Skip to main content

Love - growing and vibrant

How does love grow?  In the simplest of terms, most would wager to guess it grows through time spent together. To get a little more complicated, we'd venture to say it is pursuing things important to the other person, considering their wants and needs above your own, and laying down your life for theirs.  Now, most of us would do okay with the first definition - because spending time together is a whole lot easier than this idea of considering another's needs above our own, or being sacrificial in our time, energies, or talents.  Yet, the more closely we allow love to be based on the pursuit of things important to the other person, learning to consider their needs above your own, and giving out of our lives in a sacrificial manner, the closer we are coming to emulating the love Jesus has for his children!

I pray that your love will keep on growing and that you will fully know and understand how to make the right choices. Then you will still be pure and innocent when Christ returns. And until that day, Jesus Christ will keep you busy doing good deeds that bring glory and praise to God. (Philippians 1:9-11 CEV)

Indeed, love is a growth opportunity - you don't just wake up one morning with the determination in your mind that "today I will love someone deeply and with a lasting permanence in that love".  Little by little, as time is spent together with another, we develop an "affinity" toward the other person.  In a little more time, we actually develop some kind of desire to see the other person blessed and happy.  We want what is best in the relationship - pursuing things which bring unity and a sense of "cohesiveness" in the relationship.  

Now, let's consider this in terms of our growing relationship with Jesus, shall we?  Love begins at the point of grace - unmerited favor extended into our lives - love emulated so we might get a glimpse of how deep, how wide, and how long his love really is.  Then, as time passes, we grow closer to him by spending time with him.  In those moments together, there is a changing of the guard, so to speak.  The desire to be "in control" and pursuing only what is important to us seems to change - we begin to experience what it is like to pursue the things important to him - those things which bring him honor and praise.

As we spend time with Jesus, our choices become apparent - those which are selfish and primarily produce outcomes which only benefit us will be exposed; those which begin to reveal the heart of God to others will also come to the surface.  In essence, time spent together begins to refine our choices.  I think this is why God gives us the example of parents - why he chose to establish families in such a way.  You see, God could have come up with any plan he desired to bring about more people on this earth, but he chose the love of a man and a woman to be the means by which this is accomplished.  Why?  To give us a framework in which love is modeled.

Modeled behavior speaks louder than any words - so parental love begins to model for us the love of our heavenly Father.  Now, I know not all of us have been blessed to have a positive earthly example in this respect, but in general, this is what God had in mind before sin got the best of our human race!  In the family, God wanted us to see modeled the right choices we are to make.  So, to this end, he sends us Jesus, who took on human form - to model for us the right choices we are to make when we commit to this love relationship.  Flawed earthly examples could not model his love in quite the same manner, so he sends us "a God with a bod" as my pastor says it - Jesus!

To fully know and then to actually walk in the right choices is a process.  It comes by watching - no more like studying - the behavior of another - Jesus.  The more we behold his example, the more we begin to emulate his behavior.  His life stands as a testimony of the power of living a pure life.  His example points us toward love like we have never experienced before.  His modeled behavior directs us to the place of obedience over and over again, until our obedience becomes "second nature" to us - it is no longer hard to produce the right outcomes because they have become part of who we are.  This is love, growing and vibrant, indeed.  Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean