For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He gave up His only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.
John 3:16 & 17 (AMP)
I know what it’s like to desire to be loved. To be completely — without any abandon, without any inhibitions, without any hesitation — loved.
God created us as creatures desiring to love, both to give and to experience. And that space within our souls cries out to be noticed and wanted.
Yet as females, it is so easy to infer that if we do not receive the love we crave — whether we receive love from acts of service, words of affirmation, physical touch, quality time, or gifts — that we are actually unlovable. I know. Because I’ve felt that.
Yet my darling. Oh, my darling! This is so untrue!
It has taken years for me to grasp that the love of Jesus is far more intoxicating than that of a human being could ever be. No, not because Jesus is my boyfriend or my husband but because He is my Savior, my Redeemer, my Best Friend.
What is love? According to the dictionary, love is an intense feeling of deep affection.
But really love is so much more than just a feeling, a word, a desire.
Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is never envious, jealous, boastful, vain, or haughty.
Love is not conceited, Love is not rude. Love never acts unbecomingly. Love is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful. Love is not vengeful.
Love does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
Love is always ready to believe the best about everyone and it endures everything.
Love never fails — it never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end. Love is forever.
(adapted from I Corinthians 13:4-8)
Darling, this is why Love is so much more than a feeling. This is why when we desire to be loved for who we are, despite our failures, in spite of our past, the Love of Jesus is the greatest Love we could ever hope to receive.
For whom do you know who is perfect in all things? No one. We are humans. We strive for perfection, we desire to be like Christ. But no human’s love can compare to the Love of Jesus.
Let’s see what happens when we substitute the Name of Jesus for Love:
Jesus is patient. Jesus is kind. Jesus is never envious, jealous, boastful, vain, or haughty.
Jesus is not conceited, Jesus is not rude. Jesus never acts unbecomingly. Jesus is not self-seeking; He is not touchy or fretful or resentful. Jesus is not vengeful.
Jesus does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
Jesus is always ready to believe the best about everyone and He endures everything.
Jesus never fails — His love never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end. Jesus is forever.
Jesus is patient. I think of all the times I have shoved Him aside in my own impatience to get something crossed off the to-do list or because I was too busy with work and my heart breaks knowing that He didn’t shove Himself all up in my business, shouting at me for letting him down. He waited patiently for me. I want to always have time for Love.
Jesus is not rude. I think of the times I’ve questioned Him, when I’ve failed to trust Him. Yet He never copped an attitude with me, He never confronted me in anger or embarrassed me by acting unbecomingly. He exhibited that same patient, perfect Love and was a gentleman.
When I fell, when I made a mistake, when I was less than I should have been, Jesus did not rejoice over my failures. He didn’t point a finger at me and call me a loser, a fake, or a fraud. He believed the best about me when I was not at my best. He loved me, unconditionally. He publicly accepted me for who I was and came down from His heavenly throne to die on a cross for my sin.
To be loved by Jesus is the greatest expression of love there could ever be.
This post originally appeared on NicholeCriss.com as a preview of The Authentic Life: Devotions for Millennial Women