1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” The greatest of all aspects of the Christian life is love. Love is to be at the foundation of all we do, all we are, and all we hold on to. If we focus on love and allow the Holy Spirit to strip everything else away, what will be left is a life of blessed simplicity rooted in face-to-face relationship with our heavenly Father. As we spend time this week looking at the simplicity of love, I pray that all the weighty, frivolous things of the world that rob you of an abundant life fall away in light of the glorious goodness of God’s unconditional and wholly available love for you.
Scripture:“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13
One of the most life-giving, transformational truths of the gospel is that of everything we have to offer God, of everything in this life we have to give, he most desires our love. To love God is all-encompassing. Colossians 3:14 says, “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” To love God is to pursue a life of wholehearted devotion to a King who is wholeheartedly devoted to us. To love God is to place ourselves in this never-ending, blessed cycle of giving and receiving limitless love.
The simple truth that God simply wants our love frees us from frivolous pursuits. It frees us from systems and practices that are rooted in “should” rather than true desire. God will take us however he can get us. He’ll take us if all we have to give is a belief that we should serve him or be with him. But he never desires to keep us in that place. He longs to love each of us to such a level that we would live and serve him out of a place of full devotion as the natural response to his overwhelming affections for us.
1 John 4:16 says, “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” Allow 1 John 4:16 to create an image in your mind for a second. Picture what it would be like to truly abide in God and have him abide in you. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a vision of what that would be like. What would everyday life look like if you were to truly abide in God and have him abiding in you?
So great is God’s love for us that he makes himself available for us to abide in him. So great are his affections for us that we could have him abiding in us. If we will pursue love above all else, we will discover a wellspring of simplicity and life rooted in wholehearted devotion to the God of love.
Cast off all other pursuits today in light of God’s call to love. Cast off the striving and tireless work of doing life rooted in the “should”and let God love you to a place of love-based obedience. Find rest today in the truth that God is simply after your heart. Open up to him and receive his vast affections. 1 Corinthians 16:14 says, “Let all that you do be done in love.” May you abide in the heart of your heavenly Father and allow him to come in and meet with you that all you do today might be done in love.
1. Meditate on the call of God to love. Allow Scripture to fill you with a wholehearted desire to love God in all you do.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27
“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” 1 John 4:16
2. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with a fresh revelation of God’s love for you. Receive the love of God and allow it to cast out all fear and reservation.
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” 1 John 4:18
3. Respond to the affections of God with your own. Tell God how you feel in his presence. Thank him for all that he’s done for you. Enter into the cycle of giving and receiving affection.
“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
This cycle of giving and receiving affection is really just a picture of what it is to worship. As we allow God to love us, our natural response will be to love him in return because we are created for worship. As we receive his love we will naturally love him and others. For a long time I pictured worship as this time where I had to drum up affection for God that I honestly didn’t feel. God never asks us to fake it. He never wants worship that isn’t truly from our hearts. He knows we need his love to love him in return. If you find yourself emptied of affection for him and others today, take time to simply let him love you so that you can live wholeheartedly today.
Extended Reading: 1 Corinthians 13
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