Do You Think This Happens Everyday
"This is true love. Do you think this happen everyday?"
This line from "The Princess Bride" captures the wonder of love. As I was praying about what to write this month, the topic of loving others kept coming to the surface until an outline for January formed on paper. It's probably because I need more practice doing it. The cool thing has been seeing the same topic on the table elsewhere - like in our pastor's sermon yesterday!
We're going to steal February's thunder and launch the year from the diving block of what the Bible calls "the greatest of these." Don't worry, this isn't a kissing book - uh, series. (Please, do yourself a favor and watch "The Princess Bride" if you don't get the reference. You can thank me later!)
Let's start with the foundation: Love comes from God and He is Love. True love isn't a thing outside of Him. At best, it's a counterfeit of the real deal. With God, the answer to the movie quote is that, actually yes, true love does happen every day. No matter the choices you've made, the experiences you've had, or the season you're in, there is Good News - God loves you. It's possible that our hearts have become callus or even flippant to that phrase. I wrestle with this at times. Stopping to think of who I am without Him - the depth of wickedness in my heart (which can only be seen when God opens my eyes and humbles me) - always resets my awe of God's love. "This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him," (1 John 4:9). It's totally undeserved, impossible to earn, and 100% transforming.
Experiencing God's love radically affects the way I respond to Him and others. Jesus said that if we really love Him, we will remain in Him. Why is it that spending time with Jesus is one of the easiest things to put off? It's an act of intentional love that I need to work on consistently. My goal is to make this as habitual as eating where it becomes a "have to" and "want to" all at the same time. You too? Be specific with your Jesus-date, set your alarm, ask a friend for accountability, and let's spend some time with the One we claim to love.
In the same passage I referenced above (John 15), Jesus got specific with what He wants us to do: "love one another." I recently read a quote by Bob Goff that said, "Make your life about people and you won't regret it. God never intended for our relationships to be an afterthought." I am so challenged by that because the most natural thing in the world is to make life about me. But God beckons us to experience more than self-satisfaction. True love, the kind that surpasses the movies, involves self-sacrifice (John 15:13). Ironically, loving people that way brings joy that simply can't be explained outside of God.
My prayer and goal this month is to CHOOSE God so that I can love others as He loves me.
Stay tuned: Later this month we will talk about intentionally loving:
- Our Families
- Our Friends
- Our Enemies