Made to Love

glassofwater

Jesus 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?

Businessman wearing horse blindersSometimes 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.

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.

33 comments

  1. Thank you so much for the follow. It’s lovely to meet you and make this connection. I very much look forward to reading more of your blog posts.

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  2. The way you explain bounds you to listen to the Jesus, the truth is manifest in your words.

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    1. Thank you for listening to His words. It always helps me to go back to the Source and reacquaint myself with His heart. ❤

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      1. When your heart and mind are in peace, every second that passes, your thoughts become the thoughts of the source.

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  3. Well said…beautiful post.

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  4. A good reading to start day with

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    1. Glad this did not waste your brain this morning. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is profound. Thank you.

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    1. You’re welcome. I’m glad it spoke to you. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I found myself here through Lilka’s reblog Susan. Thanks for sharing. What a difference the world would be if we all loved our neighbor as ourselves And yeah even when we are tired and drained..

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    1. Carl, welcome to my blog.
      I pray we all become more loving, more inclusive, more prayerful and more willing to give grace in response to the anger, hostility and divisiveness of this new year.

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  7. A very insightful post, Susan. Thank you for sharing your thoughts…

    Steve

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    1. Hey Steve – a brand new year. Writing much more about grace and love this year. We need more, and need to give more. Feeding sheep. 😉

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  8. Awesome post. Yes..we are made in His image so we should mirror him

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    1. Oh, missing you! So great to see your words here. May you have a peace- and joy-filled New Year. 😀

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  9. Reblogged this on B is for Blessed! and commented:
    Words of Wisdom from my sister in Christ…

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    1. Thank you, sweet Lilka.

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    1. Thank you so much! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I appreciate Susan

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  10. Awesome, Susan. I couldn’t agree with you more (is there a “Really LOVE!” button I can click!).

    We can only truly love the way were meant to love, and be loved, by “partaking in the divine nature” (2 Pet.1:4). I know that sounds a bit ethereal or impractical, but it’s the most practical thing we can do! Simply letting God love us (by first believing it), heal us, then love others with His love. Everything in the Kingdom comes from receiving first. Grace flows from God, to us, then from us to others.

    This is truly the message that can heal a nation. It’s the natural flow and fruit of Love. When we first allow God to reconcile us to Himself, we will be willing and able to be reconciled to one other.

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    1. Thank you, Mel. This is my calling for this year – to open hearts to His love for everyone. If only one person accepts His love, it will be worth it.

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      1. Definitely well worth it!

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      2. Thanks, Lilka. So glad we’re partnering in this effort to lift up the true Gospel.

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  11. That is one of the things that Jesus as I am walking through my journey through Cancer.

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    1. He walked with me too, Susan, as did my Father and the Spirit. All were there for me, and as a result, I never feared. It was a true blessing.
      Have you thought on writing about your journey?

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      1. I have been mulling on it. It is in the making, I think.

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      2. Any support you need, I’m here for you.

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  12. Some profoundly wonderful thoughts to think on here Susan. Especially, “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?” If we can learn to love others from and through the Spirit, instead of our own heart we can love anyone. It is amazing how God always makes a way for us to love others, if we will just listen and apply.
    I am struggling to reblog your post this morning. I, for some reason, cannot find the place to click for reblog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow; should appear to the left of the “Like” button. Try reloading the post and give it a few minutes to get all those icons in place. Thanks, Andy. 🙂

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      1. I cut & paste and blessings blogged it, lol. Thanks!

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