Learning to Love - Part Trois

"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."   Romans 5:8

Do you know what it means to be hated?  Hated for no apparent reason, no crime?  Hated simply because you exist?

As God continues to teach me to love, He has shown me that I must first know what it is to be hated, without crime or any real reason, but hated simply because I exist.  It is in this place, where I have struggled time and again, that I begin to understand the depth of His love for me, for all mankind—even the haters.

And though I have often failed miserably, I discover something so beautiful.  It is that I must live in a place of perpetual repentance and dependence on Him in order to love others.  It is in this place of complete humiliation that I experience His love and joy in a new way.  And I see Him.  I see the person of Love.

Here are just a few of the recent things the Holy Spirit has been teaching me in love school as of late:

1.  Love is demonstrative.  In romantic love, when a suitor learns of his beloved one’s affinity for lilac tulips, he scours heaven and earth to find them for her as a demonstration of his love and affection.  An old married couple demonstrates their love for each other by doing the little things and big things they have learned over time are the special somethings of the one they cherish.  Parents prove their love for their children by sacrificing to give them what's best for them rather than what they may want at any given moment.  Children prove their love for their parents by honoring, obeying, and following their instruction, guidance and direction.  Even an employee shows love by working willingly for their boss, making them look good, when it is love that drives them.  As we spend more time with God, we will do what pleases Him—more and more.  We will also grow to know more of what pleases Him.  Our lives will look like 1 Corinthians 13 in action constantly, consistently.  And people will see it.  They will see Jesus.  God demonstrated His love for us by sending Jesus to die for our sins.  There is no greater demonstration of love.

2.  Love is excessive and extravagant.  God's love is like that.  It surprises in grand, unexpected ways!  When least expected, God catapults an amazing gift and overwhelms by the richness of His love and we see more of His generous nature and immense character.

3.  Love doesn't fit anyone's mold—except God's.  The world longs to arrogantly and concisely explain things, putting them in neat and tidy little boxes.  But God's love for us is not like that.   To experience it is big, huge!  And it doesn't fit neatly in a box.  It is lavish and messy—like a child with a cake on their first birthday—we don't really know what to do with it, but we enjoy it!

As the Holy Spirit is teaching me more about love, each day I get a taste—sometimes a big taste—of what Jesus was teaching Peter on that beach after the resurrection (Read John 21).

Do you?

Goodnight, Runners.


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