Can we love as God loves – can we? How do we love God and each other?
It may seem impossible to let go of past hurts, disappointments, and those tiny seeds of bitterness that linger. Or to forgive and love each other without moments of envy or misunderstandings that unleash words one should never say. Yet, I sense hope and wonder – that I can love God as God loves. Indeed, I know I may need to surrender places not yet abandoned.
How do we love God and each other? I do not hesitate to admit I may not know, but I am intrigued by the possibilities. I am compelled to go on further because I know God is faithful and loves us. That I genuinely do want to love as God loves, and I know that deep in my heart, there is a lesson to be learned here.
This is how we love –
The Bible tells us we are God’s beloved and can love God because God first loved us. “We love him because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19 KJV). How beautiful is this? I stop in my tracks, embracing this truth.
Jesus teaches the first and great commandment in Matthew 22:37-39: “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
This kind of love, agape love, is at the heart of friendship and kindness. The Greco-Christian term agape refers to God’s unconditional love for us. Therefore, the love between God and man is the purest form of love and charity.
Jesus shows us that the way to love God is by obeying His commandments.
“If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15 KJV).
When we obey God’s commands, we learn what true godly love is.
By focusing on loving God and obeying His commandments, we find that the in-between journey of life prepares us for our destination – to live in the presence of God for eternity. God gives an even more profound way to love. Just think what this will do for our relationships when we let go of transgressions and unkindness. To love each other as God loves us, extending grace, forgiveness, compassion, and mercy.
We find that we can love as God loves because we are His beloved. Our faithful Father provides us with all we need. So let us yield and obey God’s commandments and achieve agape love – God’s love. Accept the loving grace of God as we surrender all the places not yet abandoned and rejoice that as God’s beloved children, we too can love as God loves. It’s incredible how God searched my heart and led me to a needed lesson in forgiveness and what it means to love as God loves.
Yes, God is faithful and guides us to love. I am so grateful!
Thank you, heavenly Father, for loving us first. Help us to love as You love. Surrendering all the places not yet abandoned and truly forgiving and loving each other. Pouring out our hurt, needs, fears, burdens, longing, and sin leading to your extraordinary forgiveness and love. Oh, Rejoice! In Jesus’ name, amen.
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Philippians 4:4 KJV
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