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Addictive Love

We all have something we just love, something we can’t get enough of. It can be anything or anyone. Some of us can’t live without specific foods like ice cream or for me, potatoes. I hear you laughing. There was a time I couldn’t get enough of them anyway you cooked them.

There’s a big difference, however, between loving something like potatoes and being addicted to something. Addiction is being compulsively committed to a habit or practice or to something that is habit-forming, to such an extent that if you stopped, it would cause severe trauma.

When we hear the word “addiction,” we normally think about alcohol, drugs or cigarettes. These are substances that when overused become bad habits that take control over us. We chase these things because we crave them whether they are good for us or not.

But today, I want to challenge you to think of addiction from a different perspective. Take Paul for example. He was a zealot and persecutor of the church, determined to eradicate Christians.  One day, though, the Lord turned Paul’s world upside down when he was traveling to round up Christians and put them in prison. He met Jesus on that road and Paul was never the same.

The very Way taught by Jesus became Paul’s greatest mission. He experienced the love of Jesus in a way that he could never have imagined. He fell in love with Jesus and His salvation and grace. The love showered on him by Jesus caused him to be addicted to loving Jesus. Paul was willing to be beaten, left for dead, and imprisoned as long as he could pour out his love on Jesus and share His Gospel with others.

Paul had addictive love—the kind of love that chases and can’t get enough. He followed the example of Jesus who showed us how much He loved the Father. He too was willing to put it all on the line to love and follow the Lord and love others.

Do you have that kind of addictive love? Do you chase Jesus down because you can’t get enough of Him? Do you have His kind of love for your neighbors? No trials, no pandemic, no stumbling blocks should get in our way. We too should be willing to do whatever we need to so that we can pour out our love on Him and then pour it out on our sisters and brothers. Looking for hope? You will find it in loving Him above everything and in spite of anything.

Let’s look at the definition of addiction again and apply it to Jesus: compulsively committed to a habit or practice of loving Jesus to such an extent that if you stopped, it would cause severe trauma. That’s addictive love we should all strive for. John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement defined a perfect Christian as one “having a habitual love of God and neighbor.” Now that’s an addiction we can all get used to.

“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; He is the faithful God, keeping His covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments.” Deuteronomy 7:9

“But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love.” Psalm 33:18

“May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.” 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Prayer

Lord,

My soul is crushed with longing after Your ordinances at all times. My soul languishes for Your salvation; I wait for Your word. Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. My soul thirsts for You, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God? You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; my soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. I stretch out my hands to You; my soul longs for You, as a parched land. At night my soul longs for You, indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently; for when the earth experiences Your judgments the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. No one but You will satisfy my soul. Amen!


Photo by Domingo Alvarez E on Unsplash

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