Thanks to Evi for the photo!
She is always finding something in nature that's heart shaped!
It's a little reminder from the Lord that He loves her!

Every last one of us only wants to be loved for who we are. We want to feel connected to others in the family of God. If Christians are not the heart and hands of God extended, first to each other and then to the rest of the world, how can people possibly perceive how much God loves them?

I think that ‘love’ is a word that needs to be reclaimed! In our society the true meaning of love has become unclear, misunderstood, often equated with lust and means different things to different people. I love my job; I love puppies; I love winter; I love my car; I love chocolate; I love my family. That really runs the gamut of emotions, doesn’t it! What we really mean is: My job is very rewarding; puppies are so adorable; winter is my favourite season; this is the best car I’ve ever had; chocolate tastes yummy; my family is my top priority. What different shades of the word love!

Who has ever experienced complete love from another human being? Even those of us who have been in a great marriage for decades know that our love is not complete. No human being can give us the love we need to have complete confidence that we are loved! We put a high value on love, yet often human love seems so elusive.

The kind of love that each one of us wants and needs is the purest kind of love, which the Apostle Paul describes in 1. Corinthians 13. That kind of love is only found in Jesus! Put His name wherever you see the word love and read it again. Only when we have received God-love, agape love, we will know real love. When we grasp that God so loved the world that He gave, only then can we be filled to overflowing and be a wide open channel of His love to others. His love to us is perfect, but ours to Him and others will never be perfect. And guess what, that is ok!

Without God’s Word we would have despaired of ever knowing that we are loved, we would be content with this world’s pathetic love substitutes and empty imitations; and we would not know how to give God-love to others. “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.” We can’t love God unless we love our brother and our sister.

Some may never have received real, healthy, pure love in their biological family, but the family of God must now be the place where we genuinely matter to each other eternally.
It must be the place where everybody knows your name, knows your strengths and weaknesses, and loves you from the bottom of their heart anyway. Here love must be warmly affectionate, always working for the good of the other, sometimes willing to suffer all kinds of pain in the learning process. Love in the family of God must allow us to share our spiritual journeys in caring community with much deeper, more meaningful emotional and spiritual connections than we ever expected or imagined possible.

Only love frees us to be authentic, open, honest, vulnerable, and genuine with each other. Only love drives all pride and fear away and allows us to risk giving, even asking for and receiving love. Only love never takes offense, quickly forgives, faithfully endures, caringly restores and gladly reconciles. Only love shows us that we really need each other to mature in Christ. This love shows compassion to those who are lost and brings healing, wholeness and continuous blessing to those who hurt, no matter how long it takes for them to heal.

“You truly matter to God. Come to Jesus with all your concerns,” he passionately preached again. “Oh, I know that I matter to God,” she thought. “but I’ve been hoping to find connection with His family. We live in such an individualistic society. I’m reaching out, but I don’t have that sense of community and belonging yet. It seems to me that everyone already has their established group of close friends and there is no room in their life for more.”

Let’s learn to live in right relationship with each other; occasional fellowship, a smile and a weekly hand-shake are a very good start, but not sufficient to grow love, caring and affection.
When our hearts are filled with love we will have room for people, all kinds of people, and they can’t help but finally feel a sense of belonging. When we truly love each other as Christ commands, the world will even know! When we come together in love as the family of God to worship Him in community we are on even ground at the foot of the cross where His blood flowed freely for all. There is no favoritism with God. There is everlasting love! Pulsing, deep red! The color of love!


Karabeth said...

Isn't it sad how the color red has such a bad connotation also(i.e. "The Scarlet Letter," red light districts, a woman in a red dress being provocative) when it is the color of blood shed for us? Even Isaiah through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit told us our sins were as scarlet.

Praise God for the red He uses to cover ours, thereby making it white as snow.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful thoughts!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Karin, Great post---quite similar to mine, don't you think????

I finally know what REAL LOVE is. I'm not sure I ever knew before George!!!

Thanks for this post.