To Love and Be Loved

Welcome to the 100th blog of Thanks for being a faithful reader and follower of God’s Word.  We’re almost home.  I once heard someone say that the reason we are here on earth in this life has more to do with knowing God and making Him known to others; to know God and to make Him known.  Sounds like a catchy mission statement for a church or outreach ministry.  One thing is for sure, we are created in the image and likeness of God and as such, we were made to love and to be loved.  Over the years I have seen people act out in ways that define their humanity, some good, some bad, but mostly good.  I am convinced that when someone acts out in a negative manner, a way that is not becoming of good Christian character or just plain nice, they most likely have an unmet need in their life.  I believe that most of those unmet needs are centered around a lack of love. I have written a blog on the love deficit that you can read on this blog site; but this blog is more about how we were created by God to love and to be loved. 

When we are loved, we respond to love in a loving manner.  As children, when we are nurtured with love and affection, this encourages us to also love and be affectionate toward others; safe others.  As we mature, we learn about boundaries and propriety in relationships and the proper development of our social lives.  I believe that everybody wants to be loved and to love, I believe it’s in our human nature to be loving, kind, considerate, and polite toward others.  This isn’t about religion so much as it is about just being nice, pleasing, and thoughtful toward others.  While we have seen a lot of perversion with regard to love and loving others, we have also seen some wonderful examples of love given by people who demonstrate the true nature of their Creator.  In essence, we were created to love and to be loved.

Jesus said it this way, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”                   – John 13:34,35

The Apostle John said it this way, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”        – 1 John 3:1-3

The Apostle Paul said it this way, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up (arrogant); does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil (keeps no account of evil); does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”                                            – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a 

While we have some great examples of some good loving going on in the NT, deep down we know that we were created for this, to love and to be loved.  It’s what husbands and wives are to be doing every day, it’s the expectation that parents have for their children, and it’s what God wants for all of His people.  Things go better when we love and are loved properly

The idea of loneliness in life can be a very disturbing thing; it thwarts our ability to love and to be loved.  People who are single, divorced, widowed, or in a marriage that is as bereft of passion as it is intimacy understand this all too well, and it can be very disconcerting. We were not created for this kind of loneliness or a life of lovelessness.  If this is the cup that you must drink from, the enemy will provide an array of false intimacy props for you to deal with and avoid.  It will show up as pornography or affairs, bad social decisions or a direct attack upon your spiritual life formation.  All of this stems from people trying to medicate the deficit of love and loneliness that should otherwise have been there.  When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be.  We won’t be lonely anymore because we will be with Jesus and all those who have loved His appearing, from times present and times past. 

We will be known as we are known and loved as we are loved; the very thing we were created for will come to manifest in our eternal, glorified, and perfect heavenly bodies.   This is something to look forward to, something to ponder, something to focus on.  I remember many a visit to the various convalescent homes in the communities where I served as a pastor.  I remember visiting people in their late 80’s and 90’s who were as worn out as they were, almost dead.  They all had a past and had lived through some of the best years this country has had to offer.  They were once beautiful people, beautiful women and handsome men.  They were lovers, parents, and fun-loving people who were part of the greatest generation that ever lived.  These same who are leaving us in groves each day, if they placed their faith in Jesus, will one day resurrect into their glorified bodies from paradise to be reunited with the rest of the Church, to body of Christ, His bride, to be with Jesus when He returns for us in the Rapture; and forever we will be with the Lord!  This is the ultimate hope in our desire to love and be loved.  While we won’t have the same plumbing that we have now, what we will have will be more than adequate to facilitate the longing we have to love the Lord and His people throughout eternity.

In the many NDE testimonies that I have heard over the years from people who died and went to heaven and then returned a few moments later into their bodies, they stated that the atmosphere of heaven is love; it’s everywhere.  You can feel God’s presence, His love, His perfection, and His overflowing grace everywhere.  This is what we were created for, to love like Jesus loves, and to be loved like only Jesus can love.

If you’re on this side of the veil and you feel unloved or lonely, may I encourage you to keep your focus on Jesus, His Word, and His presence.  It’s all by faith that we live the life of a true believer in Jesus, a Christian life.  We may be operating from a lack of love right now, but I assure you, this too shall pass.  We’re almost home as the Lord is coming for His bride, He will not forsake us or forget us because He loves us and is coming back for us.  In turn, we must be ready for Him by loving those He has entrusted to our care, beginning with those closest to us; our spouses and families. 

Loving like Jesus loves can only happen if we have Jesus in us; that is, we are truly saved by grace.  Only then, with the Holy Spirit’s power, can we love others with the same grace that has been afforded us.  While the love of many may be growing colder and colder in this world, as long as the Church is on the earth, God’s love will still permeate this planet through us.  We are the hands and feet of the Master and He desires to love and win as many to faith in Him as are willing.  God will use us and put His love in our hearts for the lost and those who are less fortunate.  We must be sensitive to the needs of those around us and be careful to bless where the Lord has instructed us to do so.  This is loving like Jesus.

Jesus said it this way,

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.”                                                               – Matthew 5:13,14

As believers in Jesus, we are light and salt to this dark and tasteless world. When we love like Jesus loves, others will notice and appreciate it as best they can.  While there is much suffering in this world, Jesus brings the life He has portioned to the party and as we share it with others, they may know, they can know, they might know, and be glad.


Encouragemen is a blog written by Pastor Rob Lee, recently relocated to Northern Missouri.  He lives with his wife of 33-years, near their three adult children, their spouses, and children (their grandchildren).  Pastor Rob is an Ordained Assemblies of God minister, a former Lead Pastor (25 years), police chaplain, and community advocate.  He continues to serve, consult, and disciple men of God, including those who are in the ministry. 

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