I like to imagine living in a world where everyone is kind and gracious, accepting and encouraging, looking past differences, failures and weakness to see the treasure hidden inside one another. You know, where people work to forgive and overlook offenses rather than memorizing issues and holding on to grudges…I know, I’m a dreamer. And I’m the first to raise my hand and admit that such love is a path I’m continually learning to walk. It is a theme that Father consistently rehearses with me. And no wonder – He IS love!
We live in a world where – as a friend so eloquently put it – we bump into one another’s humanity…or perhaps, at times, it’s more like a crash! But we are called to love and love is the most Christ-like we can ever be. In fact, as Jesus prepared for His last earthly events, He told His disciples —“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:34-35). He knew they would bump and crash, but divine love was to be the prevailing mode of their relationships, one that would be as a beacon of light heralding His Kingdom to those in a dark world.
We are all aware of the times we are living in – a time that Jesus described as being marked with increase deception, false leaders, wars, famines, earthquakes, and persecution, and when the love of many people would grow cold. It’s easy to let love grow cold when we’ve been hurt, rejected, betrayed, or ignored, and life is full of these. It’s “natural” to want to shove back when we’ve been pushed or speak out of pain when we’ve experienced loss because of another’s actions. But the Master Himself “came to His own” and wasn’t received by them—yet He loved them. The world crucified the Creator, yet He loved us and poured out forgiveness in the midst of the pain we inflicted—embracing our death so we can receive His wholeness. He loves us unconditionally and we are to love one another with that same love. It doesn’t mean we condone or justify another’s wrong actions, but it does mean we forgive and extend patience, kindness, goodness, and selflessness, instead of pride, arrogance, rudeness, or reciprocating rejection.
And why are we to love? Because to do so is to be like Dad.
After the apostle John had his heavenly encounter on the isle of Patmos (the Book of Revelation), he wrote to the Churches, “…everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love, does not know God; because God is love” (1 John 4:7-8). While the love of many may grow cold in the end-times, Jesus is calling His Body to be as He is – to displace disunity and disapproval with divine embrace, to minister His compassion that springs from the presence of the Holy Spirit, rather than the displeasure that seeps from our flesh.
Prov. 4:18 says that the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. Lord, help us to leave the darkness of night where our humanity bumps and bruises with chaotic crashing, and rise together in the light of Your unceasing love!
J Nicole – Abba’s daughter
pic by aha.jokes.com