He has engulfed me in His love, and I want to love Him back with all my heart, with all my strength, and with all my soul. I want to spend this year reveling in His love for me, reaching out to others with His love. "We love Him because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19
He has been speaking to me about showing His love to others, for I have been slack in this area. I think back to days gone by, when my life really revolved around serving Him, loving Him above all else. Giving of myself, loving others because He commands me to. I asked myself what happened. How could I grow cold over the years? How could I lose my first love?
It makes me sad. To think of me drifting away from my Lord, the One who loves me even when I am so unworthy, so unlovely. To think of me somehow drifting back into the old habits, the old ways, the selfishness that consumed me before He found me, saved me. My heart is breaking thinking about it.
But that is a good thing. A breaking heart means there is still feeling in it. There is still life in it. That it is not so cold, so lifeless, that He cannot revive it. He is drawing me back to Himself. Back to my first love. He is thawing this heart of mine, releasing me from the sin of selfishness that would have me spend my days thinking of me. He is giving me a heart of love. A heart that thinks of others. A heart that thinks of Him. A heart that loves Him.
And in loving Him, he enables me to love others. To love my husband (Titus 2:4), to submit to his leadership
(Ephesians 5:22). To love my children (Titus 2:4), to bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4), to train them up to serve Him (Proverbs 22:6). To love my neighbor as myself (Matthew 22:39).
"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." 1 John 4:7-10
So, thanks to my bloggy friend, Debbie, who prompted us to ask God for a word (and a bible verse) to focus on for the year. And thank God who answered my plea and gave me a word for this year: love. And the scripture passage I will focus on: 1 Corinthians 13 (the love chapter).
Though I speak with tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become as sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
does not rejoice in iniquity,but rejoices in the truth;
bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
For we know in part and we prophesy in part.
But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13