this love

1 John 4:7-8, 11 HCSB
Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God  and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love. Dear friends, if God loved us in this way, we also must love one another.

I love these verses but they also challenge me. In my comings and goings in my life, God is constantly reminding me of what is truly important.

Love the lovable and the unlovable. Make the hard choices and truly live out my life as Jesus did.

You see, these verses ask us to rise to a different level. They don’t just say love is a nice idea or something we should attempt to do but rather, they say that when we do not love we have actually separated ourselves and are acting apart from God. That’s hard core right there.

And that is not at all what I think I should be doing. In my own nature, I want to love the people who fit nicely into my teeny little box marked “comfort zone.”

The truth is, we can go on endlessly living out our days on earth and make almost zero impact. But that won’t ever satisfy the longing in our souls for something more. There is a restlessness about us that won’t ever be satisfied unless we are walking out this relationship with Christ in a real way. {And this is why I bought Jennie Allen’s book “Restless.”}

I’m not sure what that means for you.. but for me, it means feeding the hungry in my area, adopting orphans (yes, we will undoubtedly adopt again), and speaking life to people who are bound up in chains. It means pulling weeds at the local Boys & Girls club when the former owner of my house twitches at what my yard currently looks like and it means putting on a soccer uniform 3 times a week for the next few weeks to be as positive as humanly possible with some kids who are used to hearing negativity.

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is what my version of loving those around me must include.  God has been clear to us about that.

The very first time I fasted, God led me to Genesis 50:20 – “What you planned for evil, God intended for good to accomplish what is now being done,  the saving of many lives.”  Let me tell you, there is nothing incredibly special about me that many should find freedom in Jesus other than the fact that I’ve tasted freedom in Jesus and I know it needs to be shared! I see what it is to live on the other side and I am not satisfied if I am not able to share Jesus with those around me.

For me,  sharing Jesus looks a lot like finding practical needs and meeting them. That is how I love those around me… even when they don’t “deserve” it. And let me tell you,  I don’t deserve the lavish love God gives me but I’m thankful He gives it anyway so me being picky with whom I serve is NOT an option.

What does this love look like for you? How is God calling you to love those around you? 


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