Moody’s book contains a story about how he studied love. He said that by the end of it, he was filled with the desire to show love to everybody. Last night I told my wife Linda, “That’s what I want! The desire to show love to all people.” This was just after I made a disparaging comment about someone who irritates me. God has impeccable timing as He demonstrates perfect parallel parking between my pride and His grace.
There are some folks in the world that I find myself being very critical of in a judgmental way. I want to lose that part of my character. Being judgmental because somebody irritates you can be a root of pride. I don’t know about you, but I’ve tripped over many haughty roots in my life. My goal here is to reduce the tripping and increase the love.
The Online Version of the Blue Letter Bible is a great resource for studying. This morning, I began my study of love by looking up the word in the original King James Version Bible. The word occurs 280 times in the New and Old Testaments. Other versions of the Bible contain more as the word is more freely used. My plan is to study all 280 occurrences of the word love. I desire to know what God wants me to know about His Love through His Word.
Day One Word
and bring it to me, that I may eat:
that my soul may bless thee before I die."
Genesis 27:4 KJV
In days of old, a father would give a major portion of his estate as an inheritance to his first born son. Isaac is a dad nearing his final days on earth and wants to bless his first born son Esau. His wife Rebekah has a different plan. She believes that her other son Jacob is more worthy of receiving Isaac's blessing. Together, the mom and the second son devise a plan to steal the father's blessing.
If you were to only read a small snippet of this story, you could be tempted to lay all the blame on the woman in the story. Several years earlier when Esau was very hungry, he sold his birthright to his brother for something to eat. His lackadaisical attitude about something of extreme importance lead to the loss of his father's blessing. Rebekah must have known about her son's weak stomach, so she took matters into her own hands.
Later on, history shows what God does with folks who stand up in times of adversity. Jacob wrestled with God in Genesis 32:28 "And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed." We read about Esau in Malachi 3:1 “And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.”
It's important to note that mother Rebekah heard from God before the boys were born. Genesis 25:23 "And the Lord said to her, “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you shall be divided; the one shall be stronger than the other, the older shall serve the younger.”
Some guys go to jail with weak stomachs. Prisons aren't known for cooking the way mom does. A newbie in a cell with a hungry stomach succumbs to the temptation of a beef jerky or a cupcake. Little does he know that this "loan" from his Bunkie (cell-mate) is the first step in an extortion plot that may cost him his life (birthright.) When he can't pay the inflated fee for the jerky, the price goes up. Twenty bucks in food quickly becomes the an extortionist debt of many times that amount and keeps growing. The debt is never satisfied and neither is the devil.
There is a hunger for love that we all have. A weak stomach will fall for the temptation of counterfeit love. God's Love is fallible and will never leave you or forsake you. Study His Love and He will replicate Love in your life.
Day One Prayer
Your Love is extravagant, always enlarging and never ending.
Strengthen us when we are weak.
Give us strong stomachs in times of adversity.
Cause us to question You in hard times; too often we question our faith.
It's You who has the answers and a plan.
Your Word is full of Truth for those who take the time to examine it.
Give us eyes to see Your Wisdom.
Give us ears to hear Your truth.
Give us hearts that know Your promises.
Give us strong stomachs with discernment in times of physical weakness.
In Jesus Name.