What’s Love Got to do with It?
“Love is patient and kind, not jealous, not boastful, not proud, rude or selfish, not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs.”
1 Corinthians 13:4,5
How would you define love? I find it interesting to see how our culture has perverted this holy concept, so that now it is almost unrecognizable. For example, we miss-label lust, like and appreciate as love. We call covetousness love and we place our love onto objects – isn’t that idolatry? We’ve taken various social networking media and turned them into playgrounds for vicarious love, safe love where we never have to physically interact with people and we can remain anonymous, vague or, worse, deceptive in our interactions. Human love is often conditional, based on how we respond to another’s advances. Our love also tends to be mercurial, shifting like the wind of our emotions. Oh, the mockery our societies have made of an attribute God has considered the most important for us.
Grace is the manifestation of Adonai’s love. Did you know that? Grace comes to us unbidden, unconditional and irrevocable through the love Adonai holds for each one of us. Listen to Psalm 84:11 – “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor/grace and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” And now listen to James 4:6 – “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Once again we see here a relationship – grace is a free gift that flows out of Adonai’s love. But, it must be received. We all are offered His love but, and this is a big but, we must actively accept, receive.
The Apostle of Love, John, shares with us in order to receive His love we must acknowledge Adonai Yeshua, the Lord Jesus is God. Once we make that conscious decision to receive Him, we also receive His grace. John says, “God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” This is another mystery untangled by understanding of what is meant by complete. In this passage, John is not saying we are made complete or perfect immediately, rather he is sharing with us the process by which we become more mature in our love, through His grace. First, we receive Adonai in our lives and then we begin to grow. In 2 Peter 3:18 we read – “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Adonai and Messiah Yeshua/Christ Jesus.” The operative word here is grow – we must increase in the knowledge of Adonai and receive more grace from Him in order for us to become full with His presence.
If you have not yet received His love, now might be a good time. Please consider asking Him to come into your life, forgiving you of your sins and specifically ask Him to shower you with His grace, His grace surpassing all understanding. Do that now:
Abba Father, I am a sinner and I want to be freed from the hold sin has on me. Forgive me for what I have done and make me a new person. Come into my life and over-fill me with your grace and with your love, for I ask this in Messiah Yeshua’s name. And, if you have actively received His love and are languishing, stuck and not growing, please pray this with me: Abba Father, oh how I am looking forward to becoming filled with the knowledge of You; how I long to grow in passion for you and to be filled with your tender touch. Help me to grow closer to and become more intimate with You. B’Shem Yeshua Mashichainu, Amen.
CONSIDER: Do you believe there are always conditions attached to loving someone? Have you never experienced unconditional love?
ACTION: If these are the experiences you have had, then you are trapped in a worldly prison of misinformation. Unconditional love is what Adonai gives us, as a gift, without receiving anything in return. Sounds hard to believe? I urge you to seek His love for you.
PRAY: Abba B’Shamayim, Heavenly Father, I pray for all those in our world who have never experienced unconditional love. I sincerely ask for you to touch them; show them what is meant by unconditional love, the overwhelming sense of acceptance and intimate connection. B’Shem Adonai Yeshua Mashichainu, Amein.
May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you fully and richly.