Hey guys! Welcome back & happy Monday! I hope you’re doing amazing!
It’s Alyssa and today I am going to be sharing about one of the greatest gifts ever-love.
I know Valentine’s Day can seem like a holiday only for those in a relationship, but that is truly not the case. I personally believe Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to self reflect on the love that Christ first showed us.
Matthew 22:39-40 states: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. The second one is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All of the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Jesus took all 613 commandments found in the Bible are boiled down into 1 topic- love. As followers of Christ, we are called to do two things: love God & love others. It is hard to understand true love until we fully wrap our minds around the love that Jesus so graciously gives us.
Jesus gave His LIFE for you & me. He gave it all so that we may live eternally. So that we can live without fear of what tomorrow brings and live a life of showing the love first given to us through Him. The craziest part of this- while we were SINNERS, undeserving of ANY of the grace & love & anything that God has to offer us, Christ died for us. I believe this is the purest nd greatest form of any love that could ever be given.
I don’t know about you guys, but every time I think about how much God loves me, I get so overwhelmed. He sent His ONE AND ONLY Son to die for someone so undeserving like me. Jesus died, so that I may live. Not only live an earthly life, but an ETERNAL life!! One day, we will get to meet Jesus and I think that is such a blessing! Just think, how cool it will be to meet the man that died for you!!
As Christians, I believe that it is important to remember the order of the commandments that God gives us. First- love the Lord your God, then, love your neighbor as yourself. Being a firm believer in that God has a reason for everything, I know that He put those two commandments in that order because that is the order in which we should love. I also believe that a true believer will hold these two commandments close to heart and hold themselves accountable to daily.
In Matthew 22:39, Jesus says to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind.
Now that we know what true love is, it is important that we as Christians live out this reckless love!!
To love the Lord with all your heart is to follow the two greatest commandments Jesus gives us. To love God, & to love others. The world we live in is a broken, messy place, and needs a whole heck of a lot of love! Sharing the love of Jesus to others is a perfect way to love God with all of your heart!
Next, we need to love God with all of our soul. This can be hard sometimes, when there are so many distractions that can prevent us from loving God with all of our soul. Whether it be your language, your relationship or even your friends, a distraction as simple as these can stop you from loving God with your entire soul.
Lastly, we are called to love God with all our mind. We need to fill our mind with Jesus. This is not only just going to church, but taking to heart that teaching that is presented to you. Being in the word and praying are such impactful ways to love God with all your mind. When we love God with all our mind, our worldview becomes a Biblical view. We see the brokenness that only Jesus can fix in others, and spend time sharing the Gospel with them.
On Operation Barnabas, one of my leaders, Marg, shared this message with the team: “If you let your life be radically changed by the Gospel, you will stand out. You will have trouble, you will not be in trouble, and you will be blessed.” This can be confusing, so I will break it down.
If you let your life be radically changed by the Gospel, you will…
Stand out: I’m not going to lie, if you are a true follower of Christ, you WILL stand out. You won’t conform to the patterns of this world (Romans 12:2), so you won’t always fit in. I think school is a good example of standing out. I am in high school, and many people are in relationships. Most people do not have boundaries in their relationships as well, and so things happen between couples intimately. Many people know that I am strong in my faith, and that I am choosing to wait for marriage. This causes me to stand out with many of my peers, due to my radical change from the Gospel.
Have trouble: As Christians, we believe that Satan is out there & HATES that we believe in Jesus. Satan will get at believers to try to skew us away from Christ. A perfect example of this occurred while on Operation Barnabas. It was about halfway through our trip, and as a team (along with the grace of God), had some pretty amazing things in the name of Jesus happen. From planting seeds of the Gospel into many, many people, to bringing many people to Christ, I am positive that the devil was trembling at the sight of these amazing impacts happening for Christ. Then one day on tour, one of our vans broke down in the middle of nowhere. This was clearly the devil trying to get at us because of all of the good that we were doing, but by the grace of God everything worked out with our transportation. We stuffed all of our luggage into our bus, along with 36 people, and made the best out of that moment. I remember looking back and seeing some guys sleeping on the piles of luggage, and I was reminded how we didn’t let Satan get to us or affect our ministry!!
Won’t be in trouble: As followers of Christ, we never have to worry about what tomorrow brings! We have confidence that what God brings us to, he will get us through. Jeremiah 29:11 states: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. God has a beautiful plan for your life, and you surely will not be in trouble for following it!
Be blessed: Romans: 8:28, “And we know in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose”. If you believe in Christ, He will bring amazing things to you! With that being said, it may not be “amazing” to you at first, but given time, patience, and your heart, God will do something amazing.
One of the most commonly used passages to describe love is in 1 Corinthians 13. Commonly recited at wedding ceremonies, many use these verses to describe love for another person. Personally, I believe that this passage should first be read describing the love of Jesus.
“Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8
This passage perfectly describes the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God. God has a special type of love for us, it is called “agape” love. Agape is used to describe the love only Jesus can have for us. It is love that is immeasurable & incomparable. It is a commitment that describes someone’s worth by the cost of one’s life. We receive this type of love as a response to accepting Jesus.
Now, Valentine’s Day can also be seen as loving others as well as reflecting on the love of God. Whether you have a valentine or not, it is important to also love others. 1 John 4: 7-8 says:
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
If we love others, we love God. God is telling us to love one another. Not just our boyfriend/girlfriend, but everyone. The kid who bullies you, and your best friend. Everyone. If we don’t love others, do we really love God?
Thank you so much for checking out my post today! Raegan and I wanted to let y’all know that we are so thankful for your support, we love you, and we are praying for you! Have the best week ever, and God bless you!
This is my team at Chick-Fil-A with their owner. We went to this location on Cow Appreciation Day, and she noticed how we were FISHing, serving others, and loving on everyone. She was so amazed at our ministry, she invited us back for a free breakfast! This was such an amazing example of love given to us!