Are you ready for this? Are you ready for true love?
We all long for true love or at least we say we do. Truth is most of us shun it because we completely misunderstand it. But true loves awaits those who will accept it and embrace it; if we dare. But we must be prepared for love to look different than what Hollywood portrays or even the stuff of our childhood ideals.
What if true love is something quite different than what you thought it was? What if it is even diametrically opposed to much of what you have been taught? What if true love is demanding, consuming, unyielding and never growing? Could you handle that kind of love; if it was indeed true love?
The Bible says that God is love (1 John 4:8). He is the source of it, the Author of it, the embodiment of it. So love must be understood through the prism that what God has said and done is the ultimate understanding of true love. So here are four immutable truth’s about God’s love that might just surprise you.
1. God’s love is demanding.
It is demanding in two ways.
First, in order to have a love relationship with God He demands you respond to His love. 1 John 4:8-10 says “…for God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world , that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son, to be the propitiation for our sins.” Did you catch that? We do not naturally love God, we are not drawn to Him but rather away from Him. Yet God loved us, pursued us and gave His Son as a sacrifice for our sins that we might have a way to know Him, be drawn to Him and love Him. John 3:16 states; “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever should believe in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” To experience true love a response is required; specifically one of belief. There is no true love without complete belief and trust; and unless you believe you cannot truly be loved. Romans 10:9-11 lays out what our response is to be; “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says; ‘Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” True love takes away all shame because true love covers it all. God insists His Son is enough to wipe away all your stains and forgive all your sins. Can you insist He is too? It’s the response God demands.
Second, God expressly says that If we love Him we will obey Him. Talk about demanding and flying right in the face of everything this world says about true love. Jesus says “If you love me you will obey my commandments.” (John 14:23) That is just too much you may protest. Well, consider this well known verse from Romans 8; “All things work together for good to those who love God.” If we love God and obey God all things will work out for our good. Mind you, good here is defined by God not by us. And yes, that is demanding of Him, but if He is God then He is all-knowing and we are not. So, how about having an all-knowing and wise God on your side who is in love with you and you in love with Him? I think things will work just nicely in this kind of relationship as demanding as it is.
2. God’s love is consuming.
We are to get lost in Him. We disappear. It is not about us at all. It’s not about the bride it is about the bridegroom. How does that fit in your worldview? True love it turns out is about giving a life away in order to really have life. Galatians 2:20 bottom lines this for us, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me, and this life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” We are consumed it turns out, by the love of Jesus. How dare we expose ourselves to such a scandalous kind of love? We dare because He left the perfection of heaven to come here and be treated horrifically, unjustly and then brutally killed on a public cross of shame to save you from you. When one comes to grips with that love they willingly surrender everything and place it at the Savior’s feet. Whatever was mine Jesus, is now yours. The Apostle Paul put it this way, “I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus.” We are most loved and happy when we are most consumed by Jesus.
3. God’s love is unyielding.
God doesn’t bend in this relationship. There is no negotiating the terms of the relationship with God. God never changes but He is always changing us. In our world, that is completely unfair and unacceptable isn’t it? “What do you mean I have to change but they don’t?” But true love is not of this world. True love is supernatural, eternal, and all-powerful- all things we are not. God is in charge of this relationship and He has one goal for it…conform you to Him. Again from the book of Philippians the Apostle Paul instructs us along these lines, “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Please note it is a good work He is doing in you. His unyielding nature in this love relationship is to produce the best you, and the best you looks like His Son (Rom. 8:29). True love helps others to see and be truly loved, and God will produce that true love in you as you pursue His Son of true love. Pursuit of anything else is a pursuit of something less than true love and God loves you too much to see you do that. He’s unyielding that way.
4. God’s love is never growing.
He can’t love us anymore than He already does. Romans 8:38-39, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” From the day you realize God’s love in the gift of His Son and accept that gift you have every ounce of the love of God you will ever have. He cannot love you more and He cannot love you less than He did that day, today or any other day. His love is inexhaustible so He does not have to worry about how much to love. He simply loves 100% of the time. Our love, on the other hand is always growing, or at least it should be. Our love fluctuates, even daily. We should not confuse the two– His love and our love. One is perfect 24/7/365/infinity. The other is woefully less. You will never out love God. Instead, He will always out love you. Not bad for a true love.
I invite you this Valentine’s Day to be sure you know what true love is. God is love, but His love is not the stuff of fairly tales but of true redemption and eternal bliss. This Valentine’s Day God is saying be mine and experience true love, maybe even for the first time in your life.