The desire to love and be loved is in each and every one of us. Unfortunately, when I turn on the news, more often than not I see brokenness, not love. When we see disheartening situations, we have a choice to make: we can ignore it, complain, or we can do something about it.
Earlier in this passage John says, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us.” Loving others starts in a surprising place. First, you need to BE loved. God is so relational. It is why He calls himself Father and calls us children. His desire is to be in a thriving, intimate relationship with us. He wants to meet our deepest needs and heal every broken part of our story. In order for Him to do this, we need to let Him. Will you allow God to love you?
Begin by being honest. Tell God what you are feeling, and do not hold back. You do not need fancy words or to sugar coat things. Simply tell Him what is on your mind. Acknowledge your emotions, and admit when something is hard. Recognizing our need puts our heart in the position to accept God’s help.
Make room in your life for Him. James 4:8 says, “When we come near to God, He comes near to us.” Take steps towards Him by opening your Bible every day and praying. Using a Bible reading plan (look for one on the YouVersion Bible App) and writing in a journal are great ways to develop these habits. You can be confident that God will meet you right where you are.
When you allow God to love you first, then you will be able to love people to your full potential.
Reflect & Respond:
1. Write an honest prayer. Grab a journal or a piece of paper, and write what is on your heart. This is between you and God, no one else.
2. Spend some time reading the Gospels this year. Pay attention to the way Jesus loved people, then go and do the same.
3. Do you want to ignite passion in your life? Ask God to break your heart for what breaks His. I warn you, God will do it. This is not a prayer for the faint of heart, but it is for those who want to seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.
Encouragement: You don’t have to earn God’s love. He loves you just as you are. He will use you in big and mighty ways if you’ll let Him. YOU were born for such a time as this!
Recommended Resource: Love Does by Bob Goff, Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge