Valentine’s Day is a celebration of romantic love. The kind of love that includes attraction, affection, a warm fuzzy feeling. Although wonderful, it is merely a shadow of the love God has for you.
The first fruit of the spirit is Love. This love is “Agape” love. A love that is born by choice. A love that is unmerited and seeks the best for another. It is sacrificial and unconditional. God is the only perfect example of this type of love, a love he freely gives to us. He loves us not because of who we are or what we do, he loves us because he made a choice to love us. He sees us from a lens of eternity. I like to think of it this way, God sees our complete self, he doesn’t get fixated on a micro-version of us. He can see past the mistakes we’ve made. He is always calling us forward and seeking the best for us.
I can’t create this love in me, for others, without God’s help. Thankfully, when we are filled with the Holy Spirit, agape love begins to grow within us.
My wish for you on this Valentine’s Day is that you will take time to look at the mystery of God’s love for you. Paul says this better in Ephesians, chapter 3:18-19
“And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”
I relate so much to the emotional flow of this psalm. It starts out with cries for help and ends with a declaration of trust in the Lord and appreciation for all that He has done. It is possible to feel both emotions at the same time, anxious for what you face in this world and confidence that God is with you.
When I suddenly lost the central vision in both of my eyes, I was faced with so many abrupt changes to my life. I could not force the solutions that I wanted, instead I had to wait for things to unfold. I knew that God was with me and that He was helping me and I had to surrender, a thousand times, to His timing. I was anxious about my situation and confident in His love. I can honestly say that my trust in God’s love makes me want to celebrate.
In this well-known prayer, Saint Francis models for us a posture we can chose when faced with uncertainty. He begins by humbling himself, inviting Jesus to work through him. Submitting his own will to God’s will.
I wonder, how would Jesus use my life today, if I submitted myself to him? How could he reach out, through me, to bring peace. How could he sow love, with my hands, with my words, with my heart, if I simply moved my will out of his way? His will has to be better than all the thoughts I am wrestling with right now.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. In my small territory on this grand planet. In my sphere in these United States of America. Bring your peace through me. Please sow your love. Amen.
Many people in my life, including me, are dealing with inner weariness. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard (or said!). “I’m all done”. Tired of navigating the confusion around us. Worried about what “might happened”. Nervous to go out and be around people. Maybe you’ve hit your saturation point as well. You are in good company.
As I have been focussing on exploring our identity in Christ, I have been looking for a remedy to my weariness. John 15:9 caught my attention and caused me to pause and ponder its’ truth.
“I love each of you with the same love that the Father loves me. You must continually let my love nourish your hearts.”
LET my love nourish your hearts.
We have all we need, when we can stop and LET Jesus nourish our hearts. He gives us what we really need, and what those around us need as well. Love.
Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
I’m ending my love series with the powerful promise packed into verse 13. A reminder that our relationship with God begins with His love – and never ends. Love welcomes us, approves of us, and stays with us, now and forever. The perfect shelter for any storm. The ever-present comfort that never wears out.
Focussing of God’s love over the last 25 days has changed me. I tested every verse against my experience of Jesus. Where have these words been true in my life? Kind of like when you test a company’s mission statement against your experience with them. In this exercise, however, I found way more love than I was looking for. My understanding of God’s love has broadened and I have a new degree of freedom to just be me. I am loved.
Lord, thank you for your love. A love like no other. May we all continue to seek you and grow in our understanding of who you are and who we are in you. You are our good good father. Amen
God’s love for us is everlasting. His love for us will never fall-apart or disappear. Human love is often imperfect, the love we receive from others, the love we give to others and the love we have for ourselves. But the love Jesus has for us is perfect. We may never fully grasp this truth, but that does not change the fact – God’s love for us will never fail. He loves you because He loves you.
I have carried this verse with me all weekend. Mulling it over, and looking for its presence in my life. How would i describe this verse – as it lives and swirls around me.
To me it holds a complete description of the unfailing love God has for us – and – a the description of the love we all seem to crave. Does this describe the God-sized hole we all have in our hearts that only God can fill? A love that endures the circumstances we struggle with. A love that carries a banner of hope for us to follow. A love that upholds a faith in us, that we will find our way through the sins we struggle with. A love that never gives up on us. With this ever-present love encircling us – how can we fail? I am so grateful.
“Always” statements make me nervous because if it refers to a good quality – I immediately feel like I’ve failed. Love always protects refers to the kind of love God has for us. The kind of love we can try to emulate, returning it to Him and extending it to the people in our lives. Although we won’t be perfect, He will be. He will weather the storms of our lives with us, loving us through all of them.
Thank you Father God for loving us, believing in us and sticking by us. Amen.
Years ago, I was mediating a conflict between a foreman and a union employee he supervised. The tension had steadily risen for weeks as the foreman held his ground. During our session, the foreman finally spoke the truth and admitted to what he had said to the employee and sincerely apologized. I was struck at how fast the tension left the room once the truth was spoken. We were now able to move forward and soon their relationship was mended. It was a lesson I carry with me today.
Lord, help us speak truth when it’s our turn to share and help us discern when truth is spoken by others. Thank you for being the very best example of truth. Amen
The Vines dictionary describes injustice as – a condition of not being right, whether with God, according to the standard of his holiness and righteousness, or with man, according to the standard of what man knows to be right by his conscience.
This definition has caused me to pause and reflect on recent events. What has happened to the “standard” of what man knows to be right by his conscience?
Lord, without your influence we are lost. I pray that your wisdom will break-through and refresh our sense of right and wrong. May your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Amen
There’s a song by the Superchicks called, We Live. A line in the song is engraved on my heart. “We live, we love, we forgive and never give up.” I think of it when I am tempted to make a record of a wrong someone has done to me, or, when I get tired of carrying a thoroughly written list around with me. Forgiveness erases the negative records in our hearts and frees up space to record our blessings. If it’s true that we will find what we look for, let’s gather blessings and fuel our hearts to love.
Lord, help us clear out the negative records in our hearts by prompting us to forgive, as you have forgiven us. Give us eyes to see the blessings around us. Amen. #jesuschrist #fathergod #holyspirit #dailydevotional #bibleverse #loveis #forgive
Often when I find myself “easily angered” it’s because I am overwhelmed. I have either taken on too many tasks or I have made the achievement of a task vitally important. My focus on my task prevents me from truly seeing the current situation clearly and I may react with anger. If I catch myself and take time to put all matters in their true perspective, I am better able to react in love. The holy spirit is brilliant in this situation and helps me expand my vision and gain a healthy perspective. My prayer today is that we will each learn to hear the holy spirit as he prompts us and eagerly desires to help us be better lovers. ❤️ Amen.
We have all made drastic changes to our daily lives during the pandemic in order to benefit those around us. A perfect example of love. Lord, help us to continue to put others first as we move through the pandemic journey. We will share all of our frustrations with you as you teach us to love. Amen
My husband has a funny phrase he uses when he catches himself talking about himself. He says, “well, enough about me, now its your turn to talk about me”. 😀 We’ve learned that when we focus on our accomplishments, we miss seeing what God may be trying to do through us, which is always better and long lasting.
Lord, help us to keep our eyes on you and allow you to work through us. Your ways are always better. ❤️ Amen.
I am dedicating this month to my 3 year-old grandson, Luke. He has been accusing us of not loving him when he gets into trouble. I told him that love is something way bigger than “never getting into trouble.” As I refresh myself on what love really is, so I can better speak words of life to Luke, I know that together, we will all find blessings in these words. Lord, today we stop and think about how we can experience love through patience. You are our highest and purest example of patience, remind us of how this is true between you and each of us. We thank you for loving us and want to extend patience to those we love. Please help! Amen.
Lord, thank you for the provision of eternity. We will one day be with you, with unveiled faces, we will see your glory and understand more deeply what your gift to us means. Help us to see you working around us today. Amen