Several of our teens joined Jess and I up to Oklahoma for a week long camp that we are still recovering from… The week was exhausting and tiring but we all came back filled up and excited to go back next year. The camp focused on a song by Lauren Daigle called “You Say.” If you haven’t heard this song yet be sure to find it on youtube or your fa-vorite music service. It’s a powerful song that speaks to our identity in God and what God says to us and about us during our biggest struggles. We spent our week at camp comparing this song to the book of Mark and the book of Ephesians. Take a look at Ephesians 1:3-14. These verses are full of identity that God speaks over us: He chose and made us to be holy and blameless in His sight, God chose to adopt us into His family, and chose to redeem us. There’s even more than that but what keeps coming up is that we are CHOSEN. God created the universe knowing we would fall and chose us before we were even made to be redeemed by His blood and brought fully into relation-ship with Him.
What if I speak in the most elegant languages of people or in the exotic languages of the heavenly messengers, but I live without love? Well then, anything I say is like the clanging of brass or a crashing cymbal. What if I have the gift of prophecy, am blessed with knowledge and insight to all the mysteries, or what if my faith is strong enough to scoop a mountain from its bedrock, yet I live without love? If so, I am nothing. I could give all that I have to feed the poor, I could surrender my body to be burned as a martyr, but if I do not live in love, I gain nothing by my selfless acts.
Love is patient; love is kind. Love isn’t envious, doesn’t boast, brag, or strut about. There’s no arrogance in love; it’s never rude, crude, or indecent—it’s not self-absorbed. Love isn’t easily upset. Love doesn’t tally wrongs or celebrate injustice; but truth—yes, truth—is love’s delight! Love puts up with anything and everything that comes along; it trusts, hopes, and endures no matter what. Love will never become obsolete.
1 Corinthians 13:3-7 (from The Message translation): If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.
by Josh McDowell
There are loads of likable things you can do every day. But if you have to choose the one most right thing, you’re smart to stick with the one Jesus selected and modeled for us: loving others selflessly. Paul explained why when he wrote, “Love satisfies all of God’s requirements” (Romans 13:10). Ponder that: Loving others like Christ did checks off every item on God’s list of right things to do. Love is the ultimate moral absolute, the most right thing anybody can ever do. Your own life experiences prove that fact. You surely want to be loved by others. You certainly want to be treated with fairness, respect, courtesy, and honesty. And you likely hope for kind, loving treatment in all your relationships and encounters with others. If you don’t want those things, then you’re absolutely abnormal. People universally act as if they deserve the respect and dignity of being loved by others.
You expect to be loved, so love others. Love is the basic moral absolute. It’s always the right thing to do. It’s how God treats us every day.