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 Article: Atmosphere of Love Posted on 2-6-2005
WOTR News Article It's been said that "Everyone lives in an atmosphere of their own creating". While this may not be 100% true for everyone, it is true that people do enjoy and are comfortable with the activities and surroundings to which they are accustomed to. We are the most receptive and at ease with what we're familiar with, despite the fact that these things may be unappealing to others. What is "home sweet home" to you may not be to someone else.

A fisherman was traveling home one evening just as the sun was going down. Unfortunately for him, the weather was getting really bad, really fast. The storm was entirely unexpected, which meant that he wasn't dressed very well for the heavy downpour that suddenly came upon him. As the rain began to beat down, the fisherman quickly decided that he would have to seek some shelter for the night. It wasn't long before he found a nearby family that was kind enough to take him in, offering to let the man sleep in their garden guesthouse. The family ran a floral business from home, and so they used the guest house to store a lot of their fresh flowers. At first, the fisherman enjoyed the sweet fragrance, but as he settled in, he soon found that he couldn't sleep. As he tossed and turned, he discovered that the aroma was keeping him awake because it was so different from what he was used to. Finally, after counting sheep for what seemed like forever, the man rolled out of bed, grabbed his fish basket, took off the lid, and placed the basket right next to his pillow. Within a few moments, the fisherman was snoring away! His native atmosphere gave him the satisfaction he needed.

What kind of an atmosphere do you live in? Some of us live in one of love, and so this is where we are comfortable. Others live in an atmosphere of hatred, violence, or corruption, where true love is rarely seen, if not unknown.

Several years ago, Louis Pasteur said "Two contrasting laws seem to be wrestling with one another nowadays: the one a law of blood and death, ever imagining new means of destruction; the other a law of peace and health, ever evolving new means of delivering man from the scourges which beset him."

We all know that hatred is destructive, while real love is always constructive. Hatred leads to death and love to life, if it is the true love that flows from the throne of our Heavenly Father. Love is stronger then its rival if given the opportunity to grow in the heart. The fruits of the Spirit outlined for us in Galatians chapter 5 are characterized by love, yet the works of the flesh are encompassed with hatred.

Early in a child's life, the forces of selfishness begin to shine through in their behavior. This is why child training should center around teaching the young one how to love, replacing that selfish disposition with the compassion of Christ so that His tender nature will fill the child's heart and guide the motives with Divine love as a driving force. Otherwise, where will the child learn of true love? How much different our youth would be if they were introduced to the love of Jesus while they are still impressionable and willing to learn, before the coldness of the world hardens and closes their heart.

Many of the world's troubles (if not all?) are the result of separation from God's love. It's not that the Lord is not willing to give His love, for He loves us immensely. The problem is that much of the world has and is rejecting and trampling upon the love of God. Children are no longer trained to love, so they grow up to be unloving adults who still search for harmony and peace, but many fail to realize that this can't be found apart from God's love. Nothing can ever substitute the love which Christ has for sinners. Without it, there is only tragic emptiness of the heart, a hollow longing. Unless this love is present, politics become vile and corrupt, business becomes dishonest and cruel, individuals are consumed by lust and pride.

Even an animal that lacks the opportunity to express love seems pitiful as the creature loses purpose in its behavior. I heard a true story about a mother cat that had its baby kittens given away. She had been in the habit of gathering together delicacies from the neighbor's garbage cans to bring back to her little ones at home. Once in awhile, she'd even catch a mouse for an extra special treat. Even after the mother had lost her kittens, she would still start toward the nest with a delicacy, but then stop short and drop the treat while she gave out a mournful cry. Then she would just sit there and meow for awhile. Finally, with a final moan of bereavement, she would shrink off into the shrubs. The delicacy would remain untouched. As the days went by, the mother seemed to come to grips with the fact that her act of love had now become meaningless.

Humans can act in a similar way when the opportunity to receive and express love is no longer present. Life loses meaning, work becomes dreadful, and living becomes a real burden. There's nothing to look forward to and no lasting fulfillment is received. But how different things are when God's love enters the picture! "God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him" (1 John 4:16). The apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:13 that love is the greatest of all and, in the end, love is one of the few things in life that is eternal. We can gain strength when we cling to the truth that God's supreme love is without limit. "The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: "Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you." (Jeremiah 31:3)

The atmosphere of the home we live in now or the place we work can be transformed by this heavenly love if we allow it to happen. The key is found in the words of Christ given to us in John 15:9-10 "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love." If we choose to let Jesus lead and transform us, we can have power to make the right decisions, the power to live by His Word and keep His commandments, which are based upon His loving character. We abide in Christ's love by keeping it in our heart and letting it flow into our actions and words. When we live this kind of life, genuine love will motivate all we do because the author of this love will be with us. Jesus promised "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him." John 14:23

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