My morning reading brought a new picture to mind. This picture gave me a clear visual of what my life should resemble. What your life should resemble, that is, if you care to live a life of love.
31 Days of Love has stretched and pulled me in one million and one directions. Over a week ago, I decided to plant us in 1 John 4:7-21 to try to calm my runaway thoughts. But as I spent time reading and re-reading this passage I realized it is full of wonderful goodness yet it still left me with the same question…What is love?
This left me in a knot. What do I write about? I can’t possibly keep posting quotes. (smile) Although I love the color and life they bring to blogging that is not why I decided to go on this journey. I wanted, in my heart, to close this 31 Days of Love with some confidence of sharing a word with you.
Not words that we can merely clip together. But a word that will help you live a little differently.
A word that will make you long to go deeper and wider in your relationship with God.
A word that will help you realize that walking through life with Jesus is the best possible life for you.
I realize this is a TALL order or a venti, in terms familiar to my fellow Starbucks lovers. 😉 I’ve digressed; thoughts of coffee tend to do that to me. But not today.
Love is from God.
Our expression of love between one another show who we are and whose we are because He is love.1 First John chapter four shares these truths. It goes further and states:
No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.2
(Read it for yourself.) How amazing is that verse?! My heart races when I read (or write) that verse. How can it not!
To my heart it reads, although we have not seen Him, we have. We see Him every time we dare to love. We dare to do a self-less action. We dare to be the good we long to see in this sometimes dark, and lonely world.
Have others seen God through you?
When we love we invite the Father in, we essentially …
There is a soft knock at the door of our heart. You pause, you’re not expecting anyone. Yet the soft knock persists. You stand at the door. You recognize the presence requesting entry. With a shaky hand you open the door wide–stepping back to allow Him entry. He finds a comfortable spot. And everything around is warm and illuminated. Everything is made anew.
This is love.
Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.3
I’m sure there are a million commentaries and theologians that can dress this passage up quite nicely. And I will gladly leave it to them.
However, I am concerned with whether we live in this truth. Because if we don’t live it. Something so powerful loses its very essence.
It becomes void. Lifeless. NOTHING.
Because we are a vital component of this beautiful story of love.
I pray this is making sense. Read it for yourself. See what it says. Feel what it means.
I hope you will realize we are love. Life, circumstances, hardships, good times and every moment from our birth either caused us to shine our light of love or to hold it captive in our hearts–but its there.
We love because he first loved us.4
We have a perfect example. We are made to love and are a constant recipient of perfect love.
Pattern of Love
So, I got to thinking about all of this and a perfect visual surfaced.
We are patterned for love.
Well, a pattern is defined as: as a form or model proposed for imitation. (Source) I know quite a bit about patterns. I love to crochet. I can see a picture on a pattern book and my heart will do flip flops. My mind is doing an instant inventory of my yarn stash. Thinking…wondering…pondering….do I have what I need to make this piece?
The pattern was made for my thoughts. The designer and photographer, even the publisher, want me to connect with the piece on sight. It’s motivating.
As believers, what is our motivation?
What is it that will make our hearts race?
Who is it that makes us giddy?
Stick with me now. He is that pattern. He is the pattern we are meant to imitate.
He came to show us, because quite honestly, just writing about love for 21 days has drove me loopy.
- How do you explain it?
- How do you define it?
- How do you live it?
I’m sure I’m not the only one. I’m sure this is nothing new. I mean, John wrote about is so obviously they had questions too.
God, our heavenly Father, knew.
In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.5
This is love.
Beloved, I may not have all the answers but I am sure of this, I am loved. I am love.
I will live a life of love. I will live a life as a manifestation of the love John shared. A manifestation of the love perfected in me…in you—in us.
Will you commit to do the same?
2. 1 John 4:12
4. 1 John 4:19
5. 1 John 4:9
1. Grab your Love Journal. Consider this:
- When have you felt God's perfect love?
- Have others seen God through you?
- How can you commit to be a pattern of God's love?
2. How's the Love Challenge going? Are you working to be…patient, kind, not boastful, not envious…?