Updated: Nov 2, 2020
Ephesians 3:17-19 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
November 1, 2020
When I was little my Mom was my best playmate. She played jacks with me, Old Maid, Concentration, and dolls. We colored, played the piano, sang songs, and watched old movies together. In fact, we did the later until the time she passed at 86 years old.
Growing up in Kansas, summers got very hot, sometimes 120 degrees. By 8am it was already too hot outside for me. So, my Mom and I would leave at 6 am in the morning and go bike riding, play tennis, and basketball, and my Mom would race me so that I could improve on my track skills. All this when she was in her 50’s, that was pretty impressive to me.
My Mom taught me how to crochet and sew by hand. We made patterns out of newspaper and paper bags. We made skirts and shirts, dresses, and doll clothes. I looked so forward to summers, not because I was out of school, but because I got to spend so much precious time with my Mom.
My relationship with my Mom never dulled. Throughout my entire life, my Mom and I were super close. In fact, when I became a mother and grandmother, I remember making a point to my Mom during a conversation, that I was a mother and a grandmother, basically saying how ‘grown’ I was. My mother told me tenderly that I would always be her baby. As a mother with grown children, I now understand that statement more than ever.
My time spent with my Mom from my childhood until the day that she passed, are some of the best and happiest memories of my life. And although my Mom told me that she loved me all the time, it was really her actions that proved her love for me. In fact, my mother told me to always pay attention to people’s actions and not just their words, because actions speak louder than words.
What I learned about love from my mother is that love is consistent, not wishy washy. You know that you can always count on love. As an adult, my Mom and I had some disagreements and I’m sure there were times that my actions disappointed her. But one thing that I knew without a shadow of a doubt is that during those times, my mother still loved me, and I could always count on her love.
I also watched my Mother’s interactions with others, and she was consistent in how she showed love to others as well. When my mother and I went to the grocery store, she always gave money to someone or gave them money towards their groceries. If we went to the store and I got a toy, some child in the store was going to definitely get a toy as well.
As a child I didn’t fully understand my Mom’s actions because I felt like we needed the money probably more than the people she helped out. But my Mom would always say that God will make a way and she’s never seen the righteous forsaken or His seed begging bread. She would always say Kitty, you never know what kind of day that person was having, or what they were going through at home, and how that act might be just the thing to touch their heart and lift their spirits. She was so right.
My mother’s love was consistent. And I learned why- she was demonstrating God’s love, which is consistent. God is consistent. God doesn’t change, He can’t change and therefore His love can and will never change. Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
I will always cherish my Mom’s love for me. But it was her teaching me about God’s love for me that I appreciate the most and that cultivated my love for God. One of the first scriptures I remember learning was John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life. And Jesus, the Son of God loved us so much that He sacrificed His life to save us from our sins. These were the ultimate acts of love.
The Bible tells us in Ephesians 3 that we are grounded in Christ’s love and His love is beyond our understanding. Ephesians 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, Ephesians 3:18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; Ephesians 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Christ’s love for us is so wide that He stretched out His arms for all mankind and died. The length of His love is longer than the grains of sand in the whole entire universe running together. It’s longer than time, Christ’s love is eternal.
Christ’s love for us is so deep, that He went into the depths of human existence and conquered death. And Christ’s love for us is so high, it reaches all the way to Heaven to the throne of grace, where He intercedes for us with the Father. Romans 8:34 Who is He that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Wow, when I think of Christ’s love for me, it’s really overwhelming and for sure surpasses my understanding. I could just sit and think of His love all day long, and of all the ways He has shown and shows me that He loves me. What security. What assurance. What peace.
I realize that I was actually grounded in love by the Master Himself. Because God so loved us, it wasn’t just His breath that went into man, God breathed His divine love into man and man became Real. And perhaps God making man Real through His love is the reason that one of my favorite stories is The Velveteen Rabbit. It’s a beautiful love story about a boy who had a stuffed rabbit that longed to be Real. One day, the Rabbit asked his friend, the wise Skin Horse, What is REAL? The Skin Horse replied that Real isn’t how you’re made, it’s what happens to you when someone really loves you.
The boy loved the Rabbit more than any of his other toys and publicly expressed that love by making a statement that the Rabbit was Real. For the first time, shabby and all, the Rabbit knew what it was like to be Real. He went on to become a real rabbit like the strange creatures he saw hopping in the garden, and it all started with the love he received from the little boy.
As I’ve learned more and more about love, I see how my mother gave real love. But even more, I’ve come to learn how when God created man, He didn’t just make a fine piece of work. God breathed His love into the very soul of man, which gave man life and made him Real. I’ve learned that love gives life and when you’re really loved, you come to life in every way.
There is an old song that asks the question who wrote the book of love? The answer is easy for me. God wrote the Book of Love, because God is love. Since the beginning of time, God’s actions were grounded in His love for us. It’s this love that teaches us how to love others and how others are to love us.
As the Lord has blessed me to live longer and grow wiser, I’ve come to learn that the actions of some people who were in my life, were not grounded in real love like my Mom’s and the way that God has taught us others are to love us. Oddly enough, they were the people who were the closest to me. Their actions were more inconsistent than consistent in demonstrating love. They tried to tear me down, rather than build me up, and their actions and words were designed to bring death rather than life.
But through it all, I’m still standing strong because I have God’s love, which is authentic, it's real, it's long-suffering, patient, and kind. God’s love shines bright, even in darkness. God’s love is existent and consistent. God’s love lifts you up, not bring you down. And God’s love gives life, not death. God’s love is the realest that love can get.
It is when we are filled with the fullness of God’s love, that like the Velveteen Rabbit, we know what it’s like to be Real. But the kind of Real that we become with God’s love surpasses all understanding, because God’s love surpasses all understanding. With immense joy, today I celebrate being Real through real love from the real God who loves me.
Dear Father God,
Thank You Lord for love, real love that I have experienced from the people in my life. But Lord thank You most of all for the love that You have shown me since before the world began. Father God, You breathed Your divine love into my very soul and therefore I am grounded in love. Lord I thank You that because you loved the world so, You gave Your only begotten Son to save me and the entire world from our sins. And thank You Jesus for being a willing sacrifice in giving Your life for me and all mankind. I have never experienced or known a greater love than these acts of love. Lord, I ask that You surround me with people who love me with real love, the kind of love that You have taught us to have for each other and that I demonstrate Your love for them. Lord, I praise You and I celebrate being Real today, because of Your love for me.
In Jesus name I pray,
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