Friday, February 22

The reason behind obeying.....

"If you keep My commandments [if you continue to obey My instructions], you will abide in My love and live on in it, just as I have obeyed My Father's commandments and live on in His love." John 15:10 (Amplified Bible)

We deal in today's world with the constant stream of 'loveless' situations; the murdering of a spouse because you think you're better off with them dead, the abused children that walk the hallways of our godless schools, and the wounded families that dot the landscape of the modern church.

We fear relationships because we fear a situation without love and only steeped in pain and suffrage.

We isolate ourselves from the very answer to our woes.

I have come to learn that I cannot love. My spouse, my children, my fellow brethren, or even the lost of this world. I cannot, because I myself am a danger to the cause. I would much rather isolate myself from the societal woes and personal suffering that a relationship with others can pretty much guarantee. And yet, I long for the connection that only true relational living can bring. I live in duality and as Christ tells us, no one can serve two masters. Typically, we express that verse in financial terms, but I would submit that it also applies to the relational needs we deal with.

One master: Protection of Self.

One master: Need for communal relationship.

We are in constant struggle against ourselves if we don't commit to the God-design for relationship, that no-holds-barred kind of relating to our fellows that causes us to reach out--- despite the painfulness of relating and the certainity of disappointment-- to others in community. To deny relational living is to deny your most basic need of being accepted, of being LOVED.

It is everyone's greatest accomplishment and worst fear.....that when the time comes for us to depart this world; either for the golden streets of Heaven or the fiery, pothole littered roadways of Hell, we all want to have least a little, to someone other than ourselves. A legacy left behind; someone who will stand at our casket and say, "We will miss them" and mean it.

It is my greatest fear, despite the loving support and relationship I have with my son and my daughter. Despite the relationships I am developing with other men, such as the group from the Men in the Woods and the M3 meetings on bi-monthly Saturdays.

I find I cannot love, unless I relate my love to others. I find that my love is meaningless if it is self-centered and self-serving. To have meaningful love means I have to be relational; relating to God's commands for me to love, relating to others demandingness to be love, and to be relational in the realisation that risking love will be painful and sometimes cause me to suffer for the sake of another; in varying degrees.

If we look at this verse, Christ tells us to be relational to love....which He is and we will abide in love only when we follow His commandments, just as He showed us as He followed the Father's commandments and lived in love with Him. Not only did Christ come to the earth to save all of mankind (excuse me, PC---humankind) but He also came to show us how to live until the restoration of the body to its original design. Live by the commandments of Christ and we will live in love. We are called to live in love and can only do so as we follow the commandments, which enable us to reflect the love we are called to live in. A complete circle, ever rotating on the axis of Christ.

Of all the things that Christ commands us to do; i.e. go out and preach the Gospel to all the nations, be in fellowship, obey the Lord your God......this is the one that underscores it all. Love.

The love of the Creator created Adam and then Eve. The love of His creation caused the rejection from the garden due to sin. The love of the Father sent His only Son to the world to die for the world. The love of the Son taught us the power of living in His love. And the love for one another causes us to seek out each other in relational fellowship.

I don't know if I'm making any sense. Throwing around big words just makes me feel like I'm.......throwing around big words.

All I know is this verse brought home to me the method of my contentment and peace in the struggles of my life. Living for love, seeking God in the obeyance (as much as this broken human can) of His commandments, and then expecting the peaceful contentment of knowing God's love will carry me on.

There is no way to fake love, especially if you believe that your capability for love comes from the empowerment of the Holy Spirit and therefore is dependent on God. You might be able to fool someone a little while, but you will be exposed in short order.

As Matthew Henry said, "The joy of the hypocrite is but for a moment, but the joy of those who abide in Christ's love is a continual feast."

You can always spot the mature Christian, because they look like they are in know, that special look, the certain glow, and that abiding peacefulness. They are in love.......

In love with a Heavenly Father,

In relationship with the Spirit,

because of the loving sacrifice of the Son.


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