Who Do You Love?
John 15:13: Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
February 14th is celebrated by many as Valentine’s Day. On this day husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, and in my family, a father and his daughters and granddaughters will exchange gifts and other pleasantries as expressions of love.
The origin of this day has been debated for centuries. Some say it was a priest who refused to disclose other Christians and was put to death. Some say it was a man who died to protect his true love. Regardless of its beginning, we do know we express love to many people in many different ways.
Last month I celebrated my 29th wedding anniversary with the love of my life – Mrs. Vivian Pruitte. Without question I married the woman of my dreams. But I love my four daughters as well. Three of them are adults and on their own, but I still give them candy and stuffed animals. I still feel a need to protect them and I am forever watching over them, praying for their success. I have two beautiful granddaughters who I absolutely love to pick up and hug. I literally melt when they smile at me or give me a kiss on the cheek.
I have an 83 year old father whom I have the pleasure of seeing a couple of times a year. We talk every day, and each time I am blessed to spend a little time with him, I get teary-eyed when I have to leave him. I have a son-in-law and a grandson who I am extremely proud of and routinely brag about. People often hear me say the members of Holiness Tabernacle are some of the best people in the world and I would not exchange them for anyone. I cannot think of anything I wouldn't do for them.
In Bishop Ted Thomas, I believe I have the best leader in the world and I still believe the Church of God In Christ is the best church. With all of that said, with all of the people I love, nothing and no one even comes close to the love I have for Jesus Christ. But I would like to offer the following.
One of the most well-known scriptures is found in John 3:16: For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life. When you really love someone, you are motivated to do something to enhance, bless, and improve their life. True love inspires, drives and influences you to perform beyond what you would normally do. This verse notes what Jesus did for us; He says in the previous verse we should love one another. Then Jesus says the greatest act of love is laying down your life for a friend.
My friends, who do you really love today? For whom do you go beyond the minimum to make life better for? As a husband, I am to love my wife as Christ loved the church. As a father I am to provide and protect my children. As a pastor, if I love God I am to feed His sheep. Let's make sure we're displaying acts of love to those we say we love. One of the apostles wrote he'd know we have passed from death to life because we love the brethren.
I bless you in the name of the Lord!
Eddie B Pruitte, Jr.
Pastor and Founder, Holiness Tabernacle COGIC