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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I Corinthians 13 - Valentine's Day

Isaiah 43:1 (New International Version)
But now, this is what the LORD says—
   he who created you, Jacob,
   he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
   I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

On Valentine’s Day isn’t it fun to dig through a bag of those little candy hearts that have the words printed on them? They say cute little things like “SWEET”, “CUTE” or “HUG ME”. But the one that I like the best says, “YOU ARE MINE!” In honor of the one I call “Mine” I want to share a paraphrase of I Corinthians 13 (the love chapter)

If I teach Sunday school classes, volunteer for the student ministry but do not love my wife, I am only as a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have a college degree, high-paying job, and successful career, but do not love my wife, I am emotionally and spiritually bankrupt.  If I have faith so I can move mountains,  am quick to pray for those in need, and even have half the Bible   memorized,  but do not love my wife, I am disobedient and do not please God.  If I help keep a spotless house, maintain a well-manicured lawn, and supply nutritionally balanced meals for my family,  but do not love my wife, it is all for naught. Hired hands can do as much.
Lord, help me to be patient.  Help me to be kind.  I pray that I will not envy those who have seemingly more than us.   I pray that  I will  never  try to  lift  myself up  by putting my wife down.  Lord, I pray that I will not be a proud man  who  refuses to  listen  to  his wife, who always has to have  the last word,  who always thinks his  way is best.   I pray that I will not be rude to my wife with curt comments, disregard her needs, or be ungrateful for all she does and is, but treat her with respect and honor that the Queen of the castle deserves.
I pray that I  will not be self- serving,  always thinking about what is best for me,  but thinking of what would be  best  for  my  wife.   I  pray  that  I  will  not  be angered easily,  not  hold a  grudge,  keep a  record  of wrongs,  not plan  ways to  retaliate,  and not use  my tongue as  a  weapon to cause pain.   I  pray that I will not  rejoice  and  say "I told you so" when  things don't work  out  the  way  my  wife  hoped.
Lord, above all, I pray that my wife will see me as her chief supporter who desires to rejoice with her in her victories, both big and small. That she will see me as the one who longs to protect her and our marriage and our love.   Help me create a warm and loving environment in which she feels safe, wanted, and revered.   I pray that you will give me endurance when things get tough.  Lord,   I know that love never fails and that You never fail.  Fill  me with  Your Holy  Spirit  and  give  me  the  endurance  to  stand  under  trials and  love  my wife no matter the circumstances, as you would have me  love  her  --  till  death  us  do  part!
Dear Lord we pray today for those that You have given us to love. We pray that we would love them with the Love that You have designed. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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