Since we are talking about love, I thought it would be good if I can share some of the things my pastors have been talking about over the last two weeks at church in our series “Ready Steady”.
Last week I started talking about how God is our safe place. Our pastors recently have been sharing about how God’s love is safe. God’s love is safe. He doesn’t demand His own way. He doesn’t force us to do anything. God’s love is safe. He doesn’t do anything in our lives without our permission. How crazy is that. Don’t you wish God would just step in put you in a deep sleep, make all the decisions for you and you wake up in some awesome future year later? But no. He lets us find our way and in finding our way, we stumble into Him time and time again until it becomes clear that He is the way. He is the answer to all the questions we could not ask. He is love and He is all around us.
We have been examining our love walk with God and areas where we can go deeper. One thing we need to always be mindful of though, is that God created us for community. We cannot love God in a vacuum. Our love for God is expressed in how we love and treat other people around us.
1 John 4:20-21 says, “Anyone can say, “I love God” yet have hatred toward another believer. This makes him a phony, because if you don’t love a brother or sister, whom you can see, how can you truly love God, whom you can’t see? For He has given us this command: whoever loves God must also demonstrate love to others.” From this verse, it makes it clear to us that if we say we love God but cannot treat the people around us with love, we are phony and our love for God is shallow. The test for how much we love God is found in how we love the people around us. It is very easy to say we love God. It is another thing to actually do it and live it.
God’s love for us is deeper than words. Likewise, our love for God needs to go deeper than words. God put action to His love when He gave us Jesus. He gave us the best He had to give, and He died an ugly death so we could have a beautiful future. In this new life that we have received from God, part of the evidence that we have God living on the inside of us, is the ability to love people deeply. Not just the one’s we like, all people. Love is a fruit of the Holy Spirit living in us. But fruit doesn’t come automatically, fruit comes to those who are planted. Yeah, you need to go listen to the full series “Ready Steady” on this link: Ready Steady Series. It’s just so much to unpack in one blog post.
A very important part about loving the people around us, is respecting other people’s boundaries. That brings us back full circle. Love is safe. Our love towards others needs to be safe. As Christians, we are supposed to be safe people. Our love should not be selfish or demanding to have its own way. Selfish love is lonely love. Our love is to be given freely with no strings attached. Boundaries are important. God loves and respects our boundaries. Likewise we must respect other people’s boundaries too. Love and respect go hand in hand. You love people and respect their boundaries because they are loved by God and are important to God. On the other side of that, people also need to respect your boundaries. Your boundaries are worth respecting too because you too are loved and are important God.
Love and blessings,