June 27 & 28, 2009 "Let Brotherly Love Continue"

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
By: Teresa Criswell

"Let brotherly love continue."
~ Hebrews 13:1 ~

Receiving some feedback from yesterday's devotional brought me to tears. It is greatly obvious that God has a great love for his creation. Especially men and women who emulate His heart to serve others even unto death - whether they know Him yet or not.

My dad sent me an email in response to the devotional yesterday of a woman who is a manager that works at one of the 'Firestone Complete Auto Care' stores in Fort Hood, Texas. Her husband is a Colonel in Iraq and flies Apache Helicopters.

As I read her comment, I wept trying to comprehend the great love for country that these men and women possess. There is a 'vanshing point' of comprehension to try to realize the depth of love from the families that are left behind supporting the great love for country that the sons and daughters, husbands and wives, the fathers and mothers and families possess. I immediately think of the children who cry themselves to sleep keeping the faith that they will see their mommy or daddy again.

I truly don't understand this kind of sacrifice. Yet Jesus Christ my Savior does. He possessed this great love for God, for us and for the Kingdom of God. Of course He does not only possess this love; He IS this love.

I am led to the word 'agape'. I have heard it said that the greek word 'agape' came about as there was no such word to describe this peculiar love that people possessed for one another who called themselves lovers of Christ.

After Christ had died, resurrected and ascended to heaven and then as the Holy Spirit came revealing the Son of God, the people who were not yet followers of Christ could not believe the love that these people possessed for their fellow brothers and sisters as they worshipped this One True God revealed by Christ Jesus and now revealed by the Holy Spirit.

It brings me to another group of early Christians. During Nero's reign he ordered the execution of many Christians. The Christians were led to the Coliseum to be torn apart and killed by the lions. Nero had heard the most peculiar reports. He had heard that as the Christians were being led to their gruesome deaths they weren't doing anything but praising God. Nero was led down to the dead, mutilated bodies finding that there were smiles on the faces of these martyrs.

When I heard about this from Roger last Sunday as he taught at church, I thought to myself, "I want this love for God." I realize that this love for God is attainable. It is not attainable through my human comprehension of love but by God's great Helper, His Spirit, the Holy Spirit.

The soldiers defending our rights across many oceans; even in our own country their service reveals a glimpse of the great and awesome love of God! I must say, "Thank you!" I say this with great ferver and passion to all of you great soldiers! I say this to the spouses and children left behind, mothers and fathers, grandparents, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins, and friends who represent these awesome people!

I want to end this devotional today on a side note about an experience my husband had flying on Southwest Airlines a couple of weeks ago. It is in regards to this airline carrier who showed forth their patriotism as they honored our brave soldiers.

My husband who gets emotional over very few things was choked up as he shared this story with me. As people were seated on the plane getting ready for 'take off' the flight attendant spoke over the intercom with the following announcement and said something like this: "Good Morning! Thank you for choosing Southwest Airlines. Before we take off today we would like to honor our military as we are able to fly some of our soldiers today on this flight. Let's make sure they know our gratefulness as they serve our country with great sacrifice." Choked up, Tim said immediately following the announcement the plane roared with a wholehearted applause and whistles of gratefulness.

To hear this one story from someone who had experienced it left me in tears to realize how much more we must honor our soldiers especially their families who are left behind.

For those of you who serve our country whether you wear the uniform or you represent one who has or still does; I honor you.


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