This is the time of year when we think a lot about love. February. Valentine's Day. Many people are planning on what to do with their boyfriends, fiances, and husbands for Valentine's Day. We think about what to get our children and their little friends.
You remember those old little comic strips - "Love is." Over the past few days I have been thinking about what love is. What does love mean?
Let's go to trusty ole Webster:
1. a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
2. a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.
3. affectionate concern for the well-being of others: the love of one's neighbor.
4. the benevolent affection of God for His creatures, or the reverent affection due from them to God.
There were several other definitions but the above seemed to be more relevent to my post today. We love our children. We love our husband. We love our other family members and we love our friends (sometimes as much as our own family)! We can also love chocolate, cheese dip, and Chinese food! :) Hmm...those are all foods! Ha! Sorry, I digress! How often do we use the word love and not even think about what we are saying. I think sometimes the word is overused. I did a little research to find out how many times the word love is used in the Bible. It depends on what version is used but I came up with 610 times. Most of those refer to God's love for His people or commanding His people to display love toward one another.
This past week I was reminded of God's love. I read this passage:
1But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel,
"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are Mine!
2"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you.
3"For I am the LORD your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I have given Egypt as your ransom,
Cush and Seba in your place.
4"Since you are precious in My sight,
Since you are honored and I love you,
I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life.
~ Isaiah 43:1-4
WOW! How does it feel to think that God loved us so much that He would give up all others for us??? That just touched my heart in so many ways. That is true LOVE. I heard someone say this week in reference to that passage - "I don't get that. I have never been loved that way so it is hard for me to understand." Isn't that true for all of us? Not everyone I know had a childhood like I did. There are people that are able to tell a true love story from the time they were small, but even the most precious love that we have received on earth can never compare to the love that we receive from Christ.
As I blogged previously, I have experienced God's love so deeply this past year...in a way I never have before. I have truly allowed myself to feel completely loved and cherished in His eyes. GOD LOVES ME!!! Unconditionally. Truly. Forever. No matter what I have done or will do. NOTHING can separate me from that love!!! Praise HIM!
One of my new favorite songs is from Hillsong and it is called "At the Cross." The first stanza then the chorus says this:
"Oh, Lord You've searched me
You know my ways
Even when I fail You
I know You love me.
At the cross I bow my knee
Where Your blood was shed for me
There's no greater love than this"
It goes on from there but that's my favorite part. Christ paid the ultimate price for us. He endured such suffering, shame, pain, and death so that we wouldn't have to suffer eternally. Why?
BECAUSE HE LOVES US!!!