A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Friday, February 12, 2021
"A Love That Endures"
Message summary: Enduring love is at the very heart of Paul's message in what is known as the Love Chapter: "Love never fails." Endurance is a word defined as "the act, quality, or power of withstanding hardship or stress." That's the depth of tested love the world needs to see in marriages. As God's children we are called to practice it and be living examples for those who look on, most especially our children. We should not only be attracted to each other, but remain committed to each other as well. Consider this when you express love this coming Valentine's Day and every day!
Listen to this message on your audio player.
"Through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13). "Husbands, love your wives" (Ephesians 5:25). "Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives" (1 Peter 3:7). "Love never fails" (1 Corinthians 13:8).
We live out in the country and like most we periodically lose electrical power. Since just about everything in our home relies on electricity we find ourselves quite inconvenienced to say the least; no water since we have a well and pump (requiring electricity), no heat (even our coal stove requires electricity to run the primary air blower and self-feeder) and after several hours no internet after a battery backup runs out. Thankfully our power is very reliable and even when we periodically lose power it usually comes back on within an hour or two.
Years ago we had a cold spell and winter storm which caused our power to go out. After nearly six chilling hours of no electricity Brooksyne, Ester and I, along with my mom, who was living with us at the time, decided to go somewhere for some warmth and working bathrooms. So we all piled in the van and drove over to a Burger King in Rheems about four miles away. It was great to get out of the cold. We ordered our meals and sat down at a table to dine together.
Usually when we go to a fast food restaurant we do window service or quickly eat and leave (after all, it is "fast" food). Not this time, however, since we were in no hurry to give up our warm location to return to our cold home. We took plenty of time to eat and visit together. We probably bordered on loitering.
As our meal dragged on and on we began to observe a frail elderly couple who were not sitting across from one another as most couples do but rather sitting side by side. Our view of them was obscured by the thick green plants in the privacy partition two rows over. We thought it rather sweet, kind of like a teenage couple on a date. They also were taking their sweet time to finish their meal.
Being curious, I suggested to Brooksyne that she get more condiments, and go the long way around to get a view of this couple from the front. She came back with a full report.
They were seated close together because they were sharing a single meal. The husband was pinching off bird-sized portions of a hamburger and hand-feeding it to his wife. He broke the french fries into tiny pieces and gave her very small sips of the beverage through a straw. Apparently she had suffered a stroke and, though they were very small bites, it still took her a long time to chew each bite and swallow the food. He lovingly and patiently waited for her to chew and digest each bite before feeding her the next one.
We were both deeply touched by such a loving scene. Thoughts of Valentine's Day bring about mental images of young romance that Jared's, Hallmark, Russell Stover, and local florists market heavily especially at Valentine's Day.
Consider the media's portrayal of love with a gorgeous Hollywood couple having a lavish wedding surrounded by paparazzi, before the COVID restrictions changed all that for the time being. So often the same Hollywood couple becomes headlines again when they're soon embroiled in a divorce battle.
However, we believe the full picture of genuine, mature, and enduring servant type love is evident in the old couple at Burger King. Love's passion will fizzle. Youth and vitality turns into a distant memory captured only in photos or deep in one's heart. But true love will remain all the days of our lives when we take seriously the marital vows, "for better, for worse; in sickness and in health, till death do us part". Maybe we should add "in our days of youth and our golden years". Though I've heard some seniors say, "I don't really see anything golden about getting old."
Just consider some examples of couples whom we follow in the Bible record from their youth until their dying day. Their devotion was just as evident at the beginning of their romance as it was the day of the spouse's death. Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Rachel, Boaz and Ruth, are among the examples of committed couples whose love was an example of not only romance, but commitment, devotion, and endurance in the trials they walked through together.
This enduring love is at the very heart of Paul's message in what is known as the Love Chapter: "Love never fails." Endurance is a word defined as "the act, quality, or power of withstanding hardship or stress." That's the depth of tested love the world needs to see. As God's children we are called to practice it and be living examples for those who look on, most especially our children. We should not only be attracted to each other, but remain committed to each other as well. Consider this when you express love this Valentine's Day and every day!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we thank You for the wonderful gift of love that we experience in a romantic relationship that often grows into a marital bond between a man and woman. It is a holy union in which we, as devout believers, make You the Cornerstone of our marriage and family. May we be a support to each other as we provide a loving and protective shelter from the inevitable disappointments of life. May the fruit of the Spirit be evident in our daily walk both at home and in public places. Keep us wholly faithful to one another, rejecting every lustful temptation the devil sends our way. May we prove our love to each other with mutual respect, understanding, forgiveness, kindness, forbearance, and unity. In the precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
We shared the illustration about the couple at Burger King years ago but we have many new readers and also suppose regular readers may very well benefit in reading it again. It's one of the best examples of enduring love we have ever personally witnessed!
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Love Never Fails" Video Brandon Heath
Tonight we will be attending a Piercing Word concert. They perform memorized Scripture in dramatic and musical presentations word-for-word from the ESV Bible. "Piercing Word". Mission and Vision - We seek to ignite passion for the Word of God in the heart of the Church. We do this by engaging people with live Scripture Performances, challenging everyone to memorize God’s Word for themselves, and equipping the Church with resources for Bible memorization and study. Video
Some winter scenes from snowy Lancaster County
We had a new covering of snow early yesterday morning before we headed out, making for some rather slippery roads and pretty scenery.
Our first visit yesterday was to Smucker Home Improvement. As we got out of the car a trotting horse and Amish buggy passed by with an invisible driver (or so it appears).
Marlin (left), one of the company owners, has a practice of getting around and encouraging the employees. Here he is with Clarence who happens to be an ex-con who has worked for Smucker Laser for several years since his release and is doing very well. He is experiencing the dignity and purposefulness that work brings.
After visiting Smuckers we ate breakfast at the Crackerbarrel, one of our favorite restaurants, and visited with one of our favorite waitresses, Luz, whom we mentioned in our personal notes on January 8th. Many of you recognize the name, Luz, in Spanish means "light". She really is a light in this dark world as she takes a very public stand for Christ. She recently lost her father so we have been praying for her mother and all of her 10 siblings that the Father of all Comfort will provide solace and peace, knowing they will someday reunite in heaven.
The Silverstone Manor
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Snow-covered Lancaster County!
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We purposefully took the back roads to view the snow covered fields among the barns and silos.
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A kind gesture and remembrance
We greeted Tommy this morning who gives each woman at Kleen-Rite a single red carnation every Valentine's Day. His father, Tom, who worked for Kleen-Rite for 35, years started the tradition many years ago before his unexpected death two years ago. His son, Tommy, who also works at Kleen-Rite continues the practice his late father started many years ago.
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
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