Day 18

The Hidden Chapter

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason but no morals . . . We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education.”

- Martin Luther King Jr. in a speech at Morehouse College, 1948

The Master Class on Love

If there was a Master Class on love, who do you think should be the one to teach it? Granted, there have been a lot of people through the ages who’ve had something to say about love. But which one of them didn’t just talk about love but also embodied it? In other words, who historically would be best qualified to give us a real education in love by their teaching and their example?

Of all the towering historical figures, Jesus of Nazareth is the most ideal to be that master teacher. After all, no one else in history spoke more about love or modeled it better than he did. No one else personified love in the same way.

If anyone knows what love is and how to live it, it would be Jesus. Why? The Bible says that God is love and that Jesus is God. So, presuming that is true, it would mean Jesus is love. He not only talked about love; he practiced it. He said that there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for their friends, and then he did it himself by dying on a cross for the world. Before he died, he told us the reason why—because he loved people.

Jesus gave what is perhaps the world’s most famous and compelling message on love—a statement often referred to as the Great Commandment. In the Gospel according to Mark, Jesus was asked by a group of religious leaders which commandment was most important. The word for important is the Greek word MEGA, so they literally asked him which command is the most MEGA!

His response to their question was definitive. He said, “The most MEGA is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no more MEGA commandment than these.”

According to Jesus, the most MEGA thing we can do in this life is to love God and love others. In fact, he said that learning to love well is a command, not a suggestion. It’s that important! He even adds that this is something you must do with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. He meant that learning to love is something foundational to living and flourishing as human beings.

The Greek word for love is agape, which is a word used throughout Scripture to describe a selfless and sacrificial regard for the wellbeing of someone else. The Bible presents agape as the love God has for people and the love Jesus demonstrated on the cross. The Bible also says this kind of love is powerful enough to overcome all fear.

Therefore, according to the Bible, there is only one thing more powerful than fear—love. Fear is not the most powerful force in the universe. Love is.

1 John states the way we overcome fear is by becoming perfected in love. Becoming perfected in love is about understanding love and being transformed by it.

The purpose of this book has been to inform you about love so you can be transformed by it. Our hope in putting together this personal development experience is that you would gain a better understanding of love and how it can overcome your fear. We also hope that you would experience the love of God and allow it to shape you.

Once you understand and appreciate how much God loves you, not only do you no longer have to be afraid, you can also be free—free to love God back and to love others too. By becoming a more loving person, you will experience life and freedom in a new way. You will develop and deepen as a person, and your relationships and experiences will thrive.

So, will you accept God’s love? Will you share it with others?

The love of God is unlimited, unending, and unrelenting. Because of this, it’s only God who can love unconditionally and He loves you no matter what you’ve done or where you’ve been. There is nothing you can do to make God love you more or love you less. He loves you right now as much as He possibly can. And that will never change. The only question is whether you are willing to accept it.

If you are, then all you have to do is receive it. Enjoy it. Share it. And grow in it.

In order to start growing, here are some steps you can take:

First, get connected. Join us and become a “Growth Junkie.” Growth Junkies are a tribe of people who are united by a mutual devotion to God’s love and fervent about sharing it with the world in creative ways. We are normal, flawed people who are just passionate about developing our character and growing as loving people. You can start by tuning into the Growth Junkies podcast and following us on social media.

Second, get our personal development workbook called The Four Dimensions of Human Health and begin working through the content in it to grow in your emotional, relational, intellectual, and vocational health. We created this resource to help people develop holistically, and it serves as the primary discussion content for our podcast. You can get the workbook on Amazon or download a copy from our website.

Third, join us for one of our LEDRCO cohorts, which make up LTI’s character development program. It’s a two-year training experience for groups of growth-oriented professionals in select cities throughout the country. Utilizing the Four Dimension’s curriculum, we created a proprietary intensive coaching experience for diverse small groups at a fraction of the cost of similar programs. Find out more at LoveandTransformation.org.

Fourth, come to one of our special events at our headquarters in Boise, where we provide training on subjects relevant to personal and relational health and development. Past events have included special presentations and resources on anxiety, depression, and suicide. Upcoming events include think tanks, workgroups, and even retreats on emotional and mental health. For updates and information, ask to be added to our email list.

Whether you decide to get involved or not, we want you to start living a MEGALIFE. We want you to love well: to love God, to love others, and to love yourself. Together, we can reach a tipping point—that unstoppable momentum that shifts and changes culture. We can truly transform our lives, our society, and maybe even the world!

Join the cause; join the movement; join the conversation.

#FearLessLoveMore

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