While reading and re-reading the verse, my thoughts meandered to another Siesta's verse for April 1st. It's from Philippians 1 and also speaks of love. She had shared her verse in an email earlier in the day and the common thread of love popped out at me then too. What is it about love? This question came to mind, and I'm pretty sure it was directed to the Lord.
Flipping to the next card, I began to read 1 Corinthians 13:1. A song popped into my mind. The chorus says, "Let my life be the proof..the proof of Your love." Toward the end of the song this passage is read...starting with 1 Corinthians 13:1. As I "heard" it being read, the question again came to mind...Is there a message the Lord is trying to tell His people about love? (Okay, it didn't "sound" that way...read "clear"...in my head, but that was the idea. Why the question? Because I've noticed a theme sometimes in songs, messages, prayers, challenges, etc. and now wondered about this "love" theme.)
Then it hit me...what Jesus told His disciples about the signs of the end of the age...their love will grow cold. At that thought, I put my index cards (spiral) down and picked my notebook up. I found the verse in Matthew 24:
"And the love of the great body of people will grow cold because of the multiplied lawlessness and iniquity, But he who endures to the end will be saved."
Matthew 24:12-13, Amplified
After finding the reference, I read through verses 3 to 14. In the NIV84 this passage is labeled, "Signs of the End of the Age." I looked through the other gospels for this passage where Jesus speaks of the end of the age, and read through Mark 13 and Luke 21. They both have at least a little something about the suffering that will occur - especially regarding the destruction of the temple - but no others speak of their love growing cold - and it seemed to me that He is speaking of the Church. However, there was a definite similarity in the need to "keep watch" to "stay alert" and to "not be led astray." More to ponder...Jesus also spoke of false prophets and teachers as well and not to be fooled by them.
In thinking of guarding myself...and teaching my princess and warrior to do the same...I can only think of one sure way to guard myself...at least as sure as I can think of...to know God's Word so well that any twisting of it would be recognized...AND (of course) to pray for the Lord to give wisdom, guidance, and discernment in ALL circumstances...for as 1 Peter 5:8-10 says...that enemy of ours prowls around like a hungry lion as he seeks to seize upon and devour someone - we must withstand the enemy by abiding in Jesus (John 15).
While writing this now, the phrase "guarding your heart" kept going through my mind, but I couldn't place it. Finally, Psalm 119:11 came to mind in a little song we used in a children's church we led. This passage from Psalm 119 is definitely one of my favorites as it so clearly points to the road we must follow to keep a pure heart!
With my lips I recount
as one rejoices in great riches.
and consider your ways.
I will not neglect your word."
Psalm 119: 9-16, NIV84
(copied and pasted from biblestudytools.com)
Here is my prayer from that night...I hope you'll join in praying this over my family and yours. Because I want to let my life be the proof of His Love, don't you?
Lord, Teach me to love more like You. May it hurt when I don't so that I'll quickly turn back to You and Your ways. May our family love each other as You do. May we be a family after Your own Heart. May our love not grow cold. Amen.