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Love can be a confusing thing…
It is defined in our life by circumstances, emotions, and experiences. Sometimes we can feel misunderstood, doubted, challenged, and rejected when loving others. Did you know that the way you receive love, your past experiences, your emotions, circumstances, and all these other things will shape your view of God’s love?
It is not uncommon for us to struggle with this. As we grow emotionally and spiritually, it is important to realize that we were created by God with love and to love others. So, as we dig into God’s love for us, take a minute and think about the things that shape your relationship with love.
Created with Love
Key Scriptures: Genesis 1:26-28, Jeremiah 1:5
In the beginning, God created what surrounds us today, the heavens and the earth. He carved the landscape that included majestic mountains, beautiful seascapes with sandy beaches, breathtaking sunsets, and nights full of sparkling stars. Then, He shaped all the amazing flowers, animals, birds, fish, and insects that show His glory. Think about the wonder of all God created and how it calms us and allows us to escape for just a little while from all the things we fill our day with. And with this creation, God called it good and created man to reign over it all. Man was formed in the image of God to reveal His authority and character to all creation.
From the beginning, we were created to reign and represent God. Sin came in and separated us from God, but Jesus came and redeemed us from sin! You were created with love.
Q: Can you see that you were created with love? What does this mean to you?
Created to Love
Key Scriptures: Genesis 1:27, 1 John 4:8, 1 John 4:7, Matthew 22:36-40
The Lord’s affection and deep love is absolute, unwavering, and sacrificial. His love is not subject to favoritism, he cares for us equally – no matter what we have done. Hi love is not based on our achievements, skills, or abilities. He simply loves us because He created us, we are His children. It’s really this simple, we were created in God’s image and God is love. We carry His love and character with us.
Q: Have you ever felt unloved? How did it feel when you realized that you are loved unconditionally?
You were created to love and be loved
Key Scriptures: Genesis 2:18, Hebrews 10:24-25, John 13:34-35
The Christian walk is not an individual walk, you cannot love God without loving others. You must make an individual decision, but you don’t get to go off on your own personal spiritual journey. Isolation is dangerous and it’s unbiblical for those wanting to follow Christ. That’s why we work so hard to make sure you have access to prayer, sermons online, life groups, etc.
It’s important to point something out here.
The Greek word agape (love) seems to have been virtually a Christian invention—a new word for a new thing (apart from about twenty occurrences in the Greek version of the Old Testament, it is almost non-existent before the New Testament). Agape draws its meaning directly from the revelation of God in Christ. It is not a form of natural affection, however, intense, but a supernatural fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). It is a matter of will rather than feeling (for Christians must love even those they dislike—Matt. 5:44-48). It is the basic element in Christlikeness.
Q: Consider where you might need to put some effort into loving others. Make a list of who this is and how you can show them more love.