Dear Fellow-Disciple:

"The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love." (1 John 4:8)

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?" (Romans 8:35)

When we were conceived in the womb, by His Spirit, God breathed life into us (Psalm 139:13,14). Along with His life, came His love. The two are inseparable, for God is love.

However, we were born to parents who inherited the selfish nature of Adam from their parents. It wasn't their intention to be selfish, but this selfish, sinful nature was passed along through generations since the incident in the garden of Eden, when man was separated from God and His unconditional love.

We experience what Adam and Eve experienced in the garden. Their break from God was a break from God's love, because God is love. Our break from God's love is a break from God, because love is of God. Ever since Adam and Eve, man has tried to recapture God's love. But because he is separated from God by the fall of Adam, he doesn't realize it is God's love he is trying to restore. As a result, he grasps at whatever love-substitute seems right in his own eyes.

Our parents reacted to our conception in various natural ways, depending upon their circumstances at the time we were conceived. Some felt joy, some fear, some dread. Whatever they felt, we felt, whether positive or negative.

If our conception was a mistake and abortion was considered, that rejection penetrated the placenta, lodged itself in our hearts, and a portion of God's love was lost. If one or both of our parents were fearful, that fear was transmitted to us and displaced the perfect love of God which casts out fear. Whatever our parents experienced, either good or bad, we experienced through osmosis.

Then we were born. Some of us were raised by a single parent, some were placed in adoption clinics, some may have been exposed to mental, verbal or physical abuse. In such case, the natural stream of love which God ordained to flow from parents to their child was either cut off or diluted. We suffered rejection, and the loss of God's love was immeasurable.

During our early years the programming continued. Because our parents had only themselves to use as points of reference, they naturally attempted to form us into an image that would cause them the least amount of inconvenience or trouble.

Our arrival disrupted routine, created an extra burden on their time and money, caused friction and tension and annoyance. They probably let us know about it. Though they may have loved us as best they could, they still let us know we did not make their lives easier. If they didn't tell us directly, we overheard them tell each other.

That programming consumed more of the love God had implanted in us in the womb. Though the love of God was not separated from us, we were separated from the love of God, and the impression we built within ourselves was that we were not really worthy of unconditional love.

An unnatural void was left that we have tried to fill ever since. Those experiences were breaks in love relationships. Unconsciously, we have tried to reconnect those breaks, because love is the fuel we need to function normally.

Many of us have become performance oriented in an effort to earn back what was lost.

Because we are made in God's image, if any part of that image is missing, we naturally endeavor to restore that missing element. The logical place to attempt restoration is with the persons with whom we experienced the breaks. This is not always possible; therefore, we reach out for substitutes, for wemust have love, even if it is substitutional.

Sometimes, when the breaks cannot be reconnected, we attempt to medicate the pain of the loss. We may use alcohol or chemicals as a means to ease the ache. But these are only temporary, and they are poor substitutes.

As usual, our logic is incorrect. We cannot reconnect breaks or regain lost love simply by repairing a broken relationship. The only way to regain the unconditional love which began to slip away while we were in the womb, is to go to the Source. We must go to the One who gave us that love in the first place.

We initiate the process by forgiving the persons who hurt us. Forgiveness is the ointment God uses to begin the restoration process. We ask God to forgive us for our reaction to the hurt. We must be willing to turn loose of all we have felt toward those people, and perhaps toward God. Then we ask God to restore His love in our hearts.

It is like restoring us to our status in the womb when we first received His life and His love. It is a conversion, a type of being born again, in His love, acceptance and forgiveness. It is like returning to the original status of Adam and Eve in the garden before the fall. It is a time of becoming pure with God.

This re-connection of the bridge to God then enables us to re-connect breaks in relationships we have experienced. It is imperative that we begin with God. Unless we do, our attempts at restoration will be futile. Anything we try to accomplish on our own will be temporary and conditional. But what God accomplishes in us is eternal!

The way to peace, love, joy, and the rest of the fruit of the Spirit, is spiritual in nature; therefore, it must begin with God. Jesus gave us access. "We love, because He first loved us."

(1 John 4:19)

If we are hungry for love from other human beings, we need to understand that all love originates with God. We cannot short-circuit that principle and get the fulfilling love we want and need from people. But if we go to God and ask Him to fill us with His love, we experience the life-change that only He can give. Then love for others and from others will naturally follow.

Jesus is King!

P.S. What are you doing of eternal value?

Question for today: Have I allowed God to put His love in my heart? Have I blocked that possibility because of unforgiveness?