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"God didn't send me out to collect a following for myself, but to preach the Message of what He has done, collecting a following for Him" (1 Corinthians 1:17)

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

September 4: A Life of Love

sept4

NOTE TO SELF: There aren’t many people who truly live a life of love. In fact, the majority of us don’t. Many of us never even knew what love was growing up, and some of us still don’t. Our childhood may have been filled with turmoil or abuse, and we may have fought hard to receive love that never came.

For those of us who lived in those volatile environments, love was a confusing idea. In our minds, love meant abuse or mistreatment. It was all we knew. It was all we saw.

When I was a young girl, my mother married an abusive alcoholic. Each time he beat her she would ultimately take him back because he would profess his undying love for her. Love in my eyes meant abuse. It meant harsh words, because my mother was incredibly harsh to me growing up. Love never meant being affectionate or tender, and to this day I have a very difficult time expressing my love properly.

God provides so much hope for those of us who experienced love in those destructive ways. He says, “Keep company with Me and I’ll show you REAL love. Honest love. Tender love. Merciful love. I’ll show you the definition of love. I’ll teach you…love.”

When I finally allowed God to show me love, and teach me what being loved truly looked like, He tested me on what He taught me. He sent more abusive men into my life, and I was smart enough to recognize it and released them immediately. And it wasn’t much longer after those tests when God sent Jared into my life. Real love. 

When we want good things in our lives, we have to engage ourselves with people who exemplify that in their lives. God is the ultimate source of love. He is the only One who can teach us what a life of love truly looks like.

PRAYER: Father, teach us a life of love. Show us how to love others as freely as You do. Let us be Your students of love. Amen.

JOURNAL: What did love look like to you as a child, and how did that influence the love you chose as an adult? Are you still struggling with love? How can God help you?

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