Thursday, February 28, 2013

Love Is Always On!

Does love drive you crazy? A little bit insane?

The love we most often experience is a love which is stirred-up or awakened within us by the beauty or wonder of someone or some thing, as the case may be. You know how this goes. For me, I might see a sleek and gorgeous car, and my inner car lover is ignited – “I so badly want a Porsche Panamera! I’ve gotta have one!”

I’ve also been captivated by the beauty of a woman, whom I thought just had to be the very best thing in the world. She made me feel so good—how could I make her mine? And that’s the result of this world’s common love; it wants to possess the object of its affection because it feels so good having it.

This kind of love is found when the object of desire elicits it, earns it, and, if all goes well, keeps on earning it. There’s a lot of pressure involved in this kind of love, and a lot of maintenance that has to go on in order to “stay in love.”

We know a lot about this love, even experiencing it toward God. You know how it goes. When things are going well in life, when we get a promotion at work, when we get that car we prayed about, or that girlfriend or boyfriend we want, oh, how we love Him—He’s being so good to us. He’s earned it, and we love Him so much. But, when life isn’t going so well, when we lose a job, get in a car accident, or a relationship ends, what then? We likely become suspicious that something has gone very wrong somewhere, somehow. Our passion for God isn’t ignited by Him because His behavior toward us isn’t earning it; or so we believe. And the only heat we may feel is anger or fear. We wonder what happened to love, since ours isn’t fired up.

But God doesn’t love us at all like the world does. God’s love toward us is never stirred-up in Him, it’s never called-out in Him, or awakened by a lovely or likeable or a really obedient person. He is never impressed in such a way that, “Wow! I just have to make you mine! I just have to win you!” God is His own source of love.

God does not have love, and God is never surprised by love. God doesn’t calculate or strategize about how He might get love because, well, He’s running low on love. He is love, and love is lavished upon you and me at all times, know it or not, deserve it or not. Always we can turn to Him and find love. He loves us perfectly and constantly, regardless of our behavior. We’ll never deserve His love (and, therefore, have to keep earning it), and we’ll never lose His love (and have to work to get it back again).

Believing that His love is like that, believing that He is like that toward you is, I think, the most vital ingredient of your life. It’s what keeps your motor running! It’s the thing that keeps your heart beating and longing for expression.

God’s love toward you will never be “if” and “then.” In other words, “If you do right, then I will love you.” It won’t ever be like that. God’s love is always “because” and “therefore.” In other words, “Because I love, therefore I sent my Son, therefore I gave, and therefore I keep giving.” God keeps you in love and offers perfect grace to you everyday, at all times, to everyone, like it or not, embrace it or turn away, fail or succeed. It will not deter Him, and it will not change Him. Love is always on with God!

My hope for you today is that doubts about God, fears about how He feels toward you, those things that become inside “stop signs” in your head, might lay down. And then the love He has for you, which is always on, might become the thrill and certainty of your heart, even becoming the motivation for it.

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (I John 4:7-10 NIV, italics mine.)

That’s love. And you have love with Him.

(This is a transcript of yesterday's video, “Love Is Always On!” It's for those who might rather read than watch. My thanks to Malcolm Smith who, many years ago, helped me put into words what God had already shown me: the wonder of His love for me.)

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