Love is a strange word.
Maybe it's our use of it that is strange.
It's one that we seem to stumble upon when it comes to expressing our emotions about the people God has placed in our paths, but is then carelessly blanketed over every other aspect of our lives. Hearing the word can bring goosebumps or relief, can stun us to silence or make us burst with joy. It is also a word that is too often thrown about carelessly with either a shallow meaning or an absence of truth. It's a word that we have tried to morph into something man made and self-sustaining but that in reality only comes from Him who is, was, and always will be Love. God's love can be absolutely, unequivocally trusted and when we can refrain from messing that up for even a moment, love can be a pretty fantastic thing.
So, who was your first love? Was it your parents, your brother or sister, your friends or spouse?
Was it God?
Do you remember the first time you knew that God loved you? For many of us we can't remember a time before God. We were baptized as infants and led to worship each Sunday and blessedly don't know what it is to be without Him. But for others, that moment when God was where He had not been known to be previously...is there even a way to describe it? One woman from our local study group considered the question in this thoughtful post.
If the knowledge and belief in God was missing, what was there in His place? If God is love, was an unbelieving parent or friend able to provide any real love, or was what they shared something that only mimicked and disguised itself as love? Granted, it could have been a very good disguise.
Do you remember the first time you knew that you loved God? Does that look and feel the same every day? I'm inclined to believe not. I do love Him, but in my sinful state it's not even close to perfect and some days I would be hard pressed to even describe it as tolerable. It is so very different from the way He loves me.
Thanks be to God for that!
I pray you enjoyed your first lesson in our new study. When I originally opened Golden Fruit I was a little overwhelmed by the number of blank lines. Spaces that looked to me for the answers. I found many of them on Monday night, but those spaces gave way to more questions than answers.
In our discussion today, please pick one or two of the questions above or any of the questions posted by others in the comments.
Answer it. Then ask one or two of your own.
Let's pray and then you're up my friend.
My Good and Gracious God,
You have loved me from the moment I was conceived in my mother's womb. You have loved me with an everlasting love each and every day of my life, even on those days when the world calls me unlovable. I am in awe of your mercies. I am humbled. Forgive me for the times I cast aside your love for me and count it as something unneeded or unwanted. Forgive me for not loving my neighbor as myself. Help me to do better. Thank you for the love you showed for me by sending your Son to be my Savior. Provide me with both the opportunities and the willingness to show your love to others. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Love is part of the great inheritance you have from your Heavenly Father.
Use it intentionally.
Use it wisely.
If you would like to join me in this study of God's Word, you can purchase "Golden Fruit" through Concordia Publishing House as well as other retailers.