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22 April -What love is!

“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction we are loved”.

The world has a view of love which is understood to be: an intense felling of deep affection or fondness for a person or thing. A great liking. This meaning is taken from the Latin and Greek words – eros and amore’. It is speaking essentially of a love of the worthy.

Love is also mentioned 735 times in the Bible. The word love in the bible has however a different definition. It is when someone is loved no matter what, even if totally unworthy!

1 John 3:16 explains love this way, “This is how we know what love is. Jesus Christ laid down his life for us”.

If we speak of God, of His greatness, His power, His righteousness, but omit to say He is Love we omit that which matters most of all!

He is Love, and the most important thing, is for us to know that love. God encourages us to earnestly pursue and seek to know this love, to make it our aim and our greatest quest. (1 Corinthians 14:1)

It’s a love which holds nothing back, a love which is always giving, a love which overlooks cultural, economic and class boundaries, a love demonstration in action when Jesus gave His life for all mankind on a wooden cross.

Look for yourself at Jesus as He loves the women who was sentenced to death for adultery (John 8:3-11), or the raising from the dead, and back to life of the only son of a widow (Luke 7:11-15), of the acceptance of Zaccheus, the despised thieving little man (Luke 19:2-10), or of the demon possessed, tormented man who lived in the cemetery, who Jesus loved and freed to live a new life (Mark 5:2).

Jesus is the same yesterday, and today and forever. How he loved then, is still how he loves now. It doesn’t matter if you think yourself invisible to everyone else, He still sees you. It doesn’t matter what you have or haven’t done, how successful you are, or if you feel a complete failure. It matters not! Jesus loves you.

“Love was demonstrated to us in this, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”.(Romans 5:8)

The world’s “love system” says you are lovable if you are worthy in some way; if you deserve to be loved, if you are good enough, successful enough, and are someone others aspire to be; then you are worthy of loving. But if you are broken, ugly, or bitter and twisted; if you are unpopular, or even invisible to others then who would bother loving you?

I say that the world’s love system is failing, it is messed up, and it is messing people up. Both the rich and the poor, the popular and the invisible. The successful and the not so successful. The world’s love is not enough. It is second best, and flawed and unable to make us whole.

But God’s “love system” is fully intact and transforming. If we believe that, or we desperately want that type of love, we have a decision to make. Which love will we seek after and earnestly long to know with all our hearts?

I’m not talking about just a head knowledge of love; of a “Oh yes, Jesus Loves me”.  But a deep, transforming knowledge and peace that regardless of what you do or how you perform, you know you are deeply loved.

Jesus says you can know that kind of love. He says “You will find me if you seek me, when you search for me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13).

May you seek to know and live in this love; and in knowing will you have the power to understand how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is, that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:18-19)

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