I choose to love God…
This was originally posted June 30, 2013 but I wanted to share it again in a 3 part series ;) Let it encourage you!!!
This past week has been one of controversial court decisions and court appearances. One thing I learned from perusing social networks over the last week is that we as Christians have a very long way to go regarding love. This post will not focus on those decisions that were made in the courts but the decision we face daily to love!
In 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 the bible gives a definition of what love is. The NLT version states, Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Being consistent in displaying the characteristics listed above towards all takes great work, care, and commitment. Therefore, I believe that we have to make conscious decisions and efforts to love God, others, and ourselves daily.
1) I choose to love God
It is difficult to comprehend the agape type love that God showers on us because man has not been able to master the
completeness of it. The love many of us have experienced and shown to God, others, and ourselves has been fickle, inconsistent, conditional, and catastrophically hurtful.
It took me going through several challenges and even going back and forth between my relationship with Christ and the world before I decided to love God. I might have said I did but I was nonchalant and apathetic in how I approached our relationship. I knew how to work hard to prove my love to my significant other and even my friends but I didn’t know how to do the same for an invisible God! I didn’t put nearly as much effort into it and to be real honest I didn’t love Him more than the people around me so I didn’t try. (This is a big no, no Exodus 20:3)
As I continued to hear people share how much God loved me and how He showed it I began to realize I could reciprocate that love. This is when I chose to love God more consciously. I chose to love God because He loved me first (1 John 4:19). It was like ok, I’ll give this guy a chance. So I tried to do more like going to church on a weekly basis. Of course you hit a wall at some point when this is all you do but eventually I began to pray, read and actually study the bible on my own and with others. It took me years to get to this point. Now, every so often I find myself saying, woah I thought I loved God before but I love Him more today. This increase in love causes me to not want to do anything to hurt Him, upset Him, or bring shame to His name. Does this mean that I always make perfect decisions and please Him daily? Definitely not! What a liar I would be if I claimed that. I mess up daily. But the point is I am very cognizant of it. My conviction meter is set pretty high, I don't always like that but it does help me in my commitment to Him.
I love God because He loved me first. He created me in His image fearfully and wonderfully and blessed me with every flaw and every strength. He waited patiently as I served Him and the world and then the world exclusively. He loved me, He covered me, He saved me from my destructive behaviors without me even knowing and allowed for me to give others credit (momentarily) without causing a big fight or commotion. There are times I cheat on Him and show Him no love and guess what, He's still there with the same amount of care, concern, and true love as always! I know that because Romans 8 tells me nothing can separate me from His love. He takes all of my poor choices and turns them into something that will benefit his kingdom. And He always accepts my apologies and never uses what I did wrong against me!
God is hard to love when you are still dabbling in things you shouldn't. But when you refocus your life on Him (which can be a difficult feat) He is soooo easy to love...The more time we spend with God the more we learn about His love, the more we learn to love Him, and the greater our ability to serve Him and others becomes.
Continuously build your relationship with Him. I pray that every few months you can look back and say what I continually say, woah I thought I loved God before I love Him more today.
Come back for Part 2 tomorrow: I choose to love myself
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Melanie N. Lee
I just REALLY love Jesus!!!
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