Love, for you

When you know the real-deal, you understand why everything else wasn’t it. That’s how it felt when I started dating my husband – the closer we became, the more it made sense why it couldn’t have been anyone else. 

The real-deal is the mechanism that dissolves every impersonation – it illuminates the past, the present, the way forward. I felt that way when I got married but even more, I felt that this morning in the pages of breathed-out Word.

Love is, perhaps, the single greatest mantra of the human experience. It seems to unite people everywhere, anytime – tying the whole globe together around some throbbing need to be loved – and to love. The universality speaks ubiquitously to our intrinsic longing. 

It seems our two most inherent qualities as people are our longing to be loved and our inability to consistently love. Our world is love-crazed, yet intent on sowing division and competition and senseless violence. Our world longs for love, but struggles to be civil to each other, let alone kind. Our world struggles to love out of our own selves and our own strength, but we keep going, thinking something might change and somehow, we might get “love” right.

Could it be that we’re missing the real deal

It seems the world that preaches a gospel of relativity thinks it can define love with absolute authority. It tries, and touts its mantras and its slogans and its prescriptions. Time proves the axiom of defeat, because what the world defines as love can never ultimately satisfy. But it keeps trying, and our weary, enraged desperation grows. 

Could it be that we’re missing the real deal

The world’s many attempts and copies and knock-offs are a dim reflection of what love really is – and that isn’t just something I learned in Sunday school or a sentiment I’ll proclaim to sound spiritual – it’s something I know because I have encountered the real deal. 

God didn’t set the world spinning in motion and leave us to figure out Himself and everything for ourselves – from the beginning, He gave us His word and His order and His attention. 

God didn’t let the world keep spinning through the tyranny of sin with no hope or cure. He gave us His Son – His redemption, His love. 

Jesus is the only true definition of love – you can never experience what it is to be unconditionally and perfectly beloved apart from Him. Try to love on your own and you’ll always fall short – try to be loved by your own definition and you’ll always remain desperate. 

Jesus is the only thing that can fill every longing and satisfy every desperate desire.

It seems that I so often miss the mark of obedience I’m called to – in the little moments and the big fears and the temptations of my flesh. They all convince me I know best, or that I deserve a break, or that it isn’t really such a big deal. And those pages of breathed-out Word tell me if I love, I’ll obey – and I realize that the root of my sin is misplaced love. 

Could it be that the reason I struggle to obey Jesus is because other loves crowd my heart and push Him off the throne of my exclusive worship? 

It’s true – the real deal is the great Illuminator – the closer I get to Him, the more I realize how far I am. But the miracle of Jesus coming is that He came while we were broken and sinning and desperate and far from Him. How grateful I am that He gives us His closeness despite our wandering. What glory, what goodness – this gift of perfect Love. 

Merry Christmas, there’s love for you in Jesus.


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