Jesus said, “This is my one commandment. That you love one another, as I have loved you.” John 15:12
I was just meditating on a book given to me by a dear friend titled “Limitless Love” by Kenneth and Gloria Copeland. It is a 365 Day devotional and I’m on day 18, where they taught on one of our responsibilities as humans.
Gloria explains that the way to keep that commandment is by staying in contact with Jesus! She said, “The more intimately we know and walk with Him, the more His Love will flow through us. And the more we walk in love, the more intimate our fellowship with Him becomes. It’s a glorious cycle that continually lifts us higher.”
As I read this, I was amazed at the reality of this truth in my own life. In the past few years I have developed such a great intimate relationship with the Lord and made a decision to truly seek Him with all my heart. I had such a desire and hunger to know him more and more. I fasted and prayed with so much intensity and I finally had one of the greatest encounters with Him in my life. He literally walked me through a revelation of who He is which is Love and I have experienced it firsthand. (That whole story is will come up in another blog topic)
As I grew more and more in love with the Lord, I felt like I was constantly being attacked by His love in so many ways and I was completely overwhelmed. I saw and felt His love for me all around me. This was a time where I didn’t just know that God loves me because of what I’ve heard or read, but I KNEW firsthand what His love for me is and feels like. I knew how His love acted and sounded. Throughout this whole life changing experience I realized that because I was being flooded with His love and being poured into so much, I had to release it and give it away. It was like His love consumed me so much that I couldn’t keep it all to myself. I had to give it to others. Take the best movie you’ve seen. Or the best food you’ve ever had. If it was truly amazing, you naturally feel a strong desire to share with others. That is where I was and still am concerning God’s Love.
Because I was in such constant fellowship with the Lord and allowed Him to flood me with His love, I naturally felt compelled to truly and purely love others. I would see certain people and have such a strong desire to embrace and hug them. The love of God continually bubbled up in me so much that I had to share with others. I remember people saying how I give the best hugs, or that I’m such a love bug, or my hugged “touched” them, or they could literally feel God’s heart beat when I hugged them. It was the Lord! My intimacy with Him opened the doors of my heart, and allowed Him to express HIS love to others THROUGH me. It seemed like it was automatic. I would give people gifts and do ANYTHING I could for them, just because I TRULY loved them.
Being consumed by God’s love made me want to love more. I wanted to be with and see people all the time. The feelings and emotions were so intense that believe it or not, I often cried at the thought of people. God highlighted certain people in my life that I know I was supposed to love on, and I found myself being in love with people I hardly knew. The desire to just be with people and love them was so overwhelmingly strong, I questioned whether or not I was crazy. I would think about them CONSTANTLY, like every single day, all day long. I would hug them and never want to let go. When I was with them, I never wanted to leave. In the beginning I wasn’t sure what was happening, I just knew that I greatly loved people and saw the world in ways I never had before.
This experience of Love left me with so many emotions that I now know came from God. I often felt unspeakable joy where I would just laugh and have such good time. Other times I would be in a peaceful place of what felt like serenity. But most of the time, I had this great hunger and desire for more. Although I was completely FULL of the Love of God, I desperately wanted more of Him and all that came with Him. His love in me was like a boiling pot and I felt the compulsion to release it to the whole world. It was unreal, and pretty much unnatural. In all of my 30 years, as friendly and “loving” as I was, I had NEVER felt or experienced true love in this magnitude. I had moments were I would be worshipping and praying to God, and in an instant it was as if God literally allowed me to FEEL His heart for people. I wish I could explain it in such a way that you can feel it too, but it was like my heart actually ached for them. And in those moments I knew I would even sacrifice my very own life for them. I often cried and whaled so hard and so much because it was just too much for my human body to bear. His Love for people is far greater than I had ever thought or imagined it to be. I can actually feel His Heart and Love and He has given me such a great revelation of it.
The closer I got to God, and the more I was in His presence, the more I WANTED and HAD to Love. And after experiencing this and being in this place of love, I felt like I was an addict. I wanted more and more and wanted to give more and more.
I KNOW the unconditional love of God. HIS love is SO great, SO intense and immense. And for God to allow us to love one another with that SAME, pure love is a great empowering place. I realized that even when or if I never received any sign of love or affection back, I would still fervently love people. Not seeking or looking for anything in return. I just wanted to love them. I couldn’t and still can’t help it. I won’t say that it was always completely easy. The enemy definitely tried to hinder what God was doing in me and I had to come out of my flesh and walk in the spirit of the Lord. But through every thought and action, God allowed me to experience what Agape, Unconditional love is really about. We can not love with conditions. We cannot say that we love a person and expect anything in return. God loves in spite of what we have or will ever do! In that same way we must mature to a place of walking in that SAME love!
I now truly and fully understand the meaning of the scripture 1 John 4:7-12, that says, 7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 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.10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
If we’ve been born of God and honestly KNOW God then we must KNOW Love. We cannot claim to know or even love God and not love each other.
And 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8a which explains that “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
The more we stay in close fellowship with God, and receive His love, the easier it is to love other people. Love is contagious. Once it is given to you, you want to give or share it with someone else. And as that person receives that true love, they too will want to share and give it away. And as you walk in love, you become even more intimate with the Lord. Just like Gloria Copeland said, “It is a glorious cycle.” Receive God’s love today, open your heart and draw close to Him. Let Him fill you with who He is. You can pray and worship, or read the Bible. But whatever way you fill led to receive and Know God; just do it! It will change your life.
My prayer is that ANY and EVERY one reading this will begin to seek God in a deeper and intimate way. I pray that as you truly draw near to God and He draws near to you, He will release a GREAT revelation of who HE is and you will know Him in more ways than you ever have before. I pray that you will encounter God, His love for you and people, and as you love others, the contagious domino effect of His love will spread like wildfire across the entire world.
I enjoy giving honor and thanks where it is the proper thing to do, so of course I thank My Beautiful, Amazing Heavenly Father, His son Jesus and my ever-present Holy Spirit. I also must thank those who allowed me to experience this love in such a great degree and taught me to embrace it without hindrance, My Tricie and Antoinette, (Insert crying emoticon here). And of course my amazing pastors Tony and Cynthia Brazelton who emit Love and teach it in ways I didn’t know existed.
“Producing Realized Dreams with Love!”
Now it’s your turn to share! I always love to hear your thoughts so leave your comments below and let’s stay connected! Don’t forget to check out my other pages!
You can also email me anytime: LatiaAshley@hotmail.com