Throughout the years as I have walked with God, yearning, growing, slipping, failing, gaining, falling and getting back up again, tripping, learning, unlearning...... you get the point... He's always showed me this one thing that has never changed. He always points me to love. It's my belief that if we, as a family understand, really understand the Love God has for us, we will abide in it, we will freely give it, and it WILL change our world. It will change our homes, our marriages, our schools, our city, our relationships with everyone, and even the heavens will be affected by it.
And we have come to know and believe the love that God has for us. God is love; whoever abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
Let's break that down.
- Know and believe the love God has for us.
- God is Love
- Whoever abides in Love, abides in God and God in him.
I think in order to understand how to apply this, we need to look deeper into the Greek word for abide.
- in reference to place
- to sojourn, tarry
- not to depart
- to continue to be present
- to be held, kept, continually
If you are like me, you desire to be continually present with God, not to depart from his loving presence. The whole point here is to really understand God's love, stay in that understanding and God (Love) will stay with us.
Now that sounds pretty easy, until it comes to the part where we are to be imitators of Christ. Loving like He loves. I think unconditional love is the hardest thing to do. This is why.... In order to love like Christ, we must be willing to endure through brokenness. We must be willing to love the outcast as well as the “favorite”. We must be willing to love a deceiver. We must be willing to love a sinner when everyone around you has a stone in their hand. We must pursue when we may get hurt.... We must love like He loves us…… In our brokenness, on our worst day, with all of our shame. But that can only happen if we allow our brokenness to be met with his love.
My heart’s cry is for all of us to experience the overwhelming, surrounding, fierce love that God has for us. Every single one. God is enamored by you and all of the little quirky things He notices about you that no one else does. He is provoked by your heart’s desires. He hurts for your hurts. He notices every little thing about you. He is compelled to rearrange heaven and earth to bring you near. That's what it comes down to, He wants to be near you. He wants you to freely choose Him. No matter how long you have been walking with Him, there is always more. He is an ocean and we're like children playing in the sand on the shore of all that He is. There’s so much more. I challenge you to get in a quiet place and ask Him to help you understand and believe.
After that kind of understanding, and abiding in that love (staying present, enduring), we get the opportunity to love like never before. Then love is a well you draw from whenever you need to. The overflow will spill into the lives around you as you do the coffee dates and the dinner parties, PTA meetings, park visits, work meetings, and so forth. As you go about your normal life, the most powerful force on earth is present with you and you with it. God. Love. That changes people in all sorts of ways we can’t grasp.
This is an invitation to go deeper. I encourage you to take that heart of yours, open it up really, really wide and ask for the author of your soul to show you His love for you. Then stay present with Him, and present with those around you. You are loved with the greatest love!
I leave you with this. The Message version paints this picture so perfectly.
Ephesians 3:14-21 The Message (MSG)
14-19 My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.
20-21 God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!