Subject: Here is your monthly YSPEO Newsletter.

Equipping Ontario Christians for Ministry Since 1968!

February 2020


Looking At February - The Month Of Love
'LOVE THEY NEIGHBOR'
Who Exactly Is My Neighbor?

You will see the word neighbor two times in the when reading the Ten Commandments. It says "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor". It also says "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's."So does this mean that our neighbor is our next door neighbor? Well, can you credibly bear false witness against someone you don't know?  Or covet something of someone you've never met and have no clue of what they have? No you can't, so it's accurate to say that a "neighbor" is defined as someone we have seen, been acquainted with or know personally. Your neighbor includes literally everyone that you have ever seen, known or have met in passing. Now, Proverbs 3:28 teaches us "Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you." You see, a neighbor is then also someone who is in need and asks you for your help, and we are taught that we are to help a neighbor quickly, right away.

Jesus said to ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. Mark 12:31’ Can you do that? There are some people who may make you cringe at the thought of having to love them but Jesus has compared the love we ought to have for our neighbors, to the love we have for ourselves. You would never wish to have yourself suffer in pain, hungry, thirsty, friendless, anxious, helpless? Therefore you must never see you neighbor suffering and not step in to help immediately.

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. 
John 13:35
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Resa's Manifest On Love
Learning Series by rev. Resa Burrows

Part 1 - What About LOVE?
Snowy, rainy, windy, frigid February has arrived. Rodent weather forecasters have made their predictions for an early spring. I’m not one to rely on their predictions, but I must say I’m (tentatively) looking forward to coming out of hibernation sooner rather than later!

February, the month dedicated to Love. Valentines cupids, hearts,
roses, and chocolates abound. But, what about love? The refrains of
“peace on earth and goodwill to man” that we sang about in
December seems to be just a distant fading memory. What about love? 

The world would define the word as “really liking” something or somebody. The Bible, however, defines it as a verb—it is a word which denotes actions—not feelings.  Love is one of the attributes of the Fruit of the Spirit.  The Holy Spirit gives every born-again believer a wonderful gift containing several characteristics of a Christ-like nature. These “supernatural”characteristics are developed by spending one-to-one time in that secret place with our Creator.  Love, according to Jesus, is the most important of all the commandments: 

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All You  Need Is Love (and a little faith and hope)
by rev. Michael  of  michaeljscottministries.ca
One of my favorite scripture readings is one that is quite popular in many wedding ceremonies I have had the opportunity to officiate over the years; I thought February is an ideal time to delve into these verses a little closer.

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

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. 

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. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 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 the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a 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. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”1 Cor 13:1-13 (NIV)

Some of us may find it difficult to hear 1 Corinthians 13 without thinking of white dresses, rented tuxedos, bouquets, unity candles, and all our modern culture uses to prop up its romanticized notions about marriage. In fact, Paul’s words are quite appropriate at such ceremonies and reminds the bride, groom, and all in attendance what true love can provide. The qualities of love are qualities of God the Father and Jesus Christ. Paul reminds of the grace of love, its excellency in its nature and in its effects; and by its enduring characteristics:
  • Patient
  • Kind
  • Not Envious
  • Not boastful
  • Not proud
  • Not to dishonor others
  • Not self-seeking
  • Not Easily Angered
  • Keeps no record of wrongs
  • Always trusts
  • Never Fails
  • Completeness
If we could simply strive to live by these qualities in our day to day lives, what a wondrous world we would live in! To often we run short on patience, get angry, find ourselves boasting about the material things we have accumulated in our lives, remind those around of us of their historical faults. We lose sight of the important “stuff”. The ones we truly love and spend our days with. God Himself whom we serve.

Paul demonstrates that love is a greater virtue than gifts because love is eternal…gifts are temporary! Every spiritual gift will end. All the monuments humans create will crumble away. Even human life will come to an end. In this life, we are given the opportunity to grow in love, from childhood to adulthood and from immaturity to full spiritual maturity.

There is a beautiful irony in the fact that the one thing that lasts forever is the love that is given away. Even though we cannot make complete sense of all the experiences in this world or see clearly what lies beyond this world, we can trust in the permanence and persistence of divine love lived and experienced in human life. In Christ, believers are known and chosen by divine love. In an anxious world that grasps for the permanent, the eternal is given through the experience of love.

All you need is love…and a little faith and hope.

God Bless
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