For me, God’s love is so powerful and life-changing that it took a scared, emotionally insecure teenager and, over the years, transformed her into a woman who is not only secure within herself but can now show others God’s love as well.
Love is the most dominant, driving, and energetic force in this world and it is God’s motivation for everything He does in this earth. His love is so great that He sent His Son Jesus to die a horrible death on a cross so that we can be with Him forever.
The Two Directions of Love
Love is so important to God that the two most important commandments are centred around it. In Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus said to a lawyer, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
We are to love God and let Him love us (that is the vertical direction of love), and then we are to love each other (that is the horizontal direction of love). Think of Jesus on the Cross. His head and body were vertical towards heaven, and His arms stretched towards us. So for the rest of this blog post we are going to look at all three aspects of love: how God loves us, how we are supposed to love God, and how we are to love each other.
How God Loves Us
Everybody knows the Scripture John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” But have you ever really looked at the first four words? For God SO LOVED. In the Amplified version, it says, “For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world.” We are not talking about a little bit of love; we are talking about true love that is unconquerable.
In Romans 8:35,37,39, the Apostle Paul says, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? … Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us… [Nothing] shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
So no matter what happens in this world, God’s love is stronger and will carry you through any situation you face. There is nothing or nobody who can take God’s love away from you.
How We Love God
As Jesus told the lawyer, we are to love God with all our heart, soul and mind, but what does that mean? For me, that means that I put God first in my life. I choose to love and obey Him above anyone else in my life. That includes my husband and my children. That means that I spend time with Him every day in prayer and Bible reading, not because I have to because I want to.
Loving God with all my soul means that I keep in check that negative side of me that wants to drag me down and keep my life hopeless. God has given me so much, and it is my responsibility to stay thankful and hopeful and trust that God’s will is best for me.
Loving God with all my mind means being careful with what I fill my mind. Romans 12:2 tells us, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” I am careful what I watch and listen to; I limit how much TV I watch; and I listen to recordings of God’s Word and worship music when I can, to fill me up with God.
How We Love Others
I think that the best description of how God wants us to love each other is found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 where it says, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”
The funny thing is that I can’t love people on my own. There are certain things I can do on my own on a limited basis, but I cannot truly love others unless I learn to let God love me first. When His love for me is strong, then I am able to share that love with others.
If I could choose to only study one thing about God for the rest of my life, it would be His love. It is His love that sustains me and makes my life worthwhile. If you have never experienced God’s love before, ask Him for it. It will be something you will never regret in your life.
~ By Kim Thompson-Pinder
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