22 In Faith

Simply Love

Source: google.co.uk via Traci on Pinterest

 

I’ve been pondering my One Word (six words rather) for the year:

Simply love,
Simply live,
Simply give

It’s of no surprise to me that God would purposefully put “love” at the forefront of what it is He wanted me to focus on this year.  I can tend to overcomplicate love and I believe God wants me to understand real love, agape love, as complex yet simple as it is.

We can attach love to so many things.  I love my husband, my children, my parents, my church family.  I love coffee, chocolate and warm bread and butter.  I love justice, His Word and worship music.  But what is love really?

The dictionary defines love as:

an intense feeling of deep affection.

There are four basic kinds of love in scripture:

Eros love

This is the physical, sensual love between a husband and wife.

Philia love

This is close friendship or brotherly love.

Storge love

This is family love as shared among mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers.

Agape love

This is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love.

God IS love, and everything He does flows from a heart of love — selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love.  Understanding this truth is the answer to learning how to simply love.

I must learn to see myself in the light of Christ.  I am far too hard on myself.  I do not often see myself as desired, chosen or loved and I’ve spent years trying to correct damage done by negative self talk.  The God of the universe, who IS love, loves me unconditionally. There are no ifs, ands or buts added to His love. Nothing will ever separate me from it, even if I choose to run the other direction.  His love will chase me down.  It will never fail me.

As His love overflows in my heart, I respond with love into the lives of others.  To simply love another is to give them my ear, allowing them to unload their burdens.  It is praying for their needs.  It is washing their feet, and feeding their stomachs.  It is learning to say “I am sorry” and offering forgiveness.  It is putting aside my own desire for the desire of another.  It is choosing to overlook the sin in another’s life, to see them as Christ sees them. It is offering hope to the hopeless, joy to those in mourning and encouragement to those whose hearts are failing.

I must learn to rest in the love of God for me, allowing Him to love me right where I am.  And from that place, I am given the strength to love Him back.  I cannot love Him simply in my own strength.  I love because He first loved me.  It’s all pretty simple, yet complex at the same time.

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

I am praying that you would encounter God as Agape — the God of love, the God who IS love.  He cannot help but love you, no matter what.  May your heart grow to simply love Him, with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength.  It’s not about what you do for Him, but rather it’s about being with Him.  Take some time to sit at His feet and listen to His heart beat for you and for others.  Come and pour your vial of worship over Him, offering yourself as a sweet, smelling fragrance of worship.

To simply love is to allow yourself to be simply loved, and to simply love others in return.

Linking up with Melanie at Only A Breathe for our monthly One Word link up!

 

 

 

 

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    susan@avintagefarmwife
    March 13, 2013 at 6:32 am

    God’s love truly is “amazing”. One of my favorite verses is ” How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” I John 3:1

    I love the word “lavished”!
    susan@avintagefarmwife recently posted..Spring Starts and Stops

    • Reply
      Barbie
      March 14, 2013 at 8:36 am

      Oh Lavished is a good word! Have a beautiful day.

  • Reply
    Child of God
    March 13, 2013 at 6:34 am

    Wonderfully written!! I loved this.

    This past Sunday and the Sunday before, our pastor has really been focusing in on loving others the way Jesus loves them. It was a couple of very powerful sermons and now I read this and I am propelled to pray about love and to seek to love others even more.

    Blessings hon,
    Child of God recently posted..She DIED!

    • Reply
      Barbie
      March 14, 2013 at 8:37 am

      Me too, my friend. I am so far from loving like He loves, but a little closer than yesterday. With His help, we are able. Love you!

  • Reply
    Jennifer peterson
    March 13, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Love this! It is hard isn’t to see the love God has for us when we are blinded by words and actions of others. I love that agape love comes only from God, IS God. Let us simply be loved by God. Beautiful!! BTW love the tagline:)
    Jennifer peterson recently posted..Chatter

    • Reply
      Barbie
      March 14, 2013 at 8:37 am

      Thank you Jennifer. Tagline is a work in progress. I’m such a perfectionist and want to get it just right!

  • Reply
    ~Karrilee~
    March 13, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    Gorgeous! The whole thing… the beautiful post, the new blog look, the tag line… so peaceful and comforting… LOVE!

    Sometimes it feels easier to busy ourselves giving Love, than it is to sit still and let Him (and others) love us. I love the reference to Mary and her Alabaster flask… you KNOW I love that story! Break it open… pour it out… don’t hold back! (I love that verse too susan… and the word LAVISHED! It’s just so romantic!)

    Love you – with His unfailing, and mine ever-reaching
    ~Karrilee~ recently posted..Lovely Baggage… & what it feels like to let it go!

    • Reply
      Barbie
      March 14, 2013 at 8:39 am

      And that scripture is what inspired my tagline! Broken and poured out, oh I should put the word “lavished” in there somewhere! 🙂

  • Reply
    Ashley Ditto
    March 14, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    Barbie, LOVE your new look! It’s beautiful, like you!!!
    Ashley Ditto recently posted..A Little Ole Hobby

    • Reply
      Barbie
      March 15, 2013 at 10:21 am

      Thank you Ashley! You’re too sweet!

  • Reply
    Melissa B
    March 15, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Your post really spoke to me today. I went thru some tiredness and sadness earlier this week..but HIS faithfulness sees me thru! =)
    My One Word for 2013 is FAITH.

    Blessings,
    Melissa

    • Reply
      Barbie
      March 15, 2013 at 10:28 pm

      Hi Melissa! Thanks so much for stopping by! I love your One Word for 2013 – FAITH, something I definately am asking God for more of this year.

  • Reply
    Debbie
    March 15, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    I also love your new look. So glad you wrote this post on your one word for 2013. Somehow I missed it but it would be good for me to see how I’m doing with mine. I love yours Barbie. Love is what it’s all about. If we truly realize how much God loves us and what He’s done for us through Jesus, we can’t help but love back and there will be love to overflow to others.

    Blessings and love,
    Debbie
    Debbie recently posted..Five Minute Friday ~ Rest

    • Reply
      Barbie
      March 15, 2013 at 10:28 pm

      Thanks Debbie. Melanie of Only a Breath has a One Word link up on her blog every 15th of the month. I would love to read how you are doing with your One Word! Blessings!

  • Reply
    Beth @ My Destiny
    March 16, 2013 at 4:15 am

    Good morning Sunshine! I came over to link up with your Weekend Brew, but I found this lovely post instead. I just wrote about God’s love too!

    He loves you so much Barbie! I see you as a little girl walking through an orchard picking fruit. Looks like apple trees. You are wearing a little white dress and your hair is in pig tails. Such a sweet picture. Is that Jesus walking with you? 😉 You are His BELOVED (dearly loved : dear to the heart)! That is the word I heard for you: Beloved!

    Have a truly blessed day my dear Sister in the Lord!

    Love,
    Beth

    • Reply
      Barbie
      March 16, 2013 at 10:04 pm

      Oh friend, how I needed this Word today. Thank you for stopping by here to bless me so. I apologize the link up was late this morning 🙂

  • Reply
    Diane | An Extraordinary Day
    March 16, 2013 at 5:33 am

    I’ve been thinking about ‘love’ lately in regards to the church. The admonition to love fellow believers is something that seems to be lacking in churches these days. Their promotional materials and signage suggest that ‘loving one another’ is of highest priority…after loving God. But, instead, leaders seem to be self serving and “clickish” and then preach about how much the community needs Christ and develops a program for reaching out and growing. I have come to the conclusion that all this would be unnecessary if only leaders and their flocks would truly care for one another. If we all did than our love for Christ and each other would be so evident that ‘the world’ would come without hesitation. They would be attracted to the light. Yes?
    I appreciate your thoughts Barbie. The great commandment…it really is the key to everything isn’t it?
    May your weekend be Extraordinary!
    Diane | An Extraordinary Day recently posted..Spring’s Official Arrival :: Winter Aconites :: The Week at a Glance 3/16

    • Reply
      Barbie
      March 16, 2013 at 10:06 pm

      Thank you Diane for stopping by to share your heart today. I pray for the Church often, to rise up and love as Christ loves. I want to be light in a dark world. Have a lovely tomorrow.

  • Reply
    Denise J. Hughes
    March 16, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    “I must learn to rest in the love of God for me, allowing Him to love me right where I am. And from that place, I am given the strength to love Him back.”

    Oh, Barbie, this is beautiful. It all comes back to this … because He first loved us.

    Your words are inspiring, my friend.
    Denise J. Hughes recently posted..For the Rest of My Life

    • Reply
      Barbie
      March 16, 2013 at 10:05 pm

      Thank you Denise! Thank you for stopping by!

  • Reply
    Mary
    March 17, 2013 at 11:50 am

    A fresh cuppa coffee and God’s Encouraging Word, wonderful way to spend a SonDay afternoon!
    Mary recently posted..God is our Encourager

  • Reply
    Barbie
    March 17, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Thank you so much Mary for stopping by!

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