“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us. Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace we are saved.”Ephesians 2:4-5
Love is lacking or non-existent in our nation, communities and most importantly in our homes. Some may have felt it, yet abused it. Others long for it while others desperately search for it. Many may take it for granted while others never felt it or experienced it. But, unconditional love is something that can’t be forced.
How does a four letter word carry so much weight and complexity? It can drive someone over the edge or force another to change their personality, values or morals to please.
There are so many levels of love: Loving a parent, sibling or child as well as a husband or wife, partner and friend. We can also love our houses, cars, sports, electronic devices and other treasured possessions.
Love is a powerful emotion. It can wound us. Reject us. Control us. Destroy us. However, this is a human kind of love.
Pure, genuine love heals all wounds. It is forgiving. “Without love the most magnificent manifestations of gifts and the most heroic self-sacrifice means nothing. Love suffers long, having patience with imperfect people. Love is kind. Love does not envy since it is non-possessive and noncompetitive. Love actually wants and allows other people to get ahead. It wants the best for you. It does not parade itself. Love is self-sacrificing. Love is not puffed up or treats others arrogantly. It does not behave rudely, but displays courtesy. Love does not seek its own or demands precedence, rather it is unselfish.
Love is not provoked; it is not irritable or touchy, rough or hostile but is most graceful and merciful under life’s demands and pressures. Love thinks no evil and does not keep an account of wrong doings but instead it erases resentments. Love does not rejoice in iniquity finding satisfaction in the shortcomings of others and spreading gossip. Instead love rejoices in the truth, aggressively advertising the good in people. Love bears all things, defending and uplifting others in discouragement. It credits others with good intentions and is not suspicious Love hopes all things and never gives up on people, but continues in affirming their future and hope. Love endures all things, persevering and remaining loyal to the end.”
We have the capacity to love because God lives within us. There is no other love on earth like God’s love. We can search for people or things to fill the void in our lives but we will continually come up short. We will never come to terms with being loved by God until we understand the capacity of God’s love for us.
Unfortunately, we often feel we are not good enough to be loved by people or by God. We live in condemnation, fear and judgment thinking that God could never love us. When things go wrong, we feel God is punishing us for our mistakes, behavior, thoughts and actions. We often blame God when things go wrong.
Some of Satan’s greatest weapons is the use of fear, doubt, shame, guilt, regret and confusion. He constantly taunts us of our faults, failures, weaknesses, circumstances and problems. The end result is a spiral of negative thoughts and emotions due to accepting defeat and failure. The devil is a liar.
The devil uses the same plots and schemes. He is not creative. Once you recognize his bag of tricks, you will understand how to defeat him through the Word of God.
God is forgiving. God loves us more than we will ever be able to comprehend. He loves us no less than He loves His Son. He actually waits for us to come to Him in prayer. God celebrates us!
Sometimes it is much easier to forgive others than ourselves. You will not have peace until you learn how to forgive. The guilt or shame can weigh you down and eventually destroy you. You must also learn to love yourself just as much as you love others.
Please don’t let shame or guilt rob you of believing that you’re in bondage. “Who the Son sets free, is free indeed.” John 8:36
“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” Psalm 103:12.
The Lord will redeem your mistakes. Every evil thing that the enemy meant for your harm will be turned around for your good. Genesis 50:20.
Building a relationship with the Lord is not built on repentance only. It is based on worship and praise for who He is; not on what He can do or provide.
God understands you and knows your heart’s desires. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” (Jeremiah 1:5).
The Lord’s characteristics is of peace and not of harm. “For I know the plans that I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm; plans for a hope and a future.” Jer 29:11
You are deserving of God’s love. It is the reason He shed His blood on the cross so we may have eternal life. “God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
His love does not have to bought, earned, manipulated or controlled. In 2014, let’s walk in love by first receiving and accepting God’s love as a prime example of His nature and honoring our bodies, minds, thoughts and actions by serving one another in love.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” Romans 8:35.
“For I am fully persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor thing to come. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39