I’ve been pondering my One Word (six words rather) for the year:
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:
This is the physical, sensual love between a husband and wife.
This is close friendship or brotherly love.
This is family love as shared among mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers.
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!