Jesus we love You…oh how we love You. You are the one that our hearts adore…
Last night was a praise and worship night where we joined together with another church.
It was wonderful.
From the beginning the Spirit’s presence was manifested. You know those chills you get, the smile that comes across your face, the joy, the victory, the hope we receive as we corporately gather together to recognize and praise our God.
Yet towards the end of the night and in the midst of telling Jesus how much I love and adore Him, I was drawn back to my own reality and the question that seems to steal away my intimacy with God.
Do I really know the love of God?
Meditating on this and seeking His word brought up two distinctions regarding God’s love.
The first belief without a doubt is that God is love.
His mercy, grace, forgiveness, and our very breath of life is because of His love.
Unchanging and steadfast, a love that nothing can separate us from!
A love that brought redemption and reconciliation and allows us the blessing of knowing Elohim, God Almighty as our Abba Father. Yes, I believe this!
Knowing that truth then lead me to then ask what I am looking for to determine if I know ‘the love of God’.
Many like myself, have grown up with brokenness in our families. Absent or unloving parents, mistakes made, and wounds unhealed have left a ‘longing for love’. In the flesh, my defensive responses of pride and entitlement or hurt and anger can even now arise as idols that compete and rob me of relational intimacy with God and others.
God has been continual healing me and I am grateful to say that the break in that moment of worship was by His grace. I knew to go to His word to allow Him to give the answers that I could now receive in His timing.
1 John 4 brought me to the truths that set captives free. Please walk with me through my thoughts as the Spirit did His transforming work:
8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
Woah, that was right to the point and my first response was this doesn’t sound like the unconditional love I expect from God. God is telling me I need to do something to know Him and His love.
12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
‘If we love another’, there it was again, a condition and one that I don’t do well with. Is God then not abiding in me? Would not this thinking cause me to question God’s love for me?
15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.
Wait, that is me, I have made that confession and God is abiding in me and I in Him.
And there it was that God’s living, acting, mighty and powerful word spoke to me.
It was no longer about what I needed to do, but what God has already done. We love because He first loved us. (v19) and He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world. (v4)
These truths about love were not warnings and condemnation for my failure to love but instead a reminder that I am born again by His Spirit to love as He does(v7) and that as He is, so also are we in this world. (V17)
He reminds me His love will be perfected in me, (v12 and V17) and His love will cast out fears that are against His love. (v18)
His grace and faithfulness revealing His love as His prophetic word now answers my longing soul:
16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us.
God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
Thank you Jesus that You are Love. May we continue to abide in love, love as You loved, and know and believe the love God has for us. Amen