1 John 4:8 "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love."
John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
Seek God. Find God's love in the world. We can see it in other people as they engage in helping others. We can see it in nature. Affection, compassion, and caring is all around us. As we recognize it we become affected emotionally and spiritually. We can create such activity ourselves as we ought to love and care for each other, not just because the bible says so, but because it purifies the heart, mind, and spirit.
Any thought which sabotages experiencing love ought to be examined and made obedient to Christ.
It is good to question, but when questioning leads to separation and fear then the questioning has become disbelief. Love can bring us back. We are to focus on the good in the world, which is God.
Proverbs 3:3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.
Broken love (a brief example - look for similarities)
When we fall in love it is the most amazing experience. So much passion, joy, and positive energy is alive within us. We experience the world in a new way and struggle to find words to express it. We become anxious to be around the one we love because we feel so alive by the experience. We seek this guiding feeling with anxiousness, anticipation, and desire. We want it and we want it with urgency.
A good question to ask ourselves and each other might be, "where is God in this?" Often times kids will find 'the one' or become infatuated forgetting about reliance to God. We often get our ideas mixed up and misplace this wonderful feeling upon people of things. God's love has to do with the spiritual world, not the physical world. We are to love God and have no idols or we will suffer.
When we fall in love we experience a strong spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical sensation. Then begin convincing ourselves that this ____?_____ is "the one." The words 'forever' and 'always' may be thought or spoken with good intentions and we might promise never to leave or betray, but then reality hits. Before we know it this perfect relationship with our 'soul mate' changes. Human imperfections fail and disappoint our dream. Or was it that we had the wrong idea about this powerful feeling? We certainly felt something amazing. We perhaps created reasoning as to why we felt that way. How could something that felt so right be so wrong? We believed it was this person, experience, or thing that gave us this pleasure/love. Then we set out to create more of that feeling through re-experience with that person or thing.
We kept seeking that experience until something happened. Something changed. Then we sought reasoning again to explain why it stopped and often blamed another person or perhaps ourselves. Then we became hurt, angry, sad, and perhaps set in our minds not to trust or seek that feeling again. We perhaps blamed that guiding feeling for making us fools convincing ourselves not to trust love ever again. We sought out to take control over our lives and protect ourselves from getting close to others. We have learned love hurts.
The love we ought to experience is to be with God and not dependent upon another person or object. The spirit in us connects with the spirit in others. God is love. Love comes from God. We ought to seek God for these experiences, not other people or things. People are not to be worshiped and we are not to place dependency upon others ahead of God. People make mistakes and sin.
It is so incredibly important to create within our minds beliefs which agree with God. We are to love God with all our mind. Whatever our old ideas about love may be, we ought to seek truth in understanding God's love so we may participate in it more accurately. Faith in God is essential, but we ought to test and evaluate our faith to ensure it agrees with God. If we place our faith in another person or money ahead of God we set ourselves up for suffering. Love didn't fail, how we set our heart and mind failed us. Taking time and effort each day to right our minds and hearts with God could be the difference between freedom and suffering, fulfillment and emptiness, encouragement and destruction, peace and anxiety.
Matthew 22:37-39 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and 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.’
We are to love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind. We are to serve and worship God. We are to seek God. We are to pray to God. We are to know God. We are to eliminate anything within us which tells us otherwise. The correct understanding of God is to be our everything. Increasingly we are to grow in this way. If we do not, than we are not loving, seeking, serving, or worshiping God as God instructs us to do. It would be helpful to find someone who can help demonstrate this activity, but can be difficult.
The first step in 12 step programs involves admitting to ourselves and others our ideas and understanding has failed us. Our way does not fulfill our spirit. Our ideas get us into trouble. Our choices fall short. This realization involves humbling of our pride. God opposes the proud. In order to receive God we need contrite hearts. We need submission to God. We are to let go of control over results in life and take control of directing our thoughts, plans, and attitudes toward God and God's purposes.
God grants us free will and choice and we are responsible for our choices. We can choose to pray or not. We can choose to examine our hearts and thoughts. We can choose to confess and repent. God's perfect character and principles lived out through us will enrich our life and other's lives the way God intended. We are to love and serve God who grants us that special feeling of love. If we love the way God instructs us it will bring peace and freedom. The message of love has been misunderstood by the masses and so has God. The law is written on our hearts. Our counselor and teacher resides within us. Are we seeking his help? Are we listening to the Holy Spirit? Are our pastors, teachers, and preachers speaking from the Holy Spirit and sharing their experience of their own transformation, confession, repentance, freedom, peace, and love?
Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Luke 16:13 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
Matthew 18:4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
It is sometimes thought that God serves people for their purposes. God is seen as a tool to get more income, better grades, improved health, etc. This can be referred to as the health and wealth gospel based more on fulfilling selfish ambition. Certainly living for God and God's purposes improves such things, but we are not to worship God with expectations of receiving material rewards. We are to serve God for God's purposes. Money and health is not the goal. The goal is peace and love. We ought to follow God in Christ's footsteps. We ought to practice becoming more like Christ. We ought to shape our inward character (patience, peace, love etc.) through commitment, responsibility, self-discipline, time-management, compassion, and increased inward adjustments.
Luke 11:28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
John 8:51 Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.”
John 14:23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
John 15:20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.
Acts 5:32 We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
Acts 7:39 “But our ancestors refused to obey him. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt.
Acts 7:52-54 Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him— 53 you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.”
Romans 6:14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
Sin is no longer our master because we are no longer seeking it. Our thoughts which indulge in sin must shift toward thoughts on development of Godly attributes and character. Our minds and hearts must be focused with intention on experiencing God's love from within us and outwardly toward the world.
Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.