Summary of the Loving Well Retreat
4 Confessions of Loving Well
1. God is Perfect Love
2. Nothing can separate us from God’s Perfect Love.
3. God pours His Perfect Love into my imperfect heart.
4. Accessed, I can love anyone through anything.
God is Perfect Love
“…God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love…”
The Latin Word Teleious means Complete, which means lacking nothing, of full age and mature. God’s Love for us is exemplified by this and has no fear, nor is it hampered by insecurity or anxiety, which many times characterized aspects of our human imperfect love. In God’s love we can be made complete by this love if we continue to allow His love to do the sanctifying work of grace in us.
Nothing Can Separate us from God’s Perfect Love
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
God said in Isaiah 66:13, “As a mother comforts her son, so will I comfort you.” So God’s love for us is likened to a mother and her child and as those of us with children know the strong bond of protection and love that we can have for our children, and God’s love is even more perfect and stronger than that.
God Pours His Perfect Love into my imperfect heart
“…But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit…”
God still loves us even when we are choosing to stay separate from Him through our own accord and bad behavior. He is clear that in order to bear the fruit of His love, we have to choose His love above all else and not rely on humans or materialism to fulfill us. It is not healthy for a parent to force their children to submit to their plans for their life, neither is it healthy for the human race to be forced by God to choose His plans for our life. This would not bring us and humanity to the place of completion that He truly desires for us, therefore, He allows us to have Free Will. He knows there are many who will not choose Him and will continue to live Hell on Earth instead of a glimpse of Heaven on Earth, through their pride or comfort in their pain and they will refuse to be reconciled and will continue to remain in captivity to the enemy. Breaking free from pride, painful choices and the opinions of others and to live in God’s Love is Freedom.
Accessed, I can Love Anyone through Anything
“…that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,”
His desire because He loves us so much is for us to choose Him of our own accord and allow His love to change us, fill us and then with overflow, we are to be an agent of change for Him in the world. He wants us to have the wisdom and discernment when to go back to the well to fill up and when to pour out. He calls us to love with insight and compassion. He wants us to have understand the potential spiritual handicaps that those He may call us to love may have. If we don’t forgive others and deal with our own issues, we will be spiritually handicapped.
He does not want us to pour out without filling up. He does not want us to be continually drained by unhealthy people with motives of manipulation or just rooted in bitterness. When we are full, we can better love those who drain us. However, some people do not want reconciled and not all relationships are are the will of God. Some relationships, especially, those which are hurtful or extremely unhealthy and dysfunctional, are not meant to be reconciled, because the relationship was not meant to exist. He calls us to be wise, to love at arms length when necessary and to walk away or just plain stay away, when necessary and pray.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”
He calls us to love afar. He calls us to love globally. He calls up to love those in poverty with no strings attached, with nothing to gain. But how we do gain. Loving afar, relieves us of the burden of our own self absorption. It gives us great insight into the lives of people of truly depend on God for their needs.
Onto Loving 4 Different Kinds of People that God Calls us to Love
Joy is the easy to love person. Our “Joys” maybe different for each of us, but usually someone we get good energy from or our encouraged by.
Testy is the person that constantly tests us or we allow to push our buttons. We may be someone else’s “Testy”.
Foe is our enemy, there is a fine line between love and hate, and sometimes our foe’s fit this idiom. Maybe we love them, but hate their behavior. God tells us to love our enemies and to pray for them in Matthew 5:44-46.
Far is a stranger to us. It could be someone we don’t know walking down our own street or a person in a foreign land we have showed up to help. Do we bother to show love to people we don’t know? God calls us to.
Much of the study echoes teachings in the Walk to Emmaus and the personal journey of my heart and it is always good to have the edification of the journey laid out for all to see and to testify that it is a very real journey to be approached with great intention and purpose to choose to let God love you perfectly, like no one else can, so that you can break free from any captivity and then go out and love others well, pointing them to the only One that can love them perfectly.
On a personal note, what a great pleasure it was to travel this journey with the Hope Circle ladies of SUMC. What a beautiful gift of love you poured out to all who attended and I know each and everyone was blessed and filled up with God’s love and myself included. I enjoyed reconnecting with everyone so much…truly a gift and it is well with my soul. It was a pleasure to spend some time with each of you.
Loving you Each Perfectly in Christ,