What would it look like if we actually lived out what we believe?

Specifically, if we loved unconditionally and with abandon? If we removed the barriers of our heart so we were blind to our differences, the colors of our sin, and the depths of our personal struggles? 

What if we lived like we are loved?

What if we loved because He first loved us? (1 John 4:19)  

Would the love of our Heavenly Father be enough for us to live a life of love? 

There is so much hate and discrimination in the world but the common thread that exists on both sides and can pull us together, rather than polarizing us further apart, is our shared pursuit of love.

It’s interesting to me that the one thing that divides humanity the most is the same exact thing that can unite us.

LOVE.

How can it be that we all desire the same thing (love, acceptance and the like ) but are fighting so hard for it that we are discriminating, judging & spewing hatred instead? It makes absolutely no sense while at the same time making all of the sense in the world. It’s simple at its core but we make it so complex when we corrupt it with our human brokenness.

“No, we will speak the truth with love. We will grow to be like Christ in every way. He is the head, and the whole body depends on Him. All the parts of the body are joined and held together, with each part doing its own work. This causes the whole body to grow and to be stronger in love.” ~ Ephesians 4:15-16 (ERV)

Love is in us and around us, but we need to first recognize it, acknowledge its ability and capability, and then fully embrace it. We can’t just find it or let it sit in the corner. We need to live it out. Believe it. Allow it to change our lives and those we encounter.

Love is alive, active and freeing. It also goes by the name Jesus Christ. Jesus was and is love and proved His love for the world and all mankind when He died for us on the cross (John 15:13). Love is possible because with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26) and it will save us as Jesus proved on the cross, but it takes action. It takes effort, intentionality, humility and vulnerability.

Love is a verb that can conquer, break down walls and remove the barriers that are holding us back from achieving peace, unity and community. It is not easy, none of the best things ever are, but it can be done.

It begins with patience, kindness, humility, selflessness, perseverance, gentleness, and self-control (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). It is continued with an ongoing relationship with Jesus. It changes the world when we shine light into the darkness.

“You are the light that shines for the world to see. You are like a city built on a hill that cannot be hidden. People don’t hide a lamp under a bowl. They put it on a lampstand. Then the light shines for everyone in the house. In the same way, you should be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in Heaven.” ~ Matthew 5:14-16 (ERV)

Valentine’s Day is not about chocolate, Hallmark movies, romance and date nights. It is a reminder of the most important command we are given – LOVE (Matthew 22:36-40). We need love like we need food, water and air. Without it, we cannot function as designed and instead we will fight to survive rather than thrive.

So friend, love one another today and every day. Love the stranger at the supermarket, love your weird neighbor next door, love the mean teacher at your child’s school, and the coworker who enjoys gossip. Love BIG! Love above and beyond anything you could ever imagine and watch your world change when darkness is brought into light.

All you need is love, so love with everything you have.

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