From the SharpenHer archives…
I originally posted the following in 2011. In light of the current teaching series at Mountain Lake called Be Mine, I thought it was worth a repost. Enjoy!
A couple of days ago, I started a new Bible reading plan using YouVersion on my iPhone. It’s called, “What Is Love?” February is the month of love, so I figured it would be a good fit.
The plan is very elementary – just one verse and a couple of questions to ask yourself – but, don’t let that fool you. If you take time to reflect on the questions and apply the answers to your heart, you’ll find that this “elementary” plan is quite deep. Let me give you an example.
Day one began with the world’s most recognized verse on love, John 3:16.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”
Have you ever thought about what this verse really means? Go a little further than the obvious promise of Heaven for those who believe in Jesus. Take note of what this verse reveals about the extent of God’s love for all of us.
1. He loved the world in spite of our sins, failures, betrayal, and unrighteousness. He didn’t wait for us to “earn” His love. He freely gave it.
2. He loved us to the point of sacrifice. Loving us cost God greatly.
3. His love is available to everyone. That means everyone.
4. He was willing to get out of His comfort zone (by leaving Heaven) to reach out to us.
5. By His love, we are offered a gift we don’t deserve – eternal life with Him.
6. Finally, He is our model. He is our example of how to love others:
*in spite of their shortcomings
*even if it costs us something
*even when we’re uncomfortable
*even when others don’t deserve it
Let those truths sink in a bit. His love is astounding, isn’t it? So, while the world around us is busy with Hallmark cards and boxes of chocolate this month, take a moment to think about what real love is. God set the standard for all love relationships when He first loved us. Here’s the standard: when you love someone dearly, you are willing to give freely, to the point of sacrifice. Can you measure your love by that standard?
Thank God He modeled the way for us. Now, get out there, Believers, and show the world what real love looks like!