- Elizabeth Marie
What Does Love Really Look Like?
Last weekend I went on a retreat to seek God and “to see what He sees”. And we talked about love. Jesus said that the greatest commandment in Matthew 26:37 is “ Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it. “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
In this imperfect world for me, it is hard to fathom what love really looks like until I look at Jesus. I look at Him as He stood before the woman in adultery and listen to His words after those who found her were ready to stone her. After Jesus' words “ Let any one of you who is without sin be first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her,” Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
“ No one, sir,” she said.
“ Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “ Go now and leave your life of sin.”
If we look to Jesus, all who came to Him with their requests were made whole. He honored women, who were ignored at that time in the Jewish history, as well as other marginalized groups.
Sometimes I have asked how should I respond to sinners. My answer is, with compassion, as Jesus spoke to the woman caught in adultery. It is not my place to point out someone else's sin unless maybe they ask me for my opinion. It is God’s job to convict, and I can leave the critical voice that I have for myself and, therefore, sometimes for others aside.
I was touched to hear of Chinese Christian children who do the things that Jesus did without thinking, without the reasoning of a Western mind. If a river was high, they would run across the water, just like Jesus did, trusting in His character, His words, and His love. Chinese Christians are often so persecuted that they have nowhere else to go but to rely on Jesus, and Jesus meets them at their point of need.
The greatest gift of all, without a doubt, is love because perfect love casts out all fear. And how can I access that love? How do I access God? We are told in scripture we have access to the heavenly realm and that we are seated in high places in Him. When Jesus was crucified suddenly, the massive curtain that separated the common man from the holy of holies was torn in two. Now we can access through the curtain to His presence. But with any relationship, it takes time.
I personally love to sing and worship God and to dance. We are also told in the world to pray without ceasing. How do we do that with our busy schedules? I believe by offering our hearts to Him and asking Him to walk with us through everything. I remember one amazing encounter I had with God, where I experienced His glory and presence for an entire week. Everything was wow, God wow, through my job, even when I extracted a challenging wisdom tooth. It was amazing.
We are also told to meditate on the word day and night, so we will have good success and prosperity when we do what is in the word.
I realized over the weekend some of the beliefs that I was still holding onto that are not from God. Beliefs that continued to zap my enjoyment of life, with me ending up in the comparison trap.
God spoke to me about not rejecting what He has created. Is this a word for you as well? To be thankful for what God is doing in you? To take a step towards your dreams and to enjoy them. That the father that loves you perfectly (Not like our flawed earthly parents) wants to walk with you as you delight in the journey that you are on? Who are we? The beloved son of the most high God, the beloved daughter, the bride of Christ. Look at how Esther in the old testament was pampered to be ready for her earthly King. Can we allow ourselves to be loved and pampered by our heavenly father?
Psalm 139 17 How precious also are your thoughts towards me, O God. How great is the sum of them? If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand. When I awake, I am still with you.