Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day

Follow God’s example in everything you do just as a much loved child imitates his father. Be full of love for others, following the example of Christ who loved you and gave himself to God as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, for Christ’s love for you was like sweet perfume to him. (Ephesians 5:1-2 TLB)
God is so ready to love us. He is simply waiting on us to be open to all the ways he wants to show us that love. The most important way he revealed his love was already done in Christ's death, but there are so very many more ways he stands ready to just encompass our lives with his perfect love! God's love isn't complicated like human love is. It reaches into places human love just wouldn't dare go and with such a tenacity that doesn't exist in the evidence I have observed with human love. 
Human love is conditional - as good as our human love is, there is a point where we give and give, but in some very basic place within ourselves we are at least hoping for a little bit of something in return, aren't we? Human love wanes where there is little to no "return" on the investment of that love. We find other venues to express that love - other parties become participants in that love - or worse yet, we learn to withhold it because we didn't get anything in return!
God doesn't withhold his love - even when we turn a cold shoulder his way. He doesn't move on when we take too long to respond to his overtures of love. He doesn't criticize us for not "getting" how much he loves us. He doesn't fake loving us even though we haven't been all that loving back to him. His love is genuine, not "conditioned" on our responses, and is persistent in its pursuit. His desire is that we get comfortable in the embrace of his love and then we learn how to embrace others with it!
Why did I turn to "love" as a subject this morning? Maybe it was because I was reminded of this whole "love thing" as I recently observed the shelves of Christmas decor coming down and the Valentine candies taking that place in my neighborhood grocery store. It was a reminder that human love is fleeting, but God's love is deeper and more reliable than any other form of love. His love goes beyond the red heart boxed chocolates kind of love - it goes to the red blood shed on a tree for us kind of love! Just sayin!