Monday, February 4, 2013

True Love

Wuuuuv Twoooo Wuuuuuuv

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I NEVER thought I would get a Princess Bride quote in!! :) But I did!!

You know, as Christians, we all talk about love. Love one another, love your wives, love, love love....We talk about it, but do we really do it? Do we really know what it is and what it means?  Where does the love come from? Does that means we have to hug and kiss everyone? What kind of love? Brotherly love?? Well my brother and I fight a lot... does that mean I tussle people's heads and get them in a headlock?

The world has skewed our idea of love. Love comes across as an emotion felt for someone else. But love is not an emotion. So let's look at what the Bible has to say about love - twwwwoooo luuuv. :)

God = true love
{1 John 4:7-8} Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

To truly love another human being, you have to have a revelation of what it is to BE truly loved. To truly love you must be loved by the one who expressed his love so greatly and so completely. God is the ultimate source of true love. Anyone who loves is a child of God - because (hopefully!) they have had a revelation of God's life-giving love and so are able to love that way themselves. Those who don't know God have a poor imitation of love.  

{1 John 4:9 - 10} God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

I love this passage - it spoke volumes to me. God's love is given, regardless of whether we deserve it or not. He just gives it to us. And he loved us FIRST. Which means that that we didn't have to do or be anything to receive it. We just got given it - end of story. God sent his son 2000+ years before I even thought about committing my first sin - but He knew that I needed a Savior and that I needed redemption, waaaay before this. And he expressed his love and desire for me to be his kid waaay back then.  How's that for forward thinking? 

{1 John 4:16} God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.
Love characterizes God because of his ultimate expression of love to us. Because God is love then love comes from God. God is the ultimate source of true love. Love comes from God to us, and when we love others, this love flows through us to others around us. If God is love - then love must characterize those who claim to be a child of God or knows God. 

True love received = true love given
{1 John 4:11-12} Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us

God's love was shown in action and this was by sending his Son, so for us to demonstrate love to others it will be love in action. This doesn't mean you have to go kiss and hug and be best friends with everyone. This sort of love will be kind, generous and serving to one another.

{1 John 4:19} We love each other because he loved us first.
Those who truly know God and have had a revelation of this love and receive this great love, can receive the commandment to love with joy! If you have received the love, you know exactly what it looks like and you are not commanded to do anything that is far too hard for you to do. If you know God's love for you - you will know how to love.

{1 John 4:7} Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. 
Continue...means keep going! Don't stop! Love and love and love some more. Remember God's love for you and what kind of love it is and then love others around you that way. Sometimes we humans complicate love. We make it all performance based "If you behave this way, I will love you.", "If you don't do that, I will love you." Peformance based love is manipulative and not true love at all. We love others regardless of what they do, what they say etc. I'm glad God's love isn't performance based, otherwise I would never have received it. Although let me reiterate that love does not mean you are doormat and have to allow people to hurt you. You can still love someone but guard your heart from hurt and from bad influences by putting appropriate boundaries in place.

{1 John 4:17} And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect.
Is this not a great reason to continue on in the ways of the Lord? Is this not a great reason to seek out God's will and purpose for us on this earth? Is this not a great reason to have a close relationship with the Father?

Dear Father, thank you so much for the model you have set so that we can truly love one another in a true and meaningful way. Thank you for giving us that love in the first place regardless of whether we accept it or not or deserve it. Lord, help us to remember that you are love, and all you do is based on your love for us. Help us to remember this as we express love to others.
I pray that anyone reading this today, and not having a revelation of you love will seek it out and receive it for themselves. I pray that when I love others, they will see you in me.

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