“Love one another, for love is of God. He who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love, does not know God, for God is love, God is love… Love bears all things, believes all things, love hopes all things, endures all things… Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all they soul, all thy strength all thy mind. Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart for God is love, God is Love… God is love”
Oh, the words to my favorite song. The song that Brett and I, along with the congregation sung during our wedding ceremony. A song that I could listen to over and over, and hold out hope that we’ll sing it every Sunday at church. However as I type it out, I’m reminded that how even though I may enjoy listening to it and singing it… but do I live it out??
Yes, to my husband I do, Brett is my number one love on this Earth, and I thank God for giving me this amazing partner daily! Brett and I are so blessed to get to hang out with the youth group at University Church, and in the past year we have learned so much from them, and look forward to learning more (as well as hoping to teach them a thing or two ☺). This school years theme is “Live Love”. What a wonderful theme!! Logan and Lindsey (the youth ministers, who are totally awesome and I could make an entire post on how much Brett and I think of them, and enjoy their friendship) brought the first lesson last Wednesday, it was great, and I have not been able to shake a feeling from it since. They referenced some great scripture, that caused me to look into it more, look at others, and really analyze and question things about my life, and my love.
Matthew 22:37-40 reads, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’. All the Law and the prophets hang on these two commandments”
Oh, the “Greatest Command”… How often I forget that this comes first. But it is written right there in Matthew that first and greatest command is to Love my God with everything that I have, and by doing this first with all my heart, soul, and mind, the rest should come more naturally. And then it follows by saying that the second (important like the first) is to love my neighbor as myself. I have to say, that there are times I must obviously not love myself very much due to the lack of love I show others. It’s not just the stranger on the road that doesn’t use his/her blinker or someone from my past that brings up negative memories that I show this lack of love to, it is even my dearest of friends or family members. How can that be!?! It is a command that I love!
“And this is his command: to believe in the name of his son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us” 1 John 3:23
“If anyone boasts, “I love God”, and goes on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt; Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.” 1 John 4:20-21- the message
There are people in my life that I have an opportunity to show daily/weekly love for. No, I don’t hate people, but I often am scared to love people the way I should, for many different reasons. Scared of being hurt, scared to form new relationships, scared of consequences of what people would think if I were close to some, and scared of it taking too much time out of my already busy life… however, the good book has an answer for that one too!
“There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life- fear of death, fear of judgement-is one not yet fully formed in love.” 1 john 4:18
I believe in Jesus Christ, and desire to have a life lived like him.. but how can I if I’m falling short here at step 1?? As I read through many of these verses I’m trying to let go of things, and truly love people as I love myself. To truly forgive (like I’ve already thought I had) and love, be a disciple of God’s word to those who don’t know Him, or don’t want to know Him- because I love these people.
“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” John 13:35
This means things could be hard. Uncomfortable. Hurtful. Time consuming. But, nothing will ever compare to the Love that He showed me, so I should never complain and instead be grateful and count my many many many many blessings for all He has given me.
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us” 1 John 4:16- this will get me through. God’s love for me, and the love of God I should have for others.
So this is my request.. a simple prayer for my love for others. To not turn my back and wash my hands clean. To truly love and seek out the love God intends for me to have for everyone- and live it out. To not talk negatively about those I love, to live out the service I do always- not just at ‘service time’, pray for others more, to love like Jesus.
"This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome" God is definitely NOT asking too much of me!!