What do the words: “collusion,” “ghosting,” “wrap-my-head-around,” and “optics” all have in common? According to Lake Superior State U. in Michigan, they are the most overused words of 2018. The problem is that words become so popular and are used in so many different situations and ways that they lose their distinctive meaning. It’s not really the problem of the words themselves, but the careless use of them.
Another word which could be on the list is “love.” How often do you use it in a typical day? In how many different ways do you use it? Do you “love” your wife and children, “love” the Super bowl, “love” spaghetti, and “love” your job? How often do you really think about the word when you use it? What does it mean to you? Overused? Probably.
But it’s also a word frequently used by God. Depending on the translation, “love” appears 300-500 times in the Bible. However, when the Lord speaks of love it is never a thoughtless expression or a way to simply indicate “liking” something or someone. There is nothing stronger, nothing which identifies God better than love. John states simply, “God is love” (1 Jn. 4:8). It is an intense, devoted, rock-solid love which is not dependent on anything lovable in its object. God loves purely for the sake of love. That’s hard for us to grasp, since our love is always tainted to some degree with self-interest.
God’s love is not merely a thought or emotion. It acts. It sees a need and does whatever it takes to meet the need. “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 Jn. 4:9-10). “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 Jn. 3:1).
Take a few minutes today to ponder that greatest of all love. Thank the Lord for showing that love to all mankind and for showing it to you personally in your baptism and daily by faith in Jesus. But don’t stop there. To whom can you show Jesus’ love: spouse, siblings, parents, the stranger you meet today? “We love because he first loved us” (1 Jn. 4:19).
Tomorrow’s sermon text (1 Cor. 12:27-13:13) focuses on the wonder of God’s love and how it is an essential part of the believer’s daily life. For the child of God, “love” can never be overused!
Services are at the usual 8:00 and 10:45 a.m.
The Lord’s Supper will be celebrated at both services.
Sunday school is at 9:30 and adult Bible class at 9:45 a.m. Thought-starter: What is Christian modesty and does it matter?
The public school confirmation class meets at 12:15 p.m.