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Do you love so that you can receive?

Love is not…

Ever feel like you are being used? The love that we see Jesus expressing in His stories is not so that He will be loved in return. Most of the time, Jesus is loving people who are in no position to give anything in return. As created beings of the Lord, there is nothing that we can give to Him that He hasn’t already created anyway. Everything we see the Lord doing in scripture is offered without an expectation of return, and usually in spite of it. He does chasten, but that is to rescue from foolishness. He does not manipulate by giving or by withholding so that we will praise Him, thank Him, give Him money (as if He needs it). He simply loves all the time, (He IS love) and nothing we do or do not do stops Him from loving us. Even if we are in defiance, He longs for us to “come home.”

On the flip side, how does our love for Christ compare? Are we willing to follow Him only if He gives blessing, if He heals, if He makes us happy? If we get depressed or angry with the Lord for not “making it better” because of “all we’ve done for Him”, then our impure love is exposed--it's kind of like that container from the back of the fridge that you wish you hadn't opened. ;) Can you compare what you have done for the Lord with all that He has done (creation, order, death on a cross)? Ouch. Can we love without expectation? This is the love that Jesus has for us, even when we do not love this way toward Him. The more we walk with Jesus, the more He puts this love into us. It is not about what we do, but who we are.

1 Corinthians 13:5--...[love] does not seek out the things of its own...

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