I am pretty sure God doesn’t teach me based around themes of American holidays but maybe because February is a month that brings hearts, pink and red, cream cheese frosting and romance to mind, He’s been schooling me on the topic of love.
What it is to love as Christ, how to love more deeply and without conditions.
Principally, that I can (and should love) even when I’m not feeling the love in return. Whether it’s Jon, our girls or our neighbors.
I’m being shown, “This is how you live in a way that is different, set apart”. Here, I’m talking about the 2 Corinthians 4 kind of love for God that brings perseverance.
“Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart”. (2 Cor 4:1). The kind of love that fuels a ministry so regardless of circumstance, we press forward, not losing heart.
The kind of love that carries death so others may receive life.
The gritty love that is only possible with God and makes his children so beautiful.
“Always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.” 2 Cor 4:10-12
And this makes me want to throw up my hands in surrender at this thing I will never want (Who wants to carry death in the body?). until I remember that love that comes from my best and most disciplined efforts will fail, it will always stop but that’s not what it depends on...
“and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured in to our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:5
“Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth” 1 John 3:18
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loves us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:7-10
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” 2 Cor 4:16
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” 2 Cor 4:7
This kind of love, the one that pours itself out continually, I’m scratching the surface of it and marveling how much our weakness is right where God can show his strength, our end of love, our end of compassion, is just where God can start doing something in us.