FROM THE SENIOR PASTOR MARCH 2018


“By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. There is no law against these things.”(Galatians 5:22-23)

Beginning in March, I will write about one of the fruits of the Spirit as listed by the apostle Paul. The first one on the list is love. Thank you Paul, for beginning your list with love. If you would take a quick glance at the frequency of times love is discussed and written about in the Bible, you could fill much more space than one newsletter article. There are many references to love, love for God, love for others, and love of God. The Bible, the written Word of God, is often called God’s love story with the world that God has made and the people whom God loves. I have compiled a list of a few of my favorite Bible verses concerning love, and I invite you to open up your Bible and discover more words about love.

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart.”(Deuteronomy 6:4-6)

“Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord you God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commands hang all the law and the prophets.”(Matthew 22:37-38)

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”(John 3:16-17)

“Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.”(1 John 4:7-12)

“Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”(1 Corinthians 13:4-8a)

“As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.”(John 15:9-17)

“Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”(Colossians 3:14)

“But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.”(Romans 5:8)

“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”(John 13:34-35)

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”(Ephesians 5:1-2)

“But I trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.”(Psalm 13:5-6)

“I will sing of your steadfast love, O LORD, forever; with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.”(Psalm 89:1)

“Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins.”(1 Peter 4:8)

“We love because he first loved us.”(1 John 4:19)

Living in God’s amazing grace,
Pastor Matthew Groenke

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