How to Find Perfect Love

“Perfect love casts out all fear, for fear hath torment.  And he that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” 1 John 4:18

perfect loveWe are created in the image of God and designed to have intimate relationships bound in love.   I guess it would be safe to say we are created with a “need” to love, and be loved.

As an infant, the first time we are touched and held by our parent, our initial experience with physical love is activated.  But, only for a moment.  At the stage of infancy, the ability to hold-on to love has not been fully established.  The ability to hold-on when someone says they are holding you is what we label as trust.  Just as a baby will continue to cry until he/she learns how to trust, we as adults will continue to whine and complain until we mature and learn to trust God completely.

We first learn to trust through loving, nurturing parents.  Since they are our first source of nurturing, we begin to trust them as a source of comfort and “love”.  We trust them to return, even when they are away for a day.  Once trust has been established, they can be away for longer periods of time and we still feel secure and loved.  Their continual flow of love keeps our hearts soft and open to trusting.

Unfortunately, some people never fully experience that sense of trust.  A lack of love due to neglect, rejection or abuse is painful and causes emotions to shut down and their heart begins to harden.  Each time pain is felt, a stone is formed in the heart.    After a period of time, the stones form a wall around the heart for protection against further pain.  A person with a stony heart has a difficult time receiving love from God or others – and also have a tough time offering love to others.  Relationships are difficult, and unfortunately, the very thing that is needed to heal the pain is blocked out.

We all have areas of our heart that are stony due to the fact that we all have been hurt when love did not flow properly from early relationships in our lives.   Sometimes parents are unable to provide the relationship and unconditional love that helps build a soft, trusting heart.  Perhaps their own struggles caused them to have a hardened heart – and unable to love properly.

The fact is, as adults we need to understand that our example of love is Jesus Christ.  Through him our hearts can be softened in order to love others.  Regardless of hurts or lack of trust from early relationships, by opening our hearts to Christ we can love through hurts and disappointments.

Ask God for His perfect love to fill you; for God is the only one who has perfect love, (I John 4:18).

Imperfect love hurts; perfect love heals.

Unconditional Love: Finding the Real Thing

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5) It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6) Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7) It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”  1Corinthians 13:4-7

JGods love manifestAs you experience God’s love, you will know you have found the real thing.  He loves you with an everlasting, continual, and unconditional love.  His love is consistent and not based on your behavior, good or bad.  He loves bad boys as much as good boys.  His love is so strong that he doesn’t get offended at us when we make a mistake.

God continues to show you His loving kindness is still there for you to receive.  As you receive God’s love, your love for others is bound to change. It will be a noticeable change because you will have found the freedom that comes when you give and receive unconditional love. Relationships that are built on the foundation of unconditional love are real and lasting.

If you have a desire for the real thing, you must begin to realize what has been real and what has been superficial.  People who have not experienced the love of God only know how to love others on a shallow, superficial level.  Their love is superficial because it is self-serving.  Superficial love may look real at the first glance, but there are certain things that make it superficial.

Superficial love is conditional; and, it will always have a requirement attached to it.  The motive of the heart is the desire to receive something. The motive of the heart therefore is not pure.  To the degree that we have experienced the love of God is the degree that we can love others with genuine love.   Once you know God’s love by experiencing it, you don’t love others to get love; you have the real thing.  God’s love is the real thing; it is genuine. His love is totally satisfying and ends all our searching.

Let Your Love Be the Real Thing

Have you been offended? How to Deal With Offenses

“Oh, Magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.”   Psalm 34:3

dealing with offenseHave you noticed the increase in the opportunities to be offended?  Even after 25 years of marriage to my husband, I sometimes get offended by what he says.  As a wife, I may know he doesn’t mean something the way I took it, but I still feel a huge pull to be offended.

I believe in the day we are living, the days prior to the return of the Lord, there will be a greater pull than ever before to be offended.  Jesus taught us in Mathew 18:7 that offenses will surely come.  In Mathew 24, when the disciples asked Jesus what the signs of His return would be, He said in verse 10, “And then shall many be offended…”

So we should not be surprised when we feel the pull to be offended. The question is: how fast do you move past an offense?  Jesus made it possible for us to be able to move past offenses very quickly.

I must constantly remind myself that we are in “the time,” the days before Jesus returns.  Paul said in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, that there would be a great falling away in these days.  I believe the falling away is due to being offended. If your love waxes cold according to Mathew 24, you will fall away.

I know when I am offended, I must quickly forgive.  Forgiveness is the only answer!  It is the way of escape! The quicker I forgive, the quicker I come back into my right mind.  When I am offended my soul is in control.  When I forgive, my spirit rises up above my soul and takes back over.

I have learned that when I am offended everything is distorted and even my emotions become out of control. When I am offended at a person I will see them in a distorted way, bigger than they really are.  I will become overly focused on them. They become the center of attention and all I talk about for days.  Every conversation even goes back somehow to what offended me.

The more we put our focus on those who offended us, the more magnified they become.  This could cause our heart to wax cold and may lead us to sin against God.  He is the only one we are to magnify.  When we focus on others and what they did to offend us, we make them bigger than God.

 Oh, Magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together. (Psalm 34:3)

So right now press the minimize button and minimize the person who has offended you.  Bring them down to the right size and forgive them.  Remember, if it were not for the grace of God you might have done the very same thing.

Are You Able to Connect?

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

Connecting with people is sometimes very difficult to do. I t is heartbreaking when we can’t seem to connect with those who are closest to us.  If you have been hurt in a relationship, you may be guarding your heart and fearful of being hurt again.  It is very hard and even impossible to connect when you can’t lay your guard down and open your heart.

If you find it hard to connect with others, you may have a wounded heart that needs to be healed.  Trust God to heal your wounded, betrayed and broken heart.  Healing comes by faith.

And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. James 5:15.

The prayer of faith shall heal the sick and heal the heart.  Pray this simple prayer right now.  By faith begin receiving your healing.

Father God, It is hard for me to connect to others. I have been hurt and I want to be healed. I ask you to heal my broken heart and bind up my wounds.

In Jesus name,  Amen

Strategic Rapid Fire

“Perfect love casts out all fear” 1 John 4:18
The greatest weapon we have against the enemy is love.  He sets up camp in people who are fearful of rejection and convinces them that they are not loved. 1 John 4:18 says perfect love will cast out all fear.  From this verse we can gain wisdom of how God intends for the enemy to be defeated.  It is through love that fear is cast out and it is through love that his access points are closed.
So how do you know when the enemy has someone in your family convinced that they are not loved?  It will be very obvious by their words and actions.  You will know it because they will criticize and even crush you with their words, and will do things that seem to be deliberate rejection.  Stand firm; you must remind yourself it is not the person, but the enemy working through them. Pull out the strongest ammo, get ready, aim and rapid fire love towards them.
What I mean by rapid fire is to show them love in various ways all within a few hours of each other.  Like a phone call in the early morning, an encouraging text at lunch, then, invite them for dinner in the evening accompanied by a thoughtful gift.  At dinner find ways to affirm their gifts and abilities and encourage them to use their gifts in creative ways.  After several days of very strategic rapid fire the enemy will be overcome and the family member you thought you had lost will be won.