What is love? What is love? I asked God as I sat on a stack of skids waiting for a load to be brought to the shrink wrap machine. I couldn’t stop thinking and asking God what love was. Then it came. I felt like He said to me, “Love isn’t just a word, it’s an action.” He then led me to this scripture.
Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. 1 John 3:18, 19 (NLT)
What is love? It is an action. Can you love? Can I love?
When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, His reply was:
“You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second one is equally as important: Love your neighbor as yourself. The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.(Matthew 22:37-40 [NLT])
Every time I’ve read this scripture there has been one sentence that has stuck out to me: Love your neighbor as yourself. A question that has always followed in my mind was, what if you don’t love yourself? How are you supposed to love your neighbor or even understand how to love your neighbor?
So many of us struggle to love ourselves. We have low self-esteem, we struggle with our image. Do we even measure up to the standards this world seems to hold? Why can’t I be skinny? Why can’t I be just a few inches taller? Why am I not gifted like this person in music, in art, in business, in mechanics, in government? And the list goes on.
My dear brothers and sisters, let me share something with you. God is love. In the beginning He created man in His image for companionship. When you read Genesis, He would walk with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the evening. Then the fall happened. And you know what? The love story continued. God came up with the most perfect plan, for you…for me.
He sent His own Son, Jesus Christ, to this earth to live and die as a man. His greatest act of love for you and for me, poured out on the cross. Jesus could have chosen not to die on the cross. But He knew what was at stake. You and me. Where would we be if Jesus hadn’t died on the cross? John 15:13 (NLT) says, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Let me continue on with this. In Genesis God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us.” In the next verse it says: So God created human beings in His own image. In the image of God He created them; male and female He created them(Gen 1:26-27 NLT). So why should you be concerned about your image? You reflect the image of God! You are His masterpiece! When He finished all that He had created He looked over all that He had made and saw that it was very good! (Gen. 1:31 NLT)
My sister, my brother, God did not make us to be the same. He created us in a unique way where we are set apart. Psalm 139:13-18 NLT says, “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knot me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!”
God created each of us for a purpose. The things we face in life, they don’t define us, and we don’t go through them alone. God uses these things for His ministry for you. The challenges you’ve faced in life may be different from mine. You will be able to encourage and minister to people in a way that I cannot and vice versa. Romans 12:4 (NLT) says, just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. Some of us may be the hand or the foot or the heart. All of these are important and vital for the body to function, for the body of Christ to function! Don’t ever put yourself down or doubt the gifts that God has placed specially within you! You are equally as important as the next person and God loves you the same as the next person regardless of who you are, where you’ve been, or you have done.
God’s love for us didn’t pour out on the cross so we could live defeated and depressed lives. His love for us poured out on the cross so we could be set free from our sins, iniquities, diseases, fears, etc.
John 3:16,17 (NLT)“For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”
What does eternal life look like? Revelation 21:4 (NLT) He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death, no more sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.
If you don’t know the Lord, sweet, sweet Jesus, I urge you to open your heart to Him. He can mend your broken heart. He can heal the emotional traumas you’ve faced, you can find your identity, value, and worth in Him. He makes you complete, not lacking anything! Jesus died, so that you could be redeemed, which means that God, our Father, wants you! He wants a relationship with you! He wants to keep you under the shadow of His wing and in the mighty love of a Father! You are enough! As the hymn so beautifully says, “Come home, come home Ye who are weary come home Earnestly, tenderly Jesus is calling Calling, “O sinner come home.”
©2021 Leslie Wittenmyer~ All Rights Reserved