Sweet Sisters,


Wednesday morning, I had an early morning doctor’s appointment.  Paul took me to breakfast afterward.  As we walked into the restaurant, I saw a couple sitting at a table across the room.  We’ve recently become acquainted with this couple through our work at Carol’s Kitchen.  As I walked over to say “Hello” the interaction between them made my heart smile.  The woman was leaning over intently listening to her husband’s words.  The look in her eyes was full of joy.  You could tell she totally adored him.  Sweet sisters, this couple has been married 56 years!


This past Monday we celebrated Valentine’s Day.  There was a lot of emphasis placed on the word “Love”.  Stores were full of fresh flowers and boxes of chocolate.   The stores in my area actually ran out of much of their Valentine inventory.


All of this emphasis on “love” made me wonder what it is that is really being celebrated by all this?  What is love?


I believe love is a choice.  It’s being committed to a relationship regardless.  Regardless of how you feel.  Regardless of challenges that arise.  Love is putting the well-being of someone else above your own at times.


In Mark 12:28-31 when Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment, His response was to first love God and then to love others.

28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Love is a key concept in the Bible.  In Deuteronomy 6:5, Moses tells God’s people that if they want God’s approval they must first love Him.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

In Leviticus 19:1,2, God tells Moses to tell the Israelites to be “holy because I am holy.”

The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Speak to the entire assembly of Israel and say to them: ‘Be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.

God then goes on to describe what it means to live like you are holy.  In Leviticus 19:18 He says, “but love your neighbor as yourself.  I am the Lord.”

18 “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

I heard someone say recently that you can’t truly love others until you first love God.  I believe that is true.  Without a relationship with God, I am not capable of “loving my neighbor as myself”.  Jesus often talked about us loving others.  In John 15:9-12, 17 He talks extensively about love.  Twice in these verses, He says, “My command is this: Love each other”.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 

17 This is my command: Love each other.

Notice in verse 12, Jesus says “Love each other as I have loved you.”  What does that look like?  I am reminded of John 3:16

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

God so loved that He gave.  When we love like God we give.  Our giving goes far beyond candy, cards, and flowers.


In I Corinthians 13:4-7, Paul gives us a description of what loving others looks like.

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

In Galatians 5:13 – 14, Paul tells us that if we are going to love each other we must serve each other.

13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Colossians 3:12 – 14, Paul shows us how we should live as God’s chosen people.  In verse 14 he says love holds it all together.

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

I think that John, the disciple, really took Jesus’ commandment to love others to heart.  Towards the end of his life, he wrote 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John.  He talks in these books a lot about love.

In I John 4:7 – 12, he refers back to his words in John 3:16.  I John 4:11 says, since God loved us, we ought to love one another.

7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 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. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

Sweet Sisters, what I learned from observing our new friends in that restaurant Wednesday morning, was that it was obvious that the wife loved her husband very much.  I believe that when others look at us when we aren’t even aware they are looking at us, that they should get a strong feeling that we are women who love others.  The more we love God, the better we will be able to be seen this way.  I want to sum up all we have learned today in one more verse from John 13:35. This is in the New Century Version.

35 “All people will know that you are my followers if you love each other.”

Sweet Sisters,


If you want to make a difference in the world around you, 

Love God


Love others.


Debbie ❤