Christian Living

Immersed in God’s Love

You have to work to immerse yourself in God’s love. That’s one of the things Beth Moore talked about in one of her studies–I’ve forgotten which one at this point 🙂 It struck me though. Sometimes we don’t see ourselves as beloved. We’re just average–why would God love us that radically? Or we get comfortable with God’s love like an old T-shirt we hardly notice we’re wearing anymore.

God’s love can change everything.

It can change how you view every moment. Because if God’s love is so radical that He sacrificed Himself/His son for you, you can trust Him with now. You don’t have to worry about the future. You don’t have to worry about whether you’ll have money to pay your bills. Compared to how priceless His sacrifice is, money pales. Not that hard to come up with money. A lot harder to give your life.

And His love gives us a foundation to trust God when He tells us the best way to live. Our Creator (who knows how we’re designed to live) and Savior (who sacrificed Himself for us) is not going to tell us to go play in the street! His laws are for freedom’s sake, not to make us weighed down. Hypocrisy is what causes laws to weigh us down.

Obviously, I’m not saying that it’s easy to obey God–because it’s not. Sometimes I don’t want to obey. Frankly, there are times when I do it because I trust God and I’m not gracious about it. It’s much more a resentful “I hope you appreciate this” kind of obedience 😉 But God’s ways always get us closer to where we really want to be.

And I think sometimes we get a mixed-up view of God’s love based on bad experiences we’ve had in the Church. Which is sad because God’s love is the antidote to the wounding and confusion that comes when His children treat us poorly.

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God and that is what we are.

I really love that verse! God lavishes His love on us. He’s not stingy. He’s not grudging or resentful. He lavishes love on us. I think if we really understood and reveled in that fact, we would have a different perspective on our lives. We would see obstacles as opportunities. Plateaus as preparation for growth. Pain as opportunity to be held by God.

I know I would have a different perspective on stressful things in my life if I were 100% steeped in God’s love. I know because when I’m stressed and I take time to meditate on God’s love, the way I look at things shifts. And when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. Beliefs change decisions, decisions change actions, and actions change our lives.

So what does it look like to be steeped in God’s love? I think it’s like tea. If God’s love is the tea bag and we’re the water, we want the tea to permeate us. And that takes time and exposure. As with any growth, a great place to start is to ask God to grow you in this area–to show you where you’re weak and what steps you can take to grow in those areas. Another helpful item is to keep verses handy. Do a Bible search on God’s love–there are thousands of verses about it! I have verse cards (a spiral bound book of 3×5 cards), and I write down verses that strike me in my journal. I read through one or the other (or both) almost every day to remind myself of truth.

I also think taking time to meditate on God’s love makes a huge difference. As I said, my perspective shifts when I take time to remember how much God loves me and all the ways He’s reminded me of that fact. That’s another piece–ask God to show you His love. God’s love is very specific to each individual. The things that remind me of His love might not remind you of His love. I’ve had experiences where I’ve prayed for something and the way God answered was lavish. For instance, I really wanted to see a bear while we were in the Smoky Mountains and instead we got to see a Mama bear and her two cubs (from a safe distance). It was so cool seeing how God answered my request in something so small and unimportant in such an abundant way! Anyway, ask Him to show you His love in the ways that make you feel loved and then meditate on those things.

God’s love can change everything in your life.

How are you getting exposure to God’s love over time?

Blog_ Immersed in God's Love


Being Rooted and Grounded

I’m still slowly working my way through James. This week James 2:8 really hit me. It’s the “royal law”–“Love your neighbor as yourself.” I spent some time asking myself how I love others, and meditating on how love is the debt we owe to each other (Romans 13:8). I’m woefully inadequate at loving, which is as it should be. We’re not supposed to be able to love by ourselves. The Bible says “God is love” (1 John 4:8), not “humans are love.” We love because He first loved us. We don’t muster up love.

So as I was meditating on how God’s law is a reflection of His character, I realized that a failure to love is a failure to be rooted and grounded in God’s love…it’s a failure to comprehend who He is and how He loves me. I so often focus on the process of mustering up love, or the execution of kindness, rather than meditating on God’s character and how His character plays out in my own life. How does God love me?

Obviously, we can start with the Gospel and how God demonstrates His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). After allowing that to sink into my marrow (and being once again overwhelmed by God’s grace), I spent some time asking God to open my eyes to the ways He shouts His love every day. Some of the things I noticed: Opening my eyes to see beauty in nature. The love that my husband lavishes on me. The precious hugs that my daughters give me. Providing a house to live in that I love. Giving me parking spots, and delicious food, and music, and all the things in my life that make it sparkle. Not coddling me against change–allowing painful things in my life to provide me with an opportunity for change. Speaking to me through His Word, every day. Opening my heart to sense His presence. Really, once I started paying attention, I discovered that His love is impossible to miss.

And that’s where I can start loving others–from a place of fullness and groundedness. Not giving kindness in hopes of filling some longing for love in my heart. Not out of some pharisaical, forced attempt at love. But from being rooted and grounded in God’s love.

Ephesians 3:16-19 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.