How far does your love go? Where and how does your love get extended and expanded? Who gets your best and the bulk of your love?
Books and movies become treasures when a great story line captures your heart. When you identify so strongly with the characters who pull you into their story, you get hooked. Before long, you’ve lost track of time, and you’re totally engulfed.
Love is a powerful and compelling force that drives us to find and connect with God and with the people that we love and to pursue what revives and restores us. Without love, life becomes meaningless. Since the glory of God is a heart that is fully alive and is engaged in His work, we bring glory to God whenever we fully engage in loving God and people from the heart.
I love to write, but when my Spirit-Driven website went poof, I discovered that I love God and people much more than I love to write. I can go weeks without writing, but I can’t go more than a few hours without finding and connecting with Jesus and with the people that He’s placed in my life. If it feels like Glenn went poof, it’s because my love goes. In fact, my wife and I have spent the past month traveling and connecting with our family. Whenever we get a request from our family members to go on their turf, we drop everything because we love them. After visiting all four of our children this past month, we drove fourteen hours to the Upper Peninsula in northern Michigan this past weekend to celebrate my father-in-law’s birthday. Love goes north, south, east, and west! How great it is to see the beauty of God’s world, to connect with loved ones, and to get back home to our own bed again!
Love gets close. If you want to be close to someone that you love, you have to go find them and get on their turf. Life doesn’t work when you keep your distance from people that you know and love. Social distancing causes people and relationships to deteriorate.
Jesus loves up close. In fact, He became like us in human form so that we can become like Him. Jesus taught us how to live and how to love. He noticed, loved, and touched people who were ignored or discarded from society. His love for us caused Him to leave the comforts of heaven to be abused, rejected, tortured, and crucified. His sacrificial love caused the lost to be found, the hidden to be revealed, the sick to be healed, sinners to be forgiven, and outcasts to become children of the Most High God.
Don’t compare yourself to other people. Compare yourself to the One who made you in love to love in the same manner that He loved. Jesus picked up children to value them and to teach us about the Kingdom of God. Jesus went after people who were consumed with their work and their passions and made them His disciples. He pursued sinners who were bent on destruction and invited them to become His friends. Beyond imagination, Jesus’ love goes to where people are who need Him. Jesus’ love goes to the lost, the broken, the rebels, and the skeptics. He reaches out His nail-pierced hands through your hands and mine. When we love the least of these, we love Him the most.
You can’t go and love anyone well if you stay at home. You can’t go and love well if you’re consumed with what you’re going through. You can’t go and love well if you’re afraid of people, illness, or death. You can’t go and love people deeply from the heart until you get to know their hearts and what they need most. What people need most is Jesus, and you get to represent Jesus’ love as you go from place-to-place.
Instead of fighting or resisting God’s love, maybe it’s time to surrender to His love. Instead of investing more time, energy, and money pursuing what doesn’t satisfy, why not yield and give your heart to a God who loves you no matter what you’ve said or done in the past. Giving up what you love and consume to following after the God whose love is all-consuming will radically change the trajectory of your life. Shame, guilt, self-doubt, self-criticism, self-hatred, self-destruction, people-hating, and divisions must all melt when Jesus’ love goes to the places where we’ve stored our trauma, woundedness, and anger. Experiencing Jesus’ perfect love is the only way to dissolve fear and anxiety. Jesus’ love is waiting to set you free from everything that binds and hinders you.
Since my website (www.spiritdriven.org) is back in action and since I’m back from finding my family, I want to welcome you into a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ. His love will change every part of your life. In fact, Jesus’ love will compel you to go into the places where you do life and to share your story about how you once were ______________, but now you’re _________________! Get ready to go places with Jesus this year for the benefit of others. Maybe we’ll get to go to some new places together. Who knows where the love of Christ will compel us to go.
As you’ve been reading today’s blog, have you felt the Holy Spirit
nudging you to reach out and to go visit someone you love?
Do you see yourself as a missionary in your workplace, in your neighborhood, on your ball team?
Is your faith fresh so that the people around you smell and feel
the difference that Jesus is making in your life?