Lookin’ for love in all the right places

Many people spend their lives, as the old song goes, “Lookin’ for love in all the wrong places." So, how do we find real, lasting love?

Love comes from God

      Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God (1 John 4:7a NIV).

Many people think that God is only interested in rules. But God is all about love. Jesus,
God the Son, reminds us of the most important “rule”:

      “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39).

“Okay,” we say. “That sounds good.” But we seem powerless to love like that.

      Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also (1 John 4:20-21 NRSV).

The power to 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 (1 John 4:7b-10).

Anything that we have done that is not loving separates us from a loving God. We don’t have to murder or commit armed robbery to “sin.” Sin is simply breaking God’s commandment to fully love Him and others.

      If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us (1 John 1:8).

But His only Son, Jesus Christ, died and rose again to “atone” for our unloving behavior (1 John 2:1-2). Atone means to make “at-one.” When we confess our lack of love (sin) and believe that Christ has died and risen for our sin, we are forgiven and are “at one” with God and His love (1 John 1:9).

      God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God (1 John 4:15).

The power to love unselfishly comes from God

Love from God is not earned—it is a free gift—but it is also learned.

      No one has ever seen God; but if we love each other, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us (1 John 4:12).

We get to know God and His love better through reading his love letter (the Bible), talking to Him (prayer), and being with those who also love Him (the church). And the better we know God, the easier it is for us to obey his commandment to love Him and others.

      This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God has overcome the world [of hate] (1 John 5:3).

If you’d like to know more about God and His great love, please feel free to e-mail me.

© Copyright 1990 James N. Watkins. All rights reserved.

Photo: PlusQuotes.com

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5 Responses

  • Linda A. Goodlin says:

    Thank you for your wonderful words of wisdom.
    Happy Valentines Day!

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  • Debra Crosby says:

    I cant afford spiritual direction and I am realistic enough to understand, Its not likely I’ll hear from you.
    Anyway, I am depressed, have been all my life. Mom didn’t believe children got like that. Dad just worked,that’s it.
    I’m 68 yr. old great grandmother. I spent my life in social service, that’s where I was happiest.
    I didn’t have time to think about myself.
    I wonder if there’s someone out there that I can tell how frightened I am, now. I don’t feel adequate. I have run out of “self talk”.
    I’m anxious, I cry, I worry about the souls of my family members who don’t see Gods mercy being poured out on the earth,
    If they want it.
    I don’t sleep, afraid Ill wake up with fire falling from the sky.
    i think…..I am losing my mind.

    • I am so glad you were honest and vulnerable enough to write this comment. 

      I’m also 68 and also struggle with clinical depression. (Here’s a video of my story: Hi, Jim. I have clinical depression )
      Please check for a local agency or church that provides free counseling. Or you can call 1-855-771-HELP (4357) Monday through Friday between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Mountain time for Focus on the Family’s free initial session and referrals to local help. 

      There are people who care and want to help you through this difficult time, Debra. I am praying that you find those people and find hope and help. In the meantime, here are some posts that may be helpful: Mental health issue

      And feel free to email any time. jim@jameswatkins.com

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