For the past few weeks this word has been the topic of my conversations, the subject of quiet times and within the daily conversations of our home. We utter it in the morning when our kids awake, when we depart from each other, when we reunite in the evening and so on. L.O.V.E. – it is expressive and personal yet can be used to generally describe a liking of someone or something.
The bible has a lot to say about love…how we should love, who we should love, what we should love, what we should not love, what’s love got to do with it…well maybe not that last one, but I just threw it in because I couldn’t resist. Here are some nuggets:
Deuteronomy 6:5, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”
Joshua 22:5, “But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to keep his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Psalm 13:5, “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.”
Psalm 103:8, “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.”
Proverbs 3:12, “…because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.”
Mark 12:33, “To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
These are just a few that resonanted with me, but there have been several that have served as warnings, reminders and challenges. When we begin to really see and experience the love of Christ, how intimate He cares for us and how He loves every aspect of who we are, we can’t stay the same. His love ignites change in us and, hopefully, through us.
His love is not judging, not prejudice, is always accepting, is full of grace and mercy and is everlasting. Once we fully receive the love of Christ, we have a responsibility to love others just the same. It shouldn’t matter who they are, or how well you know them, you just love. We are to love those that are easy to love and those that are “prickly,” so-to-speak. We do not get to choose…the Bible just says to love one another!
God has been reminding me what that looks like to Him. How He loves me is how I should love those around me and when I do, other issues fade away. I love how in a crowd, Jesus sees every single person individually and loves them equally. Lord, help me to love like you do, to see like you do…to look past the outward appearance and look into the heart. Lord, may you increase and I decrease so that there are no limitations to the kind of love I give to those around me.