As my first blog entry I would like to share something I wrote months after my encounter in 2016. I’ve written few entries over the last couple years. I have learned a lot over this time. As I read things I wrong in the beginning I can see how I’ve continued to learn and grow. Somethings I wrote aren’t things I would necessarily write today because I continue to see things clearer and understand things better, but sharing some of my old writings will help me “improve” the perspective. A few weeks ago the Holy Spirit led me to share my testimony. It was a bit scary for me, but the words were clear: “It’s time.” So, I listened and co-labored. It’s time is a multi-faceted phrase from Holy Spirit to me. That’s why we are here…because it’s time. So, without further adieu, here is my first entry: In love with Love Himself
In Love with Love Himself
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
I don’t know about you, but I spent most of my life questioning whether the kind of love being spelled out in 1 Corinthians 13 existed. Of course I know that God’s love is perfect and this passage describes His love. However, over and over in the Bible including the New Testament we are COMMANDED to Love God and Love People.
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ on These two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-39 (Mark 12:29-31)
Talk about feeling like a failure. If love is all those things described in 1 Corinthians and I’m supposed to love God AND people like that then I was failing tremendously. I’ve been a christian my whole life and never really believed in that part of the Scriptures, other than God was that kind of love. To me, it didn’t exist on this earth. It wasn’t possible and as a result I was failing at living out the greatest commandment left to the disciples of Christ. Now that I look back, it negatively impacted my relationship with Jesus and all those around me. I never felt capable of such love nor did I see it around me. Maybe I’m the only one who ever felt this way, but I have the feeling I’m not.
I’ve known Jesus since I was 5 and I accepted Him as my Lord and Savior and was baptized in water and the Spirit at the age of 12, but only now at the age of 35 can I say that I am in love with Love Himself. The description of love in 1 Corinthians can exist and does exist. The problem was that I never truly loved before. Sure, I loved my parents and my brother. I’ve loved family and friends all these years. My love, however, was conditional, limiting, and selfish…very selfish. I had expectations of others and myself that prohibited me from being loved and loving fully.
I was so dependent on my own abilities that I was never able to tap into the Love of God. We can only have this perfect love if we know and follow the Lord. God is Love, so He is the only person who can truly teach us how to love. We can only experience this perfect love through Him. That was where I was getting it wrong. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was limiting love to an earthly emotion. Love, however, is NOT of this world. It taps into all aspects of our being – body, mind, soul, and spirit. So to truly experience perfect love, God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit must be a part of the equation. God gave His only Son to redeem us (John 3:16). Jesus gave His own life to heal, forgive, and save us (John 19:17 – 2-:10). He conquered death and is alive today interceding for us at the right hand of the Father (Romans 8:34). The Holy Spirit came to abide in us; to help, comfort, bring peace, teach, and empower (John 14:16, 26-28, John 20:21-23, Acts 1:8). What greater love is there than all of this?
If love was just a simple emotion limited to us here on Earth, we wouldn’t see such anguish and pain resulting from bad relationships. But love is so deeply rooted into our ENTIRE being. We were formed and created by and in Love (aka God). God created us in His image and God is love, so to limit it to a basic emotion is oversimplifying it’s true value, importance, and impact. The reason we don’t love and experience the kind of love we read about in 1 Corinthians 13 is because we aren’t living in Love (aka God). We aren’t living like Christ. We are not allowing the Holy Spirit to work in and through us.
My relationship with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit were lacking in so many ways…and for most of my life this was the case. It was hard for my pride and ego to admit that I wasn’t truly living the kind of life that Jesus promised me because I wasn’t completely devoted and in love with Him.
When you love selflessly without expecting anything in return, you are loving as Jesus loved. The scales and lies will begin to fall from your eyes and we suddenly realize that God was ALWAYS there, even in our darkest hours. When we ignored Him and pushed Him away, He was still loving us. Even as “free will” prevailed and we chose not to listen to Him, he still moved to protect us. We’re still alive, aren’t we? That’s God’s protection.
Whether you’ve been a christian your whole life, for a few months, or aren’t at all, and you, like me, just can’t wrap your head around true and perfect love because you’ve never thought it was possible, I challenge you to ask the Holy Spirit to expose you to it. Help you love and experience Love. That’s what I did and after 30 years of knowing God, I’m finally IN LOVE with LOVE HIMSELF.