1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” The greatest of all aspects of the Christian life is love. Love is to be at the foundation of all we do, all we are, and all we hold on to. If we focus on love and allow the Holy Spirit to strip everything else away, what will be left is a life of blessed simplicity rooted in face-to-face relationship with our heavenly Father. As we spend time this week looking at the simplicity of love, I pray that all the weighty, frivolous things of the world that rob you of an abundant life fall away in light of the glorious goodness of God’s unconditional and wholly available love for you.
“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
Extravagant | Bethel Worship Music feat. Paul McClure
The fact that we are pursued by the Creator of the universe is an unfathomable truth perfectly illustrating the amazing love our heavenly Father has for us. Ephesians 2:8 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” Those of us who have believed in and accepted the free gift of salvation have been lifted out of the world’s foundation of works-based living and ushered into a new standard of grace. By grace alone we have wonderful, restored relationship with the God who passionately pursues us in every season of life. And by grace alone our lives are now based on the unconditional love of our good Father.
1 John 4:8 says, “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” All that God does is love because it is his very nature. Every word of Scripture was authored because he loves us. Every good thing we have in life is only available to us because he loves us. The fact that you and I have air in our lungs is a miraculous demonstration of God’s overwhelming faithfulness. The fact that we can enter into such a depth of relationship with a perfect, holy God reveals his heart to pursue us.
Revelation 3:20 says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” This passage in Revelation is God’s word to the lukewarm church in Laodicea. God doesn’t just knock on the doors of hearts already filled with passion for him. He doesn’t just knock on the doors of the lost. He knocks on the doors of the hearts that are in desperate need of inner revival through his tangible, powerful love. He knocks on the doors of the hearts whose flame has been squelched by the cares and stresses of this world that he might come and reignite passionate communion between our spirit and the Holy Spirit.
The God of heaven and earth is passionately pursuing you right now. No matter how close you are to him, he is knocking on the door of your heart, asking to come in and meet with you once again. He’s not knocking just to fix you. He’s not knocking just to make you do something for him. He simply wants to meet with you. He simply wants to love you.
How you respond to the passionate pursuit of God is totally up to you. There is grace for you today to seek the face of your heavenly Father. There is grace to open up your heart and accept the wonderful gift of encountering God’s presence. There is grace to know and experience the depths of God’s love for you. The question before you is simply this: will you choose today to let God love you?
1. Meditate on the heart of your heavenly Father to pursue you in love.
“Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you.” Isaiah 49:15
“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:10
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” Jeremiah 31:3
2. Open up your heart to your loving Father. Ask him to reveal his nearness and love. Ask him to reveal his presence that you might spend time truly meeting with him today.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20
“But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Deuteronomy 4:29
3. Take time to simply let God love you. Open up the places of your heart that are broken, wounded, and cause you pain. Confess any sins that are holding you back from walking in the fullness of relationship available to you. Don’t move on from God’s presence until you feel he has done the work he desires to do today.
Taking time to sit in the presence of God and simply receive his love is foundational to every other aspect of Christianity. All of eternity is simply about being with our Creator. It’s all about allowing God to love us and giving him our hearts in return. May Ephesians 3:14-19 stir your heart to truly seek a revelatory knowledge of God’s love for you.
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Extended Reading: John 15 or watch The Bible Project’s video on John 13-21.