Love Changes Everything!

Colorful typographic motivational poster to raise faith in yourself and your strength. The series of business concepts on a textured background of an old love. VectorI recently connected with a young couple whom I had the privilege of performing their wedding ceremony. They have been married about 4 years and have their first child. I hadn’t connected with them since the birth of their little one. They asked about my family and how everyone was doing. As the conversation moved back to their little child, the young mom said that being a parent changed everything in their lives. She quickly added “for the better”! I often ask young parents, “Did you know you could love like that?” The answer is almost always “no”. Becoming a parent changes how we love. I profoundly love being Dad & Pop. The love that overflows from my heart to my children and grandchildren is an unstoppable force. I love my sweet wife and it’s a love that keeps expanding as we grow old together. Love is an amazing, powerful concept. Love is way more than words. Love is shown in actions and activities.

On the 14th of February every year, we celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day (aka Valentine’s Day). This event started as a celebration of saints but evolved into a celebration of love. I was reminded of this a I came across the “Love Chapter” in my daily journey. Check this out…

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (1 Corinthians 13: 1-7 NLT)

If I were the most popular man on earth but didn’t have love – worthless.

If I were the founder/owner of Amazon, Microsoft – (you name it) and didn’t have love – empty.

If I were the most amazing REALTOR, helping buyers and sellers but didn’t love people – I would be a failure.

If I were the greatest husband and Dad on the planet but didn’t have love – I would be lost. I really don’t think I can be successful at ANYTHING without love.  God changed the entire world when He displayed His love via His Son. His love is ridiculous and knows no limits. He is the One Who taught me how to love. He loved me first and He loves me best. His love is really impossible to get my head around. His love is unfathomable & indescribable! I’m so thankful that He loved me and still loves me. If you’re reading this – I love you too – even if I don’t know you well. It’s because He taught me to love.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Grace Rules

 

jesus graceI grew up living according to the rules of my parents. They learned to live through the rules of their parents and so it goes. The rules of the household are meant to shape the children into well-mannered, respectable adults. There is a place for boundaries and rules in our society as well. Freedom without responsibility isn’t freedom at all – it’s chaos.

The Apostle Paul was addressing the church in Galatia and the issue of Law & Grace came up. He was a preacher of grace and filled with grace to the non-Jewish people. He explained that while Jesus was a Jew, He came to save everyone. We could never follow Jewish customs and practices to be saved. Jesus delivered grace that took away the power of the law. The law never could save. The Law could affect my behavior, but it didn’t change my heart. Grace does both. Grace changes my heart which then affects how I live and love. Check this out…

19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing. (Galatians 2:19-21 CSB)

I used to say that different denominations had different parts of the gospel that they preached and taught with diligence while ignoring some of the other important components. For example, I used to think that the Christian Church majored on baptism and ignored grace. I thought that the Baptist church preached grace and ignored baptism. I felt like the Pentecostal church had the Holy Spirit while ignoring grace and baptism. The gospel is a complete package. It is the life-changing purpose of Jesus coming to earth. He lived and died that we might live a life surrendered to the Lord and experience eternal life with God.

I do follow some rules today because I love the Lord NOT so I can be loved by Him. He loved me first and He changed my perspective on life. Over the past few years I have realized my profound need of grace. The more I study grace, the more ridiculous it is. The Lord forgives me profoundly and removes my past and sets me up for a beautiful future. He’s done this for me too many times to count. He is not a “one and done” Savior. I have needed His Grace too many times to count and He’s NEVER withheld it once.

God is not about the law as much as He is about GRACE. I will say that Grace has changed my perspective about the law. I live differently because of Grace. I live differently not out of fear, but out of confidence and hope. Grace now rules my life.  I’m so thankful that I discovered this crazy love from God called Grace.

Pressing On!

Dwayne