November 9, 2018
This is Real Love
God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. (1 John 4:9-10 NLT)
Friend to Friend
Would you say you truly understand the real love of God?
When I gave my life to the Lord in that London dorm room 25 years ago, I wasn’t actually interested in being loved by God nor even loving Him in return. I was simply desperate for the promise of eternity. It was my escape route from a life of hurt filled with relationships marked by dysfunction, abuse, and betrayal.
The promise of heaven gave me hope that one day all would be well, so I chose to believe in Jesus as my Lord and Savior. It never dawned on me that love could be part of the equation – at least not the kind of love I could feel and take full confidence in. Can you relate?
So, I got busy trying to live for Jesus, but wasn’t the least bit interested in having Jesus truly live in me.
You could say I was unknowingly closed off to God’s love, until this one day when I sat in my very first women’s Bible study and “met” Beth Moore for the first time. She paced back and forth on the itsy, bitsy TV screen with her big hair and southern passion, proclaiming her love for Jesus and His love for us. I must have looked like my golden retriever when I open a can of tuna . . . head cocked to the side with curious anticipation.
What in the world does it mean to love Jesus the way Miss Beth does?
Will I ever know that love for myself?
This love thing nagged at me for years as I kept on “doing” for Jesus, only to find that my “God checklist” wasn’t amounting to more joy or happiness or peace. Through a series of circumstances, ended up in Christian counseling and began really pursuing God to understand His love through uncovering His character and truth.
I discovered that I was only seeing God through the lens of my experiences. From that vantage point, God was scary, mean, unpredictable, and easily angered. Not exactly the picture of love!
The only way to really understand God’s love was to dive into the Word! I looked closely at the names of God and paid attention to the remarkable the Bible described His love for His people.
His Real Love is what rescues us.
His Real Love is what heals.
His Real Love is sacrificial.
His Real Love is what transforms.
His Real Love is what redeems.
His Real Love is for us regardless of our real love of Him.
It’s not that we love God but that He loved us first with a real love we won’t find anywhere else.
Discovering that one truth changed everything.
It opened the floodgates to seeing and feeling God’s love – a love that moved me from a place of living for Jesus to having Jesus fully live in me.
Might that be what God wants to do in you too, infusing your life with His love?
Dear Lord, I am so grateful that Your love for us is unconditional, unchangeable, unending. Reveal to us the depths of Your Real Love. Thank You that You wait on us to discover Your love and love You in return. Please infuse every part of our lives with your love.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Have you received the Real Love of God in your life through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord? Is it time for you to get to know the character of God so that you may know the fullness of His love?
More from the Girlfriends
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Originally published Friday, 09 November 2018.