Learning to love is what life is all about.
 
The Bible is not the story of God’s power.  It’s the story of God’s love.
 
Most of us have days in which we wish God would just get his act together and use his power to clean up this mess of a planet.
 
But God is working steadily and relentlessly by another means.

God is healing our fractured world by putting his love into human hearts.  He is freeing us from self-centeredness, one hour at a time, just so we can love others deeply and wisely.
 
There are frequently major setbacks in this process.  Those failures especially catch our attention in faith communities, where we so often hope for better things. 
 
But God has made a major investment in putting this strategy into place, and he assures us that despite our ineptitude at loving he is never going to abandon it.
 
Dennis Kinlaw, former president of Asbury College in Kentucky, remembers what it meant to him when he became a grandfather.  The first time he held his little grandchild in his arms he was overcome by emotion.  Tears came to his eyes and he asked himself, “Is there anyone who feels about me the way I feel about this child?”
 
The answer came to him immediately.  It was a resounding, “Yes, and even more – God himself.”
 
It is impossible to overstate how committed God is to sharing his love with us. 
 
When I offer my love to somebody else, and that person chooses not to love me in return, I feel pain.  I hurt because I have lost something.
 
When God offers his love to us and we refuse to love him in return, God feels pain, too.  But God’s hurt is different.  God feels pain not because he has lost something, but because we have lost something.
 
We have lost the most important thing in the world:  the chance to experience the saving and transforming care of our Creator.  As the apostle Paul put it:

"And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.”  (Ephesians 3:17-18)
 
Learning to love is what life is all about. 

In his relationship with us, God will never settle for less.


 
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Glenn McDonald is the Director of Mission Integration for the Ascension Ministry Service Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, a role in which he serves as the workplace mission leader for 900 associates in the healthcare industry.

Glenn is an ordained Presbyterian minister, has 33 years of congregational leadership experience, and is the author of eight books on discipleship and spiritual formation.  He and his wife enjoy living on a small farm.
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