Perfect (Verb) Love

We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in His love.
God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.
Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His perfect love. We love each other because He loved us first. 1 John 4:16-18
I read a quote the other day that talked about perfection. It said, “Do not seek perfection in a changing world. Instead, perfect your love” (Master Sengstan). I let that thought marinate for a minute. When I marinate, it’s God’s way of saying, “Hey. Sit down. Think about this really hard because it is important.” As Christians, there are two words in this quote that are important for us to focus on; perfect and love. Love is pretty clear particularly when we are talking about Godly love and our love for others. However, perfect has a couple of meanings. One is when we think of Christ and we see His perfection and our being made perfect through Him. The other perfect is the pursuit of it. Like Vince Lombardi once said, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” So while both are spelled the same way, they are said differently (PER-fect and per-FECT). This quote resonated with me so much so that it became a reminder I must always get better in loving God and others. In fact, it is something I feel very strongly about now more than ever.
The greatest measurement of our spiritual growth is how much greater our capacity is to love God and others. The verses above paint a very clear picture of what a growing love for God looks and dare I say feels like. One might say there is a reason this may be beyond logical thinking. Our understanding and logic limits what might be possible. However, through Christ our ability to see things becomes limitless. We become more in tune with what God intends and not what we ourselves can see on our own.

So how can we put this to use? Simply stop, and start. Stop saying you can’t do it and start trusting that anything is possible through Christ. Stop focusing on how you have failed and start focusing on God’s redemptive power. Stop looking at their difference and start understanding why they are different. Stop focusing on judgment and start resembling God’s mercy. I think you get the picture.
God’s love for us is both perfect and infinite. It can be neither imagined nor quantified. With each thing we do well, or failure that we’ve encountered for the umpteenth time, it is unchanging. It does not wilt, collapse, or goes away. It is a constant that flows through every part of our body. There is no reason to fear it. Just feel it. Only then, can you become fully aware of its power to free you and those around you. Let us try to expand our hearts to those who need us most and more importantly those who we might think don’t deserve it. Only then can we truly understand what today’s verses are about. Where has your love for others reached its capacity and could stand reviving? How is God challenging your heart to love today? My prayer is that we work incessantly to perfect our love for all to experience God’s perfect love. Amen.


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