Today's word is L-O-V-E
I know, enough already with the lovey stuff. But I can testify that Love is a very important part of the overall plan of salvation for man. Love makes the world go round. I found a wonderful site called "Ancient Hebrew Word Meanings." I am impressed to believe that understanding the language of the scriptures makes it so much easier to discern the meaning of those scriptures. We are studying, pondering,and praying over an "eastern" book. The language is archaic and obsolete, and the meanings of each word, yea each "letter", has a multi-layer of meanings and nuances. In the book of Mormon the Nephite writers used complex symbols that represented a thought or action, in comparison to our own letters that have meaning only when part of a whole. The Nephite's worked with symbols where some could stand alone and tell a story. They had to economize the content without sacrificing the message. Imagine the letter/symbols that had to be used to teach future generations.
By Jeff A. Benner
We do not choose our parents or siblings but are instead given to us as a gift from above, a privileged gift. Even in the ancient Hebrew culture ones wife was chosen for you. It is our responsibility to provide and protect that privileged gift. In our modern Western culture love is an abstract thought of emotion, how one feels toward another but the Hebrew meaning goes much deeper. As a verb this word means "to provide and protect what is given as a privilege" as well as " to have an intimacy of action and emotion". We are told to love God and our neighbors, not in an emotional sense, but in the sense of our actions.
35By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
1 Peter 1:22So, Heavenly Father introduced the concept of Love to the Hebrew children during their sojourn in the wilderness. He spoke through his prophet Moses, and saying as a commandment; "Thou shalt love the Lord your God; with all of thine heart, with all of thy might, mind and soul. And thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Is love a learned or an instinctual action? As we learn to love each other we can manifest love for our Heavenly Father. As we serve one another, we learn to serve our Heavenly Father in a more excellent way. Through out Biblical history, love has been a pivotal key that unlocks everything. The worlds were framed in love. Everything is because of Love. Love is an attribute that stands in the same line as Faith and Hope. The Apostle Paul tells us that even though he can do all things, heal the sick, raise the dead, but if these things are not motivated by the "pure love of Christ" then it is void. He describes it as a jangling bell that has no tune.
I know what you're thinking. It's hard, I know. We can start small. Remember that through small and precious things....... Right!
What can we do to begin a loving relationship with a stranger? Even a beggar or panhandler? What's in your purse, your pocket or your wallet? Don't let me spend your money for you, but if you saw a good friend or relative begging, would you pull the car over, put them in the car and take them home? Well yeah. But when you see a stranger begging for a quarter, a couple of dollars, every day. Do you walk by? Maybe you can't afford to give everyday, but maybe you could say "hello". Is that too risky? So what if they are dressed nice or shabby. God looks upon the heart and we should too.
Most people who are asking for help, or a handout, so be it, most people want money. That's it, just money, and that's OK, because they may not have a place to store the food you want to give them, or the sandwich you may buy for them. Just money and that's it.
So I have learned to give to strangers, to make eye contact. Sometimes I have to take the Metro to work, and on any given day, when you come out of the station, there may be a small group of people "begging", but in a way that most people can tolerate. Some people sing and play instruments and we are treated to wonderful serenades. Some sell flowers, some even sell them at the end of off ramps on the beltway. Some people come to the station, knowing that they have no money to pay their fare, and they will engage your sympathy in familiar conversation. They will say, "My fare ticket doesn't work, but do you have a dollar that I could add to it.?"
I found myself in that situation once. I had to be somewhere, and I did not have any fare. So I had to swallow my own pride and shame at being caught unprepared, and I had to ask several people if they could help me. A few people walked past me and others blew me off. But I remember this one lady, who not only gave me the money I needed to pay for my fare, but she was nice to me. There you are.
But sometimes people are not as attractive to us, they are angry, dirty, smelly. They are lame, and I have seen them hobbling along, taking off their prosthetic legs. Sometimes they want money for a drink, so be it. Give any way. Have a Mother Theresa moment.
Not a sermon.........