Let love overtake me and flow through my veins.
(Bryan & Katie Torwalt, “Let the Sound of Heaven”)
I have made that line from the Torwalt’s song a daily prayer for myself. For Love to flood me. God is love. So may God's Holy Spirit overtake me and flow in and through me,so I can surrender to His masterful leading.
Once, while at a church conference, we heard several speakers talk about love and community. One woman shared many personal experiences that encouraged my heart greatly. One of the phrases she kept repeating over and over was "insert love here.” She would share about people (herself included) messing up or making mistakes and how community around them would ‘insert love’ in those moments of failure—showing grace and honor, knowing it could just as easily happen to them.
We all screw up. Make mistakes. Stumble. I believe community is imperative, so that when our mistakes bring us discouragement and condemnation and shame, we have someone to pull us up out of the mud. Let's face it—sometimes our shame and condemnation drowns out God's voice of grace and forgiveness. We begin believing the lies that we are no longer worthy or that restoration is impossible—that our mistakes are just too big. We need friends and family to show us grace and to encourage us to get back up, dust off, and keep running the race. Someone to remind us who we are, and Whose we are.
Love covers a multitude of sins. And Jesus modeled this for us:His unquenchable love flowed over us to cleanse us of all iniquity. We are commissioned to follow in His footsteps. 1 Peter 4:8 says, "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins."
When we run into Love, we are changed. Being loved brings freedom and healing to our brokenness and a renewal of hope. It brings us hope in God's plan for us, in our salvation and restoration, in the goodness of God and His creation, and restores our relationship with God and others.
Like slipping on a coat, we need to slip on love. We need to wrap up in it and wrap it around others, too. It's safe, warm, and thick protecting us from the storms and the cold. It keeps our hearts soft.
What would it look like if everyone dressed themselves in love and took up residence in a loving, grace-filled community? Maybe a little like heaven...
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13)
Jesus, Your love covers my sins, and by Your love I have been changed forever. I will always remember the way You came into my life and heart and brought healing. You are a wonderful Savior. I recall this morning the joy of my salvation, and I am humbled yet again by Your invitation to dance with You. Let me be everything You planned for me to be, and may I remain in You and You in me.
Author: Kerri Barfield