I’ve been brewing some perspective- one coffee shop at a time. A visit to Slim’s Healthy Kitchen on Belmont Road Belfast added more perspective. It’s a great place to get healthy food- like tuna steaks & quinoa with the option of finishing off with an enormous brownie (for those of us with chocoholic tendencies!)
As we waited on our food, the writing on the wall said:
‘Love made me do it’
I would have taken a photo but I would have had to stand at an awkward angle!
Love made me do it. Or to transpose it into Biblical language, ‘Christ’s love compels us’ (2 Corinthians 5:14 NIV)
Or to paraphrase:
‘Christ’s love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do.’
(2 Corinthians 5:14 MSG)
The Bible speaks eloquently of the ubiquitous love of God. Indeed, in 1John 4:17 it declares ‘God is love’ Love is the very essence of God.
Throughout life we waste time looking for love in the wrong places-especially when we are feeling insecure within ourselves.
‘You are uniquely loved known & called by God.This is the bedrock of your security in the world.’
(Ken J Costa)
St Therese of Liseux stated, ‘It isn’t enough to love; we must prove it’
God has proven His everlasting love for us:
‘But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’
(Romans 5:8 NIV)
‘God loves us as we are, not as we think we should be’
(Dr Michelle Bengston)
We are made in God’s image & He is love. Furthermore, He poured his love into our hearts (Romans 5:5 NIV)
We need to soak in this deep truth & what it means.
‘You are loved. Rest in your God-breathed worth’
What a huge difference it makes when we can live like we are loved by the Most High God!
‘Live loved!’ Lysa Terkheurst wrote. Two little words with life-altering meaning.
We can never fathom the utter dimensions of God’s love. But if we grasp even a small amount of His love for us, this will make us love others.
When we ‘live loved’ we will realize that we will never lock eyes with another human who isn’t loved by God or made in his image.
Living loved leads to living a life of love:
‘Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.’
(Ephesians 5:2 NLT)
What does love look like?
‘Love is patient and kind.
Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
It does not demand its own way.
It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.
It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.
Love never gives up,
never loses faith,
is always hopeful,
and endures through every circumstance.’
(1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT)
The following words also challenged me when I read them in a devotional:
‘God’s love is unconditional, and He calls us to love with that same kind of love … even when it is not returned.
We cannot manufacture this kind of love. It’s a fruit of God’s Spirit. It dwells within us because God indwells us.’
(Wendy Blight- First Five)
Clearly, love is not just a feeling or airy emotion. Love is a verb!
I fall so short of what I should be, of what I’m commanded to do. I find it difficult to love many of those whose paths cross mine on this journey. At times I’m so wrapped up in my own issues that I find it difficult to love full stop.
Yet, the Word of God says:
‘Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.’
(1 John 4:7-8 NIV)
‘Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.’
(1 Peter 4:8 NLT)
‘Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything.
(1 Peter 4:8 MSG)
This brand of love comes from God alone who pours it from His heart to ours.
Only With His help can we live loved & live a life of love in return.
‘May Jesus himself and God our Father, who reached out in love and surprised you with gifts of unending help and confidence, put a fresh heart in you, invigorate your work, enliven your speech.’
(2 Thessalonians 2:16,17)
‘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 NIV)