A LOVE THAT COVERS

 

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
 
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
doesn’t have a swelled head,
doesn’t force itself on others,
isn’t always “me first,”
doesn’t fly off the handle,
doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
doesn’t revel when others grovel,
takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
puts up with anything,
trusts God always,
always looks for the best,
never looks back,
but keeps going to the end. 
…GOD IS LOVE, and His love has not only covered a multitude of sins, but God’s amazing love redeems, transforms, heals, restores, protects, disciplines, frees us, and empowers us to give love to others.

The reason God’s love is so amazing is that even when we are unlovable, doing our own thing, don’t even desire to know Him, or much less, follow His ways, He still loves us.  He sees us – the condition of our hearts, our wrong thoughts, motives, attitudes, our unforgiveness, and bitterness, and He still loves us.  He sees our brokenness, our wounds, our anger, and He desires to heal and deliver us, but He won’t force Himself on us.  He loves us enough to give us the choice to choose to love Him back or not.  We have to put aside our pride, and fully surrender ourselves before Him to receive His healing love, His mercy, His grace, and the peace, comfort and joy that then follows. He clearly demonstrated how much He loves us by sending Jesus to pay a debt we owe but could never pay in order that we might be in a love relationship with Him.  He continuously pursues us and forgives us with arms wide open.  Again, amazing love, because even when we don’t love Jesus, He loves us.  Even when we don’t desire to be a student or follower of His Word, He loves us.  Even though we can never repay all that He has done for us, He loves us.  Even though we don’t desire to know Him more intimately, He loves us.  Even though we can never measure up or perform enough to be deserving of His love, He loves us.  Even though we set Him aside as our “first love” and give other people or things first place, He still loves us. Oh how He loves us!  His faithful love endures forever!
When God’s love is fully alive in our hearts, and we are secure In His amazing and never ending love for us, we can freely love others too.
We were created to be in a love relationship with God, and when we don’t have this love relationship (which is the opposite of head knowledge or ritualistic, religious tradition), we search for something else to fill that void.  We see this everywhere today – so many hearts in need of God’s love – to really understand His love and experience it.  As children, most of us were taught the familiar hymn, “Jesus loves me, this I know…” and, although we may still be able to recite the words and acknowledge we believe this, it is very apparent by the way we live our lives and the choices we make that a lot of us do not “know” His love.  Many of us have been seduced to follow after a lot of other loves of this world, and have fallen into the traps of counterfeits and compromises. Like the old song says, many appear to be “looking for love in all the wrong places.” 
Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.  God has given us the greatest gift – the gift of Himself.  God is love. Have you unwrapped the gift of His love?  He is our Bridegroom and He desires us to be His bride. Are you experiencing His love?  How can we experience God’s love?
Spend time with God.  Spending time with someone strengthens the relationship and is the path to intimacy (just as the relationship between a married couple).  We spend time with God in several ways:
❤️by drawing close to God in worship (focus your undivided attention on Him and no one else, and this is how we experience God’s presence – yes, difficult in our fast paced, media driven, overly committed and busy society, but exactly the point of why this is so needed and often why so many of us are not close to God),
❤️by talking openly and honestly to Him in prayer, listening to Him in stillness and waiting to hear what His Spirit is saying (which will never contradict scripture),
❤️by learning what He is like and what He desires through a regular diet of His Word (reading, studying, meditating, listening to and following His Word and, yes, The Bible has the answers, wisdom, and guidance for every facet of life above The View, The Secret, etc. etc.), and
❤️by fellowshipping with other brothers and sisters in Christ (His church – the body of Jesus here in the earth), which is something God has said is both good and necessary for stirring up our love for one another and spiritual growth.
Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with Him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us, but to give everything of Himself to us. Love like that.
Does this sound radical?  Radical means rooted or being rooted and grounded into something – a belief, etc.  When we are rooted and grounded in God’s love and know we are loved by our Heavenly Father (“Abba” Daddy) unconditionally, we desire to radically love Him back.
Love each other as I have loved you.  This is how everyone will know you are My beloved son or daughter, and are following what I have taught you. (my paraphrase of Jesus’ quote in John 13). 
There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. This is what Jesus did for all of us when he willingly laid his life down on the cross as the payment for our sin.  (John 15:13)
❤️May we set You Lord as a seal upon our hearts. ❤️ Your love is stronger than death.  Many waters cannot quench Your love and nothing can ever separate us from Your love.❤️
❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
YOU ARE LOVED WITH AN EVERLASTING LOVE!
Paraphrase of Prayer in Ephesians 3:
May the love of Jesus take up permanent residence in our hearts.  May we experience the security Your love brings us, and really know the great depths of Your love, which far transcends knowledge, and be filled with all the power of Your Spirit by Your love.  May we experience more of Your amazing love Lord, and may Your love overflow from our hearts to everyone around us.
#love #amazinglove #everlastinglove #loveneverfails #loveGodlovepeople #1Corinthians13 #Jesuslovesme #Jesuslovesyou #Godislove #happyvalentinesday
References:  1 Corinthians 13; 1 John 2:15-17; 4:8, 19-21; 1 Samuel 16:7; Psalm 136; Proverbs 24:12; John 3:16-17; 13:34-35; 14:15; Romans 3:23; 5:5,8; 6:23; 8:15, 37-39; 1 Peter 4:8; James 4:8; Hebrews 10:24-25; Ephesians 3:16-19; 4:11-16; 5:1-2; Song of Solomon 8:6-8; Revelation 2:4; 22:17
(Photo courtesy of Jeanna Sumners & students at Dance & Performing Arts Company)
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