Real Love

The greatest verse of all time has become cliché wedding vows, you may even know it by heart…

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

What a beautiful scripture which is why it is probably the most well known out of the Bible by believers and nonbelievers. I admit that in the past I never read this verse and understood it in the depth in which I believe the Lord wanted. Unfortunately, I think a lot of people read it very superficially which is why marriage or relationships hold little value in our society. It seems like many relationships are very superficial, built on the wrong foundation. I’m going to take you through a conversation I had with the Lord the other night and I am hoping some of my readers hearts will be touched by it.

Dear Lord, open the eyes of every person’s heart as they read this and let your word be sown deep in their spirit. May they have a better understanding of your true love after reading this. It is in Jesus’ name I pray these things, Amen.

Over the years I have matured in areas of my life and some still lack, and I thank God for showing me the areas he wants me to grow. As I laid in bed and prayed over my family, my job, my dreams, my strongholds and sin, I go to close out my prayer and I fumble my words when telling the Lord I love him. Why can’t I say I love you Lord? What is wrong with me? And the Lord said, “Courtney your idea of love is still according to the worlds standards”. “You still think love is physical, you still think it is the stuff that gives you immediate satisfaction, people who make your heart flutter, and you think it is based on your performance…that is not my love.”

Can we pause for a minute? Okay, thank you. Listen up readers, I believe I love the Lord with all my heart because I desire to talk about him to everyone I encounter. I have surrendered my life to him and try to take heed to his promptings. I am a Christian and I know my place is in heaven BUT I have not fully grasped his love for me. Until I understand his love, I can’t freely love others.

Now because of the lifestyle I lived for many years it was evident that some pre-Christ conditions still remained in my heart. I sat in silence and God started revealing these wounds that were buried within and never healed.

Rejection. I never felt good enough in certain relationships or doing particular things. I have grown up being so hard on myself, and there are times where I literally can drive myself up the wall. If anyone else is like this, you know how exhausting it can be. Luckily, God does not base his goodness on a person’s performance but instead their relationship with him. The Lord told me “you are not perfect and you won’t be until I return”. Then he reminded me of this verse,

2 Corinthians 12:9-11 New International Version (NIV)
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Disappointment. Things that did not turn out the way I wanted and made me question God’s love for me. Now I know God is good, I can attest to many great miracles but I still question the way he does things. I know that is horrible, how can I question the ways of our all-knowing God? I believe that in my disappointment my heart grew hardened and cold, and just maybe I was angry at God. That is very difficult for me to admit. The Lord spoke to me and said, “Courtney you have to ask that your heart be softened, and that you be delivered from the spirit of disappointment”. Then he reminded me of this verse,

Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version (NIV)
11 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.

Physical affection. Don’t we all enjoy a little physical affection? There is definitely power in touch but it does not define love. My perspective of love was physical affection like hugs, kisses and sex. Now I just want to clarify that love can be expressed in your family, friendships, with coworkers, with strangers, church-goers, etc. We know that there are different types of love but there is only one true love, the one that only God can give you. Then the Lord said,

1 John 4:16 New International Version (NIV)
16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

So after the Lord exposed my wounds and released healing to me through his word, he described to me what his perfect “agape” love was like,

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

God is patient with us, he is merciful, he does not keep record of our sins and failures, he gives us good gifts, he endures with us as we go through trials, he forgives, he rejoices in truth and righteousness, he believes in us, he has plans for our lives, he protects us, he laid down his life for us, he was resurrected for us, he is our comforter, our healer, our redeemer, our strong tower, our father, and his love is everlasting.

He showed me that we are all called to love the way he loves, and to love everyone including our enemies and strangers. Whether it is a quick encounter with someone or a lifelong relationship, let the spirit of God love others through you. Agape love your spouse, your friends, your coworkers, your church congregation, strangers, and yes your enemies!!

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Gracefully Broken

Florida. Christian. Skincare. Real Estate. Dog lover. Blessed ❤

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