Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What is love?

Well...another love affair has ended. I finished the recent book that I have been reading. Grace is for Sinners by Serena Woods. You all know by now, that I am a lover of books. I love, love, love to read! If you have ever poked around on my blog site, then maybe you have come across the tab that reads "Tammy's Library". At the top of the page of my library, I have this quote: The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it.--James Bryce I don't think that a book should necessarily shake you from what you already believe to be true about the Gospel. But, I do think that there should never be a time where you don't want to learn more. If we find contentment in our walk with God, then we stop growing. I want to grow every minute while on this earth with God. When I can walk away from a book, and "carry away from it" something new, that will help me grow more in Christ, then that's a book well worth the read. Grace is for Sinners, was at times hard to swallow. There were times, when I would simply pause while reading, thinking about a paragraph or sentence I had just read, allowing it to soak into my mind and ferment for a while. Other times, I had to place the book in my lap, place my hands over my face, and let the tears flow. My pride was broken at times while reading the book. I was convicted at times through the book. I was brought to the edge of myself within the book. I needed that. The edge of yourself is where your flesh meets your spirit...and you find out who the stronger is of the two. I'm slowly losing myself...but that's a good thing. I thought I knew what love was. I experience it every day through the relationship I have with my husband, my children, my family and some very close friends. I thought I knew what God's love was. I came to realize within the pages of this book, that I don't. I only know 1%, and that's probably an exaggeration for the better, because God's love is so much more powerful than my mind can even begin to comprehend. I am ashamed to say, that the love I want to receive from God, is the love I do not give others. Of course...I can't possibly begin to love the way He loves me...the way He loves us. I thought I knew...I had no clue. I thought I knew how to love the way He expects me to...I didn't. I'm learning. When I began to realize that the love that I have been sharing doesn't measure up, to what I know God wants me to show...I began some serious soul searching. It's funny how you can hear something taught to you for years and years, and then one day...you hear it in a way that you never heard before...and you get that "Ahaa" moment. Then...you get it...you just get it. I've realized somewhere in the midst of this book, that the love that I have been giving is mediocre. It's peanuts compared to what God really wants me to show. I've said in my blogs on more than one occassion that "Love wins every time. Love is always enough." Yet...at the same time...my actions are screaming something else, and it's not love. I can't possibly love the way my Father loves me. God is love. He loved so much that He gave His son to all of us. (John 3:16) And that means He gave Jesus to us to keep! So that we can have Him in our hearts everywhere we go, with us twenty four/seven. I have given my weaknesses to God. I've given my worries to God. I've given a family member to God. I always seem to take it or them back thinking I can do a better job. Am I showing love towards God by not trusting Him...or am I showing Him that He is not worthy. I want to love like my Father wants me to. I want to show Him that He is worthy of all praise and honor...ALL. Somewhere along the way, I have told myself that "love" is only a noun. Love is so much more. Love is an action verb. It requires our action. I can give love to someone, but how am I applying love to my actions? I've placed certain people within a circle of love, trying to keep out those that I don't find worthy enough to receive it. I've done that alot in my life. I kept my love from my own mother to somehow punish her and force her to beg for my forgiveness. Mom is gone now. I would give anything to have her back and be able to show her the love I should have then. Love is not a present that we should give for good behavior. God gives us undeserving Grace everyday. Yet we hold our love back to those we feel undeserving of it. Love is. Love is free for all who will accept it...and His name is Jesus. Did God say only the good behaviored people get to accept Jesus or did He say, "All who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." By holding back our love, we are playing God in our own lives and not at all giving it or showing it like He instructed us to. I John 4:8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is Love. I Corinthians 13--- Love is: Patient and Kind Not envy, not boastful, not proud (jealous, bragging) Not rude and never self-seeking (loving words and thoughts, not putting ourselves first) Not easily angered (slow to get angry) Keeps no records of wrongs (does not keep score, forgiving) Does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth (does not gossip, walks in peace with others) Always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres LOVE NEVER FAILS! (Love wins every time) I Peter 4:8 Above all, love eachother deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. I John 3:14 The way we know we've been transferred from death to life is that we love our brothers and sisters. Anyone who doesn't love is as good as dead.

Dear God...

Help us to walk in love. Shut our mouths when they are opened to give criticism or judgement upon someone. Help us to pour out your love to each person we come in contact with no matter of their background, present circumstance, gender, race, profession or faith. Give us the desire to love like You do in all things. Forgive us for coming anywhere short of that.

In Jesus' name...Amen.

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