Outrageous Love Part 1
DISCOVER THE DEEPEST MEANING OF LIFE.
When we think about what love means, I would say that most of us think about an intense romantic feeling, a spark, deep adoration when we look at our children or someone we deeply care about. It's how our hearts well up with unexplainable...feelings.
What if I told you that while all those feelings are intentionally designed by God, love is not actually a feeling?
In this grace bible study, we will discover what love really means and how outrageously loved we are by God. We will learn how we can begin to walk in outrageous love that will cause miracles to happen in the world around us.
Love Defined: Part 1
Everyone is looking for love. Really. Yes, even men. It's the deepest need that we possess as human beings. Even my dog needs and wants to be loved. And when we do not feel loved, we may even act like a wild animal just trying to survive in a lonely world, irrational and irritable.
When I was 15, I met a 17 year old boy. He was cute, funny and made me feel like the most amazing woman on the planet. Yes, this was a serious relationship. So serious that I married him at 18. Over the course of 21 years, the Lord has shown me what love really is, and it's not what I thought.
The love described in today's terms that all of us are looking for and need:
- feeling like I matter to someone
- feeling understood
- being accepted for who I am
- being wanted and even needed sometimes
- feeling like someone really cares for me
- not feeling judged
- knowing that someone would actually put me first before themselves
Now let's look at what the bible says about love and see how close it is to what we all want and need.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
Today's paraphrase (my very own) of the above verse: If you love me, you will be patient and kind to me. You don't walk around all arrogant and wishing you had everything. You don't cut me down or diss others around. A loving person isn't so selfish, and it sure takes a lot to make you angry! I'm amazed at how forgiving you are, even when I've totally blown it. You don't laugh when things are stolen, lost or when someone is hurt, but you are happy when things are given in honor and you always speak the truth. I can trust you. You always protect me, and are very trusting of me. You are not depressed, bringing everyone down with you, but hopeful of the future. You always fight till the end. I can always count on you, you are responsible and reliable and never fail me.
WOW! Wouldn't this be amazing, to be loved like this? Isn't this what we all desire? In fact, when we meet that special someone, many of their traits do line up with this. When I met my husband, he went out of his way to do everything he could to walk in the kind of love described above. To be honest, even I tip-toed around doing my best to treat him like this. We did not have a long history of failures to not be trusting, or easily angered. In the begining, it was easy to forgive and hope. And what did money matter when I had love?
After getting married I found out who he really was when he wasn't trying so hard. My husband was quite the opposite of love, and honestly, I didn't always respond so well to it. After years of misery of not feeling loved, both of us would describe our marriage as hell on earth.
But then God. Then I cried out to God and asked him to show me his love. And little by little he revealed himself to me. He revealed how perfect his love is for me and how the description of love above is not only how he feels towards me, but that he is love itself. God cannot act in contrary to who he is.
As I learned and received how much God loved me, I was able to turn my heart toward God and receive from him. As I grew in the Lord's love I became less dependent of needing love from another human being to be ok. My broken heart was healed.
Step One to Outrageous Love Grace Bible Study:
Receive God's love.