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Women World Leaders' Podcast

Feb 24, 2023

Kelly Williams Hale is our host today on Celebrating God’s Grace.

Today’s message continues the conversation on LOVE and how we can activate the extravagant and abundant life God has planned for us. Even when we’re frustrated, angry, hurt, or disappointed LOVE never stops. Every day can be a day of love. That’s literally our job, assigned by God: to love others.

We’re in a love relationship with Jesus and He wants us to be abundant. He wants us to prosper.

  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)



 Hi there, and welcome to the Women World Leaders Podcast.

 My name is Kelly Williams Hale and I'm your host today on Celebrating God's Grace. I'm an author, speaker and coach leading women through inner healing and intimacy work. I teach women how to overcome self-doubt proving their worth and step into the purpose and plan God has for them.

 Before I get started on today’s message, I have a question… Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? And while I do have some thoughts about the commercialism of this holiday, I do love that (for at least one day) – so many people are intentionally choosing LOVE.

 Transparently, I’ve not been one to plan ahead or make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. In fact, I didn’t pick up cards and chocolate for the boys in my family until that evening!

 But my husband has always been one to celebrate and I was blessed to wake up to flowers, chocolate and cards. He’s actually training Austin, my 11 year old, in the fine art of thoughtfulness. That IS special to me… that my son picks out my cards! (meanwhile, I tend to find a fun card from Austin to Dad and just ask him to sign it.

 I know, there’s def room for improvement!!

 And I realized that I look at EVERY DAY as a day of love. That’s literally our job, assigned by God. To be like him. To love others… and I want to add: LAVISHLY. This message is titled: Lavish Love – to illustrate the extravagant, abundant, overflowing love he has for us.

 He loved us so much he sent his son to be crucified. To die that horrendous physical death – for us. Giving us the opportunity to be reconciled with the Father himself.


 And so today, I want to dig a little deeper into what that means. What does it mean to be lavishly loved, and… to GIVE lavish love?

 LAVISH is defined as:sumptuously rich, elaborate, or luxurious, bestow something in generous or extravagant quantities on.

 I love sharing definitions. Often, the synonyms resonate with me and broadens my vocabulary.

 So let’s look at what Merriam Webster says love means: an intense feeling of deep affection, a great interest and pleasure in something. feel deep affection for (someone).like or enjoy very much.

 Now that we have a head knowledge – what Lavish Love means “technically” – how do we apply it?

 The questions to ponder and sort of contemplate is: what do we love?

 Who do we love?

What do we love?

How do we show love?

 And a very big question: how are we about receiving love?

What does the bible tell us about God? He is literally love.

 1 John 4:7-8

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

 The highest form of energy, pure love.

 And if we’re created in his image, we also have this capacity to BE LOVE. But of course, we live in a world that challenges that mandate. Wondering how we’re supposed to love when our situation is less than perfect. When our neighbor is hosting yet another party with the music blaring at midnight and we have a meeting at 8am. Or when someone pulls into the parking spot we were just about to take. I really shouldn’t bring the spouses into the mix… but if you’re married, you can probably relate to the many “opportunities” to extend grace in our own households!

 Thankfully, in spite of the very real “LIFE” we lead – daily… Jesus COMMANDS us to Love one another. AND he gives us instructions on what that looks like.

 I’d like to share (1 Corinthians 13:4-8…) – from the Passion Translation.

 Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up. Love never stops loving. It extends beyond the gift of prophecy, which eventually fades away. It is more enduring than tongues, which will one day fall silent. Love remains long after words of knowledge are forgotten.

 What does this tell us: even when we’re frustrated, angry, hurt, or disappointed LOVE never stops… loving. It remains long after those words are forgotten.

 We are called to love even when we don’t FEEL LIKE IT.

 Let’s revisit the questions I asked earlier:

Who do we love? God has given us people in our lives to love. Our families. Mom. Dad. Siblings. Husband. Children. We also have our church family. Co-workers, maybe. Neighbors. Etc.

 What do we love? This is obviously different for everyone. We can love our home. We can love where we live. We can love our garden. We can love our family trips. Or our women’s bible study. Many, many things. Which I believe are ALL blessings from God.

 How do we show love? This one may be more nuanced. Since God created us so differently – from the tip of our nose to nail on our toes, he’s given us all unique qualities, how we think, what we like, our very personality.

 And to throw a little wrench in this, most people don’t do things the way we do them! Anybody ask your kids to fold the laundry or load the dishwasher – and then go back and do it the quote unquote “right way”?!?!?

Ephesians 4:29

2Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

 Did you catch that? So that it will benefit those who listen.

 This is important with conversation. But also applicable with how we show love. AND how we RECEIVE LOVE.

 There’s actually a book about this – related to LOVE. The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate by Gary Chapman.

 It was written for couples, but I think we can all benefit from it.

 Here are the 5 love languages:

 ·         Love language #1: Words of affirmation. ...

·         Love language #2: Acts of service. ...

·         Love language #3: Gifts. ...

·         Love language #4: Quality time. ...

·         Love language #5: Physical touch.

 The book is about everybody's different way of receiving love.

 Because a lot of times we will show love in a way that we tend to want to receive it.

 When we can identify what love language the special people in our life speak, we can show love in a way that will mean more to them.

 Now here’s the big question: how do WE receive love?

How do we feel about receiving in general?

As women we're hardwired to be nurturers… We tend to be givers. A lot of times it’s our way of loving others.

 And so, we love others and find it easy to give.

 But how do we receive love. particularly as it relates to God.

 He wants to lavish his love on us. But the question is, are we open to receiving that love for him?  Do we REALLY believe that he loves us? a lot of times our humanness, our experience here on Earth is sort of tainted by how we've received love in the past, like in our formative years, how other people showed love to us.

 For me, when I went through my second divorce, my son missed his dad. I know his dad loved him. But when we first split up, he would cancel plans to see Dallas. Obviously, it hurt my son. And so, it was very difficult when I would say “But your dad loves you”.

 I didn’t want him to equate “love” with someone who wasn’t around. Or disappointed him.

 And so we can view what love is through that lens of abandonment or rejection.

 Where we can question if somebody truly loves us, because our experience around love is that, oh, my dad loved me, but he didn't spend time with me.

 We can view God this way too.  

 The enemy of our soul would like nothing more than to deceive us that way. But we have only to look into scripture to read about God's love for us.

 So much so that he forgives us when we sin and mess up. That’s grace.

 When we think of God’s lavish abundant love for us, we will find the compassion, forgiveness and grace for the people in our lives.

 When we can activate the Holy Spirit and love others lavishly… the abundant life is available. I believe that's what God wants us to experience while we're here on Earth. 

To love others, like Jesus says, the greatest commandment is to love God first, and then love others. 

Matthew 22:36-40

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

 And we must love ourselves as well. Now, I don't know about you, but I have girlfriends who are not married, and widows who have lost their sweethearts. And so valentine's day can be very painful. This whole idea about love and gifts and celebrating can be painful when we don't have someone. But what God gave me is that we can love ourselves. It requires us to love ourselves to activate that abundance.

 I know for me I lived so much of my life in survival mode. I wasn't even aware of this because of the programming I received as a child.

 We can learn how to behave in public and appear like we have it all together. But deep down, we can often feel unlovable. I see this in my son Dallas. Again, because of how people treat us, our experiences, the stories we believe that we're not worthy, even what we've been told. It's very subconscious.

 But we can become aware, when we begin to have these voices go through our mind that we are unlovable. We can catch those thoughts and take them captive. The Bible says make them obedient to Christ.

 2 Corinthians 10:5

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

 When we start noticing those thoughts that don’t align with the lavish love God says he has for us, we can CHOOSE a new thought. The TRUTH.

 That can help us activate abundance. And honestly activating abundance is really activating the Holy Spirit that lives inside each and every one of us, as Christians, as followers of Christ.

 We're in a love relationship with Jesus and He wants us to be abundant. He wants us to prosper. Jeremiah 29:11. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.


And so when we can love ourselves the way that God does, unconditionally. Loving ourselves becomes a form of worship to Him.