Week Three of the bible study I am doing was on the Source of Love. The first question dealt with God's love and how we can receive it. One thing that stuck out to me was the Scripture in I John 4:7-16. In those verses it states that Love is not that WE love God, but that HE loves us, and that because HE loved us, HE sent His Son to die for us. Pretty humbling, isn't it?
Another question asked how God empowers us in learning how to love. A scripture in Philippians 2:13 says that God will put the desire to love in our hearts for us to act on. And in I Thessalonians 3: 12-13 it says that God will make our love increase and overflow to and for others. He will strengthen our hearts. That is such a comforting thought, because sometimes people are hard to love. Especially when you are on the receiving end of hurt time and time again.
The fifth question dealt with studying Scriptures that tell us how we are to grow in love. In John 14: 21-24, it says that if we obey God, we love God. But if we disobey God, we don't love Him. That felt very convicting to me. I might be quick to require instant obedience from my children, but I am not always quick to obey my Heavenly Father when He asks me to take time out of my schedule to do something for Him. And by being slow to respond, I am being disobedient, and in essence, saying I don't love God. Ouch!
I John 5: 1-3 also talks about how God's commands aren't burdensome. That really struck me. His commands are not burdensome. So when I start to feel overwhelmed and weighed down, it isn't the Lord. It's me, trying to act in my own strength. I am so thankful that God's yoke is easy and His burden is light.
Our memory work for week three was: I John 4: 9-11
"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. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."
I don't know about you, but I want to love well. A lot of days it's hard. Especially when you have sick ones, a teething baby, kids who are determined to stretch you day in and day out, death, money problems, marital problems, but God promises us that His commands are not burdensome. He will carry us. He will put His love in our hearts. We can only change the world by loving others with the love He has given us. Sacrificial love.