Love is…pt. 1

 

Good Friday aka The Greatest Love of All

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. – John 15:15

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. – John 15:13

I don’t know what I can say about love that hasn’t been said in those three verses. God gave us His one and only Son so that we can have a relationship with Him. As the song goes, He is a good, good Father. A firm but fair Father…and our friend.

God desires a relationship with us…each and every one of us, sinner or saint. Even though we may sometimes qualify as saints, we are still sinners. AND HE STILL LOVES US!! He knows each and every one of us, heart and soul. The good, the bad and the sometimes ugly, AND HE STILL LOVES US!

He created each and every one of us to have a relationship with Him. There are currently over 7 billion people on earth and only He knows how many more there have been for thousands of years now and He has always desired a relationship with each and every one of us. The Webster’s definition of desire says “to long or hope for”… God longs for you and He wants all of you…again, Heart and Soul. All in and nothing less.

How many of us would offer up our sons or daughters even knowing how the story would play out? Not sure I would do it. Have you seen how we behave? Although we all have good/great moments daily, we are more prone to bouts of rudeness, impatience, meanness, spitefulness, sadness, anger, etc, etc, etc. Not exactly Fruits of the Spirit stuff and God gave His ONE AND ONLY SON for us… Sounds like love to me. Shouldn’t we all strive to love Him the same way?? After all, He laid down His life for His friends…. Us.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” – Matthew 22:37-38
And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:39-40

Love is very important to God and the greatest gift He could give us, that we could give Him, and that we should do our very best to give to others. We love because He first loved us. So, if it’s that important to God, it is also important to me. Having said that, I have more trouble with the second commandment up there than the first. However, my trouble with the second prevents me from completely fulfilling the first. I can’t remember who said it, but I have read that loving your neighbor as yourself is a horrible commandment if you don’t love yourself. I don’t love myself and I know I’m not alone. I actually like my neighbor more than I like myself and he can be an a**hole at times. So what does that say about me. 🙂 I have begun to like myself though and am working on the love part. I do love God but don’t yet feel like it is with ALL my heart, mind and soul….yet. And I have found when God says all…. He means ALL!!

Exhibit A and I don’t really need a B.
Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in ALL your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6

In all your ways. With all your heart. With all your soul. With all your mind. All means ALL, y’all.

Part 2

God is Love. It says so in the Bible so it has to be true.

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. – 1 John 4:8
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. – 1 John 4:16

See?!?! Right there in writing twice in the same chapter. God is love. End of story…. but is it really? No. There is more. I haven’t even started with 1 Corinthians 13. So now I shall and all I’m going to do is replace the word love with God.

God is patient, God is kind. God does not envy, does not boast, is not proud. God does not dishonor others, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered. God keeps no record of wrongs (If you confess them). God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. God always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. God never fails. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. – 1 Corinthians 13:13. And remember… God is Love.

This may be good theology or bad theology or no theology at all but it makes me feel a whole lot better about things. God loves us.  God cares.  Nothing will ever separate us from His love…other than ourselves.  He has loved us with an everlasting love; with unfailing love He draws us to Himself.  He stands at the door and knocks… Don’t you think it’s time to let Him in?  I do.

I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. – Revelation 3:20

There’s the word friends again.  He wants friendship with us.  All in.  Open your hearts and let Him in.

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have God, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have God, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have God, I gain nothing. – 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

There it is.  Without God and without love, we are nothing. Don’t look at me…It’s not me saying that…it says so right up there. ^^^^ I don’t want to get to the end of my life and hear “I never knew you.” I want to hear “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” That is my goal.

Now having said and shared this, what am I (or are we) to do with it? Lofty goals for humans as we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We are to strive to be more like Jesus, but we will fail…daily. But I do want to be more like Christ today than I was yesterday and God willing, even a better version of myself tomorrow. So even though Good Friday wasn’t necessarily a “good” day when it was happening, it turned out to be the very best gift God could have given us……Himself.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. – James 1:17

Father in heaven, I thank you for today and every day of life. I thank you for your love and for giving your Son for me so that I shall live. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Have a great Easter, everyone. 🙂

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