Does it ever occur to you that the foundation of the story of the world is love?
Love was carried on the breath of God as He spoke the world into being. He formed each aspect of it with tender care.
Love was perfect bliss in the garden of Eden, as God walked with man. The innocence of that communion at the beginning.
Love was God’s mercy as He spared Adam and Eve from immediate death, and clothed them before sending them on their way.
Love was God’s promise to Abraham, that his descendants would be more numerous than the stars scattered across the wide swath of Middle Eastern sky. Love was His special way of fulfilling that promise through the birth of Issac long past any reasonable hope. Because He specializes in unreasonable, crazy, extravagantly designed love.
Love was God’s rainbow, the promise of a new life He set in the sky after the great flood of destruction covered the earth.
Love was God’s deliverance of Israel from oppression in Egypt, dramatically displayed through the plagues and the parting of the Red Sea that held the people back from freedom.
Love was God’s patience as the people He had just delivered complained and grumbled again and again in the desert, and rebelled against Him even in the Promised Land. Love was His persistence in drawing them back to Himself through the prophets.
Love was even in the 400 year silence, as generations lived and died, wondering what next?
Love was in asking a young girl to participate in the impossible–in the incredible. To carry a child not conceived of human seed. To bring into the world the very God-man in the flesh.
Love was Jesus forsaking the glory of heaven and allowing Himself to be wrapped in the humblest form known to the universe–the fragile, wrinkled skin of a baby.
Love was God allowing His only Son to grow up in a home devoid of material comforts. Allowing Him to suffer the sharp words of those who hated Him. Allowing Him to bear every temptation known to man. Allowing Him to feel the bitter betrayal of a friend.
Love was exemplified for all eternity in the agony and injustice of the cross that Jesus allowed Himself to be nailed to…for us.
Love broke through all the evil and hate and darkness in the world at that moment that was the climax of all of history. Love overcame sin and death.
Love is God walking with us today. Being with us in every moment, in ease and in pain, in joy and in sorrow, in laughter and mourning.
Love’s power is in selflessness.
Did you ever realize that?
Love that is selfish is not love at all (1 Corinthians 13:5, “love is not self-seeking”).
The power of love is in laying down your life.
Love is choosing to forgive those who hurt you. Choosing to forgive those people whose words cut into your heart. Love is choosing to be patient with those who frustrate you day in and day out. Love is listening–to those you agree with and those you do not. Love is sharing your home, your heart, your things, your money, your time. Love is being there. Love is crying with the one who is hurting and laughing with the one who is rejoicing.
Love is choosing to live each day not in pursuit of your own will, your own choices, and your own comfort, but in pursuit of giving life to others. Love is laying down your own life through small and big choices so that others might find the hope of Christ. Love is recognizing that because God so loved the world, because God so loved you, you can give that love to everyone around you (1 John 4:8).
This is how love overcomes.
This is how love wins, every single time:
Climbing high upon a tree where someone else should die.
This is how love heals the deepest part of you:
Letting Himself bleed into the middle of your wounds.
– “How Love Wins” from The Story
Love that overcomes isn’t painless or easy or pretty. But though it is painful, it is simple, and it is beautiful. Love that overcomes is the love with which God saved us, and it is the love He fills us with each day to walk in new life. The foundation of life is love. And the rest of the story is what we choose to do with it.
Dear friend, do you know the love that overcomes? Has your life been washed to its very core by the love that is the foundation of the world? If not, I pray you’ll accept it, and let the hurt you’ve been carrying fall away. If so, let us extend that love to others. May we let it transform every part of us anew each day, as it is meant to. May we live our lives as vessels of that love that overcomes the world.
1 John 1:29 “…Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
John 16:33 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.“