The new you… living a life of love
“This is how God’s love was revealed among us: God sent His one and only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him.” (1 John 4:9 BSB)
As today is Valentine’s day, I thought it might be appropriate to talk about love.
It is appropriate, because we all have the capacity to truly love – but so often, we find that the focus upon our selves hinders this capactiy.
Love is not well-understood. But you don’t have to understand it well, to love well.
People are mistaken if they think that love is an emotion. It certainly produces emotions within us – but it is far greater than just an emotional high or emotional state.
I have been married to a wonderful woman for more than 30 years. I find that I love her more now than I did ten years ago… twenty years ago… more than even when we first let love grip our hearts… in the very beginning of our relationship together.
How is that possible?
I think it is possible because the more you love, the deeper the capacity to love grows. It is possible because the more you love, the more you drop your guard, the more you are your self, the more you risk – and the more you find that your vulnerability is not only rewarded – it is cherished.
It is possible because the more you love, the more like God your heart becomes. God loves permanently, infinitely, unconditionally. True love always draws you to these things.
I don’t think it is a mistake that Scripture describes the Almighty as: “Love.” That is the one-word description that best captures Who He is. The apostle John made this amazing observation: “God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.” (1 John 4:16b) What this tells us is that the secret to having a vital relationship with God is to live our lives as someone who lives in love.
But what does that really mean?
True love is defined as the decision to actively live to meet the needs of the object of your love. They become the center of your attention, and affection. Their needs become your desire. You willingly (and joyfully) surrender your self, your time, your resources… so that their life might be enriched.
The secret to love is losing our selves so that someone else can become the center of our attention.
This is exactly how God loves us. He demonstrated His love for us by sending Jesus to take care of our greatest needs – to restore us back to a condition where we could actually become capable of fully experiencing God’s love. Oh, and by the way, He made this decision when we were “still sinners” and “His enemies” (see Romans 5:8-10!). That means, we were completely undeserving – and, in all reasonable respects, unlovable.
But that is the wonder of true love. It doesn’t seek out the worthy or the deserving – it just chooses to love. And that choice leaves an indelible imprint upon the heart!
The true Christian life is a life of love – a love that always seeks to reflect the love that Our God has for us!
Prayer focus: God, help me to live a life of love – so that my love can reflect Yours.