Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Loving God, Yourself & Others

 Love requires action. It's not a thing we try to get for ourselves, but instead is an action we express to others through sharing and serving.
Because love is an action, I believe there are three different forms of love God has instructed us to demonstrate, or "live out." Each one needs to be in balance so they can work together. As you read on, consider whether each one is well-balanced in your life or needs some adjustments.

#1 Love God

Deuteronomy 6:5 says, And you shall love the Lord your God with all your [mind and] heart and with your entire being and with all your might. In the New Testament, Jesus repeats this command and even points it out as the most important commandment of all (as well as loving your neighbor as yourself).
So, how do you express love for God? By telling God, "I love You"? Singing praises to Him? These are good things, but they only scratch the surface.
We show God we love Him through obedience because actions definitely speak louder than words. I believe our level of obedience grows as we get to know and experience His love, goodness and faithfulness in our lives. Our desire to follow and obey the Lord's commandments increases as we increase our love of God.

#2 Love Yourself

When Jesus talked about the greatest commandment of all, He quoted Deuteronomy 6:5 and said we are to love God with all our heart. But He also added the second greatest commandment: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (See Mark 12:31.)
There's something important here that I think people often miss: You cannot give away something you don't have in you. How can someone love another person if they don't love themselves?
We all need to accept ourselves, embrace our personalities and even our imperfections, knowing that although we are not where we need to be, we are making progress. Jesus died for us because we have weaknesses and imperfections, and we don't have to reject ourselves because of them. God wants us to love ourselves and enjoy how He's made us!

#3 Love Others

We know that we have passed over out of death into Life by the fact that we love the brethren (our fellow Christians). He who does not love abides (remains, is held and kept continually) in [spiritual] death (1 John 3:14).
Life, in this verse, is the life of God or "life as God has it." I don't want to be one of what I call "the walking dead"─someone who lives and breathes but never truly lives as God desires.
Loving others is the only way to keep the God-kind of life flowing through you. God's love is a gift to us; it's in us, but we need to release it to others through words and actions. Left dormant, it will stagnate like a pool of water with no outlet.
The act of loving others is one of the most exhilarating things I have experienced. I feel excitement stirring in my spirit and soul when I plan to do something to make someone else feel loved and cared for.

How You Can Continue to Grow in Love?

If you will devote yourself to developing your love walk in these three areas, you will experience a huge amount of blessings in your life.
 I encourage you to seek God about this and ask the Holy Spirit to help you grow in your love toward Jesus, yourself and others. He will help you overcome anything that might hinder you in the process. Remember, God is love. And He loves YOU.

You can experience the same exhilaration just by "loving out loud."
 Think of three people you know who could really use a gesture of God's love.
Then think of creative ways you can express His love to these people, and do it. I guarantee you will feel a wonderful sense of fulfillment and joy afterward.


At February 7, 2012 at 1:56 PM , Blogger Vivian said...

Very well said. If we all exhibited all three traits you mentioned in your post, imagine the kind of world we would live in.

At February 7, 2012 at 2:10 PM , Blogger Amber said...

This is so true! And I love the challenge!

At February 7, 2012 at 4:30 PM , Blogger Kerri said...

Very excellent post. I just finished reading Loving God by Charles Colson, and the lessons presented there are very much the same. Love out loud, serve, and DO something. :) Wonderful!

At February 7, 2012 at 6:35 PM , Blogger Janine said...

this is a great post. i love your thoughts.

At February 7, 2012 at 11:02 PM , Blogger Erin said...

I love this post and this challenge! Girl you are amazing!!

At February 8, 2012 at 7:59 AM , Blogger Kimberly Bonham said...

Thank you Vivian!
Ah I know...the world would be a wonderful place :)

At February 8, 2012 at 7:59 AM , Blogger Kimberly Bonham said...

Thank for stopping by and commenting Amber!
Have a great Wednesday!

At February 8, 2012 at 8:00 AM , Blogger Kimberly Bonham said...

Thank you Kerri!
I will have to check out that book. Sounds like my kind of book!

At February 8, 2012 at 8:01 AM , Blogger Kimberly Bonham said...

Thank you for stopping by and commenting Janine!
Much love to you.

At February 8, 2012 at 8:02 AM , Blogger Kimberly Bonham said...

Thank you Erin for your sweet comments! Same right back at 'cha!!


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