Again, I love this email study we are doing. We are nearing the end, and it is just as rich in lessons as the beginning. Today's reading ( 1 John 3 - 2 John, sparked off these thoughts.)
"Beloved, let us love one another, for love is ( springs) from God, and he who loves ( his fellowmen) is begotten ( born) of God and is coming ( progressively) to know and understand God (to perceive and recognize and get a better and clearer knowledge of Him.) " 1 John 4:7
This is one of many statements in just 4 chapters between 1 John 3 and the book of 2 John in which God says our life, our relationship to Him, and to others, our temperature of a right walk with Him, is again, love.
Love that listens to Him.
Love that wants to obey Him.
Love that is willing to follow Christ's every example.
Love that wants to avoid every sin.
Love that is poured out on our church family, (Yes - every single one.)
Love that is expressed to God's people as a whole, not just our local family.
He tells us that if we can find brothers that we don't love... we have got major growing to do if we claim to be His, and in fact those who refuse to love another in Christ are not of Him.
We are defined by Love that is not afraid anymore.
( I loved the verse in 1 John 4:18 - "There is no fear in love,
(dread does not exist), but full grown love turns fear out of doors and
expels every trace of terror.")
This is powerful.... because ironically it is fear that is often at the root
of our inability to love someone else. Test it and see if fear exists in the
relationship you have with those difficult to love, ( fear of punishment,
hurt, rejection, abuse, ....etc.) I personally find it is usually fear and
God showed us the ultimate love.... facing head on all rejection, abuse, disdain, disregard, complacency, etc, that we would heap on His Son, and Himself, and loving us through it, went ahead with The Plan, fully confident that at some point many of us would turn around, wake up and respond to His unbelievable generosity .
Do we love each other in like manner? Hmmmm.
Charging ahead, through whatever they may throw our way, to purposefully, genuinely love each one in our path?
If we call ourselves His, He just makes the logical point that we are to look like Him. That we are to do to others just as He did for us.
Wow. As I comprehend my own imperfection in this area, I am inspired all the more by His perfection. Peter tells us as women that in submission, we don't give way to fear, and I think it is correct to make the correlation that this is because with our faith in Him, we fully confident and convinced of the merit to love faithfully & unselfishly, each person, just like He did. .
No doubt as we more fully embrace love as a definition of who we are, the face of His body will change dramatically.
It starts with me.
It starts newly each day.
He is Wonderful!