflicted, sinful, and the centurion ofthe occupying forces of His nation. Now, centuries later, Jesus reaches out to you and me. The best way that we can respond to His love is by loving others—the widow, the orphan, our parents, our children, the one-parent family, the prisoner, the drug addict, the gang member, and the enemy who has hurt us. It is God who gives us an intense desire to love and impresses us to love others. Have you noticed how God nudges us to help someone, to do a loving act? A double blessing follows, to the receiver and to the giver. It can be a miracle love moment.

 

Does God really need us to love others for Him? Has He appointed us to be His loving helpers?

 

At times, God nudges us to do an act of love to fulfill a prayer request. This happened to Pam one afternoon. When she was driving home with a friend, her car seemed to want to go a different direction than she had planned.To her friend she remarked, “Guess we are going to the Laundromat.” As she walked inside, she saw only one person there—a womanwho seemed to have a need. After a brief conversation, Pam asked, “What can I do for you?” The womanburst into tears. “I have no way of getting home and have been praying that God would send someone here to take me home.” Pam lovingly did just that, as well as made aneeded stop along the way for the new friend in distress. Her arrival was like a miracle for the stranded woman. The following weekend, Pam was delighted to see her new friend in church. The womanalso attended the WIN! Wellness Homes of Hope and Health seminar in her area.

 

Jesus loves us with everlasting love and mercy. When we realize how much God has done for us in His deep love, we must respond by loving Him and show our response by reaching out to others in love. We love Him because He first loved us—and He does it unconditionally. For those who love Him now, there will be a future in an everlasting “environment of love”—“new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”[7]

 

Our love may reach beyond to an outer circle of people who need love. Ray and Shirley have compassionate love for people in faraway lands who cannot walk and are immobile or have only crude ways of moving their bodies from one place to another. This retired couple joyfully spends time and money to make wheelchair parts for thousands of immobile people around the world whom they don’t even know. This is true agape love.

 

Sara and Rob lovingly work in a soup kitchen feeding the hungry; Brodrick visits prisoners at the jail; Cathie and Bruce teach at a language school in Asia and minister to the spiritual needs of the people in their area. Others send money to hurricane victims whom they have never met. Loving takes time—time from watching TV programs, shopping for clothes and things to make the house pretty, reading novels, chitchatting for hours on the cell phone, being entertained by sports events, movies, or home videos, and surfing the Internet or spending hours on Facebook. But when the loving Jesus first comes into our lives, we discover that loving others has its own rewards both in this life and in eternity.

 

What experience have you had recently of reaching out to share love with someone? Has someone shown you love in a special way that brought you joy?

 

We all need to be unselfishly loved. Being loved has an almost unimaginable power. It brings improved relationships, health, healing, and the privilege of being a part of a heaven-born miracle in answer to a prayer.

 

A dejected man was stranded at an airport with no ticket, no money, and no solutions to his problem. He tried to share his predicament with a stranger in the airport’s waiting area. The listener couldn’t solve his problems, but as she was rushing off to catch her flight, she handed him a twenty-dollar bill with, “Here is at least something for your meal,” to which he responded, “You have a good heart.” She replied, “It is God’s heart.” Loving acts come from God.

 

Unconditional love—agape love

 

 

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Agape Love is Unconditional

 

It isn’t difficult to love our friends, family, or even a stranger, but what about loving the ones who hate us and are mean to us? Loving the enemy—we might not like them, but we can still love them for God. Give love and see what happens. Jesus had every reason to hate and reject the people who were jealous of His success, who harassed him, made plans to destroy Himand, in the end, crucified Him. At the cross He loved them enough to pray to the Father God, “Forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”[8]

 

Love was central to the teachings of Jesus—particularly this kind of transformational love that is so hard for most of us to internalize. Jesus commands, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.”[9]

 

How do you feel about showing love to people even when they haven’t been kind to you, or when they aren’t particularly likeable?

 

Consider the story of Kim and Steve. Steve won more thana million dollars in a state lottery. Then, amazingly, he won a second time for the smaller amount of a hundred thousand dollars. The couple was free of debt and could have an extravagant and exciting life with no financial problems. What Steve didn’t know was that Kim was having an affair. While she wanted her husband’s money, she no longer wanted him and decided on a permanent “solution” to her problem. Kim hired a hit man to kill Steve. The total price for the hit was just five hundred dollars—with a twenty-five-dollar down payment. While relaying her plans to her lover over the telephone, her twenty-one-year-old son overheard the conversation. Kim was arrested, tried for conspiracy to commit murder, found guilty, and imprisoned.

 

To the amazement of others, Steve continued to love Kim, frequently visiting her in prison. He even attempted to have her sentence reduced, going so far as to ask the state to drop all charges against her. Kim was astonished by Steve’s amazing devotion and care for her. His love broke her heart and touched something deep within her. She started to realize that the affair she had been having was a cheap, destructive imitation of pure love. How could she have given up on Steve, who continued to love her in spite of what she had done? Slowly Kim began to love again. Steve’s love was so compelling that the flame of love was renewed in her heart.

 

When Kim was released from prison, Steve was there to welcome her home. Sobbing, she threw her arms around him and pleaded, “Please never, never let me go!”[10]

 

We need unconditional love when dealing with a depressed spouse who may be unemployed and unhelpful at home, a child going through a teenage rebellion and screaming, “I hate you!” or a parent with Alzheimer’s disease who says, “You are mean to me and stealing my money.” These situations test our ability to continue loving. Can we love when it seems there isn’t much left of the person who once brought us such joy?

 

When relationships become strained and physical danger seems imminent, prudence and wisdom are essential. This is the time to combine professional help with your prayers. Love can continue to be expressed even in thorny situations, but a professional can help you to know where to erect the needed boundaries.

 

There are individuals who need your love: your single-mom neighbor whose son needs to go to the doctor when she’s traveling outofstate; the old man at church with the gruff personality; the womanat work who finds fault with everything you do; the sister who blames you; your exacting father; the child at school who hurts your feelings; the autocratic boss at the office; the stranger God nudges you to help—they all need your love. Look out! A miracle is about to happen!

 

 

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IsGodimpressingyoutohelpsomeone? At this time, whoneedsyourlovethemost?

 

Every person needs to be loved, especially those who don’t deserve it. They are the ones who need it the most. Sadly, their hearts may be hardened and they may not seem responsive to your loving attempts to connect with them.But this can change.

 

Take, for instance, the Bible story of Joseph, whose jealous brothers mentally tortured him by putting him in a pit to die. Later they changed their minds and sold him into slavery in Egypt. But because he still loved them, he forgave them. In the end, good came out of bad. Joseph saved his family from hunger at a time of famine while he was prime minister of all Egypt. Love your enemies, help those who mistreat you. This was the kind of person Joseph was.

 

Then there was proud Peter, who verbally pledged his never-dying love to Jesus but, in the end, betrayed Him three times in the early morning of the crucifixion. His guilt and shame were bitter and excruciating as he agonized over his sin, especially as he realized how much Jesus loved him. Now Jesus was about to be crucified for his sins. Peter was brokenhearted by his three denials that he even knew Jesus. Peter left the judgment hall area in tears. He wandered until he found the same spot in Gethsemane where, just hours before, Jesus had bowed and sweated great drops likeblood as He had agonized for a world of lost sinners. Sorrow and remorse filled Peter’s soul when he recalled falling asleepright after his friend Jesus asked for his prayers. In anguish and sorrow he cried, “Forgive me, Jesus, forgive me!”

 

This was the heart-turning point in Peter’s life—his repentance time, his conversion moment. He was humbled by a powerful love that convicted him of his sinful ways and defective character. He was now ready to serve others with unconditional love. Peter was transformed to be a dynamic worker for God.

 

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A big question for you

What takes place within an unlovable person who perhaps is crude and angry, often hurting others, who is argumentative, who “knows it all”—what happens when this person responds to agape love? A dramatic change occurs. They make a U-turn and begin a new spiritual journey. If our eyes could be opened, we would see heavenly beings ministering to this individual and a spiritual metamorphosis taking place. Just like a caterpillar turns into a chrysalis and then into a beautiful butterfly, a new loving person emerges from the old individual.

 

Miracle prayer

What happens when we start praying that God will do good to the person who hates us, mistreats and persecutes us? Do you think that when we pray for the people who hurt us it helps change our attitude toward them? How can we cultivate a proper attitude toward those whom we would rather curse than bless? What has been your experience? Is it worth a try? With prayer, forgiveness, kind acts, and a loving attitude, miracles of love do happen.

 

Love is long-suffering

How well do we apply the biblical principle in our lives, in our homes, with relatives, employees, when unfairly treated? In the “love chapter” of the Bible we are encouraged, “Love suffers long and is kind . . . thinks no evil . . . rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”[11] Just think what a powerful impact we could have on our family and others if we applied these principles of unconditional love to every situation!

 

Are you ready to try a love experiment? Pick a person who is not a favorite in your life and start doing kind things for that person, doing loving acts—giving your time or money when needed. See what happens. Record the results for yourself as a reminder that God and love can change people and circumstances.

 

Now let’s go a step further. What was written about love in the message given on the Mount of Blessing? “Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”[12] If we often have a hard time loving our friends, how much harder is it to love our enemies?

 

What is God saying to you about the principle of love? If we practice forgiving our enemies now, will that not prepare us in future times to love and forgive those who persecute and do all manner of evil against us?

 

Now thisis really a big love challenge. How could we love those who bring us pain? Many martyrs and prisoners incarcerated for their faith have loved like that. There may be some enemies in our present lives who hate us, irritate or mistreat us, and are just cruel. It seems they find pleasure in abusing, judging, criticizing, and bringing heartbreaking pain. They may be in our family or extended family, someone in the church, political enemies, or even those who disagree with our religious beliefs. How do we handle this? When we pray for His grace, He will help!

 

Enrico shows love to his persecutor

The Gestapo imprisoned Enrico during World War II. On Christmas Day, 1944, the camp commandant called him to see the beautiful meal he had spread on his table and with a laugh told him it was the food Enrico’s wife had sent for Enrico. “Your wife is a good cook! She sends you a meal every day,” he sneered, “and we enjoy eating it.” Enrico was emaciated and starving, but he responded, “I hope you will enjoy your Christmas dinner, because I love you.”

 

The war ended, and Enrico was released. Two years later he had recuperated his health and decided to take his wife back to the town where he had been in prison. They bought food at the market, and his wife found a place to prepare a good meal. They found the home of the former camp commandant and knocked on the door with two baskets of good food. The commandant didn’t recognize him at first, but Enrico reminded him, “Christmas Day, two years ago, I came to your apartment in the prison. I told you that I loved you.” The commandant paled and shrank back. “Don’t be afraid,” Enrico replied, “my wife is a good cook, and we’ve come back to share a good meal with you.” Stunned and shaking his head in disbelief at someone who returned good for evil, the commandant let them in, and they feasted together.Before the visit was over, the commandant knelt and found Jesus as his personal Savior. That was forgiveness. Was that what Jesus meant when He said, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you”?[13]

 

Transformational steps of learning to love

 

 

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Transformational Steps

 

How can we learn to model our own love behavior after the example Jesus gave? Most of us have no idea how to change our love pattern. We don’t even know where to start.

 

One woman, when reading about loving others God’s way, confessed, “I can’t love as God loves—no way! There are people I just don’t even like, such as my sister, Sara, who is mean to me. Do I have to love her?” Jesus responds, “I do.” The message got through to the woman. Knowing that God wanted her to be a loving person, she decided, “I will pray every day that I can love—Sara and others—no matter who they are or how I feel about them or what they do to me.” Could it be that this principle of love extends to loving the husband or wife who divorced you?

 

 

Mark Finley speaks of God’s unexplainable, unconditional love toward us:

 

There is nothing you can do to get God to love you any less. Our actions do not determine His love—His heart does. When we turn our backs on Him, He loves us still. When we reject His invitation to follow Him, He loves us still. When we violate His will, He loves us still. Our actions may bring Him pain. Our wrong choices may break His heart. Our bad decisions may give Him deep grief, but nothing we do can change His steadfast love. I can’t turn away from that love. All I can do is fall at His feet and thank Him forever for loving me so.[14]

 

Let’s look at some transformational steps toward self-giving love. We can move away from self-centered love to self-giving love to loving even our enemies. Remember that selfishness is the most common basic cause of marital problems. It is also the main problem in most relationship breakdown. Learning to think of others rather than ourselves is one of the most important steps we can make toward becoming healthy, loving people. Try the following steps to get you started.

 

Step 1. Identify the self-centered spirit within that keeps you from loving.

 

 

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  • Identify self-centered love 
  • Admit and confess self-centered love 
  • Pray that God will remove this spirit 

 

 

 

Which of these factors may keep you from loving others as you should? Try to think of particular relationships in the past where these factors affected the way you relate to others now.

__ I am hurt, I am angry, I have bitterness, hostility, and resentment in my heart.

__ I feel rejected and unimportant.

__ I am irritated at the behavior of another.

__ I don’t feel it is necessary to love people in my surroundings.

__ I don’t want to spend my time on others.

__ I feel they are beneath me.

__ My rights are violated.

__ I don’t want to stop blaming them. I cannot forgive them.

__ I tend to see their bad traits and not their good ones.

__ I want perfection from others.

__ I don’t have time to be a loving person.

__ I am selfish.

 

 

Step 2. Admit/confess to God your self-centered love.

 

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Step 2. Admit/confesstoGodyourself-centeredlove.

 

 

Say to God, “I am angry and bitter. I have resentment in my heart toward __________. I just don’t like some people, and I don’t even really want to change. Yet at the same time, I know this attitude is wrong.”

 

Step 3. Pray for God to remove this self-centered spirit.

 

 

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Step 3. PrayforGodtoremovethisself-centeredspirit.

 

                                         

                                                            

Write a prayer to God or pray aloud:

 

This person is part of my family, Lord. I am angry at him. He embarrassed me, misunderstood me, and was unkind to me. I’m upset. How can I love him who did this to me? Lord, please remove my bad feelings. Take away anger, bitterness, feelings of injustice and hurt. I know they do not come from You. Lord, change me to love this person even if I don’t want to. I want to be more like You and love the unlovable. No matter what others have done to me, I want to love them. I surrender all aspects of my life to you. Tell me what to do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 4. Ask God to show you the opposite of self-centered love.

       

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  • Ask God to show you what is the opposite of self-centered love
  • Choose self-giving love 
  • Act!  Do loving deeds even when you don’t feel like it

 

 

That means forgiveness, kindness, self-giving, caring words, acceptance, showing appreciation, and doing loving acts. If you are in bondage to anger because of wrongs someone has done to you, ask God to help you forgive. If there is a “stronghold” of the enemy in your life, ask God to send His mighty angels to break the bonds. Then healing can take place and you can be set free from captivity. That is the work of Jesus.

 

Step 5. Choose self-giving love for the one who hurt you.

 

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Step 5. Chooseself-givinglovefortheonewhohurtyou.

 

 

 

                                          

                                                            

Say, “This is my choice. I forgive ____________, who hurt me. I will pray for him/her. I desire to treat him/her with love and do loving things for him/her.”

 

Step 6. Choose to act. in the spirit of love even when you don’t feel like it.

 

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Step 6. Choosetoact in thespiritoflove even whenyoudon’tfeellikeit.

 

 

                                          

                                                            

 

 

Once you’ve taken these steps, remember to love yourself. Take care of your body. That is calledself-care. Drink enough water, exercise five to seven times a week for 30–60 minutes, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, be positive, try to sleep seven to eight hours nightly, and make sure to spend time in health-producing sunshine. Go outdoors where you can breathe fresh air deeply, have two-way communication with God by reading His Word, and pray prayers that claim Bible promises.

 

All of these things will tend toward longer, healthier, happier, and holier living. And remember, love brings happiness, happiness activates the endorphins, and the endorphins help relieve pain, reduce stress, and activate the Natural Killer Cells, bringing increased immunity against disease and retarding the aging process.[15]

 

When you are physically healthy, it’s easier to have a clear mind and a good spiritual outlook on life. It’s easier to develop healthy family relationships and to show love both to those you care about and to your enemies.

 

Loving the enemy when at war

 

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Loving the enemy when at war

                                                                                         

                                                            

The American Civil War was fought between the South (Confederates who had rebelled) and the North (United States or FederalArmy). The day after the bloody battle of Fredericksburg, on December 14, 1862, Kershaw’s Confederate brigade occupied and held the road and houses at the foot of Marye’s Hill. A famous stonewall faced the property. The enemy was camped one hundred and fifty yards in front of the road. Syke’s division of the United States Army had fought brutally but ineffectively over this stretch of road, with many of the wounded, dead, and dying Federal men littering the space between the lines. Cries of “Water, water, water,” split the air.

 

Sergeant Richard Kirkland of the Confederateforces appealed to his commanding officer. “General, I can’t stand this.” “What is the matter, Sergeant?” “All night and all day I have heard these poor people crying for water, and I can stand it no longer. I come to ask permission to go and give them water.” “Kirkland, don’t you know you would get a bullet through your head the moment you stepped over the wall?” “Yes, Sir,” he said, “I know that; but if you will let me, I am willing to try it.” “Kirkland, I ought not to allow you to run such a risk, but the sentiment which motivates you is so noble that I will not refuse your request, trusting that God may protect you. You may go.” “Thank you, Sir.” Eyes bright with pleasure, he ran down the stairs. After a moment’s pause he returned, taking the steps two at a time. “General, can I show a white handkerchief?” The General shook his head. “No, Kirkland, you can’t do that.” “All right, sir.” A smile lit his face. “I’ll take mychances.”

 

Many watched as Kirkland stepped over the wall. He lifted the head of the nearest enemy wounded soldier to his chest and poured life-giving liquid down the parched throat. Placing the soldier’s knapsack under his head, Kirkland straightened the broken limb, covered him with his overcoat, exchanged his empty canteen for a full one, and turned to the next sufferer. Danger passed with his errand now understood by both sides. For ninetyminutes he ministered to those of the enemy crying for water and some who could only lift a feeble hand. Later Kirklandfought in the Battle of Gettysburg and finally died in the Battle of Chickamauga, Tennessee. Kirkland left no posterity, but he did leave a precious legacy of unconditional self-sacrificing love for friend or foe.[16]

 

May the Lord use you to provide an example of love and self-sacrifice in meeting the needs of others in this day and age.

 

 

 

PowerPoint© Slide 19 Prayer

Lord, thankYouforlovinguswhenwewere so unlovable. Teachus how to pass thisagapeloveontoothersbecausethey are Yourchildrenandourbrothersandsisters. In God’slovingname. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PowerPoint© Slide 20Reflect/Discuss

 

1. Discuss with family or a small group the following statements:      

a. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” “Love your enemy.”

b. “True love demands a willingness to put self aside for the good of others.”

            c. “Children can be taught to show self-giving love to others.”

 

 

 

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2. Reflect on the health benefits of giving and receiving love. Why is showing and receiving love so important to our health?

 

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3. How do we go about loving a selfish person, the person who abused or hurt us?

 

4. How could we, with caution for safety, share God’s love to someone on the fringes of society, an outcast, in a hated tribe or street gang, who is in desperate need of love but does not share our values? Is it my responsibility?

 

 

 

 

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5. Draw a picture of love in action.

 

 

 

 

PowerPoint© Slide 24Personal Reflection

  1. I remember a time that God nudged me to do a loving act that ended up being a miracle moment . ..

 

 

 

 

 

PowerPoint© Slide 25Personal Reflection

  1. How can I show love to people at my workplace, for a lonely church member or church family, or in my neighborhood? What shall I do for them that will make a difference in their lives?

 

 

 

Intentionality

 

 

PowerPoint© Slide 26Intentionality

rI plan to surprise some of my family members by a loving act this week.

rI will identify some individuals who have hurt me, people I don’t like, or neighbors to whom I need to show love in some unique way.

 

 

 

.

 

PowerPoint© Slide 27Intentionality

 

rI will truly try to be a loving, caring person to more people.

rMy plan is to pray that God will help me to love the people I don’t like.

rI want God to show me how to love my enemy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Transformational Love”

Love―Part II

The End

 

 



[1]. Revelation 3:7.

[2]. Matthew 5:44.

[3]. Matthew 25:40.

[4]. 1 John 3:18, NIV.

[5]. 1 John 4:7, 8.

[6]. Luke 10:30–35.

[7]. 2 Peter 3:13.

[8]. Luke 23:34.

[9]. Luke 6:27.

[10]. Adapted from Mark Finley, Solid Ground (Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald), 96, 97.

[11]. 1 Corinthians 13:4–8.

[12]. Matthew 5:44.

[13]. Adapted from Loren Cunningham, Making Jesus Lord: The Dynamic Power of Laying Down Your Rights (Seattle, WA: YWAM, 1988), 89–91.

[14]. Mark Finley, Solid Ground, 97.

[15]. See Masahiro Matsunaga, Taeko Yamauchi, Tsuyoshi Nogimori, Toshihiro Konagaya, and Hideki Ohira, “Psychological and Physiological Responses Accompanying Positive Emotions Elicited on Seeing Favorite Persons,” The Journal of Positive Psychology 33, no. 3 (July 2008), 192–201. doi:10.1080/17439760801999560.

[16]. J. B. Kershaw, letter to the editor, New York Times, February 10, 1880, http://npsfrsp.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/kershaw-on-kirkland-in-nyt.pdf.

 

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