Fast Wednesdays, April 2, 2014 – LOVE (God and Neighbor)

Definition (source Wikipedia) — Love refers to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes that ranges from interpersonal affection (“I love my mother”) to pleasure (“I loved that meal”). It can refer to an emotion of a strong attraction and personal attachment It can also be a virtue representing human kindness, compassion, and affection—”the unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another” It may also describe compassionate and affectionate actions towards other humans, one’s self or animals.

Ancient Greeks identified four forms of love: kinship or familiarity (in Greek, storge), friendship (philia), sexual and/or romantic desire (eros), and self-emptying or divine love (agape). Modern authors have distinguished further varieties of romantic love.Non-Western traditions have also distinguished variants or symbioses of these states.This diversity of uses and meanings combined with the complexity of the feelings involved makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, compared to other emotional states.

Love in its various forms acts as a major facilitator of interpersonal relationships and, owing to its central psychological importance, is one of the most common themes in the creative arts.

In Christianity the practical definition of love is best summarized by St. Thomas Aquinas, who defined love as “to will the good of another,” or to desire for another to succeed. This is the explanation of the Christian need to love others, including their enemies. As Thomas Aquinas explains, Christian love is motivated by the need to see others succeed in life, to be good people.

Christians believe that to Love God with all your heart, mind, and strength and Love your neighbor as yourself are the two most important things in life (the greatest commandment of the Jewish Torah, according to Jesus; cf. Gospel of Mark chapter 12, verses 28–34). Saint Augustine summarized this when he wrote “Love God, and do as thou wilt.”
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SCRIPTURE:

Matthew 22:35-42 The Message –The Most Important Command

34-36 When the Pharisees heard how he had bested the Sadducees, they gathered their forces for an assault. One of their religion scholars spoke for them, posing a question they hoped would show him up: “Teacher, which command in God’s Law is the most important?” 37-40 Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”

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Today, our focus is drawn to love, and specifically to the portion in the definition above which says in Christianity, love is motivated by the need to see others succeed in life. What I have learned over the years is that I pray wholeheartedly for everyone, especially in my family, to succeed. Since, when they are doing well and making it, they don’t need my help! Can I get a witness? Many people in this position, are just like we are with God, when we are doing well and having successes many of us even forget to go by (get down on our knees or to church) and thank GOD…

Furthermore, when it comes to the topic of LOVE how many of you are like me and find that we overuse and abuse the word love in our society today. We love a meal, a TV show, an app, a dress, even a household cleaning solution! Join me today and think about the word LOVE each time you use it by maximizing its value and using it for the “big items” such as I LOVE GOD, my husband, children, parents, etc instead of the small stuff…I feel the same about the word AWESOME, I try to save it for use for GOD but that’s a topic for another week!

Lastly, I have some superb praise reports on our last topic taken from Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Many have experienced severe devastation such as death and grief, loss of job, loss of personal relationships with family members and friends, loss of intimacy with their mates, and, the list goes on but shared the JOY of the Lord and how he brought them to monumental successes after unbelievable losses that were intended to do them in! That’s GOD!

PRAYER:
Dear Lord, our prayer is that we fall in love with you, over and over again. This will aid us to become obedient and do your will, fulfill our purpose and practice the first and second greatest commandments which is to love you, with “all our heart, with all our soul and with all our mind, and love each other.” May we learn how to love each other with an agape, unconditional love, like you give us daily, for you alone are our help. There is power in your name to break chains. Break the chains of generational curses where families have stopped loving each other, set them free that you may be glorified. AMEN.
P.S. Today’s Fast Wednesday is dedicated to my good friends who “retired” yesterday including Ann P. McGovern and Sherry Robison Holloway…I miss you already and there’s a space that will never be filled again…GODSPEED!

Love, Joy and Peace, 

Debra J. Ellis

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Reminder AND/OR for those of you just joining us: The purpose of Fast Wednesdays is to draw near to God on this specific day of the week fasting and praying in whatever manner the Holy Spirit is leading you as sisters (and some brothers) in Christ…some have fasted from social media, coffee, or observed a traditional fast with no eating from sunrise to sunset with only liquids for the day, no deserts, etc. I know many of us, for various reasons, participate every week but in different manners. This has still been beneficial and the blog continues to grow!

The key ingredient is that we are doing this together as sisters, of all ages, in the Lord, both chronologically and spiritually in accordance to: A God-Filled Life Titus 2:3-5 “Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.”  Note: Please share Fast Wednesdays with your friends and/or send me names to add to the distribution list. For now, I will post in three places: email (djf52055@gmail.com), Facebook (Debra Fuller Ellis) and blog in Word Press:  https://fastwednesdays.wordpress.com/

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