Kara’s Collection: 5 Ways to Abound in Love

from an article originally posted September 17, 2014…

And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
— Philippians 1:9-11 (ESV)

It’s 4:30 in the morning and I cannot sleep. I woke with my daughter snuggled close, and all at once my mind was awake. I realized I have hours before my big treatment and I have days of work to get done. There is something each treatment that makes showing up more and more difficult. It’s simple—I know what is going to be happening. I know how low I will be brought when the healing poison is administered. I know how low I already feel. I know the fight for my normal will begin the minute the slow drip of poison begins. So in that place anxiety grows. But this morning my mind started to wonder over the power of love. And even in my low state, I am still able to live in love, extend love, and rest in love.

Well, I woke thinking over my last weekend when I asked a group of women to take the call of abounding in love seriously. The verse asks for more and more love from each of us that know Jesus... In my weakened state abounding love is still possible. In your healthy state more and more love is your high calling. Love not for acknowledgement, but love simply because it’s our calling in Jesus. Love that shares that love.

  1. The Holy Spirit has you exactly where you are today. Either you are a young mama struggling for a moment alone, or you are an empty nester not sure what to do with the new space and freedom in your life. The calling is the same—abound. Where is God asking you to abound in the more and more of His love. His love is the key—the love must be an overflow from the Giant love God is pouring into you. Or you will simply be functioning in your own strength and love in your own strength is often meant for your own gain. That love is exhausting, but loving where you are prayerfully called to love, well it’s exhausting too, but different exhausting.
  2. Where are you holding tightly to your comfort? Is it in connecting to new people? Have you chosen a position of stubbornness with a dear love in your life? Are you waiting for someone to abound in love to you until begin to move? Repent; God has offered you the feast of knowing His great goodness. Move; move in love. Even if it feels terrifying. Sometimes writing a simple love note feels overwhelming. Ask for the grace of God to meet you where you fear moving in love. He will be there. He will even provide the love to give. He’s unreal like that.
  3. Behind closed doors, we can often think we are living on a private island. We can believe that the privacy of our home is a silent place to pull quietly away from love, that no one will notice. I would challenge you today, if you spend your love mostly outside your home it may be time to evaluate your heart. Look at the loves in your home, your nearest neighbors, and start there. Ask Jesus where love is needed, and ask Him to let you be an instrument of His giant love.
  4. If you are like me and struggling for energy and strength, please do not count yourself out. You have this breath—feel it? You can make a difference. Your big love matters. My big love doesn’t look like it once did, but it’s still love. And when I move into that abounding love, the more and more love. Well, in that place, I often find beautiful strength that is not my own. When my heart desire is to love another, often the strength is granted for me to move in that love. I want to crawl into the fetal position and forget my high calling at love, but I would be missing so, so, so much beauty. No, I still have love to share.
  5. Trust me, please trust me, in the act of sharing Giant Jesus love with another there is joy. More than that the fruit is often the enjoyment of love yourself. To give love is to receive love. Maybe not from the person you are choosing to love, but in the faithfulness of loving another—God will pour and pour and pour His love into you. It may feel terrifying to step out in big love today but I promise it’s terrifying like a roller coaster you can’t wait to ride again! Love changes everyone involved—the person loving, the person receiving love. Don’t believe me? Try it! I double dog dare you!