{Faith} I have to love…..her?

Written by: Mandy Lawrence-Hill

I thought I had a post all ready to write for today; and then my pastor spoke at church. What he said really spoke to me and I would like to share just how with you. He spoke on Love. Our pastor reminded us that the only command God gives us is to love. Even more, He asks us to love as He loves. “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.” (‭John‬ ‭13‬:‭34-35‬ MSG)

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How does it look to love as God Himself? Let’s take a look at a few examples that God gives us in His living word.

1. Love is sacrificial.
Love isn’t always convenient. There will be times when you will need to choose to leave something behind or give something up because love is greater. We all know the familiar scripture: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16. Because of God’s sacrifice we can feely LIVE, friends! “God sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin. Having faith in him sets us in the clear. God decided on this course of action in full view of the public—to set the world in the clear with himself through the sacrifice of Jesus, finally taking care of the sins he had so patiently endured. This is not only clear, but it’s now —this is current history! God sets things right. He also makes it possible for us to live in his rightness.” (‭Romans‬ ‭3‬:‭25-26‬ MSG)

2. Love is fearless.
When we are able to fully grasp the immeasurable amount of love that God has for us as His children, we can rest in the fearless hope that we are saved from all the ways that the evil one could ever even attempt to destroy us. When we believe that God loves us and sent His son to save us, we are handed the greatest gift we will ever receive; Everlasting life. “God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is like Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.” (‭1 John‬ ‭4‬:‭17-18‬ MSG)

3. Love believes the best.
I can think of so many times in scripture when God believed the best in the lowliest people. Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-11), the Samaritan woman (John 4:1-27) and the blind man at Bethsaida (Mark 9:22-25) to name a few. If we are to truly love like Jesus loves we need to love even those we consider to be unlovable. Yes, even those who have hurt us. Yes, even those who do not believe the best in us. Yes, even those who engage in awful-terrible-not-good things. God has lead us by an example of unconditional love. In simpler terms, God loves with NO conditions. He loves you and me with no conditions!!! We need to follow Christ’s example of this kind of love so much better than we do, friends.

Love steadily. Love sacrificially. Love unswervingly. Love fearlessly. Love hard. Love unconditionally. And love extravagantly.

Just love, friends.

Father God,
Thank You for Your incredible example of love. Thank You for not turning Your back on us when we are ugly with sin, but instead, RUNNING to us with arms open wide and a heart FULL of love. Please help us to love better, Jesus. When we lose sight of the command to love one another- please bring it back to our minds with conviction and a drive to love harder. We love You, Jesus and thank You for Your many blessings. Amen.

We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first.” (1 John‬ ‭4‬:‭19‬ MSG)

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