Have you ever been totally grossed out by PDA (Public Display of Affection)? Of course, I have too. The thought of the images of some make out sessions in restaurants, parks, wherever, that I have seen makes me cringe. The PDA I am thinking about, however, is coming from a source that will never be ugly, humiliating, inappropriate or rude. I am way into this kind of PDA. This PDA is the picture of genuine and perfect love. This PDA casts out all fear. This PDA is constant and unchanging. In fact, these are the words that describes the ancient yet currently alive love of One who offers such PDA:
“I have loved you with an everlasting love. I have drawn you with chords of loving-kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
Another version says it simply: “I’ve never quit loving you and never will. Expect love,and more love!” (The Message)
“I, even I, am He who comforts you.” (Isaiah 51:12)
“I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palm of my hands” (Isaiah 49:16)
God has a tattoo that displays His love for us! – literally – it is found in Jesus’ hands that are scarred from His very public display of affection for Us on the cross.
On that note, we see this public display of affection in the New Testament stories of the Bible in the life of God lived on earth through Jesus.
“Greater LOVE has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of HIS GREAT LOVE with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our sin, made us alive together with Christ.” (Ephesians 2:4-5)
Whoa! Talk about a public display of affection!!! What would you do if someone said these words to you?
I would love to say that I am able to promise these words to my husband, or that he daily quotes them to me regarding his ceaseless passion for me but the reality is that no human lover can ever say this to the object of his affection with total integrity, because it just cannot be true. Humans are human and we all fail in our commitment to fully and totally love others with a heart of perfection. While we (hopefully) fail forward, continue to get up again and keep trying to love others the way they were created to be loved, our love is imperfect.
God’s love, however, is PERFECT, CONSISTENT, RELIABLE, TRUSTWORTHY, and GOOD.
The first quote above is from the book of Jeremiah, chapter 31 in the Bible. In this context the nation of Israel, God’s people, had been taken captive and they were barely making it. God spoke these kind and affectionate words to Israelites in the Old Testament when they were in captivity and did not know if they could last one more day. He spoke love, restoration and hope to their weary and defeated hearts. He spoke the words in the New Testament about Jesus to a people who were also weary and defeated, only their captivity was not literal, but spiritual. He was speaking to all the people of the world, offering them love that would break the captivity of their hearts.
He longs for His love to set us free and to bring us to a place where we know what life was truly meant to be like; abundant and filled with His goodness.
Our sin leads us straight into captivity.
His love rescues us and sets us free.
Have you been disappointed by love? Disappointed on Valentine’s Day?
Have you ever considered there is a Perfect Love that will not disappoint you?
I have followed Jesus and experienced His faithful love much of my life, but that doesn’t mean my distracted heart has always been faithful to Him. I have spent too much energy and time over the years looking for love and affection in all the wrong places- looking for a love that would make me whole. I have looked for affection and love from my family, from guys, from friends, from status, from success, hoping that these things would affirm my need for love. I have time and time again found that every earthly love or pursuit will leave me incomplete. That is not to say we should not attempt to love one another and receive love.
The point I want to make is that our hearts will only find their true rest in the love of God that has been connected to our world through the perfect life, sacrificial death, and victorious resurrection of Jesus.
Jesus was God’s way to connect the world back to
His PERFECT LOVE.
This Valentines Day, I encourage you not to get your hopes wrapped up in another person offering you the deep love you are craving. Expecting that of the people in our lives sets us all up to fail. Instead, seek love from the One who is waiting to embrace you and never let you go. From Him, you can expect love, love and more love. He is true to His word, and it applies to all of us today and forever.A few questions to take it further… Have you noticed a craving for a stronger love that can touch the deepest places of your heart? Do you feel a longing to be known and cared for that the people in your life just can’t seem to satisfy? What are the images that come to mind when you think about God’s love for you? Do they line up with what God says about His own love?
Take a moment, let your heart and mind become quiet and say this prayer: “God, I want to know your love. Open my eyes today to see your loving-kindness that pursues my heart.” Today, look around and take note of the ways He is pursuing your heart with His love and receive it! If you will receive it with an open heart, I promise, His love will transform your life. It has mine.
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor demons, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created things, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Happy Valentines Day! Embrace the PDA of Jesus today and receive the LOVE that He offers YOU. His love will not disappoint.
~ Wrapped in His Affection ~