6 Things Jesus Said About Love

It's surprising to me what Jesus said about love when he lived on the earth. 

It may not be what you expect either, so... I'll just let Jesus speak for himself. 

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1. Love Is The Most Important Commandment

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

“Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” 

And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.

Mark 12:28-34


 

2. Love Is Our Trademark 

"As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

John 13:34b-35

 

3. Love Is Full Of Mercy 

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Luke 10:25-37


 

4. Love Doesn't Get Better Than This

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.

If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 

You are my friends if you do what I command.  I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

This is my command: Love each other."

John 15:9-17

 

5. Love Is Even For Our Enemies

"You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.

He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

Matthew 5:43-48


 

6. Love Unifies Us With The Father, Son, + Holy Spirit

“If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever — the Spirit of truth. 

The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.

On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 

Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. 

The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

John 14:15-21

 

 

Let's pray...

May Jesus' love for me be my greatest treasure. May his forgiveness inspire me to love those in my life more deeply - yes, even that neighbor. May they come to know Jesus because of my love for them.

May the Father's love bring me comfort as I remember that he chose me to be his own dear child and has prepared a place for me to be in heaven with him forever. 

May the Holy Spirit's love strengthen my faith in God's truth and equip me to follow all that is commanded for his purposes and glory! 


Amen.

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God wants to break your heart

God wants to break your heart.
 

Yikes. Does that sound as appalling to you as it did to me when I first heard it? Sitting in the chapel, I began to squirm in my seat as the pastor continued with a prayer similar to this:

 

“Dear Lord, bring us hardship, bring us pain, bring us trials, and break our hearts.”

 

There are days that we label “The Worst Day of My Life. Ever.” Maybe you even have multiple days like that. I know I have a few from various points of my life. Looking back, some really weren’t that bad. Others were flat-out terrible:
 

  • That day in Kindergarten when I was talking out of turn and had my name written on the board for the first time ever. A true tragedy for a teacher’s pet like me.

     
  • That one day in middle school when I found out I was getting headgear AND braces AND that my dog had been put down.

     
  • That Friday shortly before high school when my teacher had to break the distressing news that a former classmate committed suicide.

     
  • That Monday, almost two months ago now, when my anxiety was spinning out of control and I had stopped eating or sleeping because I was broken hearted - the same day that the preacher pointed out that God wanted to break my heart.

     

Bad days come and they can be utterly awful.


Truthfully, that Monday back in January was only the beginning of a downright miserable week.:
 

  • Never have I questioned every single thing I said and did.
     

  • Never have I cried so much.
     

  • Never have I lost my appetite. - I mean, really, have you tried pizza? How could I not enjoy eating that?
     

  • Never have I seen God’s arms open so wide to me.

     

God didn’t allow me to simply sink into sorrow - instead, he called me to Him. I poured over his Word, I clung to the messages shared by ministers, and I prayed to my Comforter fervently.

 

When I prayed, I didn’t begin by asking Him for what I wanted. Over and over again, I prayed, “I will trust Your will. I will trust Your timing. I will trust Your plan.” Then, and only then, once I had acknowledged that all was in his control, did I continue with my petitions, with my wants. I pleaded:
 

“Lord, I really care for this man. He is your child, he makes me happy when I’m around him, and he makes me laugh harder than I ever have. I don’t know his feelings for me and I don’t know who You have designed for me to spend my life with, but I think this man could be good for me, that we could be good for each other. Guide my steps.”
 


I found myself praying to God constantly throughout the day. The more I prayed, the more I began to see Him actively working in my life. He sent me support in the form of family and friends who listened to my uncertain thoughts, who prayed with me and for me, and who held devotions with me. He made his message clear through the preacher that Monday: cling to God at all times and through all things, good and bad, joyful and sorrowful.

 

He even sent me comfort in the form of irony and humor. Several times during that miserable-no-good-dirty-rotten week, humorous moments happened while I was grumbling and complaining, reminding me that I needed to change my focus. For example, as I whined through my tears about lack of communication, my phone vibrated alerting me to a message from that boy. I couldn’t help but giggle through my tears.

 

My eyes were focused on the wrong things; I knew I needed to stop moping and grumbling and to start trusting God’s perfect timing. He nudged me towards my true comfort - the reassurance I find at the empty tomb. He began to fill the cracks in my heart with understanding of His will and acceptance of His plan. Maybe my life won’t always go as I imagine it will and maybe I will be hurt by sinful people, but I was comforted to know that my perfect God is the true owner of my imperfect heart. Through it all, He never stopped calling me daughter, and my love for Him grew.

 

And you know the truly amazing thing? He guides and directs your messy, stressful, and chaotic life, too!

 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.
— Proverbs 3:5-6

 

“Fear the Lord and shun evil.” At my lowest point, when my heart felt like it was crumbling, my initial reactions were evil. I was angry, defiant, confused, and unaccepting of God’s will. I thought I knew what was best for me. I thought my life should have been going down a different path, down the path I thought looked safe, welcoming, and easy to maneuver.



I firmly believed that I could still go down that path, even if God was planning to close the gate to it. I thought I was in control.

 

However, that was not the case. Now that time has separated me from that treacherously awful week, I understand that the path I thought looked welcoming maybe wasn’t as inviting as it appeared. Maybe it wouldn’t have been the worst path, but it surely would not have been as lovely as the one I was directed to by God. What I deemed to be the best future for me simply wasn’t. Because I struggled and because my heart broke, my relationship with my Father grew as he comforted me.



The path he led me to, led me to Him.

 

Rather than focusing on an earthly relationship, I now focus on the most important relationship in my life - the one I have with my Savior. The Holy Spirit has spurred me on in my faith. I now devour His Word, speak with Him more often in prayer, and trust His plan more than I ever have before.

 

I can see that in growing in my relationship with Him, my relationship with myself has also changed. One of the worst days - worst weeks, really - of my life has been one of the best things that has happened to me. Through it, God has made me stronger, wiser, more patient, and more understanding. While a healthy, loving, and Christ-centered relationship with a man is one of God’s greatest gifts to us, it is not His only gift to us. Being single is a blessing, too.

 

Sisters, if you’re single, enjoy it. Embrace it. Rock it. Praise your heavenly Father with it. Pray for your future husband. Pray for patience to trust God’s timing. Serve your Savior with the position he has put you in right now - don’t wait for your future imperfect dreams.

 

Ladies, if you’re married, enjoy it. Embrace it. Rock it. Praise your heavenly Father with it. Pray for your husband. Pray for patience to trust God’s timing. Serve your Savior with your role. Be an example for other women of what God desires marriage to be - emulate that love abounds between you and your husband because Christ’s love is your foundation.

 

For all of God’s daughters, if you focus on your relationship with your Father first, your relationship with others will come naturally and at the right time. Purposefully meditate on God’s Word, call on Him in prayer, and praise Him with your life. Your love for your Creator will be obvious and that love will fuel the love you have for others here on this earth. In all things, trust His wisdom and allow Him to guide your steps.

 

God answered my prayer: “No.”  He’s got something else, something better planned for me. The man I was after hasn’t spoken to me since, other than a quick “hello,” but I do see him around campus sometimes. Honestly, it’s still painful to see him. However, when I begin to feel my heart breaking, I now pray:

 

“Dear Lord, bring me hardship, bring me pain, bring me trials, and break my heart so that I may never lose my zeal for you. I will trust your will. I will trust your timing. I will trust your plan.”


And you know what? The pain always lessens right away because God’s timing, God’s plan, and God’s love are enough.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
— Psalm 34:18

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Let Your Crown Shine Today.
Rev. 3:11