love2 Corinthians 6:12-13 We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us.  As a fair exchange – I speak as to my children – open wide your hearts also.

There is no greater feeling than to love and be loved. I never will forget a poster I saw on my wife’s wall in her dorm many years ago. The poster was a picture of a cross on a hill. The caption read, “I asked Jesus how much he loved me, he stretched out his arms on the cross and said, ‘This Much!’

I wonder, do we love Jesus as much as he loves us? It’s not a good feeling when you’re in a relationship with someone and you are giving your all and they are withholding their affection. An awesome relationship is when both parties are “withholding nothing.”

The apostle Paul wrote the Christians in Corinth a letter, telling them that they had not withheld their love for them. They had left it all on the “floor” in Corinth but the Christians there had withheld their affection. Paul told them to open “wide” their hearts.

How do we open wide our hearts?

1.  You have to risk trust with people who have proven themselves trustworthy. We live in a world where people don’t trust anymore. Trust is earned not given. But you have to risk it to get it. Once you get it guard it. Once you lose it it’s hard to get back.

2.  You have to open wide your heart meaning you have to be transparent with people who’ve earned your trust. If you only get surface information from someone then you are not in a meaningful relationship. Someone is withholding. It’s amazing that we will share so much personal stuff on social media but we can’t be honest with one person.

3.  You have to share your treasures with those you love. Jesus said, “where your treasure is there will be your heart also .” In other words your money goes where your heart is.

4. You have to make room in your heart for that person. Sometimes we have too much clutter. When you love someone you remove things that don’t hold any real significance so that those who are significant have room to grow in your heart.

Dear God,

Thank you for putting me in a church where I can open wide my heart to people who have opened wide their heart. Thank you for friends that love me deeply and that I can trust with the issues of my heart. Thank you for a wife that you loved so much and sent her to me to stretch out he arms around me. Last of all thank you for JESUS who stretched out his arms on Calvary and said to me, “I love you this much!!!”

In his name I pray,

Amen