Dissecting God’s Love

©npr

©npr

We are God’s precious children. And those of us reborn in Jesus are supposed to be a new creation. If we truly abide in the Spirit, we allow the love and grace of God to transform our hearts and minds.

As such, we then love each other; we lift each other up.

There is simply too much anger, condemnation, too much accusation, too much vilification of people unlike ourselves.

You are precious to [God]. He loves you, and He loves you so tenderly that He has carved you on the palm of His hand. And to prove that love He died on the cross. How unlike Him we are. How little love, how little compassion, how little forgiveness, how little kindness we have. Our way of life depends on our being rooted in Christ Jesus our Lord by our deliberate choice. (Mother Teresa, No Greater Love)

Our nature is to look for, find and point out things people are doing wrong. Our nature is to seek out sin in others and punish them. Our nature is to dissect God’s love by antiseptically looking through Scripture for verses to use as weapons of fear to nail someone to the cross. Our nature is to try to control and rule by fear.

At the same time, if we give our time, advice or money, we want something in return: thanks, appreciation, indebtedness. Yet, these were all things in the first century ‘honor and shame’ culture Jesus rebelled against. This was the nature and culture Jesus turned upside down with God’s precious forgiveness, love and grace.

As we allow ourselves to settle deep into the pocket of God’s love, our thoughts, our words and our very nature are turned upside down, are slayed and transformed.

We must stop dissecting pieces and portions of Scripture and look to the One who inspired them. We must look at the full and complete story of Jesus and what it means for our lives. We must, rather than using the Bible as a rule book not to be broken, instead us it as inspiration for wisdom to be obtained while abiding in the Spirit. We must allow the Bible to move us, inspire us and mature us. We must be humble servants with no expectation of reward – only shine His light of love and lead others into our Father’s embrace.

How can we be sure that He truly lives in us and that we truly live in Him? By one fact: He has given us His Spirit. We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect… So we live like Jesus here in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. (1 John 4:13,16-18)

 

locked-wooden-crateWhen we spend more time worshiping the Bible – or certain sections of it – and spend more time defending it than we do worshiping and praising God, we make the Bible an idol. When we call each other heretics because we profess to believe in a different doctrine or political agenda, we dissect God’s love. We put on blinders and lock Him in a box of our design. We make Him into our image instead of remembering it is the other way around. God cannot be contained in a box or a church or a doctrine or a political agenda.

God is immeasurable. He is far more vast than the tiny universe we contrive to place Him in. When Jesus embodied Him, he sought to connect with us through forgiveness, healing, grace and mercy in relationship. As he told Nicodemus, he was sent by the Father who loved us to save us, not to judge us (John 3:16-17). This is love at its most profound. This is unconditional love, not love dissected, filled with conditions.

Conditional love – if you do this, if you don’t do that, if you behave this way or stop behaving that way, then I will love you – is a love separate from God.

Agapaō – God’s love – is the word Jesus used when he gave us a new commandment and told us to love each other the same way he loved us; the same word he used when he told us everyone would know we were his followers by our demonstrated love for each other (John 13:34-35, John 15:12,17).

In order to keep God’s love intact, we cannot pick and choose who it is we love unconditionally. That’s right; we must extend and manifest love for all – our family members, our brothers and sisters in Christ, our neighbors and our enemies.

The choice is yours: dissect or unite; divide or mend. Which do you choose?

My loved ones, let us devote ourselves to loving one another. Love comes straight from God, and everyone who loves is born of God and truly knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. Because of this, the love of God is a reality among us: God sent His only Son into the world so that we could find true life through Him. (1 John 4:7-9)

14 comments

  1. saoirseandhope · ·

    So wonderful to reflect on God’s unconditional love. It is disappointing when we come across other Christians who just want to debate a particular Scripture instead of loving wholeheartedly and listening to what the Lord is saying through others. I was encouraged as I read this – you so eloquently captured the living and powerful nature of the Word of God – not to be idolised but to be used by God to transform our minds and help us see the heart of what God values.

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    1. “Loving wholeheartedly and listening to what the Lord is saying…” This is the whole of Scripture. Beautifully said.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “When we spend more time worshiping the Bible – or certain sections of it – and spend more time defending it than we do worshiping and praising God, we make the Bible an idol.”

    Amen, Susan. That is so good!

    As Steffany Gretzinger’s song goes, “You don’t give your heart in pieces.” In fact, Jesus puts the pieces of our heart back together again. It’s time we do the same for others. Blessings.

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    1. “Jesus puts the pieces of our heart back together again. It’s time we do the same for others.”
      Yes, exactly Mel.
      Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been buried in deep water writing my next book. God is doing a lot of healing in me and I pray that healing will also extend to my readers–all that to say I’ve been in an especially introverted season, and very focused in my little world of God and me and this writing. Today I “accidentally” clicked on your link, which I have saved on my Internet task bar because your blog is a favorite. Every thing you wrote here resonated deeply within me and much of it is part of the message of the book I’m writing. I’m going to ponder some of this. I have a feeling God is going to use the fruit of this pondering to finish out the last chapter of my book. This is powerful, and I know He led me here today. God bless. Keep writing His healing truth.

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    1. Blessing and wisdom to you, Paula. As we uplift each other to press into and articulate God’s message of love, may He strengthen us with His peace and continued grace to spread His Word.

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  4. This is an EXCELLENT article!! And one I really needed right now…thank you!

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    1. You’re welcome. The Spirit works that way – so glad you found this when you needed it. ❤

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  5. I wholeheartedly agree and endorse this wonderful post. and i loved this: “Agapaō – God’s love – is the word Jesus used when he gave us a new commandment and told us to love each other the same way he loved us; the same word he used when he told us everyone would know we were his followers by our demonstrated love for each other (John 13:34-35, John 15:12,17).That’s our main message at our post. Thank you.

    St. Paul’s Love chapter is also truly beautiful. It helps me, when I read it, to follow each “Love is” with the words.”the love Jesus gives us.” That is also a “love one another”: passage. i.e. our horizontal relationships, especially in the body of Christ. As John adds, We show our love for God by the love we show our brethren.

    P.S. You probably know this: agapao is the verb; agape the noun. .

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    1. That’s a lovely way to read 1 Corinthians 13. We must continue to call the body of Christ to love. We may run into barriers, even from our brothers and sisters, but it is truly our mission to do so.
      Thank you so much for your encouraging comments. ❤

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  6. […] via Dissecting God’s Love — Susan Irene Fox […]

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  7. I have just wallowed with our Lord in two hours of trying to put into words the same thoughts. And He and I both agreed it was time to delete my effort and move on. And like so many facetimes – it was a great two hours.
    And then the first thing I see after that is this.
    Thank you.
    ((hugs))

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    1. You were the inspiration for this, Paul – your words in your email yesterday. I saw the words, saw the picture, then all the other words came from your GSHJ to His Spirit inside me.

      How lovely it works that way.

      Thank YOU! Hugs back. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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