Love each other as I have loved you
John 15: 12 (NIV)
Did you know that there are five hundred and twenty six verses in the NIV Holy Bible that have the word love in them?
Like me, you are probably not all that surprised. But do you sometimes think that maybe, after reading just a few verses, that love could be more than a feeling?
Think about the retail industry during the month of February. Hundreds of Valentine sentiments are for sale, jewelry store ads appear in mailboxes, and heart shaped boxes of chocolates line the shelves next to red, and pink construction paper, and dainty white doilies.
A day some say is reserved for lovers, I say is a day for everyone to celebrate! From exchanging valentines and lollipops and enjoying pink frosted cupcakes in classrooms, to calls, and texts to those near and dear to us, is a friendly reminder of what every day should be about.
Extra hugs, love, and laughter make the world go round. I for one have fond memories of addressing Big Bird and Ninja Turtle valentines at our kitchen table for my son and daughter to bring to school along with the decorated sugar cookies for their school parties.
But, the apostle John’s letter says it best, “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us” (1 John 4:11-12).
After all, the Bible was written by Love, for love, and in love.
This inspired, timeless wisdom is a love letter written to you and to me.
Intimate in nature, the sixty-six books of the Bible reveal Scripture promises for a personal encounter with the Lord.
For I believe God says to all his children, just as Jesus heard from the heavens when he was baptized, “This is my beloved Son, (insert daughter), in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3: 16-17 NIV).
How does that make you feel?
You and I are God’s beloved.
Grace upon grace. You and I belong to him.
We discover that love is an emotion, but also an act of the will.
It involves stepping back and remembering that God was the first to put love into action with his ultimate sacrifice: “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).
And out of that great love, Jesus promised the gift of the Holy Spirit. to be our ever present Advocate, Helper, and Comforter. That very same Spirit guides, counsels, and consoles our entire beings as each day we begin anew, to make love visible to those in our midst.
Continuing to welcome God into our hearts, loving, serving, and surrendering we go forth to abide in love.
As daughters of the Most High King, love is a commitment. A promise to stretch ourselves and to go where others dare not to. Love must be lived. Love must be given. Love must be shared through the lens of faith.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” (1 Cor. 13: 4-8 NIV).
Even when you and I fall short, our merciful Father is waiting.
Made in his image and likeness, we step out in love.
It is this healing power of love that sees us through to love in a way that Jesus unconditionally loves us.
As his beloved, whether we sit on the floor to play, step out of our comfort zone to make that phone call, or are doing our best to be guided through another harried day, may you and I remember we are loved with an everlasting love.
“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).
And as we sift through the memories of sticky situations, or the gooey glue, and glitter used to create and share gifts from the heart, remember it’s the goodness we bring to each moment, and the eternal love of God that holds us all together.
Thank you, dear friend, for being here!
May your Valentine’s Day be full of what brings you joy!
Until next time…
May the Spirit of God lead you, the Word of God sustain you, and the promises of God grant you the gift of everlasting peace.
Love and blessings
To discover more ways to love with your heart grab a copy of Nourish Your Soul: 7 Secrets for Women Seeking Peace free on Kindle and available on Amazon now through the weekend.🎉
Pop in the comments or email me how you view love at this point in your life, and what verse speaks to you. Share what’s in your heart at firstname.lastname@example.org
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