11/20/2015

The Kingdom of Love II

Look around you right now.

Do you see love?

When I look around my room right now and see the soft lamplight illuminating dishes that I haven't picked up, the blankets folded about my legs, and an invalid kitty reclined on the bed, I don't think love. When I think love, I think about hands touching and lips meeting. I think about soldiers dying and mothers crying. I think about Paris. But the truth is, the Kingdom of Love is everywhere, even in my pink bedroom on a Wednesday night.

How?

Because the light of Jesus' resurrection shines everywhere. His love shines in my room and in the classrooms. His love pours forth at the dinner tables and in the movie theaters. And, in ways we do not understand, His love is working in the city of love, Paris.

The trouble is, we have a hard time seeing that love. We can't feel it. We can't touch it. We don't understand it. And so, like the little humans we are, we often avoid searching for the true meaning behind God's love. That doesn't mean that we don't love to sing "How He Loves" every other Sunday, but those words struggle to take meaning to our lives.


Last post I talked about the foundations of God's love, and I encourage that you go back and read that post, because I will build upon it today. I wrote about how God is the definition of love and how He chose to love us. But because He loves us, He hates sin, and something needed to clear the sin from our lives. This is where the greatest act of love ever comes in: Jesus.



But what now? Jesus' love covers us and separates our sin from us as far as the east is from the west, but how do we respond?

We get to love God back! 



We live in a culture where "love" is everywhere and anyone can "love" another person, even if they shouldn't. Think about all of these chick flicks where adultery comes into play or the new hot topic of homosexuals. At first, the ability to love God doesn't seem out of the ordinary because we feel entitled to be able to love anything. But look a little closer.

Examine the creation of the world. All of creation, before sin, glorified God, for God created it. But when God made human beings, He did something different. He enabled us to love Him and each other. Which also means we can also hate God and others. Which means that we can choose. Which ushered sin into the world. (See my post about the first sin and the grace found in Genesis 3 here.)

And this ability to chose, this ability God's given us to love Him back, is also the very way we respond to His salvation and love. "As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Now remain in my love." (John 15:9) "'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." (Matthew 22:37-38)


But how do we love a God we cannot see, touch, or talk to like a person on earth?

We obey Him.

Many times where I see the command to love God, it is so closely tied to the command to obey God that I have trouble separating the two. The above verse in Matthew talks of obedience to God while it talks of loving God. John 15 also connects obedience to loving God when it says in the next verse, "If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love..." We love God, and so we obey Him. And we obey God in order to express our love for Him.

I oftentimes forget that to obey God is to love Him and to love Him is to obey Him. I make things complicated and try to do everything, know everything, and feel everything. But acting in obedience, even if I don't feel it or know exactly what I'm doing, is love towards God. And love towards God spurs obedience.

But I must ask, how do we obey God?

I didn't put this point on the infographic, but I should have. The last point I shall discuss in this foundation of the Kingdom of Love is the act of obedience to God in love expressed in how...

We love others. 


1 John has a lot to say on this subject!

"Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us." (1 John 4:11-12)

"And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister." (1 John 4:21)

Do the dishes for mom. Share God's grace with those in darkness. Bake cookies for the neighbors. Spend time with your siblings. Make Christmas cards for the people in your life, from your grandmother to the mailman. Stop the gossiping going on behind you in class.

There are so many more opportunities to love others than we know, and we only need to open our eyes to see them. For not every chance to love someone is big and glamorous. It oftentimes looks like work. If you, like me, have trouble identifying ways to love others, let Paul lead your thoughts as he defines what love does in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8:

"Love is patient, love is kind. It 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 wrong. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

"Love never fails."


God's love never fails. And it rests and moves in us! Oh how I forget that so many times, and I hope that you are reminded of the power, simplicity, and work of God's love and how we get to love Him back!

I would like to do one more post on God's Kingdom of Love soon, and in that post I want to answer any questions that y'all have on love! Please comment below your thoughts on today's post as well as any questions you want answered for the next installment in this series!

Love you guys,

Princess Hannah

6 comments:

  1. Whoa this is beautiful and so much truth <333
    Thank you for pouring so much into your posts Hannah! They're amazing.

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    1. Thank-you very much Olivia! Sometimes I think that I put too much into my posts because they sound like a sermon or something, but I love it! Side-effects of the gift of teaching/preaching I suppose!

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  2. Beautiful post! Love your writing and message, thank you for sharing!

    Katie / http://www.storiesandsnapshots.com

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    1. Thank-you very much! And welcome to the blogging world!

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  3. I absolutely love this series that you are going through. Love is so much more than what the culture has made it seem like it should be. Love has become so self-centered. I especially love how you wrote about how we can love Christ back...it's kinda one of our main purposes with our life on earth, to glorify him as a result of our love for him.

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    1. I am so glad that you enjoyed it! It's been challenging yet rewarding to put together all of my thoughts on love in one place!

      And yes, we are created to worship!!!

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