"He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."
- I John 4:8
A group of four-through eight-year-olds was asked: “What does love mean?” Their answers vary from the amusing to the profound.
Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne, and they go out and smell each other.
Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.
Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.
When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.
Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis, too. That’s love.
When you tell someone something bad about yourself and you’re scared they won’t love you anymore. But then you get surprised because not only do they still love you … they love you even more.
Love is when mommy sees daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Denzel Washington.
Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.
Love cards, like Valentine’s cards, say stuff on them that we’d like to say ourselves, but we wouldn’t be caught dead saying.
Yes, the response of these children is both precious and humorous. But the reality is that there is only one place where we can find true love – in a personal relationship with God.
God loves you. He created you. The words of Psalm 139 beautifully express the heart of God toward each one of us:
"For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.-- I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.-- My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.-- Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” (Psalm 139:13-16).
God’s love does so many big things in our lives. God’s love transforms the ugliness of life into a beautiful trophy of grace. Love covers the scars of sin. Love heals wounds and eases pain. Jesus was and is the living illustration and certain fulfillment of His Father’s love. The love of God is unconditional and unfailing and will stubbornly pursue us no matter where we go, no matter what we do or don’t do. God’s love satisfies the deepest longings of our soul, enables us to love ourselves, and frees us to love others.
God’s love shows up in big ways … but sometimes it is when God’s love shows up in little ways that He really gets to me. But the love of God always shows up! I am reminded that God is real … that He is faithfully present, and that He really does care about every minute detail of my life.
We stand on the threshold of a new year. Many of you are facing painful circumstances. Others are in a place you never thought you would be. The uncertainty of what lies ahead can be frightening … unless you truly know and trust the One who holds every minute of this new year in His hands.
God is for you … and He is with you. Let His unfailing love surround and fill your heart with hope.
Thank You for loving me, God. Honestly, I don’t understand that kind of love; a love that sent Jesus Christ to the cross so that I can live. But today, I celebrate Your love. Father, please help me learn how to freely share that love with the people in my world.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Look for the evidence of God’s love at work in your life. Look around. Someone in your world needs to know that Jesus loves him or her. What can you do to help them experience the love of God? Make a plan … and then do it!