Messages for Mylah
You Are Loved
I heard your name for the first time last month, and it is absolutely perfect for you. It means My Love Always. You are loved by many sweet Mylah. Your middle name, Isabella, means God’s promise. God’s love never fails, and He promises His love always. People may disappoint when it comes to love and your expectations, but you can always count on God and His promises.
I began writing letters to your big sister, Lillyann, in April, 2010. I wanted to do something different for you. I am leaving my work in the church office in September, a few weeks before you are expected to arrive. God is calling me to write, pray, and study. I also want to spend time with you and Lillyann. While I am not sure where the journey will take me as I go in this new direction, I know God has amazing plans for all of us.
I began studying 1 Peter two weeks ago. I had a very bad attitude when it came to Peter. I saw him as hard-headed and not giving Mary enough credit. I thought he had a bad attitude toward women. When I took the time to get to know him better, I learned that I was wrong. That is always the case when I judge someone before I truly know them.
Peter taught me about love and brought me closer to God, so I will always have a special place in my heart for him. I am not only loved, I am called to love. Peter learned about God’s love and, like me, he did it the hard way. That’s another reason he captured my heart; we have a lot in common in that regard.
1 Peter 1:17-23 NASB
If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times forthe sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.
If I were asked to sum up God’s Word in one word, it would be love. The Old Testament says God is love; the New Testament says Jesus loves me, and together they represent a beautiful living love letter written just for me. God’s love is something Peter knew first-hand, up close, and personally. He is the rock upon which Christ built His church, and he holds the keys to heaven’s gate. I’ve always thought of that as a position of power. One who stood at the door and decided who got in and who didn’t. Many feel the same way, but that’s not what Peter does. Peter knows the key to entering God’s kingdom, whether here or after we die, is accepting God’s love. He could not keep that wonderful knowledge to himself and knew that I couldn’t either once I got a taste of God’s love. Peter understood the rock upon which God’s church would be founded was Christ’s perfect love. There is nothing in this world more powerful than love. When I realize that beautiful truth, everything changes. I learn I can walk in God’s Kingdom now.
Peter tells new believers that God’s plan has always been in place. He knew before He formed the world that it would take His love to make it work. He begs us to love one another as if nothing else matters. The problem with love is that it involves trust. I have a problem with that because trusting involves being vulnerable. Peter is trying to get me to understand that God is different, and His love is unlike anything I’ve ever known. God sacrificed His only Son to give me access to that special love.
I am called to live a new life and love differently. My love must reflect God’s. Christ is a living, breathing example of God’s love. By giving me a connection to the Holy Spirit, Christ makes the impossible possible. My heart is turned upside down, and my world changes as a result of the change that takes place in my heart. I am re-begotten; that means more than simply born again. It means that I have a new father. My new Father is Love, and Christ offers a perfect example of God’s love in human form. He asks that I be a witness of His love, and He gives the Holy Spirit to help me carry out His commission.
God is love, and God’s Word is love. Christ lives out God’s love in an amazing way, and the Holy Spirit enables me to do the same. That’s what Peter is trying to tell me as He reminds me that my new life is conceived in the very heart of God!! How can I hear that and not be affected? Easily. My heart must mature before I am able to understand what God’s love truly means for me and His world. Love must be received; it cannot be forced upon another. God will not force me to love Him. If He did, the very nature of His love would be destroyed. Peter tells me what the prophets said about my old life being as short-lived as grass and wildflowers, but God’s love and His Word last forever.
The beautiful news is that I do not have to wait until I die to receive God’s love. In fact, if I do wait, I miss the opportunity to share God’s love with others. Peter knows the point of God’s love is to share it with others. Love and sharing go together, and that goes against human nature. I guard my heart and hold tightly to those I love out of fear. Kingdom love differs in that regard; the more I love, the more I am loved. God’s love is a love meant to be shared with abandon. Selfish love never survives, and Kingdom love will not survive unless it is shared. That’s the beautiful difference Peter is trying to show me.
In the realm of human love, sharing may mean adultery and infidelity. It means children leaving home and starting new lives with new loved ones. I hold tightly to those I love out of fear of losing them. Fear causes fusion, and fusion results in breaking because even human love does not fare well when held captive. God refuses to fuse. Unfortunately, old habits keep us from loving as God desires. I take God’s love and try to conform it and Him. God is the Great I AM. He is Who He Is, and that is what the family systems literature would call self-differentiation. In order to love as He loves, I must follow His example and become who He created me to be. Christ follows God’s beautiful example and remains true to Himself all the way to the cross. When I am who I am meant to be and accept others as they are, I begin to see the beauty of God’s plan for love. Love cannot be contained or held down. Our fear results in the need to control and causes me to miss the kingdom love God so desires for me. It is the love I will have in heaven, and Peter knows I can have it now.
It’s important to understand and accept God’s plan for love and love one another as though our very lives depend upon it. Peter is telling me that it is not only my life, but the lives of others that depend upon it. Peter understood the power of God’s love to transform and had the key to the Kingdom-God’s love. He knew he was loved and wanted everyone to share God’s love. Knowing I am loved changes me and fills me with the desire to be a witness of God’s love. Know that you are loved sweet Mylah and open your heart to the love God has for you. Don’t settle for anything less in this world because it is God’s world, and He allows us to love here on Earth as we will one day love in heaven.
My Love Always, Gigi