Week 11: Walking in 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

What is the first thing you notice about Jesus? Or, rephrased, when you first became a Christian or came to understand what it meant to follow Christ, what was the first thing you noticed about Him? For me, it was His overwhelming love for me.     It was breathtaking. I was rendered speechless – me a girl who talks all the time! I fell to my knees under the weight of His mercy and began to surrender my all to Him.

Love is a human hunger we all desire and some of us spend all of our lives looking for it; mostly, in the wrong places. We all have that void that only love can fill and the love of God is the only true love that can fill that hole. Love is what makes life beautiful and worth living.

Love is about giving. For God so loved…that He gave…John 3:16. Love cannot help but give of itself for that is the nature of love (as God created it to be…as He is love). It is not rationed or taxed.

Hollywood portrays that love is based on how you feel, what someone does for you, what they can offer you, how they make you feel, etc. They even go so far as to state that we don’t have a choice in the matter when it comes to who we love. It just happens.

I believe that perspective to be incorrect. Love is a choice. God chooses to love us in spite of our selves. He doesn’t force us to love Him. He offers that choice. If you’re tempted to walk in the way of the world, look for the direction of love and take it. It will soon become habit; a good, rewarding habit.

Here’s an excerpt from the novel Midwinter Turns to Spring:

“Love is not just a feeling. It’s a choice, a commitment, a way of behaving toward another. Love is not simply an event that happens to you. Rather, love is something you choose to do. The state of being in love is simply a prelude to love. But most people make the mistake of thinking they’re one and the same thing. We are all given circumstances by which we can exercise the choice to love. That’s the thunderbolt that God supplies. It’s that instant attraction to another person, those warm, fuzzy feelings, that fever akin to drunkenness or madness that causes you to know that you’re in love. But it’s what you choose to do after that thunderbolt has passed that matters. You choose whether you’re going to continue loving the other person after the drunkenness has dissipated, after the frills of romance have fallen away. You choose whether you’re going to continue to seek the best interests of the other person, and care about him or her through any and all circumstances — and for how long. Love is a conscious choice.”

Love isn’t something that we can “fall into.” It’s something that we grow in; something that we walk in…daily, not just when we feel like it.

Love comes with a cost. 1 John 3:16 reads “We know what real love is because Jesus gave his life up for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.”  It’s costly to love as Christ did, but it comes with terrific investments in heavenly rewards. Life isn’t easy. And loving with Christ’s love in the life is definitely not easy. It may cost you money, respect, dignity, pain, heartache, ridicule, perhaps even your life. Sacrifice it for the Name of Jesus; He will accept it and reward you in full.

Be encouraged. You have His love in you: And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love –  Romans 5:5. If you feel you don’t possess that kind of love, ask Him to teach you and take the action to learn. Love is a learned behavior, finessed with time and practice. And with that love, we’re able to love all people, including our enemies. When our flesh has a difficult time expressing that love, we just need to pray that Jesus will love that person through us. His love never fails.

Love Came Down – Brian Johnson 

If my heart is overwhelmed and I cannot hear your voice
I hold on to what is true, though I cannot see
If the storms of life they come, and the road ahead gets steep
I will lift these hands in faith, I will believe 

When my heart is filled with hope, and every promise comes my way
When I feel Your hands of grace rest upon me
Staying desperate for You God; staying humbled at Your feet
I will life these hands in praise; I will believe

 I remind myself of all that You’ve done
And the life I have because of Your Son

 Love came down and rescued me
Love came down and set me free
I am Yours – I am forever Yours
Mountain high or valley low
I sing out and remind my soul
That I am Yours – I am forever Yours

I am Yours – I am Yours – All my days – Jesus, I am Yours

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