My Goal: Learn to Love As He First Loved Me

This last blog from our Women’s Bible Study class series is not dedicated to moms and women only. I believe all of us can deepen our love and learn to love as God first loved us. Life has too many challenges, hurts, and difficulties and we cannot face all of it in our own strength. So, I am sharing some of the key things I have learned as a mom, wife, and pastor. I pray it blesses you and gives you hope.

I have come to realize that  God is in charge, but He gave me a free will, and I am the only one capable of managing my own spirit. I can stop and breathe and pray and bring God in a situation when I am feeling hurt, sad or overwhelmed. A while ago my husband shared something with me that rang true to my heart. It is a quote from Kinoko Nasu, a Japanese author,  that goes: “An entire sea of water can’t sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship.”

I cannot control the circumstances or people around me, but I can exercise self-control. Proverbs 25:28 says “A person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls.” Anything (feelings, words, other people’s reactions or my own) can get in or out. There are no boundaries. This has truly been a learning curve for me. I am learning self-control through observation, reading, prayer and in conversations with my husband.

I believe in the principle that I freely give what I freely receive. There is an exchange in each encounter we have with people. That brings a question: What am I receiving so that I can give? Am I allowing God to touch my heart and love me? How is my heart doing? “Watch over Your heart with all diligence for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23)

I encourage us all to watch over our hearts and be in a connection with the Holy Spirit. He will lead us to all the truth. I believe we can make a choice to love as He first loved us! I pray this be a constant reality for all of us. This is something each individual has to seek after. It must be a personal experience and not something you hear from someone, or read in a book. I believe we all must put one foot in front of the other and walk towards our Abba Father, who has open arms to welcome us into His presence, through His son, Jesus Christ. His grace and His love are enough!

I would like to finish with a prayer and scripture: Heavenly Father, I keep my eyes fixed on you as I exercise self-control. I enter your presence through the blood of your son, Jesus Christ, and I open my heart to receive Your love! Holy Spirit, guide me to be and ambassador of God’s love! Guide me to love myself, my family, and my community with Your love! I watch over my heart with diligence by opening it up completely to you! I love you and I trust you, Abba Father!

“You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-38)

Debbie Oliveira

Debbie Oliveira

Mother of two beautiful girls, Debbie works hand-in-hand with Daniel to pastor and care for Hale O Nā Kāula church.