You Can’t Give What You Don’t Have

I cannot remember a time I did not know Jesus’ love for me. I knew when I left this earth I would go to heaven. But somehow, I missed the” For God so loved the world that He Gave” in John 3:16. I had separated Jesus, Who loved and saved me, from God the Father, Who I thought judged me and sometimes didn’t even like me. With this flawed thinking, I grew up very insecure and with low self-esteem. I was a people pleaser, wanting everyone to like me, and if they didn’t, I thought something must be wrong with me. I needed others to validate me and give me worth. This was a very dangerous position to be in. If someone spoke negative and condemning words and even curses over me, I took that in as truth, and it became self-destructive. 

One Sunday I heard our pastor say, “If you had been the only person here on earth, our Heavenly Father would still have sent His beloved son Jesus to suffer and die just for you. That’s how much he loves you!” (1 John 4:9, John 16:27) I heard this truth and hope sprang up in me! I wanted to know more about my Father’s love. I wanted a relationship with Him. I started reading the Bible and meditating on His love and what it was saying to me about who God said I was. The more our relationship grew, the more He revealed His love for me. This verse became my favorite verse…

“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

In the Bible you will find love to be the supreme and dominant attribute of God. I began to pray to see myself and others through my Fathers eyes. As the door to my heart opened to receive His amazing love, it began to overflow onto everyone who came into my life. I learned that you cannot give to others what you do not have yourself.

God taught me more about loving others through my relationship with my mother. My mother was a kind and godly woman who loved well. But in our relationship, there was something missing. It was almost as if there was a wall between us that kept her love from reaching me. Romans 8:28 says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose.”  I was given the blessing of being the caregiver for my mom when dementia robbed her of being able to care for herself. As the dementia progressed so did our relationship and our love grew for each other. Mother was slowly leaving us and needing more care. She would have accidents with her bowels and become so angry and embarrassed that she wouldn’t let anyone near her, except me. As I was driving to the home where she lived to help her, a song came on the radio,’ Worshiping with the Angels’. I wondered what that would be like and how wonderful it would be to be able to do that! After arriving and cleaning Mother up, I was clipping her toenails and that song popped into my mind. Tears began to flow when I heard the Holy Spirit say, “THIS IS WORSHIPING WITH THE ANGELS!” And then Mother began to sing “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

When we love and serve others, we are worshiping the Lord with the Angels!  

“And the king will answer them. Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Matthew 25:40

We cannot learn or make ourselves have Agape love. It only comes from our Heavenly Father, through His Son Jesus, to us and flows from us to others! 

“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” John 7:38

Amen! Let it be so!!! 

We want to thank Elaine Norrell for sharing this post.

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