These are just some notes I took while reading the book. It really is an awesome book, I highly recommend it. I hope that by reading over these notes, it inspires you to pick up the book!
Notes from Reduce me to love by Joyce Meyers
Where does love fit into your list of priorities? Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you” (John 13:34 NKJV). It seems to me that Jesus was saying love is the main thing on which we should concentrate.
Love should be number one on our spiritual priority list. We should study love, pray about love, and develop the fruit of love (according to Galatians 5:22-23, one of the nine fruits of the Spirit available to those in whom God’s Holy Spirit lives) by practicing loving others.
When we put our time and energy into things that do not fulfill us, we feel frustrated.
For [if we are] in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love. (GALATIANS 5:6)
Faith is very important, and yet according to 1 Corinthians 13:2 if we have enough faith to move mountains and have not love, we are nothing. Galatians 5:6 says faith works (is energized) by love. Knowing the love of God for us as individuals, and learning to allow His love to flow through us to others, is the power behind faith.
By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves]. (JOHN 13:34–35)
That is what people should be able to do with us as disciples of Christ. They should be able to identify us not only by our talk, but also by our walk. Are you willing and ready to become a student of the love walk? If so, you need to know that it requires education and commitment.
When we make a true commitment to walk in love, it usually causes a huge shift in our lifestyle. Many of our ways — our thoughts, our conversation, our habits — have to change. A love walk does not come easily or without personal sacrifice. Each time we choose to love someone, it will cost us something — time, money or effort. That’s why we are told to count the cost before we make the commitment (Luke 14:25–33).
True Christlike love is not found on the surface of life. It cannot just be seen and picked up. The Bible tells us that we must eagerly pursue and seek it. These are both strong words. The word pursue means “to follow in an effort to capture or overtake.”3 The word seek means “to try to find or discover; search for.”4 In other words, we need to go after love with all our might and act as if we cannot live without it!
If you and I want to learn about love, we will have to study it. We will have to read books about it, listen to teaching tapes on it, familiarize ourselves with everything Jesus and the apostles said about it.
All of us must not only learn about love, but also seek, pursue, and acquire it, because God’s Word boldly tells us that without it we are absolutely nothing.
If I [can] speak in the tongues of men and [even] of angels, but have not love (that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such as is inspired by God’s love for and in us), I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), and understand all the secret truths and mysteries and possess all knowledge, and if I have [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love (God’s love in me) I am nothing Even if I dole out all that I have [to the poor in providing food], and if I surrender my body to be burned or in order that I may glory, but have not love (God’s love in me), I gain nothing. (1 CORINTHIANS 13:1–3)
Of course, the way Jesus sees how much we love Him is by how much we obey Him. He has commanded us to love one another; if we are not doing that, then we are not showing Him that we love Him.
A breakthrough in understanding came when God began to show me that I could not love others because I had never received His love for me. I mentally acknowledged the Bible teaching that God loved me, but it was not a reality in my heart. … First, God loves us, and by faith we receive His love. We then love ourselves in a balanced way, we give love back to God and we learn to love other people. Love must follow this course or it is not complete.
Once you realize that you are loved by God, not because of anything you are or anything you have done, then you can quit trying to deserve His love or earn His love and simply receive it and enjoy it.
May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love, That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God’s devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it]; [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]! (EPHESIANS 3:17–19).
Right relationships are based on love — love flowing both ways. Once you begin receiving God’s awesome unconditional love, you can begin not only loving Him in return, but you can also begin loving others.
I like to see myself as a dispensary of blessings. I want to be the type of person others can come to and have blessings dispensed into their lives. I want to make others happy, and I have discovered that as I do, I reap happiness in my own life.
We show love to others by meeting their needs — practical needs as well as spiritual needs. Generosity is love in action. Love is seen through edification and encouragement, patience, kindness, courtesy, humility, unselfishness, good temper, gentleness (believing the best) and sincerity. We should actively pursue ways to show love, especially in little things.