What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word love? We asked our Bible study girls and they stated things like “relationships, compassion, affection, and hallmark” but they also stated things like “heartbreak, annoying, and disappointment.” We thought it was interesting that some of these teenage girls already see love as disappointing. While discussing love, I think of Christ and how He has such an unconditional love for each of us. His love is so unconditional that I can’t even fully comprehend it. John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” God loved us so much that He sent His ONLY Son to die for each and every one of us and our sins. If this isn’t real love, then I don’t know what is! Christ’s love will NEVER be disappointing.
We first need to realize that His love is freely given. Our pastor made this quote in church a few weeks back, “We do not love because we are lovely, we love because He first loved us” (Pastor Heath Spivey). Have you ever thought about what your worth is? The Bible states in Isaiah 64:6, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” FILTHY RAGS!? Our righteousness is as filthy rags but God looks beyond that and sees us as valuable when others may see us as garbage. Don’t let other people define who you are, let God define who you are.
We then need to realize that His love is simple. How many times do we base God’s love off of His performance to us? Lets be real, just because you may not “see” God working and think He isn’t showing up for you, remember that He is always here and it is more than likely you not showing up to God. God doesn’t base His love for us on how much we read the Bible, how much we soul win, or even how long you have been a Christian. His love is so simple yet the most unique love there will ever be. Remember that God doesn’t see us for our sin like the world does, God sees us for who we truly are individually. His love should not be a “have to” love but His love should be a “get to” love. We are so blessed beyond measure to get to love Christ and have a personal relationship with Him. Our driving force as Christians should always be based because you love Him.
We need to realize that His love is a sacrifice. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices to get the results. Are you longing for that relationship with Christ? If so, sometimes you have to make a sacrifice and prioritize your life. Yes, it is awesome to be involved in school events, or have a job, or even just having family and friend time. Just remember that Christ made the ultimate sacrifice for us and the least we could do is sacrifice a sporting event or hanging out with a friend when in comes to growing in our relationship with Christ.
Lastly, we need to realize that His love is loving others. 1 John 4:7-12 states, “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.” We asked our Bible study girls on how they could show the love of Christ to others and they responded with, “inviting them to church, being kind, putting others before ourselves, and praying for them.” These were all great examples that we can show the love of Christ to others. The greatest reminder we could have is while Jesus died for you, He loved others!
Challenge: Focus on the word love and what God’s love means to you. Go out and love others this week, especially through Jesus Christ.
XoXo, Ashley & Laurin