With Valentine’s Day around the corner, many in our society will focus on love. One of the outstanding characteristics of God is His constant and everlasting love for us. His love for me has been my anchor and security; however, it wasn’t always that way.

Reflecting back on my life, I don’t think I was very good at loving God and others until I really learned to open my heart to God’s love for me.

One of my favorite prayers that I pray frequently is, “God, I open my heart to You today to receive your love. I love You, God.”  Then I take a quiet moment to just receive His love. This daily practice has changed my life because it is a heart connection instead of intellectual knowledge of His love.

When I am gone from this earth, I want to be known as a woman that loved well. I have seen in my life that the more I open my heart to God’s love for me and spend time loving Him, talking to Him, singing to Him, the better I am at loving others. When we love God with our hearts, instead of our mind, we are able to love our friends and family with God’s love. It also shows our love for God.

I John 4:19 (KJV) says, “We love him, because he first loved us.” He loved us first and we get the choice to respond to that love.

Responding begins with opening our hearts and our minds to God’s love and will bring many benefits into our lives, as well as those we are around.

I John 4:7 (NIV) states, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”

When I think of those in my life who have loved me well, they are people that love God, are sensitive, and compassionate. They are the people who believe the best and stand by me no matter what. They are people that demonstrate their love for God by how they love me and others. They are humble.

Humble people are not afraid to admit when they are wrong, and are good at loving others. They are people that love in their actions, not just in words. Think of people in your life that love you well. What are their characteristics?

1 John 4:16 states, “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”

We can all grow in loving God, understanding and opening our hearts to His love. Ask God to teach you more about relying on His love for you and it will help you in loving others. I discovered the more I open my heart to His love, the more it also anchors me in adversity and challenges.

February 14 is only a few days away. Join me in focusing on opening your heart to God daily, telling Him you love Him and practicing loving others well. And remember, love never fails, so it is a sound investment and we will all reap the benefits.

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Kathleen is a Hill Country writer, speaker and podcaster. She is passionate about helping people bring God into their everyday life. She can be reached at kathleenmaxwell1@ gmail.com  or  you can listen to her podcast on kathleenmaxwellrambie.podbean.com and visit her website,  www.kathleenmaxwellrambie. com.

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