What does it take for a person to feel loved? Do our words “I love you” and “You are loved” hold enough influence to actually convince a person of their lovability?
When we look at scripture (1 John 4:7-8, Luke 6:35, 1 Corinthians 13:13) we find that love is our greatest tool to build the Kingdom of God. Within the beautifully unique Body of Christ there are countless ways for people to give and receive love.
Here at Adventures in Missions, a common source of conversation is the various personality types and their tendencies. When we want to love someone well, we often learn more of their personality type or love language. Whether it is the Enneagram, Myers-Briggs, or the Five Love Languages, it is always fun to say what we know about one-another based on a number or letter combination.
Regardless of where you fall in the personality types – the love you give for the Kingdom will change lives when it comes from conviction of the Holy Spirit.
Love is a vital action of the Great Commission. The commandment to “love one another, just as I have loved you” (John 15:12) finds its fullest expression in the overflow of love from God the Father.
The Church has the great responsibility to set the example of love. But first, we have the great responsibility to accept love. God is love, and our greatest example for the action of love. It is steadfast, unchanging, and unconditional.
“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
– John 4:9-12
You can see love in actions and hear it in words, but you can’t hold it in your hands. The way we know it exists is because we feel and experience it. But it isn’t just a rush of butterflies or going weak in the knees. Love is the fulfillment of the an inherent need.
Love is the fulfillment of this prayer in Ephesians – “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”
– Ephesians 1:17-19
The proper motivation for human love is divine love. “We love, because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). As we go into the nations to display love, we must understand our own lovability. For the love we give to others should always be an overflow from the Father. And the wild thing is – if we are truly being filled by the Lord, we never need to worry of running empty.
Telling someone they are loved can absolutely be used by God, sometimes a word is all they need. Imagine a simple act of love – when coming from the overflow of the Father – the impact could be endless. Whether you are speaking truth, displaying grace, or fulfilling a need, when done in the love of God, it can be world-changing.
When we walk in our true identity of being loved by God and accept it wholeheartedly, the love we can show the world is steadfast, unchanging, and unconditional. The unbelieving world gets to see and encounter a gracious, loving Father.
“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
– 1 Corinthians 13:11-13