I’m looking for a real love. Not necessarily a new love, but a real love. I have been challenged to start memorizing Bible scripture this week. It is interesting to me how, as I look back over my life, memorizing scripture has had this really weird kind of feeling to it. As a child growing up I went to AWANA every Wednesday night. If you are not familiar with AWANA it is basically a Bible memorization boot camp for kids. The more you memorize the more prizes you receive. There are other things like games, singing and of course the annual AWANA Olympics. (Wow, the memories.) Then as I grew up I have had “accountability” partners where we would hold each other accountable for memorizing scripture.
All these things are great and at heart are right on track with what I believe God has called us to. But, just like most disciplines you get going on it and remain focused for a short while and then it fizzles out. Despite that, this week I am working on memorizing scripture. My first verse: 1 John 4:10
“This is real love–not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to take away our sins.” This is from memory and I am quoting the NLT so I may not have it 100% yet. It has become a powerful thought for me and I believe an answer to the question of why I (we) can’t sustain discipline in memorizing scripture or having a quiet time or whatever.
Are you ready for this?
WE DON’T LOVE GOD.
Ouch. I know that one hurt me too. We think that our affection for God is real love, but it is not. Real love is only evident in the way that God loves us. In other words, we can reciprocate real love. Man how hard is that? My intentions are good and I believe that God calls us to demonstrate love through obedience, but I think we deceive ourselves by convincing ourselves that we are demonstrating real love by doing x, y and z.
I will continue to memorize scripture off and on. I will have my quiet time as consistently as I can. I love God’s word and it moves me, it guides me, and I believe over time there will be a difference in my life because of these disciplines. BUT, from now on I am not going to begin my definition of love with things that I can do. My definition of love begins and ends with what only God can and has done.
How do you define real love?