Thursday, June 11, 2009

Daily Digest #298

I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. —John 13:15

You know, a few years ago, I found myself crying in the bathroom and praying, "Lord, please don't let this love in my heart run dry". I felt like I was about to burst. I had so much love in my heart but no one to give it to. What I didn't know then was that I understood "love" differently. I thought it was just a set of emotions, and something I could give to one special person :D Although Jesus did give me one person, I realized how He was actually telling me, "this is how much I love you". Although I didn't understand His love before, He made me feel it in a level that I understood.

But then I learned that His love was much deeper than that. He opened my eyes and heart to knowing what His love was all about. This led me to reading more about Him, overwhelmed by the thought of this Guy loving someone like me -- sinful and very conditional when it comes to loving and being kind. He made me realize how much of His love He has given to other people -- my family, my closest friends and the kindest strangers I came across with -- so that I could feel His touch, His hugs, His kisses, His pats on my back to calm me down, and comfort through others. He has been using them so that I could see and feel the physical expression of His love. And I'm sure, many times, He has used me as His instrument, too, just like He has used you :D

Let us pray together: Lord, thank You for loving us just the way we are. Thank you for showing us Your love in many ways, and for teaching us about love. We are sorry for the times when we chose to hate, to judge, or to put our own comfort first. We trust that You are molding us into Your likeness. May we practice love in our lives. Amen.

We Love Because God Loves Us

“We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19 NIV).

The reason God wants us to love is because He is love, and He created us to be like him—to love. The only reason we’re able to love is because God loves us: “Love comes from God…because God is love” (1 John 4:7-8 NIV).

We were created in God’s image to do two things on earth: Learn to love God, and learn to love other people. Life is all about love.

But love all started with God. He loved us first and that gives us the ability to love others (1 John 4:19). The only reason you can love God or love anybody else is because God first loved you. And He showed that love by sending Jesus Christ to earth to die for you. He showed that love by creating you. He showed that love by everything you have in life; it’s all a gift of God’s love.

In order to love others and to become great lovers, we first need to understand and feel how much God loves us. We don’t want to just talk about love, read about love, or discuss love; we need to experience the love of God.

We need to reach a day when we finally, fully understand how God loves us completely and unconditionally. We need to become secure in the truth that we cannot make God stop loving us.

Once we’re secure inside God’s unconditional love, we’ll start cutting people a lot of slack. We won’t be as angry as we’ve been. We’ll be more patient. We’ll be more forgiving. We’ll be more merciful. We’ll give others grace.

But you cannot give to others what you have not received yourself, and so my hope is that, as you learn how much God loves you, you’ll also let Him heal your heart so that His love can flow freely through you. It’s impossible to love others until you really feel loved yourself.

Labels: ,