Undying Love For You

Thanks Christina for this awesome pic from Mugs & Muffins!
Thanks Christina for this awesome pic from Mugs & Muffins!

WOW!  What an amazing conversation we had at Mugs & Muffins a few weeks ago.  There is nothing like being there in person, but I just wanted to share a little bit of our conversation with you in case you missed it.

Our theme for Mugs & Muffins was True Love.

We began our time together looking at a few verses in I John 4.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him….18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 

We also looked at I John 3:16

16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

Then we flipped over to passage many of us have heard at wedding over the course of our lives:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. {I Corinthians 13:4-8a}

Finally, here is what we did.  We took what we learned from I John 3 & 4 and applied it I Corinthians 13.  It looks like this:

God is love.

Perfect Love drives out fear.

Jesus demonstrated love for us by dying for us.

We should love others with the same love Jesus gives us.

With this framework in mind, we walked through each of the attributes described in the I Corinthians passage and talked about how fear might keep us from living out the love of Jesus in each of these ways.

For example, we asked, why/how could fear tell us it is okay to keep a record of wrong?

To which we responded: To protect ourselves – we fear the act being repeated.  NO ONE wants to be hurt repeatedly.  We want to protect ourselves from being hurt.  So we keep a list of wrongs to throw at the ones we love in times of stress in an effort to protect our hearts.  The problem is, this isn’t how Jesus loved.

{PLEASE HEAR ME. IF YOU ARE IN AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP SEEK HELP IMMEDIATELY! JESUS IS NOT SAYING FORGIVE AND TAKE ABUSE. For the sake of this blog, we are not talking about abusive wrongs, we are talking about the sin that penetrates all human relationships.}

Jesus does not love us while keeping a record of wrongs.  He also did not ignore the sin in our lives.  This is fine balance.  To ignore the sin in our lives, would have meant that He would not have had to die because He would have recognized the consequence of sin in our lives.  To keep a record of wrong, Jesus would have not died either because He would have known that we would be repeat offenders of sin.  Instead, He looked at us through the eyes of LOVE.  And He acknowledged the ugliness of our sin, black of our souls, and he laid down on that wooden cross and DIED so that those awful sins could be forgiven.  He died so that He could pursue an intimate relationship with us.  One where He refines us, so that those ugly sins become part of our past, and we can walk in the newness of life with HIM!

This is what Easter is about.

As we walked through each of the attributes of the I Corinthians passage we challenged ourselves to over come the fear that is holding us back from loving others the way that Jesus loves you and me.  This can ONLY be done through the life that Jesus gives us when we surrender every part of our heart and soul to Him.  It can not be accomplished in our own strength.

I am so thankful for the Holy Spirit who continues to teach me and refine me.

I am challenged today to be more like Jesus.  To love unselfishly, without expecting anything in return.

What is my motive?

To love people the way Jesus did.

If you need some inspiration for the Holy Week, take I Corinthians 13:4-8 and spend time this week asking God how Jesus demonstrated each of these attributes, and how you can live them out through the power that lives in you!

If you want to read more about the Easter story, click here.

I've been a follower of Jesus for over 30 years, and have been teaching God's Word to students and women for nearly 20 years! God has brought me through some difficult chapters in my own life, and now my passion is equipping women like you with tools to embrace your own unexpected chapters in life with grace and truth.

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