Live From Love

As we move on from the well-known “month of love” and onto the rest of the year, we should remember that love wasn’t ever meant to be celebrated just one month or one day.  When we know how much our God truly loves us, we can live from a position of being loved, allowing this love to pour out from us onto those in our lives. It’s a love that fills us until we overflow into those around us. We were never meant to go out and find love, look to people to love us, accept us, and tell us we are good enough. Rather, we were always meant to return to our Maker’s lap again and again while he reassures us how precious we really are to him. Someone who knows that, I mean really knows it, doesn’t need anything from others. They can simply give. 

God- you’re my God! I can’t get enough of you!
I’ve worked up such a hunger and thirst for God,
traveling across dry and weary deserts.

So here I am in the place of worship,
eyes open, drinking in your strength and glory.
In your generous love I am really living at last!
My lips brim praises like fountains.
I bless you every time I take a breath;
My arms wave like banners of praise to you.

I eat my fill of prime rib and gravy: I smack my lips.
It’s time to shout praises!
If I’m sleepless at midnight, I spend the hours in grateful reflection.
Because you’ve always stood up for me,
I’m free to run and play.
I hold on to you for dear life,
and you hold me steady as a post.
— Psalm 63:1-8 The Message

Now that sounds like someone who was pretty full of God, but David didn't just praise him while he was king. If you notice at the beginning of this Psalm, it says A David Psalm, When He Was out in the Judean Wilderness. He was in the wilderness running for his life and he still filled himself with God. I believe this is one of the reasons he was so influential as King. God could trust him to love his people well because he was so full of God's love for him. 

Now, not all of us will be in charge of a nation, but we all have people that God has strategically placed in our life for us to love through him. Most of us want God to give us more influence and status among people, but we miss the very ones he's already given to us. When we're faithful in the little, we will be made faithful over much (Luke 16:10) and God isn't going to give you more of his children if your abusing and misusing the ones in your life now. He is a loving father and we are made in his likeness. 

Moving forward into the rest of this year, let's keep this concept of "love" on the forefront of our minds. Only when we sit at our Master's feet will we be filled with the very love this world so desperately needs. An empty vessel cannot fill anyone and we daily need to get refilled so we have something to give to people, without needing them to fill us in return. Only then can God truly use us to bring His fullness into the people around us. 

With This Ring...

"You may now kiss the bride..." 

Fairytales are great at helping us get together, but what happens after the vows are made, after the cakes been cut, after toasts are given, and after he kisses the bride? It's so easy to get wrapped up in the planning and preparations, the one you love and the beauty of the day, but the love we feel has to be a decision and not just an emotion; one that starts it's own story shortly following happily ever after. 

We've all heard it many times before, often recited at weddings, love is patient, love is kind. But it seemed to hit me in a different sort of way when I read these verses in The Message. 

 

Love never gives up. 

Love cares more for others than self. 

Love doesn't want what it doesn't have. 

Love doesn't strut, 

Doesn't have a swelled head, 

Doesn't force itself on others, 

Isn't always "me first,"

Doesn't fly off the handle, 

Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,

Doesn't revel when others grovel,

Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, 

Puts up with anything, 

Trusts God always, 

Always looks for the best, 

Never looks back, 

But keeps going to the end. 

Love never dies... 

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 

 

Oh... so that's what I was agreeing to when I recited my vows in front almost everyone I knew. It's easy to love people when they act lovely; we usually don't even need to decide to love, it's just our naturally reaction. We're so used to a conditional love- I'll act loving towards you when you start acting loving towards me- be what we're not so practiced at is actively loving people when they're not so lovely, especially our spouse. 

It says in the bible that without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6) and I truly believe that it takes faith to step out in love towards someone when you don't feel like it. You have to take your trust off of yourself and out of the comfort zone that you've created, and put it into God's love for you. So that even when it's not reciprocated right away, or ever, your heart can stay at rest. 

Reading the verses above, it becomes more clear to me how our emotions can get us into so much trouble. I feel hurt, I feel wronged, what if they do it again, what if it's not enough, what if I'm not enough? Lies and fears keep us trapped in our emotional state, holding us back from acting on truth, which will in turn set us free from our negative emotions. Anytime you step out in faith, God will always meet you there. He's not in the boat after all, He's out on the water, waiting to see if you'll trust Him for something so much greater to happen in your life. 

Now when I look at my ring, I'll think Him and what He wants me to do and how He wants me to act. Making the decision to love time and time again will open up your life for so much more. We were never meant to live small lives, but rather lives that were so big and expansive that they immediately put to rest not only our own fears, but the fears of others. 

And that's how they would live happily ever after... well, sort of