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True Love Does Exist – Encouragement for Today – May 17, 2017

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True Love Does Exist – Encouragement for Today – May 17, 2017

Marjorie Jackson May 17, 2017
True Love Does Exist
MARJORIE JACKSON

“The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” 1 John 4:8 (NASB) True love: quite possibly the most beautiful, powerful, amazing, confusing, misapplied, and overused words ever spoken. We’ve witnessed our fair share of fiery romances, whether on the Hallmark channel or a Peanuts comic strip. But romance — as romantic as it may be — is not even half of true love. Eros, the Greek word for romantic love, is only one of four types of love. There’s also storge, the family bond; philia, friendship; and agape, unconditional love. I’m not sure anything in life is better than loving and being loved. Yet look around — “love” is a mess! A skyrocketing divorce rate, family members who virtually hate each other, friendships un-friended into enemies, and … unconditional love? Oh please, there are always strings attached. People often see love as a contract: I keep my side of the deal to be there for your needs, only if you keep your side of the deal to be there for my needs. If not, See ya — I’m outta here. Sad, startling, yet true. We’re left wondering, is true love even the truth? We’ve taken note of the many examples of selfish love — if we can even call it love — all around us, but the perfect example of true love is right under our noses — in our hearts, actually. God’s love for you and me is passionate, pure and beyond anything we’ve ever experienced, accepting us as we are. Our good, our sins, our past and our flaws are all bare before His eyes, yet being the perfect Gentleman and Father He is, He washes, changes, teaches and grows us tenderly. He reminds us of our worth and beauty as His daughters. He wants to forgive, bless and take care of us. He loves us with unconditional agape love. Good news: His love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:8) We can love like that, too — not in our own strength or willpower, but by the Holy Spirit perfecting God’s love in our hearts. (1 John 4:12) The deeper we know God and His arduous, purposeful love for us and for others, the easier we can love others as an act of loving obedience to God. First John 4:20 tells it like it is: “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.” (NASB) Of course. How can we defy God’s command to love the people He has placed in our lives and still claim to love Him? Our obedience to God’s Word comes from our love and reverence for Him who gave His all so we could keep on giving and loving like He has done for us. It is only when we love God first and foremost that we can reach our full potential in loving others as friends, sisters, daughters, wives and mothers. As we grow in our love for God and in our knowledge of His love, we begin to change. We begin to see and love others differently.

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