To live loved or to not live loved. Which will we choose?
Oh, I know. Some days (maybe most days) it’s easy to choose the latter.
- The driver in the car next to you flipped you the bird for no apparent reason.
- Your teenager just confirmed it with her words to you, “I hate you!”
- Your spouse is detached and distant, and you have no idea why.
- Everyone was invited to the party. That is, everyone but you.
- Your friend is too busy to meet you for coffee, let alone return your texts.
Yep, I get it. Circumstances on any given day can prompt us to feel unloved, left out, and less than. I experienced one of these just this week! Goodness.
I have a choice in these times to live loved.
If I don’t choose to live loved, however, the battle in my mind ensues. The enemy of my soul begins his whispers… See, you’re not good enough. You’re a nobody. No one cares to be your friend. You weren’t invited, so that confirms you’re not important. I know if he’s in my ear spewing these kinds of statements, he’s probably in yours, also. It’s in those very moments, however, in the middle of his whispers, we have the ability to stop his stammering. To stop him mid-sentence. We can, in that very moment, choose to live loved.
But how? How do you and I live loved?
We discussed this at our BYOB and B (Bring Your Own Bible and Beverage) evening of encouragement last week. We looked at seven examples of how God loves us, just in case any of us doubt that. Here they are:
God loves us so much:
- He protects us. Psalm 36:7 NCV
- He forgives us and delights in showing us love. Micah 7:18 VOICE
- His love will never quit on us. Psalm 136:1-3 MSG
- He gave up His one and only son for us so we may live. John 3:16 CEV
- He gave us His Spirit. Romans 5:5 NLT
- Nothing can separate us from His love. Romans 8:38-39 NIRV
- He is asking us to let Him love us! John 15:9 WE
Living full of God’s love is the key to living loved.
Paul describes the fullness of God and His love in Ephesians 3 in a prayer for the people of Ephesus. The meaning here isn’t just a head knowledge of God’s love, but the knowing is experiencing it. Paul is praying for us to know—to experience—Christ’s love. So, how do we experience His love? By loving Him, following Him, spending time talking with Him, reading His Word, showing His love to the hurting world.
Experiencing His love fills us with the fullness of God.
This fullness of God, in the original language, is pléróma (play’-ro-ma) which means fully supplied, or completion. So, what does this mean? It means, filled with God’s fullness, we are fully supplied and complete. We are fully supplied:
- to love who God made us to be.
- to love others—no matter what they say or do.
- in standing strong when waves of hurtful or harmful situations crash against us.
- to function out of love and not out of lack.
This is how we live loved.
When we walk into a room by ourselves, our self-talk can go something like this, I am walking in this room in the fullness of God, and I can extend His love to others here.
When your co-worker says unkind words to you, you can whisper to yourself, the fullness of God is within me and these words can’t touch it.
Or when your friends go out to dinner but don’t invite you, you can tell yourself, the fullness of God’s has filled me and He loves me, no matter what.
I’ve had to say this last statement to myself over and over again this week, and friend, let me tell you, it has made such a difference in how I functioned and in my attitude.
We must remember, feeling loved is not the same as living loved.
Feeling loved is an emotion, however, living loved is a fact. It’s a fact you’re loved by the living God!
Consequently, living in the fullness of God is how we can live loved. So, will we choose living loved today? How about tomorrow? No, it may not be the easiest way to live, but it certainly is the best way. How do we know? Because it’s God’s best for us.
There’s nothing better than His best!
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