Love. It’s the age-old pursuit of both young and old. Who doesn’t want to be loved? We all want it, we all crave it and we all want to receive it and feel it. And when we give love, we want what we’re offering to be accepted. My heart overflows with joy and hope when the love I have to give to another is received then returned. However, when love is unrequited, we can suffer great pain and rejection, maybe we even experience mourning because our love is refused.
What has ever been the greatest demonstration of love shown to you by another? Maybe a grand, out-of-this-world marriage proposal. Maybe even something as dramatic as saving your life by donating an organ or blood you needed. Maybe something as simple as a bouquet of flowers from a steadfast friend to cheer you up while you sit in depression. For me, personally, one of the greatest demonstrations of love shown to me in my life has been the way my husband of almost thirty-one years has simply remained constant and dependable by my side through all of life’s ups and downs. So, now, what’s the greatest demonstration of love you have displayed? Was it received or did you experience the pain of rejection?
Now, imagine with me for a moment, a love so great for you that the ultimate sacrifice was made—another’s life. Can you conceive it? If someone died for you as proof of how loved you are, would you accept it or decline it? What would cause you to reject it? Feelings of unworthiness? The need to be self-reliant? Switching gears here now, go with me even further if you dare. Now you are the one who made that sacrifice for another and they have rejected your gift of love. How do you feel? Heartbroken? Devastated? Mystified? You wanted them to be loved and they declined the invitation. Do you wonder if maybe God experiences those same emotions when we deny the sacrificial love that he demonstrated to us?
“Now, would anyone dare to die for the sake of a wicked person? We can all understand if someone was willing to die for a truly noble person. But Christ proved God’s passionate love for us by dying in our place while we were still lost and ungodly!” Romans 5:6-8 (TPT) Hard to believe? I know. Why would God do this? Surely there has to be a way to earn this love. But what if I told you that you can’t earn it! In a society where we all have to work so hard to earn everything, including love, it can be challenging to believe this. But this love is a gift. One that God wants desperately for you to receive!
Maybe feelings of shame or just plain ole’ lack of knowing this truth keep you from being loved by the One who gave all. I would encourage you today, that whatever is keeping you from receiving that love, to reject that and not the love! The same way you want the love you offer another to be accepted, God wants you to receive his love. We are so loved, that the thought of being separated from us for eternity compelled God to make that ultimate sacrifice—what Jesus did, he did for love—for you to be loved. “This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.” 1John 4:10 (MSG)
So what is keeping you from receiving that gift of unconditional love today? Allow me to encourage you to truly search your heart for that answer. Breathe, pray, seek and take a moment to just be loved by the One who loves you more than you may ever even comprehend. What is there to lose?