Made to Love

This is a continuation of our discussion on Bridges.

Please join in the conversation.

Reblogged from susanirenefox.com

January 6, 2017 · by Susan Irene Fox · in Bridges, Christianity ·

glassofwaterJesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31)

Think about this: rather than love our neighbor with the same amount of love as we love ourselves, what if Jesus meant for us to love our neighbor from the same Spirit who allows us to love ourselves? The same Spirit who allows us to forgive, offer grace and receive spiritual wisdom?

After all, aren’t we capable of loving in this way because God loved us first?

File written by Adobe Photoshop¨ 5.2

Sometimes we get so full of our own offenses we end up wearing blinders to the pain and injustice raining down around us. We can no longer stand by the sidelines with impunity, for this is the opposite of love. We can no longer hasten to react in anger or call someone out of their name when Jesus clearly told us these things were unacceptable. We can no longer extend fingers of accusation instead of extending offers of invitation to know someone’s heart.

In order to love as God loves, we must first understand we are not the center of the universe. If we hinder our vision due to fear or hate, we hinder our experience of God. Only with hearts, minds and eyes wide open can we hope to embrace the fullness of God’s love and grace continually poured to overflowing into us and through us via His Spirit.

God is love, and we who live in love live in God, and God lives in us. And as we live in God, our love grows more mature in us. So we are free from fear on the Day of Judgment. We can face Him with confidence because we base our identification with the love of Jesus in this world. Such love has no fear, because mature, compassionate love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully embraced and experienced God’s perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first. (1 John 4:16-19)

As we experience the fullness of God, we begin to mature in our relationship with Him. We start to comprehend the complexity of humanity, the sacredness of our unique and ineffable creation, the dignity and value of who we are as children of The Potter who designed us. We are no longer unworthy, for through Christ, the Father has adopted us into His family. We are beloved in His embrace. All of us.

Therefore, as He has declared us His heirs, we are to live up to His expectation of loving each other through His unconditional love. We are to offer each other forgiveness and grace through the grace He has given us before we deserved it. We are to mirror God’s image, not our own.

And God, through Jesus, always stood up for the broken-hearted, the outcasts, and those singled out by injustice.

Yes, at times we feel tired and hopeless; at times we feel frustrated or disappointed. But our task here and now is to draw others to the heart of Jesus, and to reconcile all people to our Father. As we surrender to the Spirit in us, He helps our hearts to stay open; He prays for us; He strengthens us; He connects our heart to the heart of the One who wraps us in His everlasting love.

corporal-montrell-jackson“I’m tired physically and emotionally. Disappointed in some family, friends and officers for some reckless comments. I swear to God I love this city but I wonder if this city loves me. In uniform I get nasty hateful looks and out of uniform some consider me a threat. I’ve experienced so much in my short life and these last 3 days have tested me to the core. These are trying times. Please don’t let hate infect your heart. I’m working in these streets so any protesters, officers, friends, family or whoever, if you see me and need a hug or want to say a prayer, I got you.” Corporal Montrell Jackson, Aurora PD, Baton Rouge, LA, written on his Facebook page July 8, 2016, three days before he was shot to death in the line of duty.

 

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37 thoughts on “Made to Love

  1. Real love is so very needed today – not love as the world gives. Love that is sacrificial, longing for the best for everyone. Thanks for posting this.

  2. Andy, it was the understanding of the word “propitiation” that the Holy Spirit used to open my eyes to the love of the Father and the Son, and the power of the Spirit to supernaturally work this love in me. It is the nature of His children. When we see this love in others we know that they know this love of the Father and that they belong to Him and His kingdom. Thank you for sharing this. ~ Fran

  3. This brought tears to my eyes! I just can not understand senseless murders or any murders for that matter and especially of those who commit their lives to protecting civilians. It is so sad. God Bless his family and that adorable baby.

    • I know. It seems we’ve cried a lot this past year as we see so many senseless killings. We’ve started a weekly conversation here called Bridges. Our goal is to discuss racial difference and bring healing between us as Christians. I would like you to join us on the Bridge. Thank you for your comment and for following my blog. Blessings!

  4. Reblogged this on Citizen Tom and commented:
    The comment from the police officer at the end of this post should bring a new perspective. Whether black, white, yellow, or red; whether Christian, Muslim, Buddhist,…; whether male or female; each person we meet is unique. God made them, and He made them for His own glory,

    Before we belong to a race, creed, or sex, we belong to Him who made us all. God made each of us so He could love us and we could love Him and each other. Even though it may be difficult to love someone for some reason, it is wrong to hate that which our Lord has made.

  5. Pingback: Made to Love | Faithful Steward Ministries and FSM Women's Outreach

  6. Thanks for sharing this. I have shared it on our web site and FB Page.

    I really liked the opening line “rather than love our neighbor with the same amount of love as we love ourselves, what if Jesus meant for us to love our neighbor from the same Spirit who allows us to love ourselves?” When one thinks about this commandment what is it about ourselves that we have to love? Our natural goodness (John 3:19) I dare say not. It is only when we are indwelled by the Holy Spirit that we have any biblical good and true love in us.

    That same Spirit in us should never be confused however with some wimpy pushover like many modern theologians claim. They tend to forget Christ clearly stated His mission was not one of peace (Matt 10:34). A contradiction never, we must be ready to battle the opposition on every front but never with condemnation and vengeance but with love.

    • Thank you for your comment and for posting this on your site. It is so important that we remember that without Christ love, we cannot love Him or each other.

  7. Andy – I have great Respect for Christian writing ~ you seem to fit that bill. Please check-out my site. I have taken you encouragement and written another memorir type of story related True in my life. http://www.jenniferkaylewis.com IF you like what I have written please consider leaving me a Comment. “Thank You!!”

    • Hi Jen! I appreciate your contacting me. I thought I was following you so I checked just now and found that, indeed I was. However, I am obviously not receiving your post on my reader. I remember our previous conversations about writing and I really enjoyed your work. I will try to find out why I am not receiving your post. I will go and check out your work right now. Thank you for letting me know. Sorry it took me so long to respond but I was baby sitting my two year old granddaughter last night, one who requires all of my attention when she is putting on my make up, styling my hair or giving me shots from her doctor kit. 🙂 Santa was real good her her Christmas 🙂

    • Good evening Jen. I don’t know what is happening. WP indicates I am following you. I went to your web page last night and left a comment about your current post. It was a wonderful post and brought so many memories of my own. When I didn’t get a response I went back to the post tonight and my comment is not there. Weird huh? I had another blogger who contacted me via email and told me they were unable to comment on “my” blog. So when I checked it I found their comments were going SPAM. Would you check your spam folder on WP and see if that might be where my comment went? I am so sorry for all this confusion. I hope we. Can get it worked out. I did enjoy your post and look forward to more family stories. Have a good evening! I hope you get this, I’m writing on your comment from yesterday.

      • Yes ~ I will check my spam folder, (I hope that’s not where it went). “Thank You for your inspiring encouragement. (for some reason, my brain seems to assemble words pretty easily for this ‘type’ of genre in the memory bank of childhood. (but my Heart is really a bit more into wanting to write Christian inspiration kinds of compositions. (I’m not too shy, and I forever will
        thank God for this boldness and confidence in his teachings and scriptures I have a LOT of ideas I can write about. Also, it seems God somehow manages to put the ‘needy’, depressed, person(s) in my life. (I’m sure he knows I WILL witness to them and I always want to make that person feel definite that they have a specific ‘purpose’ in this earthly, fallen world.

        Again, “Thank you Andy.”

        Jennifer K.Lewis
        http://www.jenniferkaylewis.com

      • I’m happy you will write Christian inspiration. We always need that. One of the things I did when I first started blogging was to take my memory and then add an inspiration related to the memory in the same post. You can read these in early writings I posted to give you an idea of what I’m talking about. People love the two together. I even had them published in a newspaper here witch which led to several speaking engagements. I don’t know why I quit writing that way, perhaps I should return. Thank you Jen!

  8. The wiles of the devil have rendered so many defenseless to mindless anger. Millions upon millions of people. It is such a shame. I enjoy your website. Please check out my theological posts at th3platform.com

  9. There have been so many disturbing events unfolding everywhere and so much grief. We need so much more of God’s love to abound and we need to be the willing vessels to bear that love.

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