The Way of Love
L O V E. A four letter word that holds more weight and power than most words. The older I get and the more I grow in God, the more I learn that relationships (marriage, friendships, family, etc) always only ever come back to love.
A few weeks ago I shared my journey of “exuding love” but this month I want to focus on three keys you MUST know about ‘the way of love’ found in Matthew 22:36-40(NIV).
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.
1. You are deeply, vastly, greatly, incredibly LOVED.
When you know His great love for you, the natural response is to return love. God is love. He is the creator of love and He built us to love and be loved. We were made for love, first and foremost with our Creator, then with those around us.
1 John 4:9-11 “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
1 John 4:19 “We love because he first loved us.”
Understanding God’s love has changed me. It has changed the way I view His heart and the way I view myself before Him and others. When I grasped God’s deep love for me, something internally shifted. I could start to see myself in a different light. I saw how loved, accepted and forgiven I was and started living from that place. Before, I lived out of fear, always striving and trying to please the Lord with my actions.
2. You must love YOURSELF!
Notice how the greatest commandment we have specifically stated: “love thy neighbor AS yourself.” That means YOU matter. YOU must know love for yourself before you can truly extend that love to others. Sometimes (I know I am guilty of this) we can get caught up in serving others, and think “it’s not about me” but in actuality, it’s very much about you! God created YOU, He chose YOU, He knew YOU before you were in your mother’s womb. He loves YOU and wants a relationship with YOU just as much as anyone else. YOU are worthy of His love and YOU can love yourself! The world actually needs you to. It’s only then you truly love your neighbor with Christ-like love.
What does loving yourself look like? It means you are secure in who God created you to be. You speak and think well of yourself. You make wise choices, boundaries, and decisions that bring health to your life. You understand that you are human with faults but have a God who is full of mercy and grace. You must think on, believe, and rest in knowing that you are so loved by your Heavenly Father.
3. Loving others is an overflow of “living loved.”
After you know that you are loved by God and love yourself, you then can extend that same beautiful love to others. This love is not the love you have been shown through parents, people, etc. This is the Christ-like love. The kind that comes from a relationship with the Creator of love. This is the kind of love I believe Jesus was talking about in Matthew 22:36-40. This love is an extension of His heart to His people.
This February and beyond, I want to encourage you to seek this way of love. Seek the love of the Lord over your life. Seek the love you can have for yourself. Seek to love those around you.
P.S. Galentines Day is on Monday, Feb 13th! Whether you are single, dating or married – make sure you show love to the gals in your life! We all need a little reminder of how loved we really are!