Love requires action. It's not something we try to get for ourselves, but instead is an action we express to others through sharing and serving.
I believe there are three different forms of love God has instructed us to demonstrate, or "live out." And each one needs to be balanced, so they can work together. As you read on, consider whether each one is well-balanced in your life or needs some adjustments.
#1 Loving God
Deuteronomy 6:5 says, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and mind and with all your soul and with all your strength. Jesus later repeats this and even labels it the most important commandment of all.
So, how do you express love for God? By telling God, "I love You"? Singing praises to Him? These are good things, but they only scratch the surface.
We show God we love Him through obedience because actions definitely speak louder than words. It’s tough, and we won’t always feel like we want to obey. But I believe our desire for obedience grows as we continue to experience His love, goodness and faithfulness in our lives.
#2 Loving Yourself
In the New Testament, Jesus said the greatest commandment of all is to love God with all our heart. But He also added the second greatest commandment: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (See Mark 12:31.)
There's something important here that I think people often miss: You cannot give away something you don't have in you. How can someone love another person if they don't love themselves?
We all need to accept ourselves—our personalities and imperfections—knowing that although we are not where we need to be, we are making progress. God wants us to love ourselves and our identity in Him!
#3 Loving Others
God's love is a gift to us; it's in us, but we need to release it to others through words and actions. Left dormant, it will stagnate like a pool of water with no outlet.
1 John 3:14 says, We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.
Life, in this verse, is the life of God or "life as God has it." And loving others is the only way to keep that God-kind of life flowing through you. I don't want to be one of what I call "the walking dead"─someone who lives and breathes but never truly lives as God desires.
The act of loving others is one of the most exhilarating things I have experienced. I feel excitement stirring in my spirit when I do something to make someone else feel loved and cared for. And You can experience the same exhilaration just by "loving out loud."
Here's a challenge: Think of three people you know who could really use a gesture of God's love. Then think of creative ways you can express His love to these people—and do it! I guarantee you will feel a wonderful sense of fulfillment and joy afterward.
How You Can Continue to Grow in Love
If you will devote yourself to developing your love walk in these three areas, you will experience a huge amount of blessing in your life.
I encourage you to seek God about this and ask the Holy Spirit to help you grow in your love toward Jesus, yourself and others. He will help you overcome anything that might hinder you in the process. Remember, God is Love. And He loves you.