Deuteronomy 6:5 “And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”
Good intentions. Well meaning people. Sincere. Thoughtful.
There are many words that may describe us; even loving. But when I think on the times I say those three words; ‘I love you’, I have to stop and ask myself, ‘Do I really?’ For many, we would categorize love as an emotion. We say things like; ‘My heart skips a beat when I see you!’; or ‘My heart overflows with love for you” and we truly do not understand from the One who IS love.
Love is not an emotion. Our emotion is a response to the mind making the decision to love. Love; true love, is a commitment. God’s love to us is unconditional. We use the Greek word ‘agape‘. God uses this word to describe how we are to love Him: unconditionally; without preference, opinion, prejudice, reservation or limit.
I am growing in my knowledge of God’s love for me. I have come to realize that His love for me never diminishes, is never cut off, or is ever limited – no matter how many times I may fail Him. We treat each other that way, but not God. We get hurt and we pull back our love; not wanting to be wounded or hurt.
Oh, how we have hurt our Father! The burden of sin placed upon His Son; the Lord Jesus Christ, was a weight you nor I could ever quantify. If you and I were to think about each sin we have committed or ever will commit as a one pound weight. I can be safe to say that there are thousands of pounds I have laid upon my Savior. Multiply that times every person from Adam till the end of time and the very thought would crush us!
Jesus, in love for us, committed Himself to completing the task needed to redeem every lost soul. Never has there ever been a greater display of love. Never has there ever been more commitment, more sacrifice or more of one’s self given for the cause of another than our Savior gave for us!
That knowledge alone should stir us. Yet, unless we rehearse these things in our minds, we will forget. The intensity and clarity of that truth will be lost amidst the cares of this world. When we are loved unconditionally by someone, it affects us deeply. To know and understand just how much we are loved by Almighty God should overwhelm us daily! Yet, we fall away, become indifferent; apathetic.
Just as in the parable of the sower and the seed, we will find our love choked out unless we purpose to maintain the garden of our heart.
Luke 8:14 “And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.”
In meditating on this truth, I was brought to these thoughts:
When I say “I love you”, do my actions back up my words?
In the depths of my despair, valley, trial or tribulation; does my commitment of love carry me through, or do I question His for me?
If others were to view my life, would there be enough evidence to convict me of loving my God?
To say I’ve fallen short would be an understatement. Our enemy is quick to accuse us when we fail at our commitment toward God. He also works overtime to deceive us into thinking that when things don’t turn out quite right that God is somehow to blame. God tells us in His Word:
Matthew 5:18 “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”
Matthew 4:4 “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
Truly, if our words matter, then we should take more thought the things we so flippantly say to one another and to God. There are some in this life who truly have no filter. Once the thought is unleashed in their mind, it falls to the tongue and is out before they ever give their mind notice just what it is they are going to say.
Many a hurt and deep wound have been left by such an one. God tells us what filter to use when thinking and speaking:
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Proverbs 16:24 “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”
My mother used to say; “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
Sound advice to the critic; to the one whose opinions seem to flow all too freely for all to hear. Scorners care not for the victims of their hurtful words. Sarcasm may seem funny at the time, but many a deep wound was suffered by one who hid their pain behind a smile.
To think that when I say to my Father in Heaven, “I love you” that it is easily believed; not because I say so, but it is confirmed in my actions and commitment to Him.
We all want to be loved – especially with such a deep, abiding, committed, unconditional love that God gives to us! May we stray from ourselves for a moment to think from God’s perspective: does He see; does He know that I love Him? The past is unchangeable; but we have been given today.
Today, love without any thought of receiving love in return. Then, you and I can begin to understand how God feels when we fail to return the most wonderful love ever given!