“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39
Feeling loved? Can I be honest with you? For years upon years, much of the time I didn’t feel loved. Not because I wasn’t. Because of a combination of things. Like the fact I’m extremely sensitive. I get hurt way too easily. I take things personally. Something I still do if I’m not careful! I had people in my life who hurt me. I tended to be drawn to people who didn’t treat me so nicely. I was super needy. People aren’t perfect. People don’t love perfectly. And, above all else, I had an exceeding never-ending desire and yearning and desperation to love and to be loved – and to feel loved.
And, oh, how horribly I hurt when I didn’t feel the love I wanted. When I didn’t get the love I wanted. Such a hurting hole I had inside me. A hole I wanted filled with love. Can I be honest even more? Go deeper with me. I’m going to be even more transparent now. I was mad. Angry. Bitter. Vengeful. Resentful. Sometimes raging. Self-pitying. Judgmental. Toward the people I felt should be loving me. Whom I wanted to feel loved by. Who couldn’t love me. Wouldn’t love me. Or who loved me but couldn’t love me 24-7 the way I wanted to be loved. I guess you could say I was a love mess! And it always boiled down to wanting to feel loved.
Today, I am loved every breath of my life. I feel loved all the time. And I found the key to it all. His name is the Lord Jesus Christ. And instead of looking to the world to love me which can never love perfectly, I look to Jesus who is perfect love and loves perfectly and loves forever. I get filled up with Jesus’ love so I don’t walk around seeking people to make me feel loved. And instead of looking to people to make me feel loved, I work hard through the love of Jesus to love people instead. To try to make them feel loved. I don’t do it perfectly, but I sure do try!
When I re-read a devotional I had written, I saw three words the Lord had given me in my alone time with Him. VESSEL OF LOVE. The key, friend, is this. When we turn from our sins and believe Jesus is Lord and died on the cross to pay our sin penalty and was raised from the dead, when we truly devote our lives to God and His ways, when we take the time daily to spend alone time with Jesus and to study and to live by the Bible, when we are filled with the Spirit of Christ, when we look to the Lord to satisfy us rather than to the world, we are to be VESSELS OF JESUS’ LOVE. Vessels to receive His love. Vessels to pour out His love. Our focus needs to turn away from self and onto Jesus and others. And oh, the indescribably wonderfully awesomeness of being loved by Jesus, of loving Him in return, and of loving others in His name.
Ever heard the expression “icing on the cake”? In my estimate, it basically means something that goes beyond what is already delicious, yummy, satisfying, and marvelous. There is no greater love than Jesus’ love. There is no greater feeling than to be loved by Him and to love Him back. There is no greater privilege than to love and serve Him and to spread the Gospel message and His love to the world around us. And the icing on the cake is the love we in fact do receive and feel from others. But instead of desperately seeking it, and instead of feeling we desperately need it, we don’t have to be desperate at all. Because the love we need is satisfied in Jesus.
Turn from your sins and believe in Christ as Lord and receive His unfathomably amazing forever love. Love the Lord with ALL your heart. Love others in His name. And be thankful for the love you receive from others. Just don’t place your dependency on others for the love you need. Receive it from Christ. And pass it on to others!