Category Archives: Love

A Momentary Marriage

Here’s a powerful video testimony of the power of covenantal love–love that is sustained by a deeper commitment than emotion, one that reflects Christ and His Church. 

This Momentary Marriage (Free PDF Version and Amazon)

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The Fruit of Love

Dr. Barnhouse:

“Love is so intrinsic to the fruit of the Spirit. Love is key. Joy is love singing, peace is love resting, long-suffering is love enduring, kindness is loves touch, goodness is love’s character, faithfulness is love’s habit, gentleness is love’s self-forgetfullness, self-control is love holding the reigns.”

J. R. Miller:

“Human love is very precious, but it is not enough to satisfy a heart. There will be trials, there will be perplexities, there will be crosses and disappointments, solicitudes and sorrows. Then none but Christ will be sufficient.” 

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“Wedding Dress” by Derek Webb

This has been one of the most convicting songs that I have ever heard… It deepens my love for Christ whenever I consider how sacrificially and faithfully He has loved His unfaithful, syphilitic bride!! May it help us to treasure our Beloved…

Wedding Dress by Derek Webb

If you could love me as a wife
And for my wedding gift, your life
Should that be all I’ll ever need
Or is there more I’m looking for

And should I read between the lines
To look for blessings in disguise
To make me handsome, rich and wise
Is that really what you want

‘Cuz I am a whore, I do confess
Put you on just like a wedding dress
And I run down the aisle
Run down the aisle

I’m a prodigal with no way home
I put you on just like a ring of gold
And I run down the aisle
Run down the aisle to you

So could you love this bastard child
Though I don’t trust you to provide
With one hand in a pot of gold
And with the other in your side

‘Cuz I am so easily satisfied
By the call of lovers less wild
That I would take a little cash
Over your very flesh and blood

‘Cuz I am a whore, I do confess
Put you on just like a wedding dress
And I run down the aisle
Run down the aisle

I’m a prodigal with no way home
I put you on just like a ring of gold
And I run down the aisle
Run down the aisle to you

Because money cannot buy
A husband’s jealous eye
When you have knowingly deceived his wife

So I am that whore, I do confess
Put you on just like that wedding dress
And I run down the aisle
I run down the aisle

I’m a prodigal with no way home
I put you on just like that ring of gold
And I run down the aisle
Run down the aisle to you, to you

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The Life of God in the Soul of Man

Here are a few choice excerpts from Henry Scougal regarding “the life of God in the soul of man.” Enjoy…

Running to Christ in Response to Seeing Our Sin

“That which makes any body esteem us, is their knowledge or apprehension of some little good, and their ignorance of a great deal of evil that may be in us; were they thoroughly acquainted with us, they would quickly change their opinion.  The thoughts that pass in our heart in the best and most serious day of our life, being exposed unto public view, would render us either hateful or ridiculous; and now, however we conceal our failings from one another; yet sure we are conscious of them ourselves, and some serious reflections upon them would much qualify and allay the vanity of our spirits.  Thus holy men have come really to think worse of themselves than any other person in the world: not but that they knew that gross and  scandalous vices are in their nature more heinous than the surprises of temptations and infirmity, but because they are much more intent on their own miscarriages, than on those of their neighbors, and did consider all the aggravations of the one, and everything that might be supposed to diminish and alleviate the other.” (Henry Scougal, The Life of God in the Soul of Man (Christian Heritage Publications, 1996), 131-132.)

The Self-Denial of Christlike Love

“Perfect love is a kind of self-dereliction, a wandering out of ourselves; it is a kind of voluntary death, wherein the lover dies to himself, and all his own interests, not thinking of them, nor caring for them any more, and minding nothing but how he may please and gratify the party whom he loves: thus, he is quite undone, unless he meets with reciprocal affection; he neglects himself, and the other hath no regard to him; but if he be beloved, he is revived, as it were, and liveth in the soul and care of the person whom he loves; and now he begins to mind his own concerns, not so much because they are his, as because the beloved is pleased to own an interest in them: he becomes dear unto himself, because he is so unto the other.” (Henry Scougal, The Life of God in the Soul of Man (Christian Heritage Publications, 1996), 76).

The Grace of Humility: Seeing Our Sin in Light of God’s Greatness

“But it is well observed by a pious writer, that the deepest and most pure humility doth not so much arise from the consideration of our own faults and defects, as from a calm and quiet contemplation of the divine purity and goodness.  Our spots never appear so clearly as when we place them before this infinite Light …” (Henry Scougal, The Life of God in the Soul of Man (Christian Heritage Publications, 1996), 132).

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Covenantal Love: Sustaining Love in Marriage

Thoughts from John Piper, D.A. Carson, and Tim Keller on the covenant of marriage and how to sustain such love:

“What sustains the marital bond and affections over the long haul? Three men with a combined 116 years of marriage reflect on what they’ve learned from God’s Word and others along with their experience.

“Don Carson, Tim Keller, and John Piper offer insight on falling in love again and again and the ground of covenant in which the flower of love grows. In marriage, man and woman change but their promise does not, sustained by the God who enacted his covenant between Christ and the church.”

HT: Justin Taylor

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Piper: Love Her More and Love Her Less

Love Her More and Love Her Less

The God whom we have loved, and in
Whom we have lived, and who has been
Our Rock these twenty-two good years
With you, now bids us, with sweet tears,
To let you go: “A man shall leave
His father and his mother, cleave
Henceforth unto his wife, and be
One unashaméd flesh and free.”
This is the word of God today,
And we are happy to obey.
For God has given you a bride
Who answers every prayer we’ve cried
For over twenty years, our claim
For you, before we knew her name.

And now you ask that I should write
A poem – a risky thing, in light
Of what you know: that I am more
The preacher than the poet or
The artist. I am honored by
Your bravery, and I comply.
I do not grudge these sweet confines
Of rhyming pairs and metered lines.
They are old friends. They like it when
I bid them help me once again
To gather feelings into form
And keep them durable and warm.

And so we met in recent days,
And made the flood of love and praise
And counsel from a father’s heart
To flow within the banks of art.
Here is a portion of the stream,
My son: a sermon poem. It’s theme:
A double rule of love that shocks;
A doctrine in a paradox:

If you now aim your wife to bless,
Then love her more and love her less.

If in the coming years, by some
Strange providence of God, you come
To have the riches of this age,
And, painless, stride across the stage
Beside your wife, be sure in health
To love her, love her more than wealth.

And if your life is woven in
A hundred friendships, and you spin
A festal fabric out of all
Your sweet affections, great and small,
Be sure, no matter how it rends,
To love her, love her more than friends.

And if there comes a point when you
Are tired, and pity whispers, “Do
Yourself a favor. Come, be free;
Embrace the comforts here with me.”
Know this! Your wife surpasses these:
So love her, love her, more than ease.

And when your marriage bed is pure,
And there is not the slightest lure
Of lust for any but your wife,
And all is ecstasy in life,
A secret all of this protects:
Go love her, love her, more than sex.

And if your taste becomes refined,
And you are moved by what the mind
Of man can make, and dazzled by
His craft, remember that the “why”
Of all this work is in the heart;
So love her, love her more than art.

And if your own should someday be
The craft that critics all agree
Is worthy of a great esteem,
And sales exceed your wildest dream,
Beware the dangers of a name.
And love her, love her more than fame.

And if, to your surprise, not mine,
God calls you by some strange design
To risk your life for some great cause,
Let neither fear nor love give pause,
And when you face the gate of death,
Then love her, love her more than breath.

Yes, love her, love her, more than life;
O, love the woman called your wife.
Go love her as your earthly best.

Beyond this venture not. But, lest
Your love become a fool’s facade,
Be sure to love her less than God.

It is not wise or kind to call
An idol by sweet names, and fall,
As in humility, before
A likeness of your God. Adore
Above your best beloved on earth
The God alone who gives her worth.
And she will know in second place
That your great love is also grace,
And that your high affections now
Are flowing freely from a vow
Beneath these promises, first made
To you by God. Nor will they fade
For being rooted by the stream
Of Heaven’s Joy, which you esteem
And cherish more than breath and life,
That you may give it to your wife.

The greatest gift you give your wife
Is loving God above her life.
And thus I bid you now to bless:
Go love her more by loving less.

For Karsten Luke Piper At His Wedding to
Rochelle Ann Orvis May 29, 1995

HT: Desiring God

© Desiring God

Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction.

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

 

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Ordo Amoris and the Love of God

In 2008, I attended a summer camp event hosted by my local church. The topic for the week, around which all teaching and discussion were centered, was the supreme goodness of God as described in Psalm 34. While I learned quite a bit during my time there, one of the most valuable “take-home” lessons of the week came  from Saint Augustine, a favorite church father of our speaker, Perry Garrett.

Perry outlined for us Augustine’s philosophy of ordo amoris, or “the order of loves.” This idea, which is expressed most clearly in Augustine’s The City of God, refers to a divinely ordained hierarchy of human loves and pleasures. God sits at the pinnacle as the primary object of human satisfaction, and the single pleasure that is able to provide fulfillment proportionate to and beyond our  my desire for it.

In 1 Timothy 4:4, Paul writes, “everything created by God is good.” One of God’s blessings to His creatures is that He has ordained all things for our use, benefit, and enjoyment. Money, sex, food, and other people are good gifts, but they were not designed to provide our lives with ultimate meaning. Ironically, our capacity to enjoy these things properly actually rests on whether or not God is central in our affections. Whatever we exalt above our Creator can only enslave us. As C.S. Lewis poignantly expressed in his treatise The Four Loves, anything other than God, “having become a god, becomes a demon.” Inordinate desire is never met in full; it is born of sin binds us to sin.   

Once God is seated in his rightful place in our affections, our love for Him will sanctify our hearts and passions, leading us to value the things of this world appropriately. We will view God’s gifts not as ends in themselves, but as rays of light that draw our eyes up to the great and glorious Source of all that is good, of whom all earthly joys are mere shadows. God’s status as chief of our desires is not arbitrary; in 2008 I came to understand that He is in fact worthy of all my heart, all my soul and all my strength. His excellencies far outweigh, and His glories far outshine, all else that is offered. As Augustine prayed at the opening of his Confessions, “God, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you.”

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Expressing Gospel Love in Marriage

God’s love toward us is expressed in His grace that saves, sanctifies, and provides security to us. In part, marriage is an extension of God’s grace toward another sinner, an imperfect human being created in His image and hopefully, saved by His grace. Mark Driscoll, in his own rugged-style, preached a sermon on biblical manhood in reference to marriage and dating. Here’s a brief overview that’s worth reading: How to Honor Your Wife. This particular quote from Driscoll’s article stood out to me: “Gentlemen, it is a terrifying thing for a woman to trust a sinful man.”  What a reminder for the need of God’s grace in our relationships since everyone involved is a sinner. Paul David Tripp in his book What Did You Expect: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage provides a similar, though not as raw, encouragement to live out the gospel in human relationships.  Here’s a helpful list that captures the essence of biblical love as expressed in the context of marriage: What is Biblical Love? These two “articles” are worth reading for any who are married, hope to be married, or simply desire to reflect God’s grace in their various relationships.

 

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What is Love?

A few days ago, Justin Taylor posted this section from Paul Tripp’s book on marriage.  Whether you’re married or not, it seems worth meditating upon.

From chapter 12 of Paul David Tripp’s What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010).

1. What is love?

Love is willing self-sacrifice for the good of another that does not require reciprocation or that the person being loved is deserving.

2. What does love look like in marriage?

  1. Love is being willing to have your life complicated by the needs and struggles of your husband or wife without impatience or anger.
  2. Love is actively fighting the temptation to be critical and judgmental toward your spouse, while looking for ways to encourage and praise.
  3. Love is the daily commitment to resist the needless moments of conflict that come from pointing out and responding to minor offenses.
  4. Love is being lovingly honest and humbly approachable in times of misunderstanding, and being more committed to unity and love than you are to winning, accusing, or being right.
  5. Love is a daily commitment to admit your sin, weakness, and failure and to resist the temptation to offer an excuse or shift the blame.
  6. Love means being willing, when confronted by your spouse, to examine your heart rather than rising to your defense or shifting the focus.
  7. Love is a daily commitment to grow in love so that the love you offer to your husband or wife is increasingly selfless, mature, and patient.
  8. Love is being unwilling to do what is wrong when you have been wronged but to look for concrete and specific ways to overcome evil with good.
  9. Love is being a good student of your spouse, looking for his physical, emotional, and spiritual needs so that in some way you can remove the burden, support him as he carries it, or encourage him along the way.
  10. Love means being willing to invest the time necessary to discuss, examine, and understand the problems that you face as a couple, staying on task until the problem is removed or you have agreed upon a strategy of response.
  11. Love is always being willing to ask for forgiveness and always being committed to grant forgiveness when it is requested.
  12. Love is recognizing the high value of trust in a marriage and being faithful to your promises and true to your word.
  13. Love is speaking kindly and gently, even in moments of disagreement, refusing to attack your spouse’s character or assault his or her intelligence.
  14. Love is being unwilling to flatter, lie, manipulate, or deceive in any way in order to co-opt your spouse into giving you what you want or doing something your way.
  15. Love is being unwilling to ask your spouse to be the source of your identity, meaning and purpose, or inner sense of well-being, while refusing to be the source of his or hers.
  16. Love is the willingness to have less free time, less sleep, and a busier schedule in order to be faithful to what God has called you to be and to do as a husband or a wife.
  17. Love is a commitment to say no to selfish instincts and to do everything that is within your ability to promote real unity, functional understanding, and active love in your marriage.
  18. Love is staying faithful to your commitment to treat your spouse with appreciation, respect, and grace, even in moments when he or she doesn’t seem to deserve it or is unwilling to reciprocate.
  19. Love is the willingness to make regular and costly sacrifices for the sake of your marriage without asking anything in return or using your sacrifices to place your spouse in your debt.
  20. Love is being unwilling to make any personal decision or choice that would harm your marriage, hurt your husband or wife, or weaken the bond of trust between you.
  21. Love is refusing to be self-focused or demanding but instead looking for specific ways to serve, support, and encourage, even when you are busy or tired.
  22. Love is daily admitting to yourself, your spouse, and God that you are not able to love this way without God’s protecting, providing, forgiving, rescuing, and delivering grace.
  23. Love is a specific commitment of the heart to a specific person that causes you to give yourself to a specific lifestyle of care that requires you to be willing to make sacrifices that have that person’s good in view.

3. What should this description of love do to us?

This realization should give you pause and then spur you to action: it is impossible for any of us to love as has been described. The bar is simply too high. The requirements are simply too great. None of us has what it takes to reach this standard. This description of love in action has left me humbled and grieved. It has faced me once again with my tendency to name as love things that are not love. It has forced me to admit how self-focused and self-absorbed I actually am. It has reminded me that when it comes to love, I am not an expert. No, I am poor, weak, and needy.

Jesus died not only so that we would have forgiveness for not loving as we should, but also so that we would have the desire, wisdom, and power to love as we should.

Jesus suffered in love so that in your struggle to love you would never, ever be alone. As you give yourself to love, he showers you with his love, so that you would never be without what you need to love.

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The Love of God

A.W. Tozer:

“From God’s other known attributes we may learn much about his love.  We can know, for instance, that because God is self-existent, his love had no beginning; because he is eternal, his love can have no end; because he is infinite, it has no limit; because he is holy, it is the quintessence of all spotless purity; because he is immense, his love is an incomprehensibly vast, bottomless, shoreless sea before which we kneel in joyful silence and from which the loftiest eloquence retreats confused and abashed.”

C.S. Lewis:

“On the whole, God’s love for us is a much safer subject to think about than our love for him.  Nobody can always have devout feelings; and even if we could, feelings are not what God principally cares about.  Christian love, either toward God or toward man, is an affair of the will.  But the great thing to remember is that, though our feelings come and go, his love for us does not.”

Jonathan Edwards:

“But Christ Jesus has true excellency, and so great excellency, that when they come to see it they look no further, but the mind rests there. It sees a transcendent glory and an ineffable sweetness in him; it sees that till now it has been pursuing shadows, but that now it has found the substance; that before it had been seeking happiness in the stream, but that now it has found the ocean. The excellency of Christ is an object adequate to the natural cravings of the soul, and is sufficient to fill the capacity. It is an infinite excellency, such an one as the mind desires, in which it can find no bounds; and the more the mind is used to it, the more excellent it appears. Every new discovery makes this beauty appear more ravishing, and the mind sees no end; here is room enough for the mind to go deeper and deeper, and never come to the bottom. The soul is exceedingly ravished when it first looks on this beauty, and it is never weary of it. The mind never has any satiety, but Christ’s excellency is always fresh and new, and tends as much to delight, after it has been seen a thousand or ten thousand years, as when it was seen the first moment.”

Here are some thoughts that I wrote to a friend last Fall as I was reflecting on the richness of Christ’s love.  May you be blessed by the things He laid upon my heart…

“The Love of Christ”:

The breadth of Christ’s love is demonstrated in His desire to cover a multitude of sins. His blood has sufficiently removed our sin from us as far as the East is from the West. His love is a pardoning, yet perfect love. The length of Christ’s love is demonstrated in His decision to love us before the foundation of the world. His love is an everlasting love that has neither beginning nor end. His love is a predetermined, yet personal love. The depth of Christ’s love is demonstrated in His descent from the glories of heaven in order to bear the humility of the Cross. His death for us was the greatest act of unchanging, sacrificial love. His love is a patient, yet passionate love. The height of Christ’s love is demonstrated in His determination to lead us to glory that we might enjoy it with Him. His love compels Him to prepare an exalted place for His pure and perfect Bride; that she may ever be at His side. His love is a purifying, and altogether persevering and perfect love.  While such faithful love is beyond our understanding, we know that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. By His death He pursued us and by His life He will preserve us. By leaping into the sea of God’s wrath, He rescued us so that we may forever love our Faithful One who first loved us.

See also Octavius Winslow’s “The Infinite Ocean of Christ’s Love”

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In Matters of the Heart

About two months ago I read a great book on relationships entitled, Doing Things Right in Matters of the Heart.  It is written by John Ensor who has worked for decades to battle abortion, as well as to minister to single mothers and rape victims in a gospel-centered way.

Here’s my brief analysis of the book:

Doing Things Right in Matters of the Heart by John Ensor

Doing Things Right provides a compelling case for male-female relationships that glorify God and serve the good of those involved.  Ensor paints an attractive picture of how the complementary roles of men and women are rooted in the gospel and bear the fruit of mutually-satisfying relationships.  This picture is contrasted with the self-centered, often heart-breaking, image that the world seductively sells.  His writing is sometimes “raw, frank, and frustrated,” but it is seasoned with sanctified salt.  His insight provides clarity and direction for those who are dating, pursuing marriage, or those who seek to prepare for that blessing.  The book gives guidance regarding male-female responsibilities from the beginning of a relationship–as it unfolds when a young man and woman find themselves attracted to one another—to the full blossom of that attraction as found in the covenant of marriage.  The gospel is clear and is presented as the necessary foundation for all relationships, especially those of a romantic nature.

The first part of the book describes biblical manhood and womanhood.  The second half of the book describes how men and women are to relate to one another in complementary ways.  Here are chapter titles from the second half of the book:

He Initiaties…She Responds

He Leads…She Guides

He Works…She Waits

He Protects…She Welcomes Protection

He Abstains to Protect…She, to Test

His Unmet Desire Drives Him toward Marriage…Hers Is Rewarded with Marriage

He Displays Integrity…She, Inner Beauty

He Loves by Sacrificing…She, by Submitting

He Seeks His Happiness in Hers…She Seeks Hers in His

He Is the Primary Provider for the Family…She, the Primary Nurturer

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No Greater Love

There is no greater picture of love than this…

“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”  Titus 3:4-7

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” Titus 2:11-14

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins …But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”  Ephesians 2:1-10

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”  1 Peter 5:10-11

Oh how desperately we need a daily reminder of His unending love for us… He is so immeasurably faithful even when we are ridiculously faithless!!  Oh, to know such a radical love as this…

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The Greatest Is Love

The Greatest of These Is Love (1 Cor. 13:13):

“Love is the first outgoing of the renewed soul to God–“We love him, because he first loved us” [1 Jn. 4:19].  It is the sure evidence of a saving work of grace in the soul–“The fruit of the Spirit is love[Gal. 5:22].  It lies at the very foundation of Christian character; we are “rooted and grounded in love [Eph. 3:17].  It is the path in which all the true children of God are found; they “walk in love[Eph. 5:2]– the bond of their mutual union;  their hearts are “knit together in love [Col. 2:2] –their protection in the spiritual warfare; they are to put on “the breastplate of love [1 Thess. 5:8] –the fulness and completeness of their Christian character; they are “made perfect in love[1 Jn. 4:18]; –the spirit through which they may fulfill all the Divine acquirements; for love is the fulfilling of the law” [Rom. 13:10]; that by which they may become like their Father in heaven and fitted for his presence; for “God is love” [1 Jn. 4:8], and Heaven is a world of LOVE.”

*The following paragraph was written by Tryon Edwards, a grandson of Jonathan Edwards, in his introduction to Charity and Its Fruits, which was a series of lectures given by Jonathan Edwards on the nature and manifestations of love.

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Loving Leadership

Paul had a deep love for those under his care, and he was an exceptional model of living out loving leadership.  He was never afraid to express the depth of his affections for his brothers and sisters in Christ, because he understood the necessity and power of words.  His love was passionate, selfless, and Christ-centered.   Those blessed by Paul never had to doubt whether or not Paul loved them, because he continually expressed his affections for them.  He wanted God to use it to help them to grow and be encouraged by it.   He knew how much they needed to know of his love and gratitude for them.  I wonder if we have a similar love for those whom the Lord has placed under our leadership and in our lives.  If so, I wonder how often they know that we love them.  It is essential that we take the time and energy to express it.  Love must express itself; it cannot remain silent or ever be assumed.[1]

Affections Of May Poster

“I rejoice over you” (Rom. 16:19)

“I hold you in my heart.” (Phil. 1:7)

“I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 1:8)

“My brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and my crown.” (Phil. 4:1)

“Being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.”  (1 Thess. 2:8)

“My little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, I wish I could be present with you now.” (Gal. 4:19-20)

“My love be with you all in Christ Jesus.” (1 Cor. 16:24)

“I wrote to you out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears… to let you know the abundant love that I have for you.” (2 Cor. 2:4)

“We have spoken freely to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide open.” (2 Cor. 6:11)

“You are in our hearts, to die together and to live together.” (2 Cor. 7:3)

“Because I do not love you?  God knows I do!” (2 Cor. 11:11)

“I seek not what is yours but you.” (2 Cor. 12:14)

“I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls.  If I love you more, am I to be loved less?” (2 Cor. 12:15)

“And may the Lord make you increase… in love for one another… as we do for you.” (1 Thess. 3:12)

“I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart.” (Philemon 12)

[1] Alexander Strauch has written an excellent book entitled Leading with Love that is worth checking out.  It’s an expanded exposition of the characteristics of divine love expressed in 1 Corinthians 13.

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