This week we kick off a brand new series, Love Is…. February is traditionally the love month since Valentine’s Day falls squarely in the middle of the month.
As we begin a new series, we need to start at the beginning – the foundation of love – God’s love. In fact, God is love.
I love you. The words so many people long to hear. Over the years, couples have shared these words before going off to war, returning from a long journey, in everyday use, and the list continues.
If you have kids, what do you tell your kids each day – yep, you guessed it – I love you.
As parents, you want your kids to know how much you value them and love them. As couples, you say “I love you” as an expression of your love.
This is what God wants you to know. He wants you to know you are loved. In fact, his love extends further than we could imagine.
When he hung on the cross, His arms were outstretched, His hands wide open – His death demonstrated His love for you and me.
Our world is anything but peaceful right now. It breaks His heart to see His creation fighting against each other. When He created us, He did so out of love.
We may push God aside or say He doesn’t exist, but He is never far from us.
The pandemic has claimed over 2.2 million lives during the past year. Each death breaks the heart of God because that is His creation.
His heart breaks for the families of those who have lost these loved ones. Death was never meant to be part of the picture, but sin changed all of that, and that is why God sent His Son Jesus to redeem us on a cross.
My parents recently shared a story of a young middle schooler who was invited to church by a friend one evening during this pandemic.
That night, this young middle schooler had an encounter with the loving Jesus, accepted Him, and gave her life to Him. She later shared that if that friend had not invited her to church that evening, she was going to commit suicide.
Jesus loves each one of us.
I can’t tell you why some people die, and others live during this pandemic time. Only God knows.
But His love is available to all who call out to Him. His arms are outstretched to wrap us in His grace, mercy, and love.
Let the words of 1 John ring in your hearts,
”We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.” — 1 John 4:16
Since God is love, we have the utmost confidence that God lives in us from the moment we place our faith and trust in Him.
In these tough and challenging times, our lives may have been ruled by fear, but 1 John gives us hope. It says,
”Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear.” — 1 John 4:18
We should have a reverent fear of God, not a scared fear of our Heavenly Father. Since God is love, fear does not exist in God’s repertoire.
Love, His good and perfect love, casts all worry and anxiety and fear to the curb. And we can live daily in that assurance.
How do we show love to other people?
Love can take many forms – listening, writing a text, sending a quick video, calling someone, writing a note, doing something unexpected, or whatever comes to mind.
This week, I encourage you to show love to someone in your life at an unexpected time. Listen for God’s prompting, and then act on it.
God’s timing is never wrong, and I have found that when He prompts, it’s for a specific purpose, and He is asking you and me to act upon it.
Never forget that you are precious to Your Heavenly Father – He loves you, and there is only one you in this world.
Lord, thank you for the day you have given us. Thank you for your love that casts all fear aside. Today and this week, give me a gentle reminder of your love when I need it most, and use me to spread your love. Thank you for your sacrifice on the cross for me. Amen!