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  • Writer's pictureDr. Jackie Minor

Higher Love: Live Like You’re LOVED

I love music. I often catch myself humming familiar tunes I grew up with although I never remember all the words—usually just the chorus. This was the case with “Higher Love” recorded in the 80’s. As I was praying and thinking about this blog topic, I kept singing, “Bring me a higher love; Bring me a higher love.” If you know the song hopefully, you were just singing it along with me in your head! Those are the only words I remembered, so I decided to look up the lyrics just for fun. I am posting a major portion of the lyrics here. I simply could not believe how fitting they were, especially since this is a secular song. Take a look.

Higher Love

Think about it, there must be higher love Down in the heart or hidden in the stars above Without it, life is a wasted time Look inside your heart, I'll look inside mine Things look so bad everywhere In this whole world, what is fair? We walk blind and we try to see Falling behind in what could be

Bring me a higher love Bring me a higher love Bring me a higher love Where's that higher love I keep thinking of?

Worlds are turning and we're just hanging on Facing our fear and standing out there alone A yearning, and it's real to me There must be someone who's feeling for me Things look so bad everywhere In this whole world, what is fair? We walk blind and we try to see Falling behind in what could be

Bring me a higher love Bring me a higher love Bring me a higher love Where's that higher love I keep thinking of?

Bring me a higher love Bring me a higher love Bring be a higher love I could rise above on a higher love

Songwriters: Steve Winwood / Will Jennings

Higher Love lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

As I read through these lyrics, I was struck by a sound of desperation. Everyone is looking for that “higher love”. More often than not, we seek to find that love in a person. Yet, if you are a follower of Christ, you know that the yearning deep down in our hearts can only be found when we accept God’s love for us through the person Jesus. God’s love frees us from living a life full of desperation and searching. If you ever doubt God’s love, start reading the Psalms.

· How precious is your unfailing love, O God! Psalm 36:7

· You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you. Psalm 86:5

· But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.

Psalm 86:15

· Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever. Psalm 136:26

Knowing and embracing God’s love for us is only one aspect of the Christian life. God wants us to LIVE like we are LOVED? Does it really matter? Jesus thought so.

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34-35

In the book Knowing God, J.I. Packer offers this challenge: “Could an observer learn about the quality and degree of love that I show others? My wife? My husband? My family? My neighbors? People at church? People at work? Anything at all about the greatness of God’s love to me?”

The command to love is woven all throughout the Scripture. It is hard to read for very long in the Bible and not read about love. Most are familiar with these words from I Corinthians 13:1-3, 13.

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing…Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.”

Love isn’t about way we say. Love isn’t about what we know. Love isn’t always about what we do. I Corinthians 13 love is an overflow of God’s love— His heart to ours—that manifests itself through action. Christ’s love for the lost will often reach out through us.

It is so easy to get wrapped up in knowing about God’s love and professing God’s love, but showing God’s love is an entirely different matter. It is truly a matter of the heart. Just like in Jesus’ time, people are desperate for a higher love—an agape love. People today are not interested in a worldly love. They want a higher love that is unconditional, compassionate, and selfless. The only way I know to really get a glimpse into what this type of love should look like is to examine the life of Jesus.

A Heart of Compassion

Jesus had a heart of compassion. When He looked up and saw the crowds coming toward him in Matthew 9, the Bible says he was moved with compassion. The word used here is the strongest word for pity in the Greek language. It is formed from a word that means bowels (i.e., in his deepest being). This word is only used to describe Jesus in the Bible. May we all strive to have a small portion of this type of compassion!

Although the examples of Jesus’s compassion are too numerous to mention, two specific events recorded in Scripture come to mind for me. The first was His interaction with the woman caught in the act of adultery in John 8. The Pharisees wanted to stone her (what the law required), yet Jesus had compassion. He challenged anyone without sin to throw the first stone. As one by one the accusers left, Jesus replaced condemnation with compassion. He simply said, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” You notice here that Jesus did not condone her behavior. His compassion was honest but merciful.

Another interaction I often think about is when Jesus encountered the woman at the well in John 4. The Bible tells us Jesus was exhausted and hungry. In that culture he would have been completely justified to ignore this woman. Yet, he looked upon her with compassion. Jesus looked past her nationality, past her lifestyle, and into her heart and offered her living water from a well that never runs dry.

Is there someone in your life that needs to experience God’s compassionate love through you?

Heart of Service

In my opinion, teachers are servants. Most go into teaching because they truly want to serve children and families. If we are not careful, however, we can lose our way and start seeing our work as a duty, a paycheck, or just a job. Jesus gave us the perfect picture of what it meant to have a heart of service.

When Jesus had washed their feet and put on his outer clothing, he reclined again and said to them, “Do you know what I have done for you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are speaking rightly, since that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done for you. Truly I tell you, a servant is not greater than his master, and a messenger is not greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.” John 13:12-17

Jesus was never about appearances. He was never “too good” to humble himself and serve. He never served from a place of duty but a place of love. I believe this is one reason why people were so drawn to Him. He heart was always about meeting the needs of those around Him. Jesus was a perfect reflection of God the Father. “I and the Father are one.” John 10:30.

I’m not there yet. I am continuously asking God to give me a servant’s heart. Is there someone in your life that needs to experience your heart of service?

We should love because He first loved us. Let’s live like we’re loved. May our lives reflect God’s “higher love”. #higherlove #victoriouseducator #agapelove #compassion #service



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