Love Lifted Me

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Did you know that the biblical definition of charity is love? I did not! In the Encyclopedia Britannica it notes “…the Reformers identified the uniqueness of God’s agāpe for man as unmerited love; therefore, they required that charity, as man’s love, be based not upon the desirability of its object but upon the transformation of its subject through the power of divine agāpe.” (Emphasis added)

I love how it explains that love was not based upon desire of an object but in the transformation through the power of divine agape! Love is so much more than we perceive it today. While many understand what this agape love is, others still base love on desire. When the feeling of desire fades, we move on to someone or something new only to rinse and repeat again and again. We find ourselves empty and depleted, leaving us to believe that love simply doesn’t exist. Believing in this lie, we settle into brokenness cluttering our hearts and minds never transforming past the skin’s surface.

I too, am no stranger to these false perceptions. I allowed many lies to creep in and skew my thoughts and heart about what love was. I had a crash course lesson several years ago. The women in my Bible Study group were to present their testimony. I had never done this before and was really quite hesitant to even share. My story, as I saw it then, was a story of disappointment, one that I never thought God had His fingerprints on. I even thought that He didn’t love me given all these false examples of love I had. I pouted and in anger put off doing the assignment.

Fast forward to a few days later, I felt a nudging to sit down and begin to write everything down. As I wrote down where I was hurt, He showed me comfort.


Where I had longing for the past, He showed me His protection and deliverance. Where I was angry and resentful, He showed me joy and blessing. Where I felt the sting of death and loneliness, He showed me life and that I am never alone.


 

I simply got lost and consumed in the circumstances refusing to see what could be ahead. I suffocated in my emotions and became a victim and not a victor as He intended for me. Romans 8:35-37 states, “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep. [a] No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.”

God showed such charity, love, for us that He sent His son to die, victorious over death, rose so that we may have life in Him. Writing my testimony, I finally saw Him faithful, just, compassionate, etc. and is in complete love with me. Although earthly love fails, His love does not. He is living proof of that. I just refused to see.

I still had to present my testimony and as I did, a new feeling of love overcame me. Freedom. As I spoke, chains broke and walls that had held me captive tore down. “…he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us,” Ephesians 2:14. He opened a new door of growth and communion in Him. Love continuously transforming as I am still a work in progress!

While in worship this past week, God called to my heart again. I had prayed about what I should write on charity and the hymns song flooded my eyes with tears; I knew His leading was love. I hope that you find great blessing from the words to this song:

“Love Lifted Me”

I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more,
But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry,
From the waters lifted me, now safe am I.

Refrain:
Love lifted me!
Love lifted me!
When nothing else could help,
Love lifted me!

All my heart to Him I give, ever to Him I’ll cling,
In His blessed presence live, ever His praises sing,
Love so mighty and so true, merits my soul’s best songs,
Faithful, loving service, too, to Him belongs.

Souls in danger, look above, Jesus completely saves,
He will lift you by His love, out of the angry waves.
He’s the Master of the sea, billows His will obey,
He your Savior wants to be, be saved today.

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