Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Whenever my little grand daughter leaves the room for a nap, upon her return she makes a joyful announcement, “Hey guys! I’m here!” And, we all clap and say, “Hooray! Livy’s back!!!” Her smile broadens and her eyes light as we cheer her back into our company. What a picture of living loved! What freedom to the soul to wake up each day and enter life assured and convinced that we are indeed wanted and welcomed! How would this awareness impact our thoughts about ourselves, our reactions to others, and the way we enter rooms?
What would happen to the constraints that keep us from loving freely if we believed and held deeply that we are dearly loved children?
So many things interfere with our freedom to love and be loved. We are fragile creatures with fractured hearts and tend to interpret life from the wounds within us. We hold offenses, real and imagined. We live braced for rejection. We compare ourselves with others and either come up wanting or puffed up. Out of our insecurities we become critical or withdrawn, and out of our fears we become judgmental and guarded. We try not to know the truth about our places of need, but the fact is, we leak! When we say an unkind word or withdraw because of an offense…when we criticize and judge, or hold ourselves apart from others because we fear rejection, we realize we are not free to love and, sadly, are not living loved! On a good day, we let ourselves know this and are helped to look up and reach out for the One who can free us…the One who faithfully waits for us to wake up to His presence.
Learning to imitate God as dearly loved children is vital if we are ever to follow Christ into a life that becomes a fragrant offering. But, how do we enter more deeply into the love of God? How do we make it ours in such a way that we begin to leak love? God made us for His love and He desires for us to fully know and feel His love as best we can. As we face Him, walk with Him, listen to His voice and learn to trust Him, our hearts begin to heal.
Our capacity to believe that we are loveable and indeed loved by a great King expands and before we know it, we are living a little more loved than yesterday!
His love heals our wounds, secures our hearts and frees us to feel grace for others, patience, greater acceptance, and growing openness to become a fragrant offering to God. Listen for the sound of the Father’s clapping! Let your smile broaden and your eyes light up as He cheers you into His company where you are wanted, welcomed and…dearly loved.
“Father, I want to live in the reality of Your love! I want to be set free to love and become a fragrant offering. Heal the wounds that interfere with a clear flow of love in and through my heart to others. Help me say the best “yes” to all the ways that You invite me to live loved. Amen.”
What about you?
Do you feel dearly loved?
Are you aware of your “leaks”?
Can you look up and reach out for God with your places of need?
Do you feel free to love others? Pray and ask God to help you believe and feel His love.