You are made in God’s image – LOVE
If ever there was a message that bears repeating over and over again, it is this: God loves you. You need to hear it, over and over, until it really sinks in. God loves you. In fact, God is absolutely crazy about you. So much so that God made you in God’s own image.
“God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him… … as he is, so are we in this world”. [1 John 4: 16-17]
Stay with that, dwell on it… Tap into it… Really allow it to soak in; it can make all the difference in loving others.
We know that God lives within us, he dwells in you – he really does. God is love and as he is, so are you. You are love! Isn’t that amazing? It is so good it bears repeating every day, in the form of a prayer: As You are Lord, so am I in this world. I am love.
Your attitude to others will determine their attitude to you. And, the most constructive way to live is to love others. You enrich your life by loving others and you draw people to you who will, in turn, further enrich the quality of your life.
Live the true meaning of the gospel; reveal love and compassion in your daily life. Live each day in the manner urged by author Og Mandino: I will live this day as if it were Christmas. I will be a giver of gifts and deliver to my enemies the gift of forgiveness; my opponents, tolerance; my friends, a smile; my children, a good example, and every gift will be wrapped with unconditional love.
Nothing can separate us from God’s love. The passionate Apostle, St Paul reminds us that “Nothing can separate us from His love; neither death nor life, neither angels nor heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, neither the world above nor the world below – there is nothing in all Creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.” [Romans 8:39]
That too is GOOD NEWS! It means there is nothing you can do to make God love you any more and there is nothing you can do to make God love you any less. God just loves you. It is unconditional love. No strings attached! How good is that?
In the “Confessions”, St Augustine of Hippo, who was something of a prodigal in his earlier years, wrote of his love for God. His words are both a lament — that he did not come to love God earlier– and a song of joy — he can’t get enough of God’s love.
“Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would not have been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.”
The intensity of Augustine’s love comes through in the beautiful language he used and reaches a crescendo in the final three sentences – I pant for you… I hunger and thirst for more… I burned for your peace. He received God’s love; he returned it and the love overflowed from him to others.
In reflecting on Augustine’s words, we may tend to scoff at the suggestion we can love God like he did. After all, he is a saint! And yet, Augustine was human, just like us. His love for God grew as he became more aware of God’s love for him. And that’s how it can be for us! You too can love God with that intensity for you are love.
In the hunger and thirst for more we draw closer to God. It is through the need for God and desire for more we come to the realisation that the very need is the key to knowing God more intimately, the very greatest of gifts we can possess.
God is Love … … so are you! Never forget: God loves you.