Heart Exercises for Valentines Day and Everyday

Love in Spirit

LOVE FOR ALL

 

I would like to start off this with a story about a Catholic priest; his name was Valentinus.

The first representation of Saint Valentine appeared in the Nuremberg Chronicle (1493); alongside the woodcut portrait of Valentine, the text states that he was a Roman priest martyred during the reign of Claudius II known as Claudius Gothicus. He was arrested and imprisoned upon being caught marrying Christian couples and otherwise aiding Christians who were at the time being persecuted by Claudius in Rome. Helping Christians at this time was considered a crime. Now Claudius took a liking to this prisoner – until Valentinus tried to convert the Emperor – whereupon this priest was condemned to death.

The heart holds many secrets; it holds happiness for some while it seems to hold misery for others. St. Valentine’s heart seemed to revel in love; love shared with each other, while Claudius seemed to have had his heart turned to stone.

As a member of the body of Christ, I know Christ is the Head and He gave us a message of love to share. He told us that upon his physical absence from this world he would send us the Helper, that is the Spirit, and in the Spirit lies the continued promise of our inheritance of love. Now Christ being the Head of this body, it only stands to reason that the Spirit is the Heart of the body and throughout this body courses the blood of Christ, in every new believer lies this blood and as this new blood is added to the existing body it rejuvenates the body as oxygen does for our own bodies.

ntinued promise of our inheritance of love. Now Christ being the Head of this body, it only stands to reason that the Spirit is the Heart of the body and throughout this body courses the blood of Christ, in every new believer lies this blood and as this new blood is added to the existing body it rejuvenates the body as oxygen does for our own bodies.What is a heart; besides only the muscle that pumps the blood throughout the body?  Is a heart not also that which also shows love toward one another? I feel even in criticism, my heart shows love for others, and because of this love I speak my mind and heart rather than not saying anything at all. Yet this love is not always appreciated, it is even rejected, for pride has set up itself as a barrier to it, pride itself has hardened the heart of the recipient to this message.

So what shall I do? Proverbs, chapter three, verses three through five hold just that answer. The Bible says:   

3

Let love and faithfulness never leave you;

   bind them around your neck,

   write them on the tablet of your heart.

4 Then you will win favor and a good name

   in the sight of God and man.

 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart

   and lean not on your own understanding

  I know of one who had His message of love rejected, He had many ways of confessing His love for us all, yet even His own followers sometimes misunderstood or worse, thinking they understood without really giving the message much thought, just acting impulsively. I would like to share part of this message of love from a latter apostle, who is Paul. Paul as you may know did not always hold this all-encompassing love within his own heart, but he was shown a better way of life and he had ears that would hear and heed the call of Him who would cast away apathy and replace it with love. 

This is the message Christ came here to deliver and these are the words inspired by Christ and given to Paul to share with us. From 1 Corinthians chapter thirteen and beginning at verse four and ending with verse thirteen Paul writes;

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

So it shall be out of patience that I will continue to persevere in my own message of love towards my LORD. My family and my enemy, can not withstand repeated assaults of love. I may not speak the message clearly where they could understand it in spoken word, but they will see it and recognize a difference in attitude and that difference is love.

So now that I have this message, do I hold it in my heart as a secret? Sometimes and regrettably I will do just that, then what will come out of my heart will be a perversion, for if I hold in the love the other emotion and action to bring forth would be apathy. Therefore I would show only concern for myself and as we know Christ – whom we are to imitate – did not hold that same feeling towards us and thankfully so.

As a member of the body of Christ, I know Christ is the Head and He gave us a message of love to share. He told us that upon his physical absence from this world he would send us the Helper, that is the Spirit, and in the Spirit lies the continued promise of our inheritance of love. Now Christ being the Head of this body,  it only stands to reason that the Spirit is the Heart of the body and throughout this body courses the blood of Christ, in every new believer lies this blood and as this new blood is added to the existing body it rejuvenates the body as oxygen does for our own bodies.

The heart as I stated is a muscle and being a muscle it can become soft, enveloped in fatty tissues, unless we exercise it with repetitive motions and make it stronger. The heart I speak of in this message is not purely physical. It is physical, spiritual and mental – for that is the heart the LORD desires us to possess for Him – it is a heart that is also capable of being exercised, we condition this heart through sharing, whether good or bad experiences, they can be shared in empathy towards one another. Does misery loving company give us such a bad deal, after all have we not felt misery at some point in our all too short lives and need to reach out and lay down our burdens upon someone else’s shoulders?

Oh how miserable we shall become and stay, if the only emotion we receive in return for sharing our feelings and dreams are apathy. This is not an indication of imitating Christ, this is not the body; this would be an indication of self-interest and this is the world we live in today. This is not who we are, but this may be who we were. In Second Timothy, chapter three, verses one through four it describes just who we were before we were transfused in the Holy Spirit by way of the blood of the Lamb.

The Bible says: 1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God

The Bible also gives us a word story to help illustrate who loves God and who does not; a man was walking from Jerusalem to Jericho and along the way he was accosted by robbers; they stole from him and left him for dead. A priest happened to be traveling that same road and as he saw the man, the priest moved to the other side of the road and proceeded on his way. So too, this same thing happened when a Levite came across this man.

But then, along that road comes a Samaritan; the Samaritan takes pity on the traveler, he cleans and dresses the wounds and puts him on his donkey. He then proceeds to take this stranger into town and to an inn where he continues to care for this man, the following day when the Samaritan must go about his business he hands the innkeeper two denarii then asks him to “look after him” and “after I return I will reimburse you for any additional expense”. This is a true exercise of the heart, this is the heart that the LORD desires for us all to possess and to regularly exercise with works of love and words of affirmation. For in this work and in these words we glorify the Father who is LOVE.

Who has the capacity and capability for such a wondrous love, that they could ask forgiveness for those who would even take away their life? The answer is, Jesus and only those who really know Jesus Christ as their Savior. Not those who would just say “I’m a Christian” we should never feel we have to say “I’m a Christian” or “we’re good people”. Others should serve as witnesses to whether we love others even more than ourselves, that is what a Christian is a lover. We are lovers of life and all that comes with it; good and bad, we understand each of us must go through times of grief, not to separate us from the love of God, but to draw us closer to Him.

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