Jan 6, 2014

The L word......

"Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." 1 John 4:8

Love.

A four letter word that gets tossed around like sailboat atop a stormy sea.

As women, we say this word a lot. Or maybe, we don't say it enough.

Maybe we long to hear this word said more often to our aching little ears.

As this year begins, I am attentive to this word like never before. Perhaps, it is because I need to work on love. In a big way.

I love my people. I really do.

Do I really love them though?

I can only really love when I have the Lord Jesus living inside of me. "God lives in us and His love is made complete in us."1 John 4: 12

Jesus absolutely resides in this little heart of mine, but do I fully activate His Love towards others...even those that I claim to love on a daily basis?

"Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." 1 John 3:18

Here's the part I often struggle with. Do my actions convey my love?

Yes, I am a wife. Yes, I am a mom. I do mom and wife things.

However, what motivates these actions?

Is it love? Or, is it guilt, duty, obligation, affirmation, a show for other to see, or maybe to get something in return? Are my actions based on pure and godly motives?

The rubber meets the road right here.

I long to love. All people. At all times.

I really do.

This kind of love can only be possible by a heart completely surrendered to an unconditional loving Father.

Often our flesh gets in the way of this kind of love. We get hurt, rejected, thrown away, taken advantage of, misunderstood, overlooked.

It hurts. Big time.

Or maybe, others don't quite live up to the expectations we have for them. They disappoint us, they fail, they continually fall on their face. Do we turn our back on them and walk away?

Whatever the case, giant walls begin to form around our hearts. Love suffocates. It never gets released.

We justify this because we have been hurt.  We have been let down. We have been made a fool of. We justify withholding love because our hearts have been bruised, stomped on, broken in two.

If we are at all familiar with the life of Christ, He withstood all of those things. Times a million.

What did He do?

He loved.

If He is our example, and we are His disciples, we must do the same. No matter what.

This message steps on my little painted toes too. Really it does.

Who needs to be shown love today, my friend? Who have you turned your back on because of their actions, their betrayal, their hurtful ways?

Jesus challenges us to love them.

"Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." 1 John 4:8

I said it out loud in this way to make it personal to my heart: "If I do not love _______, I do not know God, because God is love."

I filled in the blank with a hard to love in my life. Or maybe it's not one person in particular, maybe it is a group of people. A race, a culture, another religious group....

Contrary to what society says, it is not naive to love. Oh, how we miss God's message when we fall into that trap.

Love is anything but naive.

"Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God." 1 John 4:7

Let's determine to love this year. Love like Jesus loved.

Walls will crumble. Hearts will be restored.

The greatest evidence of God's presence and work in us is displayed in how well we love.

Let's make a mighty love display for the world to see, shall we?


crumbling some walls,


jill