December 28, 2016
Today I’m feeling so challenged to look at love a little differently. Sometimes in the gut-honest quietness of my heart, I look at love through the eyes of what it will offer me.
I hold out the little cup of my heart to the people I love, “Will you fill my empty spaces? Today will you do that one really thoughtful thing and make me feel like I’m the most noticed and special woman in the world?”
Then I hold it out to my children, “Will you fill up my empty spaces? Will you do something today that makes me look really good as a mom so I’ll feel a little more validated?”
Then I hold it out to my ministry, “Will you fill up my empty spaces? Will you provide something today that makes me feel more significant?”
Maybe a Wednesday morning is an odd time to consider such things.
But as we get closer to a new year I think this Wednesday morning is the perfect time to hit the reset button on my sometimes frail heart. Love is a tricky thing. Our hearts were created to crave it. God proclaims that love is greater than hope and greater than faith.
God also proclaims that love never fails. And in the quietness of my heart that verse from 1 Corinthians 13 makes me squirm a bit. I see love failing all the time. Or do I?
If my only view of love is what it will give me, love from others will fail me every time. It’s not that love fails. It’s that other people were never meant to be my God. Even a wonderful family and a thriving ministry can never truly fill me up, right all my wrongs and soothe those deep insecurities.
No, I can’t read 1 Corinthians chapter 13 with eyes hungry to see what love should give me, and then demand it from those around me. I should read those steadfast Scriptures with the realization: This is the kind of love I can choose to give.
I can choose that my love will be patient. My love will be kind. My love won’t keep a record of wrongs. (Ouch — that’s a hard one, right?)
I can choose that my love will protect and persevere.
And I can choose to lay the cup of my heart at Jesus’ feet and stop twirling, twirling, twirling, hoping — no, demanding — that those around me do things for me they were never meant to do.
Love isn’t what I have the opportunity to get from this world. Love is what I have the opportunity to give.
Dear Lord, thank You so much for Your love. I know that because I am abundantly loved by You, I have an abundance of love to give. Help me today to live loved and to give love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
John 13:34-35, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (NIV)
Matthew 22:37-39, “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (NIV)
Ephesians 3:17b-18, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” (NIV)
Are the words Jesus spoke 2,000 years ago really applicable to the answers our hearts are searching for today? Join us as we learn more about finding truth and hope in Christ in our free Online Bible Study of Lysa TerKeurst’s latest, Finding I AM: How Jesus Fully Satisfies the Cry of Your Heart. The study begins January 23, but you can sign up today.
Get the most out of the study by purchasing your copy of Finding I AM here.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Is there anyone or anything you have been looking to other than God to fill your empty places? Spend some time in prayer asking the Lord to help you start looking to Him and Him alone to fill your heart with love and security.
What is one specific way you can intentionally “give” love to someone else today?
© 2016 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.
Originally published Wednesday, 28 December 2016.