Monday, February 9, 2009

What's Love Got To Do With It?

“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth 
so that you have sincere love for your brothers, 
love one another deeply from the heart.”
1 Peter 1:22

"I LOVE that blouse!" "Ooooo, I love your hair!" "Didn’t you just love that movie?"
Photobucket

Tell me, what’s love got to do with it anyway? I love (not really) the way we’ve taken the one of the most powerful words of all and made it ordinary. Kind of ironic, isn’t it? Check out just a FEW of hundreds of verses about love as mentioned in Scripture:

Jeremiah 33:11- “His love endures forever.”

Lamentations 3:22- “Because of His great love, we are not consumed.”

John 15:12- “Love each other as I have loved you.”

1 John 3:16- “This is how we know what love is: 
Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. 
And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”

This sure puts “loving” a movie or a hairdo in context for me. What was really enlightening to me as I looked over some Scriptures on the topic is that many of them speak of “great love” or “deep love” or “how much” He loved us. Can we even truly grasp this concept?

The specific verse God laid on my heart one morning is the 1st Peter verse at the top. Before that day, it had never donned on me that we can have sincere love for one another without loving each other deeply. My mind is pooling over the great number of people that I claim to love. The list is long. 

But I wonder:

Can I honestly say that all of these people are someone I would die for as the verse in 1 John describes? And not just in the physical sense. What I envision when I picture dying for a "loved" one is really just dying to myself. Do I put their genuine needs before my own? Do I lay down my pride, my selfishness, my will to do things my own way? (Bear in mind, I am talking about healthy relationships, not codependent ones...this is a whole 'nother subject).

I can only love others on the deepest level when Jesus Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit, loves through me. It all comes down to my life being surrendered to Him, growing in Him, knowing Him and loving Him first. Isn’t it amazing that every spiritual discipline comes back to our relationship with Him? It compels me to call on Him right now.

When we hit our knees to the floor today, can we all go together in unity, asking the Lord to show us the vast number of ways He has loved us deeply? His salvation will come to mind, of course. What else? How has He loved us in a way no one else has loved us before? How has He loved us when others have hurt us or let us down? How has His love changed our love for others? How can we love more deeply, whether in word or in deed? Is there someone specifically that He wants us to love more sacrificially?

What’s love got to do with it? Nothing, if we try to love in the flesh. Everything, if it has to do with Him loving through us. Let’s take root in His rich soil of perfect love this day, praying for one another to do the same.
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 
may have power, together with all the saints, 
to grasp how wide and long and high and DEEP is the love of Christ 
and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—
that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 
Now to HIM who is able to do immeasurably more 
than all we ask or imagine, according to His power 
that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church 
and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations,
Forever and ever! AMEN.

Ephesians 3:17b-21


In the Key of HE,

15 friends shared a comment:

Sherri Ward said...

Powerful stuff!

Joanne Sher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joanne Sher said...

So powerful, and such an incredible reminder of what love is REALLY about - both its depth and sincerity.

Laurie Ann said...

Very powerful post, LauraLee! What’s love got to do with it? Nothing, if we try to love in the flesh. Everything, if it has to do with Him loving through us. Amen! Sing it, sistah!

The Surrendered Scribe said...

You are going to "love" the timing here, but I have a blog award for you. You can find it at the Scribe, Sunday, 2/8, titled, "Isn't it Lovely?"

Thank you for sharing your heart 100% in every single post.

lori said...

one word....WOWZER!
I occasionally print some off for future use and GIRLFRIEND THIS is one of them...

drats, I wish you lived nextdoor!

lori

Yvonne said...

We don't really know "love" like we should...not even in the best relationships, do we?

Thanks for this--lots to think about!

Josh said...

You made an excellent point that we cannot love others unless we first love God. Like 1st John 4:8 says...

He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

Such a simple verse, and yet it is vital that we understand what it is saying. If God IS love, then if we don't know God then we don't know love either.

This is a topic I have been thinking a lot about lately. So glad you decided to talk about it.

Denise said...

Awesome, awesome my friend.

Beth in NC said...

Great post LauraLee! Love is the only thing holding this world together. God's precious love.

Bless you!
Beth

Laury said...

I feel a tiny bit of what God's love is like through my friends. It reminds me how much more God loves me. That is awesome. Thank you for sharing, Laura

Debra said...

Good morning! I loved the way you wrapped this up with the Ephesians scripture. This is the scripture verse I wrote to my daughter on her graduation day. It is the verse I pray over her each day. For I understand if she can grasp hold of it...it will change her life. To grasp hold of God's love for us brings us to our knees with a changed heart and love for Him and others like nothing else can.

Beautiful post, my friend.

Runner Mom said...

Loving others through Christ...this so spoke to my heart! This post was great! I "loved " it!! No, you've really hit the nail on the head with how loosely we do tend to throw the "L" word around. Thanks so much!
Hugs,
Susan

Betsy Markman said...

I'm with you. Can't comprehend that love, but sure want to know more of it!

Thanks for this post!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Love.

The compelling love of Jesus Christ. Chambers would argue that few us ever get to the place of such a true identification with Jesus Christ so that everything we do is motivated soley by and based upon Christ's love for humanity.

You're right. We can't do it on our own. Best interest kind of love only comes through the power and infilling of the Holy Spirit. One of the most consistent prayers of my heart over the past couple of years is to love more...the way that Jesus loved.

I'm afraid that on my best day, it's all about me. God has been faithful to honor my prayers but has also required that I do better at attending to his feet. The more I know him, the more I want to love like him.

Great thoughts, LauraLee. Especially during "love" week.

peace~elaine