God's Love, Love

I Heart You <3

Many of you may focus on the title and wonder why I didn’t use the word love. In today’s society the word “love” has almost become obsolete.  Even on Facebook and Twitter people say I “heart” you.  Instantly you know what they mean, but the way it’s written just looks different.  I believe we say “heart” because it doesn’t sound all mushy, but why not be mushy for God?

Jesus wants us to have an attitude of love. 1 John 4:16 says GOD IS LOVE. (NLT) It doesn’t say GOD IS HEART, it says love.  It’s 100% natural for us to have love for our family, children and friends, but what about our enemies and neighbors?  The scriptures instructs us to, “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.”  (Matthew 5:44-45 KJV)

My son once asked me, “Mommy do you love me and everybody or just me?”  I told him, “Of course I love you and mommy loves everybody too.”  I’ve always been a person who loves to love, a romantic at heart. But then I began to really wonder how God wants us to love our enemies. How can I love my neighbor who never speaks or the chick that is always gossiping about me behind my back? Then God says to me, How can you NOT love them? If you love those who love you, what rewards will you get?  Are not even the tax collectors doing that?  And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others?  Do not even pagans do that?”  (Matthew 5:46-47 NIV)

The chapter continues on by saying, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48 NIV) Can we be “perfect” here on earth?  Obviously, the answer is no.  The word perfect in Hebrew means “maturity,” “completeness,” and “wholeness.”  So we must grow toward maturity and wholeness.  Just as we expect different behaviors from a baby, a child, a teenager, and an adult, so God expects growth and different behavior from us.

So how can we gain an attitude of love?  Someone once said, “To return evil for evil is man-like. To return evil for good is animal-like, but to return good for evil is God-like. “We have to continually assess our actions based upon the perfect example of Jesus so that we can move from “man-like” to “GOD-like” while avoiding becoming “animal-like.” 

Dear Daddy,

I love You with all my heart.  I will always be in love with You because You loved me so much that You gave Your only begotten son to die for my sins.  Lord, help me to grow stronger daily in my attitude of love toward others.  Help me to sincerely love those who persecute me. In Jesus’  Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you to adopt an attitude of love toward all people, including your enemies.  Don’t be afraid to let someone know that you hea—eh, LOVE them!  Remember: Three things will last forever-faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is LOVE! (1 Corinthians 13:13 NLT)

How will you endeavor to love those that don’t act so lovable? Share it with us on Facebook or Twitter!

Read a related EmpowerMoment: Be a Change Agent

Ms. Hassanah White is a dedicated member of Faith Walkers Church in Birmingham, Alabama where their motto is to “Walk it out by Faith.”  She also serves as a member of the Praise Dance Ministry.  Hassanah is a true professional in the realm of marketing and customer service.  She’s a proud mother of a very energetic little boy named Jaden.  Hassanah believes laughter and prayer are the best medicines for any situation.  Her favorite scripture is Hebrews 11:6: “And without Faith it is impossible to please GOD, because anyone who comes to Him must BELIEVE that He exists and that He REWARDS those who earnestly seek Him.”