Pondering the theme of Love throughout the month of February drew me into creating more intention both in loving God and loving others well. Jesus summed this up as the first and second great commandments in Matthew 22:37-40. This week taught me the impact of savoring the unchanging intentional love of God on both loving God and loving others.
Welcome to Mindfulness Monday! Where we learn some easy ways to be more present “in the moment” at our jobs, in our homes, with our families and friends.
Learning to recognize God and what He has for us in each divine moment He offers. We acknowledge the belief that God is with us always.
We confess His presence is available to us, lifting our spirit and helping us with power and grace. Learning the art of “stillness” so we can hear His voice and view ourselves, others and our surroundings through His eyes.
is god’s love intentional?
Meditating on the unchanging love of God reveals his intentionality in teaching us about his character and the depth of his love for us. The scriptures describe the many facets of his love multiple times, bringing reassurance of the security, steadfastness and eternal nature of the love of God for his people.
The intentional nature of God’s love emphasizes the magnificence of his free choice in loving his people without condition.
Intentionality involves not only choice, but consideration. My loving God with intention; heart, soul, mind and strength, indicates a choice. But even more, it indicates my contemplation of the object of my love, as well as the cost to love.
Likewise, God’s compassionate love spans our sin, guilt and circumstances; fully knowledgable, yet fully merciful.
the unchanging love of god
Embracing God’s intentional love for me captivates my heart, while at the same time the pang of insecure fears grimaces my hope. God’s willful choice of bestowing his love upon me invites me to be fully known.
Truly, fully known, the crowning desire of my soul; yet if my timid, cast off heart ventures into the intimacy of the known, will God still fully love me?
The reciprocity of God’s love begs a drawing near, a surrender; a vulnerability. The unchanging quintessance of God’s love provides reassurance of a love relentless in pursuit, passion, and possession.
A love the caliber of which changes not with whimsy, disappointment or brokeness, but instead seals its faithfulness with a covenant of blood.
savoring god’s unchanging intentional love
Matching my own desire to be fully known and subsequently still fully loved, God fills scripture with the treasures of his love. In revealing his multi-faceted love, he invites you into the deeper intimacy of knowing him.
As you earnestly grow in your knowledge of him, your awareness of the depth of his love moves you into the serene space of being fully known, yet fully loved.
Savoring the character of the unchanging, intentional love of God manifests his unfathomable knowledge of you, as his beloved, and every need of your heart.
intentional love and mercy
Moved by your dreadful entanglement in sin, God intentionally lavishes love upon you through his mercy and compassion. Deeply affected by your trials, oppression and temptations, his faithful love knows no bounds.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in him.Lamentations 3:22-24
Though daily, even moment by moment, enmeshed in sin, God’s unchanging steadfast love never wanes nor perishes. He loves you eternally, lavishing his mercies upon you each new day.
a perfect love
Known by many as the “Love Chapter”, 1 Corinthians 13 oftens surfaces at weddings as the gold standard for love’s behavior towards others. Perhaps you heard the admonition for placing your name in place of the word “love” in verses four through seven.
But, instead, have you considered placing Jesus’ name there?
Jesus is patient and kind; Jesus does not envy or boast; Jesus is not arrogant or rude. Jesus does not insist on his own way; Jesus is not irritable or resentful; Jesus does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Jesus bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Indeed, we see a beautiful picture of the character of perfect love demonstrated by Jesus throughout his earthly ministry and even now as he intercedes for you preparing you for the day he brings you home as his bride.
A father’s love
The character of God’s unchanging love washes over you in compassion, mercy, relational patience and endurance. Yet God delights in also showing you his love as your gracious Heavenly Father by reminding you of your position as his beloved child!
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!1 John 3:1
God looks upon you with favor regardless of your background or condition, giving you all the rights of his child, including the eternal privilege of joint inheritance with Christ! (Romans 8:17)
A sacrificial love
No journey into savoring the unchanging, intentional love of God is complete without considering the sacrificial nature of his love. Testifying of his steadfast, unchanging love, the scriptures also portray God’s demonstration of a compassionate love knowing no limits.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16
God’s love gave, his only Son, and his life; redeeming you from the folly of sin and a life of hopelessness. Paying the ultimate price for the treasure of his heart to remain with him for all eternity.
transformed by the unchanging, intentional love of god
Experiencing God’s intentional love for you, impacts your intentional love for him by transforming your perspective on God’s love. Time spent savoring the depth of God’s steadfast, enduring, perfect, sacrificial love lavished upon you in the intimacy of relationship, creates vulnerability.
From a place of vulnerability, the embrace of God’s unchanging love penetrates fear and uncertainty with joy and acceptance.
Held in a place of joy and complete acceptance; fully known and fully loved, God’s love fills every space of your heart flowing back to him in an intentional sacrifice of praise and worship.
Flowing from this exchange of holy love, comes an exhuberant love capable of loving others. A love transformed by the unchanging, intentional love of God, offering the same healing, grace, mercy and acceptance, given you.
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