“I went to the grocery store yesterday,” Stan began. “As I was waiting in the checkout line, I got caught up on all of the tabloid news I need!”
“Anything interesting?” I asked.
“Somebody I’ve never heard of is divorcing someone else I’ve never heard of after being married for just a few weeks.”
Continuing, he said, “It seems that they got married two days after meeting one another and falling madly in love. Now they say they don’t love one another.”
“Hardly surprising,” I replied.
“You’re right,” Stan said. “It takes time to develop true love, whether you are talking about loving another person or about loving God.”
Continuing, he said, “The longer I am married, the more deeply I am in love with my wife. It comes from spending time with her. The same is true with my love for God. In order to grow more deeply in love with Him, I need to spend more time with Him.”
“The more time, the more love,” I responded.
“Exactly, my friend!” Stan replied. “Not so, however, with God’s love for you or for me. He loved and loves us unconditionally from the beginning of time.”
“And,” he continued, God wants that same love to grow in us. Not only for Him, but for others as well. That’s another part of the whole process of being a disciple. And, of course, love is the first-listed fruit of the Spirit.”
“But it takes time,” Stan concluded. “And I have to choose to take the time. I have to choose to take the time that is needed to develop love, lasting love, for God and for others.”
God so loved the world . . . . John 3:16.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:34, 35.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, . . . . Galatians 5:22.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for loving me. Thank you that you sent Jesus into the world, and into my world, as an expression of your love. Thank you for showing me what you want and expect in the love I have for you and for others on this side of eternity. Thank you for wanting me to spend time with you to develop the love you want. I confess that too often I choose not to spend the time developing the love you intend for you and for others. Please forgive me. And please help me in following your lead in every aspect of the love you have for me to have. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: The words, “I love you,” flow easily, but it takes time to develop real love behind the words. Where are you in your love for God? For others? As loving as He wants? As you want? What will it take to have that kind of love?
Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to S. Tory Teller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.