A Jesus Level Love

I read a story recently. It was a story to make a point, probably not a true story, but a story that could actually occur, considering some of the recent shootings. I’m sharing this story not meaning to open recent wounds but to share what these recent tragedies have caused me to think about.

As the story goes, a gunman walked into a church and commanded all who believed in Jesus to lie on the floor. Some people immediately fell to the floor. The gunman told the others they were now free to leave.

Then he turned to the Pastor and said, “You can start preaching now.”

Again, I am not intending to make light of the tragedies that have happened this year but to share with you how Holy Spirit has used these tragedies to stir something in me.

This was a story which caused me to wonder if I would be strong enough in my walk and relationship with Jesus to lay on the floor for Him and face possible death. I think so, I hope so.

Now I take this story and relate it to my everyday walk. Do I walk and relate to others as Jesus would, if He were still here in a human body? I think so, I hope so.

I so want everyone, no matter where they stand spiritually, to feel His love through interaction with me.

“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 (ESV)

We love. Do I love like He loves me? I need to totally get the magnanimity of this verse.

Magnanimity is a noun that means the quality or state of being generous. Some of the synonyms are:

big-heartedness, bounteousness, bountifulness, freehandedness, generosity, generousness, great-heartedness, large-heartedness, lavishness, liberality, magnanimousness, munificence, openhandedness, unselfishness, unsparingness.

Do I love like this? Only when we totally understand that He loves us like this, then we can love others like He loves us.

So, today, I’m going to ask Him for help in this area. And display confidence that He will help me. Today, I will be intentional in showing a Jesus level love to all I come in contact with, even those who get on my last nerve, ruffle my feathers in some way, talk mean to me, treat me like I don’t matter, etc.

Have an awesome walk with Jesus today!

Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

It’s A Two Way Love

As I continue my study of Song of Solomon, I realize more and more the depth of God’s love for us. This book is encouraging us to know, really know and understand how much and how deeply. We talk about God’s love all the time but do we really understand the depth of His love? The words in Song of Solomon describe an intimate kind of love from Him and from us to Him. Some synonyms for intimate are close, cherished, faithful, devoted, personal, confidential, secret, innermost, deep, unspoken, undisclosed and familiar.

All healthy relationships are two way. If you have a friend who only wants to talk about her stuff, you might decide to be a good listener for a while because you care, and she may need someone to help her process some things going on in her life. However, if this continues and this person doesn’t return the time for you, you might begin avoiding her. And you may find someone else who can be that kind of friend who better understands the way healthy relationships work.

In the same way, a healthy love relationship with our Father needs to be two way. We need to understand how intimately He loves us. When we really get that, we will naturally return that love to Him.

1 John 4:19 says, “We love because God first loved us.” (GNT)

You might want to take the time to read the verses prior to and following this one. What I understand here is that God has taught us what true, deep, intimate love is so we are better able to love Him and love others.

In Matthew 22, Jesus responded to the Pharisees who were questioning Him about the Law and trying to trap Him. In verses 37-39, “Jesus answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important commandment. The second most important commandment is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’” (GNT)

You can also find the first part of verse 37 in Deuteronomy 6:5, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” (GNT)

My point here is that throughout Scripture, God teaches us by examples and commands how to receive love from Him and others and how to return love to Him and to others.

Yes, He teaches us that love is a two way street whether it is love for Him or love for others.

 

Photo Credit:  Gloria Boone

Oh, How He Loves!

Song of Solomon 2:10, 13b

10) My lover spoke to me, saying: “Arise, my darling; My beautiful one, come away with me! …

13b) Arise, come away my darling; my beautiful one, come away with me!”

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I’m studying Song of Solomon this week and I’m struck by the love our Lord has for us. It’s similar to a romantic love. He calls us numerous times in a way that one would address a lover. Just look at the verses in Chapter 2.

Romantic love is described in Wikipedia** as “the expressive and pleasurable feeling from an emotional attraction towards another person.”

“In the context of romantic love relationships, romance usually implies an expression of one’s strong romantic love, or one’s deep and strong emotional desires to connect with another person intimately or romantically.”

So, I’m seeing in a new light that our Lord wants a relationship with us as deep and intimate as a romantic love.

He excitedly tells us to come away with him. See the exclamation point at the end of both of those verses above? It excites Him to be close to us, to be intimate with us.

He wants us to love Him this much too. Our love for Him will grow as we get to know him and we can get to know him better by intentionally drawing close to Him.

Even though I’ve often been hurt over my lifetime by people who claim to love me, I’m beginning to realize that there is One who will never betray my love and that One actually enjoys my closeness and intimacy with Him!

Draw closer to Him today by focusing on this amazing love. You can start by reading this short book of 8 chapters and meditating on His deep and intimate love for each of us as individuals.

Have an awesome day, knowing you are loved!

*Photo Credit: Unsplash: Milada Vigerova

**Quote taken from Wikipedia:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romance_(love)

What True Love Looks Like In 2 Commands.

This morning I’m thinking of one word….love. As Christians, we all know we have Jesus living in us and His Spirit, Holy Spirit, guides us on our journey.

Sometimes our journey includes some hard stuff. Stuff which may cause us to dislike and not want to be around the people who have hurt us. Especially during this season of the year.

We accumulate what I call “heart wounds” and those wounds become areas where we need to fill with LOVE. God’s kind of love will take us a long way toward healing, and even relationship building.

This is a time of the year when family and friends gather to celebrate the birth of our Savior. The One who willingly left heaven to live among His created children as a human and a peer. The One who left many, many examples of what true love looks like.

And He gave us only two commandments foundwreath in Matthew 22 NET.

37 Jesus said to him, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

I found this quote by Eugenia Price that fits here this morning. “Those who are steadily learning how to love are enabled to do this because the very love of God, Himself, has been put into our hearts.”

My prayer is that God’s love will flow from me to those who need it most. And there are many who need to feel God’s love. Just watch the news. Every day people are hurting. Do you know someone who is hurting? This Christmas Season is not the time to add to their hurts or even to your hurts. Let God’s true love flow through you and into others.