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Positioning our Hearts to be in Love

In Hollywood movies, there’s a cultural perspective of romanticized love centered around the wooing aspects of it. While I think there’s a ton of wooing God does in the way He loves us, the version of love we see doesn’t measure up or compare in a way that’s helpful for us.

 

Love Displayed Perfectly

When I think about the concept of loving God, I think about the love that Jesus has for me. To be in love with Him, I need to understand Jesus’ love for me first. It’s a love that’s stable, and while it woos, it respects my own choices. It’s love that’s unselfish. It’s a love that left the privilege and prominence of heaven to dwell among people that despised him. It’s a love that when given a crown of thorns, responds with forgiveness.

It’s a love that left the privilege and prominence of heaven to dwell among people that despised him.

Jesus shows His love for us in the way He saw our salvation as His joy, even if it cost Him His dignity and well-being.

 

Love Returned

God needs a love returned that holds sustenance and comes from encounters. It’s not a love based off of  “hype” and “being on fire”. Encounters with God inform us to what He is like. These encounters could look like lots of things. They could include reading scripture and feeling encouraged, seeing the physical man of Jesus and anything in-between. When we find ourselves in a place where we’re not having these moments of encounter, we have a history to pull from that’s based off experience and not feelings. The history we have with God isn’t meant to be the means for our relationship and love, rather, it spurs us on to create more history in the present.

 

Love Practically

A heart that’s in love with Jesus is 1. surrendered and 2. wants to be around Jesus. I love my wife. There are things that I surrender and sacrifice for the sake of our marriage, but it would be solely transactional if I didn’t actually want to be around her. Marriage is about relationship.

All of this considered, I think about when I wake up in the morning… what’s my heart’s first desire? Is it to know what’s going on in the culture or to meet with the Living God? Do I want to spend my money on things that give me stature in the world or things that will advance the Kingdom? This tells me a lot about what I think about God and the love I have for Jesus. I can say I love Jesus but I don’t love Jesus apart from my actions. He says in John 14:15, “If you love me, you’ll obey me.”

I can say I love Jesus but I don’t love Jesus apart from my actions.

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” Matthew 13:14

If I am to love God, it looks like me cherishing Him in a way that I’m willing to do anything to make His heart glad. When I’m in love, I’m not simply seeking my own benefit, but, giving for the sake of someone else’s joy. Are my actions, thoughts, and motivations moving to bring joy to God’s heart? When the answer is “yes”, this is the sign of a heart in love.


Gabe Smith, staff

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