Do you ever get annoyed with the way we toss around the word “love” these days?
I mean, we just love so many things. We love our car (maybe), we love a cute pair of shoes, we love an ice cream sundae (who wouldn’t?), and we love our sports teams (maybe, if they’re playing well). We throw the word around so much that it seems to have lost some of its luster or its ability to move us.
But it’s not just the overuse of the word “love” that has minimized the impact. We seem to give and retract our love all too quickly. Take any of the above examples. We love our cars until they get old or break down; our shoes until we see some newer ones; a hot fudge sundae until it lands on our hips or waistline; our sport teams, if and only if they win. This is what we call conditional love. It is clearly the most common variety and you get it most anywhere these days, at least for a while.
But such a love leaves us wanting more, doesn’t it? We wish for something deeper and more profound. We long for a love that will last, not just for a few days, weeks, or months, but for a lifetime. We long for what we call unconditional love. This kind of love is quite hard to find these days, even if you are looking; and the truth is we were made for love, not only to receive it, but also to give it. The very core of our being was wired to crave love, to need a love that doesn’t depend upon on how we have performed or how we are acting at the moment. As born again believers, we are to give and to receive a love that won’t let go, a love that will last forever. Let these words of the Apostle Paul sink in: “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us.” Ephesians 5:1,2
But how do we do this? How can we give unconditional love when others don’t act very lovable, especially when we feel like we are the ones who ought to be loved first, just this once? In short, how do we love like Jesus loves…without conditions? Scripture teaches that we are to let the Giver of love give His love through us. That is “The mystery of our faith which is Christ in us the hope of glory.” (Colossians 1:27) Jesus died for us, to give His life to us, to live His life through us. Scripture tells us “We who are alive are always giving ourselves over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that His life may be revealed in our mortal bodies.” (II Cor 4:11) His life in us is a life of love, and we know “God is love.”
LIFE LESSON: By receiving His love that comes without conditions, we simply become a channel, an instrument of God’s love to flow through us to those around us in need of this same love. “What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.” Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” (John 13:35)
Growing In Grace Ministries New Year’s resolution is:
“Let Jesus be seen in 2018…if you must use words.”
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