Love is Large

I love reading passages of the bible in different translations. I grew up memorizing verses in NKJV and NIV. I also read the New American Standard Version. I got so used to these versions, as well as KJV, that it’s easy now to read over it and skim it. But, when I read other translations, it helps me to see it in a different way. It opens my eyes to dig for deeper meaning, to look at it from a different viewpoint. It has helped it come alive again!

My daughter is about to turn 11 and we are definitely in the “tween” years. She’s loving and kind and full of joy and also argumentative, defiant, and irresponsible. I LOVE her to the moon but I also get frustrated. I thought, during these years and especially as we move towards puberty, that what she and I are going to need more than anything is love.

So, I looked up 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter, in different versions and chose The Passion Translation for us to memorize together. Then tonight, I was thinking about how I haven’t blogged in a few days and was prompted to write about love. So for a while, I am going to take the love chapter apart piece by piece and study, learn, and share.

In this chapter starting with verse 4, God defines love for us and tells us what love is and what it isn’t. It’s so good! It starts with this:

Love is LARGE.

I love it. Right there, I can just stop and close my eyes and think about how large love is. So many images come!

It’s big enough to wrap completely around me like the biggest, tightest, most comforting hug.

It’s large enough to cover all of my screw-ups, mistakes, and bad choices. Large enough to forgive them all!

It’s so huge it goes from as far as the east is to the west. So huge, we cannot imagine the infinite amount of it.

As far as I could run, as wide as my arms could stretch, as high as I could climb, and as deep as I could swim, love is larger than all of that. And then some.

It is all-encompassing. There is nothing and no one that is not touched by God’s love.

There is no where we can go to escape God’s love, to hide from it, to evade it – wherever we go, it’s there. Calling to us. Beckoning to us with the most gentle of touches.

Love is Large. So, so large

Other versions say Love endures and Love never gives up.

It is everlasting, eternal. It will never stop, never end. My friends, it’s so large!

The Greek word for love here is agape – the highest form of love. John 15:13 says, “The greatest love a person can show is to die for his friends.”

That’s exactly what God did for us.

God is perfect and has such perfect and amazing and wonderful plans for His children, whom He loves so dearly with such a LARGE love.

We don’t deserve this kind of love! We are selfish and mean and screw up in so many ways! We gossip and indulge and take and lie and any number of things we know are wrong! We don’t deserve to occupy the same space as the God who created us and the universe!

But God loves! God loves us with such a large love! Jesus, the human form of God, came to Earth, lived and died – was killed – to create a way for us to reconcile with God. To create a way back to Him. He did this, because of His large love! A love so large, He laid down His life for ours, so that we can be called children of God!

There is nothing you can do to earn God’s love – It’s all because of Him and His sacrifice and His love for us that He made this possible.

There is nothing you can do that would cause God to withhold His love from you. Nothing! His love covers it all! Whatever you are thinking of, whatever excuse you have for thinking that God would not want you is a lie! God LOVES you! Just as you are, with a love so large you cannot even fathom it!

He’s holding out His arms to welcome you in, to embrace you, and cover you with his love. Run to Him! Accept the love. Don’t reject it. He won’t force it on you. You can reject it. You can walk away from it. But He won’t stop loving you. He won’t stop reaching for you. He wants you. He loves you. He will always want and love you.

Move towards His love!

Dear Father God, Thank you for your large, LARGE, love! Thank you for loving me so much that you were willing to die for me! I can’t earn your love but I can accept it. I choose to accept your love! Fill me with your love and peace! Forgive me for those things I’ve screwed up on. Please forgive me for rejecting your love up until this point. But no longer! I choose you, Jesus. I choose to be loved by You from now on. Thank you, Jesus! In Your name, Amen!

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