Do you love hot dogs? How about baseball? What about apple pie? Or better yet, how about Chevys? Some would say I love to eat a hamburger while watch football and eating French silk pie and sitting in my Ford F150. Now that I love.
People love their cats, their dogs, their favorite TV series or their favorite country western song.
If you love something, set it free.
If it comes back, it was, and always will be yours.
If it never returns, it was never yours to begin with.
If it just sits in your living room,
messes up your stuff,
eats your food,
uses your telephone,
takes your money,
and never behaves as if you actually set it free in the first place,
you either married it or gave birth to it!
Love is an interesting word. In our mindset, love can be directed toward something as trivial as the lounge chair you sit in to watch TV all the way to how you feel about your family and closest friends.
I had a friend recently tell me that he fully understood the love God has for him. What he wanted to figure out was how to love God with all his heart. Though I commend my friend for desiring the deepest expressions of love for God in his life, (and he is a sincere and genuine follower of Christ) the scripture indicates that the only way to love God with all our heart is to comprehend how much God loves us.
Notice what Paul prays as he is praying on bended knees for one of the most spiritual churches in the first century:
Ephesians 3:14-19 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
The most fundamental Christian principle, love, requires inner strength from the Holy Spirit to begin to assist us in comprehending the dimensions of God’s love, something that Paul says “surpasses knowledge.” Just to be filled with the Holy Spirit requires a massive dose of knowing God’s love for us. And this is not a passive intellectual understanding of God’s love but an active experience of God’s love.
Yesterday, two of our grandchildren were playing at our home. I scooped Claire up into my arms, looked into her eyes and said, “You know Claire, Grandpa sure loves you.” With a sort of peeved look on her face she said, “I know that!”
I laughed, gave her a hug and put her down. But as I watched her run back to her bike, a thought occurred to me. She doesn’t know. She doesn’t know what I want for her, what I pray for her or what I think of her. I’m not certain she will ever know how deep my love is for her. None of my children or grandchildren can ever know what is in my heart when I say to them, “I sure love you!”
All that to say this. Don’t trivialize God’s love. It takes revelation from the Holy Spirit just to capture a glimpse of God’s expansive love. It is my prayer that every one of us will grow in our ability to comprehend God’s love for us because in grasping God’s love for us, we are more capable to live lives that express our love for Him and for those He loves.