Ephesians 3:17-19: “Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.”

Higher than our highest expectations, before the conception of the space time continuum, deeper than the deepest mystery, wider than this universe, that’s the measurement we apply to God’s love. In other words: it can’t be measured; and if God’s love cannot be measured, nothing can contain His love.

God gave Moses permission to gaze upon His beauty, albeit only from behind and without giving him even the smallest glimpse of His facial features; in the book of Exodus we read this compelling encounter between Moses and the Almighty (Exodus 33:18-23):

Moses responded, “Then show me your glorious presence.”

 The Lord replied, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh, before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose. But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live.”  The Lord continued, “Look, stand near me on this rock. As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and let you see me from behind. But my face will not be seen.”

God’s immeasurable love, condensed in the expression of His glorious face, is forever exuding from Him, permeating the entire universe.

This is why we encounter bits and pieces of God’s love everywhere we go. It is easy to see how God lavishes His love generously and passionately on His creation. A trip into the outdoors with the astounding variety of animal and plant life paints the picture. It’s similar to visiting a place with thoughtful design, tasteful decorations and brilliant architecture. Planet Earth is one astounding monument of God’s creative energies and love.

Ever looked into the eyes of a dog adoring the ground you walk on – or into the eyes of a person falling in love with you – or into the eyes of your sons and daughters as they touch your nose and smile that toothless smile when they are still very small? That’s God’s love in small dosage. That’s the stuff we’re made of because we were created out of love. I am writing this with caution, aware of how tainted love can be and how it has become almost unrecognizable in the dark corners of this world. While the darkness is devastating, it’s simply robbing us from the truth. The reason why we’re here is not an accident. We’re here because of love and we will always be attracted to love because that’s where we are from, that’s where we belong and that’s where we are meant to return – you guessed it: we are meant to return to God, Who Is Love.

Meanwhile we can witness how God’s love spreads like wildfire. His love creates and endorses life to the point that it conquers the destructive forces of death. That’s the potent power of God’s love! And while we may enjoy the measured love-approach here on Earth, my hope is that once we are immersed into Heaven’s surroundings we will not only see God’s frame and notice His footprints but we will also have the privilege of directly smiling at Him.  We are promised a new heart, hopefully a more suitable container of His love.

This is my hope: that you and I get to see God’s glorious face and that we are able to mirror His love into the world, endlessly into space, and ultimately back to God.

“Right back at ya, God!”

I say that, of course, with a twinkle in my eye. No disrespect intended!

”I love you, Lord
And I lift my voice
To worship You
Oh, my soul rejoice!
Take joy my King
In what You hear
Let it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear” (Laurie Klein)

Romans 12:10: “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”

In Queen’s rendition of the Bohemian Rhapsody we are presented with a murder case. The song powerfully expresses the contradictory feelings of a man who had just killed a person. Following is a brief excerpt of the lyrics penned by the late Freddie Mercury:

“Mama, just killed a man
Put a gun against his head
Pulled my trigger, now he’s dead
Mama, life had just begun
But now I’ve gone and thrown it all away”

We sometimes forget that by proceeding down the slippery slope of anger and hate we’re all prone to kill someone. The best way to prevent this disaster from happening is to pursue the opposite direction: Investing genuine interest in other people and loving generously is the way to go. The trick is not to differentiate between people because God doesn’t. God loves humans indiscriminately, always has, and always will. We’re supposed to follow His example once we jump on His bandwagon. Of course we have our reservations when it comes to loving everybody. Jesus had a conversation about this very topic with a teacher of the law.

Discussing the specifics of loving God and particularly our neighbors, a teacher of the law spoke up and asked Jesus: “Who’s my neighbor?” In an attempt to narrow down on the amount of people to be loved he asked Jesus this very loaded question. “Who is my neighbor?” really leaves a lot of room for individual interpretation, if you think about it. Basically, we pick and choose whom to love and whom to pass by. In other words, we categorize people, apply tags, and consider some of them not worthy of our love.

Well, Jesus’s answer is a classic. He told the story of an unnamed person who got mugged and left on the road to die. After having been conveniently ignored first by a priest and then by a Levite, a despised Samaritan finally came to his rescue.

At the end of the story Jesus answered the law expert’s question with a question of His own (Luke 10:36-37):

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

God has created no sub humans. Our job is to love everybody. How that works, I don’t know. I would say it’s humanly impossible. But we can start with the people right next door. And as we walk with Jesus, the Master in Human Relations, we can learn from Him. No doubt, loving people is a wild ride and it will break our hearts more than anything, but according to our Creator, it’s all worth it. Love doesn’t kill, which immediately cuts down on murder cases; love honors and respects people regardless of status, gender and tribe; love brings life, literally – thanks to love we have families; love rules, and most definitely: love makes this world a better place.

Ephesians 4:15: “Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.”

Speaking the truth in love is like a spoonful of sugar, which makes the medicine go down. Truth is sometimes nice to hear, especially when someone compliments you without trying to schmooze up to you.  Truth people like to hear sounds something like this: “Truthfully, you’re one of the most talented people I’ve ever seen.” We like to hear that kind of truth. But – what if the truth is ugly? Truth is still truth.

Here is where Paul’s advice comes in. He wrote in his letter addressed to Ephesus, an ancient Greek settlement in modern-day Turkey: “Speak the truth in love.” I find myself struggling with just that. One of the hardest things for me is to open my mouth and speak sad truth, especially knowing that it is difficult to accept. Without love the sad truth would be impossible to deliver. Without love there is probably no chance the message will be well-received. And without love the receiver of that message is not going to embrace it either, and isn’t that the ultimate reason why sad truth is communicated – unless of course our intentions are to condemn? Reality check: Jesus’ motivation has always been to restore; that’s why we hear Him say (John 3:17):

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

Condemning, by its very nature, has given up on the so-judged person and is ready to throw this person into the trash. Condemning a person is like dumping a person. On the other hand speaking the truth in love is respecting and valuing that same person others have given up on.

So, speaking the truth in love is all about motivation – and we have the wisdom of ages to help us with that very difficult task, the Spirit of God, aka the Holy Spirit. Let’s not give up on anybody, and that includes us all. Instead of beating ourselves up because of recent failures, we want to speak encouragement into our own life by saying what needs to be said in love. Love is very powerful. Love brings the dead to life. There’s precious hope in love; and love is God’s trademark. John, one of Jesus followers, wrote in his letter (1 John 4:8):

“But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

If God is love, so are His children. Here’s to love!

Romans 13:8: “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”

Love is more than a feeling. We may have feelings for a person on a sunny afternoon, but then reality kicks in the following day and now we feel differently. Feelings are fickle. They come and go. And then there’s this aspect of: “I love you more”, when there is rivalry of any kind. Love is no competition. Love is a lifestyle.

“You owe me one!” we hear sometimes when somebody went the extra mile and did something extraordinary to our benefit. Imagine God said that to you and me: “You owe me one!” after He sacrificed His Son. How would we feel about that? Thankfully, God does not say or think that. This is not who He is.

God is extremely generous by nature. Pouring out His love is His daily habit. He simply goes above and beyond, which is why He owes us nothing. If we have trouble believing that, it’s mostly our perception of Him that gets us in trouble. A tainted view of God will taint our view of pretty much everything. We’ll also have a tainted view of love.

Looking at God’s habit of loving every person on this planet, that’s the love lifestyle Paul is hinting at in his letter to the Romans. God is love. So are His children. We owe it to the world that is largely loveless.

If we love like God does, then there are no checks and balances when it comes to loving people. To love is as natural as to breathe. Not to love is as unnatural as not breathing. Actually, not breathing kills us – just as much as not loving kills our spirit.

To love or not to love is really not a question. We just need to go for it. God’s Spirit will breathe meaning into this four-letter-word that has been misinterpreted and abused ever since there is people. Love is really not that complicated, but it’s sometimes hard to do. I don’t think it was easy for Jesus to love His enemies. But He did. Ultimately, it’s easier to keep on loving than to keep on hating, because if we hold on to a grudge we only hurt ourselves.

Love is a lifestyle choice, and God is all over it. It’s not hard to find God if we choose this lifestyle, and it’s not hard to love when get to know Him.

Deuteronomy 30:16: “For I command you this day to love the Lord your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways.”

This is a picture of my husband serenading me as we were camping at Yosemite in California.  We’ve been married for more than a decade now. Time flies! Bill loves to think about stuff when he showers. He calls them his shower moments. He comes up with song ideas or a genius solution to a nagging problem. The other day another light bulb went off in his head and he shared it with me:

“Law without love is slavery. Love without law is still love.”

What he says makes perfect sense considering that there was no law at the beginning of mankind, but there always was and has been – love. I believe everything that came into being was conceived out of love because our Creator loves His creation. Deprived of love, we all die. Love is why we breathe.

Love preceded the law; people came first and the law came later – almost like an afterthought, so it seems. Nevertheless, God gave us a conscience.  It is common sense that stealing is harmful to human society. It’s no rocket science to figure out that cheating on your spouse will hurt any marriage relationship.  It is obvious that no one can replace the person who was just killed.  So, without being spelled out – the law has always been in place, and love is the key to obeying all these laws.  Apply love to the law, and the Ten Commandments look something like this:

Love has no other God but the Lord; Love does not idolize; Love does not abuse the Lord’s name; Love observes the Sabbath rest; Love honors the parents; Love does not kill; Love does not pursue sexual relations outside of marriage; Love does not steal; Love does not lie; Love does not covet.

Love – and we are home free. Isn’t that the truth? Bill would say: “Yepper doodle!” Here’s to you, Bill! Here’s to Love!


“And even though we ain’t got money. I’m so in love with you, Honey
And everything will bring a chain of love” Kenny Loggins

1 John 3:18: “Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

There is a difference between paying lip service and actually jumping on the band wagon. Love is more than just a word; it implies action. The Lord Almighty was the first One who dared to love. The result of His love is a hustling and bustling universe with planets and life forms and beauty and wonder. God’s love is real. He speaks and lives love every second of the day; His love leaves distinctive footprints wherever He goes – for us to discover.

If we trace His footprints we will be reconnected to the source of our being. Meeting God Almighty, we get to experience love in the first person. God’s very essence is love. Waking up to the reality of God’s love is wildly wonderful.

God helps us love ourselves. In a crisis, when we tend to put ourselves in a harsh light, we need to remember that God knows us better than we know ourselves. He is greater than our worried minds and will not condemn us. He puts our minds at ease and our hearts at rest.

Through shifting circumstances God’s love remains rock-solid. Bad times come and go, but His love does not go away. Every time we choose to love we choose life. Speaking out in love we’re speaking God’s language. Seasoning our actions with a grain of love we find ourselves close to His heart and as alive as can be!

Proverbs 14:22: “Do not those who plot evil go astray? But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness.”

Premeditated crime versus crime of passion – two entirely different ball games! In court, one of the determining factors of a murder case is to find out whether a person was killed accidentally or in cold blood. Plotting to kill a person makes for aggravated murder and, depending on court location, may lead to lifetime in prison and/or death row.

It’s the plotting that makes matters worse.

Evil scheming can do tremendous harm, but even more so, great ideas and loving forethought will do a world of good. It’s what occupies our minds that will change our world – for better or for worse.

Neuroscientists have discovered that habitual thinking patterns can be traced back in our brain. Establishing good habits can rewire our minds and set us up for greatness. Planning good things is a habit that not only blesses our world, it blesses our soul. We sow love and faithfulness across the border, and after a while we’ll find that love and faithfulness multiplies.

If your mind has been occupied with worries looking at difficulties from all angles, try to take a break from problem solving for a little while. If you have a chance to be kind today, be kind. A little kindness goes a long way and leads to more human kindness; it will also make you feel better. Habitual kindness has a great side effect: your problems seem to shrink.

Evil is disheartening, but love is inspiring. It’s a power to be reckoned with. I personally believe that love beats evil in no time flat. Love rules!

What has been on your mind lately?