Friday, July 23, 2010

What's Love Got to Do With It?

by Pastor Tim Howard

Love songs abound! No matter what age you are or what decade you were born, lyrics have been put to music and love songs have been sung. Do you remember: “What the World Needs Now is Love (sweet love)” by Jackie Deshannon? “When a Man Loves a Woman” by Percy Sledge? “When I Fall in Love” by Nat King Cole? “All We Need is Love” by the Beatles? “A Groovy Kind of Love” by Phil Collins? “Love me Tender” by Elvis Presley? “All Out of Love” by Air Supply? Then the song by Tina Turner, released in 1993 which addressed the abusive relationship she experienced in the early years of her marriage “What’s Love Got To Do With It?”

The Bible tells us that love has everything to do with everything we do! If you turn to 1 Corinthians 13 you will read these words: “If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. 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.”

Since love is so important it’s imperative that we sort through the lies and discover what true love really is. If you merely look and listen to our culture you may very well have a distorted view of love and live a very dysfunctional life. When you look at the rate of divorce in our society, love doesn’t seem to last, it fades. At times love seems blind because people make dumb decisions based on an emotional counterfeit love. Then we hear individuals talking about falling in and out of love as if love is something that happens by accident rather than choice.

1 Corinthians 13 gives great insight into God’s love. Since 1 John 4:7 tells us that God is love, He needs to be the beginning point to understanding love in the truest sense. “Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. Love doesn't strut, doesn't have a swelled head, doesn't force itself on others, isn't always "me first," doesn't fly off the handle, doesn't keep score of the sins of others, doesn't revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything. Love trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end.”

Three things will help you make it through the dark and difficult times of life . Faith, hope and love but love is the greatest. Faith so you will be able to fulfill your purpose. Hope so that tomorrow will bring you closer to your destiny. Love for God and mankind so that you will be connected to those who can strengthen you.

If we commit ourselves to loving each other God’s way, we will rediscover the power of God’s love. The answer to “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” is EVERYTHING! Why not visit one of the many church families in Kings County this weekend and discover the God who loves you.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Who are You Becoming?

by Andrew Crowmell

Life has a way of lulling us to sleep if we are not careful. Oh, we may not be completely unaware of the things going on around us, but we are such creatures of habit that we can easily find ourselves stuck in a routine. Our routines are so dear to us that many times we will do all we can to preserve them without considering whether they are even worth preserving.

As humans, we take comfort in our routines. We find they give us stability in a world that is constantly changing. They are one piece of our lives where we are able to exercise some measure of control when so much feels out of control.

The problem is that routines reinforce behavior and solidify character. This fact can work for us or against us depending on our routine (because not all routines are bad). For example, if part of your daily routine is to take time to talk with your spouse in a way that connects with her heart, that habit that you are forming is going to cause you to feel out of sync if you don't have that conversation. It is also going to build in you patience and a sensitivity to her needs.

On the other hand, if your routine is to always nitpick or get into an argument with your coworkers or simply be unhappy with whatever is going on in your life, then you are creating a habit that is little by little making you into a person who is a bitter nag who no one wants to be around.

I don't know what your routines are, but I do know that your routines are making you into a certain kind of person. The question that we must ask is, are you becoming the person who God wants you to be? Are your habits taking you closer to or farther away from the Father?

We are spiritual creatures. God has made us that way. Everything we do has a spiritual component, whether we like it our not. Every action, every decision and every thought forms our soul just a little bit. This process is so gradual it often goes unnoticed. But little by little we are becoming more and more of the kind of person we are creating ourselves to be.

So today, take a moment and look at your habits. Ask yourself if you keep doing the things you are doing in your life, where are you going to end up? Are you headed towards being a kinder, more loving, more joyful person? Or are you headed in a different direction? Are you cooperating with Father God and allowing Him to work within you, or are you ignoring His still, small Voice and sleeping right through the lessons He wants to teach you?

This weekend the pastors of Kings County would love to help you get some good habits started. Why don’t you get your family together and take them to church! You might just set yourself on a path towards a wonderful future!