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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

The Making of a M.O.D.E.L … LOVE deeply, from the heart

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.
1 Peter 1:22

Final modeling session of the week, ladies. You will all have to agree that the logical last part of our M.O.D.E.L acrostic not only has to be LOVE, but to LOVE deeply, from the heart. Love undergirds, encompasses and pulls it all together. Without love, as 1 Corinthians 13 so eloquently tells us, all else fails.

The most basic truth about love is not to be overlooked: God is love (1 John 4:16). So we, created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), have those seeds of agape love in us.

The concept of agape is so much bigger than my finite brain can comprehend. Timothy Keller describes it beautifully in the final chapter of his book The Reason for God. In summary, our Triune God has always been in a love relationship with Himself: “The Spirit lives to glorify the Son, the Son to glorify the Father, the Father to glorify the Son.” Each seeks the glory of the other, not of self. Each loves the other sacrificially, losing self for the joy of the other.   

When God created man, He essentially pulled him into that circle of love. It was man’s disobedience that catapulted him out of the circle, into self-love. Jesus’ entry into the human orbit was His invitation to man to hop back in. When we choose Jesus, we purify ourselves by obeying the truth, as Peter said. The end result, the remainder of 1 John 4:16: we know and rely on the love God has for us. …Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

The challenge to us is to: love one another deeply, from the heart; perhaps not all that difficult. After all, God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us (Romans 5:5). The Message tells us that God’s agape love is so abundant, we can’t possibly round up enough containers to hold it all. To model Him, all we need to do is let it overflow, from the heart.

What an impact this week has made on me ladies, as together we constructed an easy-to-remember M.O.D.E.L to follow. It began with the imprint of the M-ark of Jesus on you and on me. O-bey, D-esign, E-cho, and L-ove followed. May we rely on the Spirit to leave His imprint in our wake, wherever we go.

Nancy P

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