what’s in a name? p2

Love Defined

love.

it’s who God is.

He defines it.

it’s the truth that i’ve fallen into and have been consumed by…maybe because i’ve been hungry for it for so long. i wanted it to be real. i wanted this Relationship to be real. but for some time, i never thought it possible.

i’ve battled so many misconceptions. it was hard breaking through the false ideas imbedded in me by the abuse and religion and myself. i’ve looked for it in all the wrong places. i’ve tried to be its source. i’ve taken His word out of context and turned it into a game of merit. and i failed. i failed every single time. (but i learned.)

as i recovered from abuse, i looked for something to cling to (as was my old habit): like a fantasy or an ideal. but no matter how pure or well-intentioned it was, it took my attention away from the true Love of my life. i’ve defined myself by a lot of things: my past, my emotions, my “stuff,” my relationships (or lack thereof), my “dreams,” my circumstances…and time and time again, my idols would come crashing down, leaving me frustrated and disappointed. it got old after a while.

i knew the answer was Him, but i had to let go of all i thought was best for me and trust Him to know that better than i.

i wanted answers, so i turned to 1 john (you know, where it says, “God is love”? it was the best place to start, in my opinion…), and i learned much.

yes, God defines it. here on earth we have different ways to describe it, but agape (G26) is Love as God is. love is an action and the greatest expression of love occurred on the cross. a sacrifice. therefore, love is sacrificial (john 3;16). words are not enough, you need to back them up…and that is what He demonstrated to the whole world, to all history. He is Love, just as He is Holy and Merciful and Just and Righteous and Unchanging and Truth and Wisdom and so many other things…and in all that He is, He is Complete. the I AM.

love is required of His people, especially towards each other. we are a family, and it has been through the love of His people, that i’ve developed a greater understanding of Who God is.

“If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.  And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.” 1 john 4:20-21 (nasb)

it all comes full circle. we express our love to God by obedience, by living as Christ here on earth. He was the Word of God walking, Love in action. how can i not fall in love as i realize what He did for me on that cross? it comes natural…i want to please Him. in my obedience, i am loving others as He desired.

“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.” 1 john 5:1-5 (nasb)

i could go on and on forever, but i’ll spare you for now. my point is that these truths have changed my life. my broken, loveless, hopeless life.

this Relationship is an eternity long commitment. here on earth, i liken it to an engagement. i’m getting to know Him through His words and what He does, but there is still some distance (a distance that – at times – tears my heart in two). it’s a time to romance, a time to woo…and the closer i can grow to Him now, the sweeter our unity will be come Eternity.

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