“This is how much God loved the world:. . .”
A deceptively simple statement and it conveys so much hope for each of us. We love EVERYTHING: I love my car; I love my dog; I love the color purple; I love tacos. Because we use the word “love” so often in our everyday life, it’s easy to lose sight of what it means to love or to be loved this deeply and completely. I love my children and my husband with that deep, soul-crushing love.
“. . . He gave his Son, his one and only Son. . .”
I would give my life for any of my kids or my husband if they needed it. And even though I may say I am “dying” for some good Tex-Mex food, I wouldn’t really trade my life for a taco. I don’t love it that much. I can hardly bear to hear a negative comment about one of my kids. I go into Momma Bear mode really quickly to defend them. I can’t imagine giving one of them up for anyone or anything. But, God loved me enough to sacrifice His ONLY son. FOR ME!!
“. . . And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.”
This Salvation is for anyone that believes. Again, it’s a simple statement. But, for some it is impossible to believe that God could love them this much. I still wonder why He loves me so much. I’m not perfect and in fact can be a little bit bossy and insistent at times. Yet, He continues to show me His great love in so many ways. My only requirement is to trust & believe.
Do you understand what it is to love or be loved this completely? Have you experienced that deep bitter-sweetness that comes with giving yourself heart and soul to another? This Love is not a disposable emotion that you outgrow or tire of with time. This Love is a commitment: the deepest commitment you can possibly give or receive. This Love overrides ego and self-seeking actions. This Love requires total devotion.
This Love is the gift we were all given in the form of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. When you accept His Love, you cannot avoid giving the same Love to others. My needs are not so important when viewed through Love. My focus becomes Loving others: my family, my friends, my neighbors and not just “me”. The more I practice giving Love, the harder is becomes to NOT Love.
As 2018 draws to a close, I hope that you will examine this gift of Love. Take it out. Embrace it. Give it away. May 2019 be the year when we all decide to Love.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 MSG