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All about love

I’m listening to Adele on a DVD from my public library’s collection.  Believe it or not it’s my first time to hear Adele.  I know! Where have I been?

She takes my thoughts to Valentine’s Day with all the songs about love.  Unrequited love.  Disappointed love.  Love gone wrong.  Love that came and then went.  Makes one wonder, is there really a love that lasts?

While there are couples who have stayed together to celebrate 50, 60, even 70 years of marriage, how many have gone by the wayside?  Too many.

In a perfect world, we would all love with a pure love, without expectations, simply loving for the sake of love.  And wouldn’t the world be a better place?

But we don’t live in a perfect world.

When Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment – and there were so many the Jewish people were concerned with following – there were only two He mentioned.

The first and most important one is this,” Jesus replied—‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, and with all your strength’. The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’. No other commandment is greater than these.

Everything else hinges on these two commands.  Love God.  Love others.

What if we asked God for the power, the ability to do that?  What if everything we did was first measured by “what would love do?”  What if this kind of love changed our hearts and made us different in every way?

Jesus beautifully did exactly that.  He loved God perfectly, and He loved others perfectly.  And the world killed Him for it.

But the power of love is greater than death.  He proved it to us.  He lives and loves still.

While I am in my lenten season of being present in the moment, I hope I can focus on loving better.

Loving like Jesus is a high calling, more than celebrating Valentine’s Day or the wedding anniversary each year.  It’s not something I can do naturally because I’m too self centered.  It will require a heart transplant.

His heart in me.  It’s the only way to love.  The only way to really live.

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You are loved

Day 28 of 40 days to Resurrection day

Today’s suggestion:  

Remind yourself that you are greatly loved. Also remind someone else.

love crossThere is this curious Hebrew word in Scripture.  It shows up in the Psalms often.  Selah.  There are different arguments as to it’s meaning.  Some give it the definition of “pause and think about it”.

In our busy lives filled with so much activity, the pauses come infrequently.  We drop into bed at night exhausted wondering if we ever did pause for a few moments.

Scripture instructs us to meditate, to think deeply or focus one’s mind for a period of time on certain things.  One of the important truths worth meditating on is how very much God loves you and me.

How often do you think about it, that  God loves you, I mean really, really loves you?  Sometimes we question it, don’t we, when things get complicated, when we are disappointed by some event, when life takes a dark turn, when grief knocks at our doors?

Often we tend to wonder if we are good enough for God’s love, if we are doing enough for Him, as if our behavior and accomplishments somehow affect the depth of His love.

Let me make this perfectly clear.  What we do does not increase or decrease the love of God.  We can never do enough to make Him love us more, and we can never sin so much that He will love us less.

This is hard for us comprehend because our love is often based on a person’s performance and how someone relates to us.

God’s love is a fact.  Nothing changes it.  His essence is love.  He demonstrates it constantly in the air we breathe, in the beauty of the earth, in the birth of a baby, even in the flawed love of people around us.

He has given us life and everything about it.  Gifts come from His hand every second of every day. Perhaps we just take them for granted because they are so common.  We forget the Lover of our souls.

His greatest gift is His love to a fallen world of humans who are unloving, mean, hateful, self-centered, puffed with pride, rebellious against His laws, and idolaters of any and everything.

Yet, He loved us.  He loves us still.

If you need some assurance, look to God’s love letter to the world and to you personally.

I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued to extend faithful love to you.

For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 

But God is so rich in mercy; he loved us so much that even though we were spiritually dead and doomed by our sins, he gave us back our lives again.  

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God

For I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels won’t, and all the powers of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, or where we are—high above the sky, or in the deepest ocean—nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when he died for us.

Don’t you ever forget it – you are loved!  And nothing, no nothing, will ever change that fact.  He stretched His arms out wide on Calvary just to prove it.  He welcomes you into His heart.

Believe it and meditate on it.  Share it with someone else.  The world needs to know.

How deep the Father's Love for us

Selah