We live in a world that is so confused about what true love is. It’s easy to fall for the lie the world tells us about love. But as Christians, we know there is an amazing love- love like you have never seen. Today, want to take a few minutes and share with you about The Love The Lord has for us.
Love like you have never seen
For the next couple weeks, as we get closer to Christmas, I want to spend a few minutes every week focussing on The Lord.
Bringing you short, biblical devotions to help you focus on Jesus- the real reason we celebrate Christmas.
We live in a world that is so confused about what true love is.
I’ve had a few conversations with my children about love.
They thought there was only one type of love. When I told them that there are 4 different types of love and that friendship love differed from romantic love, they sighed in relief.
They now love their friends freely.
Perfect Example of Love
As Christians, we are given the perfect example of what true love looks like.
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. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.John 3:16-17
I have 3 kids and love them to the end of the universe. I can’t think of 1 scenario that would lead me to choose one of my children to die in the place of someone else.
Most of my husband’s family isn’t saved. And for the longest time, I had this fear that if I prayed for my family’s salvation, it would somehow mean that my kids would have to, like, get hurt or die. I’m not sure where that fear comes from. Probably from the devil, since it’s not from the Lord, but that fear kept me from praying for them because I’m not willing for my kids to experience any type of pain, even if it meant somebody else’s salvation.
Now, thankfully, the Lord has helped me process some of that, and he’s given me some wisdom as to how to pray for my family to overcome that fear. But this is just an example that I am selfish. I’m not going to choose my kids to die over somebody else. I would choose for my life to end instead of my children. But I just never want to see my kids in any type of pain.
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The Bible shows us a better love
Now we compare that to God’s love for us. God loves us so much. That he sent his only son to Earth. To live a life here on Earth, and not just to live it, but then to die. And then three days later, rise again. I can’t imagine what that would be like.
We know that Heaven is an amazing place, and just going from heaven to earth in itself, even if Jesus did nothing else, would be an act of love.
Jesus freely gave us heaven to come to Earth.
But that’s not where it ended. It goes even further than that.
The Old Testament tells us that we’re sinful and that the only way to pay for that sin is a blood sacrifice. Something or someone had to die.
Now, throughout the Old Testament. Those were the perfect lambs, and they represent the perfect Lamb of God, Jesus himself, who came to Earth because even though those lambs were perfect, they weren’t good enough. People didn’t have to just do 1 sacrifice in their entire life. They had to come over and over and over and over again.
But Jesus he came. And he died only once because his sacrifice was perfect. So He’s the one that took her place. So that we can have a relationship with the father.
And even though I’ve been a Christian for a long time, I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around that type of love because like I said, I could never do that. I am completely selfish.
I don’t think I would ever choose Mike his death over somebody else. Now there is that little fear in me that now that I’ve said that, the Lord’s going to test me and I’m trying to get over it yep this idea that my selfish love is no comparison to the love that God has for us, that he was willing to sacrifice his son for us.
Characteristics of Love
But The Bible gives us so much more insight into what Love looks like.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.1 Corinthians 13: 4-8a
You’ve probably heard these verses read at weddings. And even though they are appropriate verses to read there, these verses are not talking about marriage.
These verses characterize what love is. The only person who fulfills all these things is The Lord.
When I was in university, I felt alone and like nobody loved me. My family would reassure me of their love for me, but it wasn’t enough.
In my mind, they didn’t have a choice but to love me. They were family and had to love me.
During that time, The Lord brought me back to scripture and reminded me how much He loved me.
He showed me a better and more perfect love.
I’ve learned that friends come and go, but the Lord never changes. He’s always near, he never changes, and his love for me never changes, regardless of what I do. I can be my worst self on the worst day, and God’s love for me stays the same.
God might not be happy about what I’m doing, but he loves me.
So if you’re here today and you’re feeling a little bit uncertain, maybe you’re feeling lost and you might even be feeling unloved. I understand that. I’ve been there and every single time I’ve had those feelings, the Lord’s been so gentle to bring me back towards him and say human relationships will sometimes fail.
How to remember God’s love for us
So if you are feeling lost, uncertain, alone, or unloved- take some time and read through 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 again.
So what I want you to do is, for each characteristic to write it down. And then think of some examples.
The first characteristic on the list says love is patient.
So what I want you to do is to write down love is patient. And then I want you to take a few minutes to think about and to write down all the different examples you have of maybe your own life, your friend’s life, or even scripture of very specific examples when the Lord showed you patience.
And if you have a hard time thinking of one, I can give you one. And you can write this down if you’d like.
The fact that God hasn’t come back again shows his patience in the Old Testament.
We read that before he flooded the earth. The Lord looked at the Earth and was like, these men are horrible, and he sent the flood to destroy, like to destroy them. And the word of God tells us that one day God will destroy the earth, but the longer he goes without doing that just shows how patient God is.
Because God isn’t willing for anyone to die. He doesn’t want anybody to be separated from him, so he continues to extend Earth so that as many people as humanly possible will choose God.
And so every single day that passes that the Lord does not return shows us his patience for people.
Make a list
So take a few minutes and add to that list what are some other things that he has done, or what are some other ways the Lord has shown you patience. And then when you’re done, I want you to go to the next characteristic- Love is Kind.
And again, I want you to do the same thing. Think of all the examples of all the times. The Lord was kind to you.
Then, I want you to do that exercise for every single character in that verse.
Now that might feel overwhelming. So I don’t want you to do that all at once. Maybe just do one characteristic per day. So the first day you can talk about patience, the second day about kindness, and after a few days, you’re going to have this comprehensive list and proof of how God shows His love towards you in all these different areas.
Carry The Love of God with you
That way, the next time you’re feeling discouraged, or maybe the next time you’re feeling unloved, you now have this list of evidence to tell your brain The Lord loves you.
Carry that list with you because when you do that, you can be reminded of what true love looks like when you have God’s example of love.
It just helps in every aspect when it comes to relationships with others because it helps you show love better and then it helps you accept love differently because now you know what true love looks like.
Colossians 3:14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
1 Corinthians 13:3 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Thank you for being with us. And I just pray this time be a blessing to all of us amen thank you so much for joining me. I really appreciate this. That you’ve taken just to spend some time with me. In God’s word, I hope you’ve been encouraged by these devotions.