Most of us know the more popular scripture references to love:
John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
1 Corinthians 13:13 – And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
They are, as most of God’s word is, beautiful references to the love God has for us. It is important to remember God’s will for us to love one another. This is something we find difficult to do in today’s society.
In this world, we are full of conditional love toward one another as opposed to the love God intended for each of us. I am guilty of it and I am sure you can be at times, too. Time and time again, the Bible tells us that we are to love one another, unconditionally. This unconditional love comes from God. So often, though, we place conditions on the love we chose to give or not to give.
I will love you if you buy me something new
I will love you if you make enough money
I will love you if you are nice to me at all times
I will love you if you agree with me
The list could go on. Here’s an “if” for you; what if God only loves us if we are perfect? Thankfully this is not the case. Thankfully He loves us despite our flaws, despite our inadequacies, despite our lack of a giving heart, and despite our sinful nature. He can’t help it, that is just who He is. His love for each of His children does not disappear, even when we turn away from Him and reject Him.
As I have shared with you before, there was a time not that long ago, when I turned toward a worldly view of God instead of a Godly view of the world. My daily life consisted of living for myself and nothing or nobody else. This selfishness, over time, created a hardened, darkened view of myself and those around me. I used to lead a life of resentment and bitterness toward life in general. Why?
Simply put, I became complacent. I knew I had been saved in my late twenties and I thought that was it. That was all I needed to sustain the rest of my days and be a happy-go-lucky Christian. As time went on and I eventually disregarded prayer and God altogether, I began to feel lost, depressed, and full of dread of the upcoming days. I was full of frustration with my job, my husband, and my life.
The entire time, though, God was there. He would gently nudge me to draw closer to Him. It wasn’t until God intervened in my life and brought death and grief into my heart that I understood what had been missing for so many years. Through the death and grief, I felt God’s presence again. I felt his love. Despite my actions and neglect of Him in the previous years, He loves me.
We were all born with an empty space in our hearts. That empty space was not meant to be filled by social media, drugs, alcohol, food, another person, or anything physical. That empty space was meant to be filled by the Holy Spirit. By the One who created each and every one of us.
God loves us exactly where we are. In the middle of the pain, the heartache, the addiction, the loss, or the bitterness; He loves us unconditionally. We were created to be loved by Him and to love one another. The closer we draw to Him, the easier it becomes to love one another regardless of the actions of others.
This is my story, what’s yours? I would love to hear from you! Click on the “Tell Me Your Story” link and know that all stories shared are done so in confidence. I may even contact you for permission to use your story as a featured post in the future! Tell others about your story of redemption and grace!
Until next week!