Sometimes we don’t see love. Sometimes we don’t feel love either. A lot of the time, if we search our hearts, we don’t find any love inside of us. At ALL.
Truth be told – we are all-too-often quite deficient in love.
1 Peter 1:22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.
One of the things I am going to work on with the Lord this year is my heart. As I mentioned yesterday, asking for God to purify our hearts and remove the pollutants of “self” out of there and then fill it with the glory of HIM, is absolutely crucial if we are to display the love of Jesus to others. He not only urges us to show that love to our fellow man, but He actually COMMANDS it.
Love is the goal of the Christian life – without it, we are completely lost. We cannot draw close to Christ if we are busy being hateful towards one another.
Hate takes up a lot of room. So does apathy.
I find that I have to look for love – to conjure it up with all my might most of the time. To bypass all the grime and dirt, we have to dig – I need a pretty large shovel, myself. Real love takes action and choice and is not something we should base on just feelings. If we base our actions upon only what we happen to feel that very moment, I fear the population of this planet would dissipate quite rapidly. And, well….I guess we are doing a pretty good job at taking our best shot at that very thing, aren’t we? Hurting one another seems to be the norm these days.
My love is just quite frankly, not sufficient. It doesn’t even score a C- in my opinion. That doesn’t exempt me from being called to show it though. And, according to Jesus, we are to display that love with flying colors!
What I really want is to feel it too. I want to truly feel love deep down in the bottom of my heart when I show it. That will never happen if I continue to rely on MY capacity to show love. For I am completely inadequate – most of us are.
It is only through Christ that we can love the way we are supposed to. Only HE is sufficient – only HE can fill us up with more of Himself to share with others in that loving way he admonishes us about.
1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
You see, friends….love is from GOD – God IS love. It doesn’t come from us at all. Although we are called to love with all our heart and all our soul, if we search for it within self, we will come up empty far too often. This is why there isn’t enough love in our world. Self reliance is a dangerous thing. I fall prey to it far too often.
God’s love IS enough. Ours is not.
9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. John 15: 9-12
When I reflect upon this verse, I see the need to abide in Christ’s love in order to be filled with Him and then be able to show it outwardly to others. We have to start there. We have to start with abiding in Christ and His love for us.
So, here’s the burning question: What does it mean to “abide”?
To accept or submit to
to comply with
to remain faithful to
to withstand, (and yes, even to suffer)
to continue in
To await in expectation
That’s a tall order, isn’t it? Yet Christ tells us we need to do this and all else will flow outward from there.
So not only will I ask God to dump the darkeness of the day out of my heart and refine it and purify it continually, but I will abide in Him and ask for Him to give me a heart refill of His love and goodness as well.
For what good is an empty heart?
We can’t stop there. Just cleansing ourselves is not sufficient for us to be able to go out to the world and reflect the love of Jesus. We have to fill the empty space with HIM.
Make room for Jesus. Then spend time with Him. And your hearts shall be filled to the brim. There will be love ‘a plenty to go around ten times over.
God’s love never runs out. We need not ever run on empty.
Look for HIS love, my friends. Look for HIS love.
But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.