Fully Developed

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Sometimes I wonder what God is trying to say to me, when other times it’s very clear. Seems like the past few days has all been about love, which has made me aware of how much love is lacking in my life. I thought I loved, but I realize that if I don’t love those who aren’t nice to me, I don’t really have the love of the Father fully developed in me.  It’s easy to love those who love you and are nice to you, completely different animal with those who are nasty, say mean things and are just plain unkind.

I Corinthians 13:1-3 says, “I may speak in different languages, whether human or even of angels. But if I don’t have love, I am only a noisy bell or a ringing cymbal.  I may have the gift of prophecy, I may understand all secrets and know everything there is to know, and I may have faith so great that I can move mountains. But even with all this, if I don’t have love, I am nothing.  I may give away everything I have to help others, and I may even give my body as an offering to be burned. But I gain nothing by doing all this if I don’t have love.”

As I finished reading this passage, another story Jesus told came to mind. It’s found in Matthew 25:31-46, I’ll let you read it on your own, but it was his last parable, his parting gift to his followers who had come to see him off. The separation of the sheep and goats, those who were lovers of others, who did all in the name of Love and as unto the Lord, those would inherit eternal life. It’s what’s done in love that matters most. Paul said it. Jesus said it. Love is the only way!

Imagine with me how different our world would be if everyone practiced love. In the day to day things and in the big life things. Going to the grocery store, helping someone find something and placing it in their cart. Buying groceries for a neighbor who the Lord shows you is struggling. There is nothing that opens people up to the gospel like love. I’m not talking conditional love, the love that says, “I’ll be nice to you if you’ll be nice to me!” I’m talking about a love that has no borders or bindings. It can’t be held in a book or a life, it’s just, well, it’s as big as God. The more you give, the larger your capacity to give. Your life becomes rich in ways that money can’t buy. You’re always looking for ways to bless someone around you.

That is a life rich in love and rich in God. Without God, you cannot know love and without love, you cannot truly know God. God loved us so much that He gave, it only makes sense that He would create us to do the same. God is the resource of love we draw from, like our very own bank account. It’s limitless, always ready for withdrawals. The more you love, the more love is available for you. You draw from God and give away, never expecting from others the love you can only get from God.

Oh Father, what great love you have for us. The only way I can love like you is to know that your DNA runs through my blood. I am your daughter, made rich in love because of you. Father, help me to love like you. To know the heights and depths of your love and to be so full of your love that it just naturally overflows to others. Not a dam or reserve. Not a lake or a pond, but a river that flows freely into the lives of all that surround me. May I be known as a giver of love. In Jesus’ Name. Amen

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