In Pursuit of Love
For a few months, I have been studying love. I was reminded on Sunday when Peter spoke on that very topic. I started thinking more about it when reading a book given to my husband and me about near death experiences. I don’t place a lot of stock in such books, but I felt I needed to read some of it out of respect for the person who gave it to us. The point that hit me in this book was that two of the people who had experiences reported that upon seeing Jesus, he asked, “What have you done to show my love?” That impacted me, and I began to read Bible passages about love again. Maybe all this was God’s response to me asking Him to give me more love for Him and others.
It is very clear in scripture that love is crucial to the Christian life. I pulled out a study book I purchased called Loving Like Jesus. It said that many people ask God for the gifts of God, but not the love that gives gifts their power to minister. I have been one to ask for gifts in the past, even recent past, without giving thought to the love that is necessary to make them worthwhile. I’ve made both those requests, for gifting and for more love, but had not connected the two or asked for love ahead of gifts. That is what I am doing now, trying to refocus on growing in love because my desire is to make an impact for the Kingdom. “My spirit is very willing, but my flesh is very weak.”
I have been taking more time to listen to the Lord and ask for His direction in this area. One sporadic ministry that has come from these “listening times” is His direction to send cards with a specific “word” I feel God has given me for that a person. It seems like a small thing to me, but with God there are no small things. I have been blessed, and confirmed by God, in this card ministry by hearing feedback from some of the recipients. I have heard comments like, “Your card was so encouraging to me,” or “The timing of that word was perfect. It was just what I needed today.” So I know God is speaking to me during my quiet times with Him, and using me to pass on His love.
While re-reading a book by Jonathan Welton called The School of the Seers, I gained more insight about love. He emphasized that love is the most important part of a Christian’s life. 1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” I’ve read that passage so many times yet never realized what the author pointed out…love is greater than faith!! Paul tells us that whatever we do, if it’s done without love it is worthless.
This author also points out that because God dwells in Christians, and God is love, we don’t need to ask for God to fill us with love. We’re already filled with His love. We need to put it into practice. As we do, it will grow and develop. Remember the phrase, “Love isn’t love ‘til you give it away?” That’s really true. God said to the church at Ephesus in Revelation 2:4-5, “…You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.” Love was equated with action.
I know from my journey, my pursuit of love, that seeing a person through God’s eyes, (as loved and valued) does not come naturally to me. It is so easy to automatically judge people from what I see on the outside. But I am working on that. God has put His love in me, and I am beginning to choose to use it. As I show love in the deeds I do, the attitude I have, and the words I say, God’s love becomes greater in me. I expect that the more I use God’s love, the more natural it will be for me. Then, I will be able to effectively use the gifts God has given me, and He will entrust me with even more.