Steps to Love

No matter what walk of life we come from, most Christians are familiar with  John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that…. (go ahead, you can finish it out!)”.  Love is our first concept in knowing the Father. Although familiar, I do believe that God is asking us to check our hearts daily with questions that will make us love better. I invite you to answer these questions with me throughout your day whether it is behind a desk in an office, at home cooking up lunch for your young ones, or zoning out in your lecture class:

1) What message does my love send?

In Matthew 7:16-18, Jesus speaks to us and lets us know that we can tell a person’s character based on the fruit they produce. A person of good character brings forth good fruit, vice versa. With this being said, could this not be easily applied to one aspect of our lives— love?

Everyone gives off fruit based off of their love for something. It is possible for an athlete’s love of basketball to produce determination and commitment, or for a mother’s love for her child to possibly produce kindness. These things are possible, yet not promised. There is potential and it is up to them to decide how their potential is perceived.

This goes the same for us. As those who know the Lord, we have the potential to spread the same love promised to us. This is why we must do a self-check: to put up a mirror to our hearts and ask if our love is visible.

2) What is the quality of my love today?

In other words, “How well am I loving others today?” We have to remember that love is an attitude and a decision we make every day. We must choose to love others well. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 reminds us of the qualities to possess in order to put love in action. Through a mindset that focuses on understanding God’s depth, we can see how clearly these truths can be applied on how to love our neighbors as ourselves. If you get overwhelmed by how big love can be, you can always choose one facet from 1 Corinthians 13, commit to it, and dissect another one as you go.

3) Am I letting anything get in the way of love?

Romans 8:38-39 tells us nothing can separate us from the love of God but often times we try to remove ourselves unintentionally. You might ask “how?”, but I ask you to think to the last time you chose the enemy’s lies over God’s truth. When is the last time you chose to worry instead of resting in the Lord’s all-knowing hands? When did you last believe that you were made for less than greatness? For me, it could’ve been yesterday or this very moment. But that’s where love comes into play.

When we connect with with the heart of God, we see life through the lens of being loved.

With this kind of vision, we can trust and believe that whatever lies we have believed are dispensable to us; it no longer matters. Death is unimportant. All the powers of hell itself and attacks from the enemy can no longer stop us. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and where we “should” be are all cast out because we know that we are loved and cared for by the God of who created you. Today I encourage you to take whatever’s left of your day and love well. It will improve others’ lives- and ours in the process.

– Shanteria Ivery

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