Posted by: bshelley | November 19, 2008

Love one Another. Easy, Right?

treeofhope

Today’s Verse: 1 John 4:11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought to love one another. NASB

When asked which commandment was the most important, Jesus responded love God and love others (Matt 22:36-40). Everything else that we are commanded and learn from Jesus’ example fall under those two. Here, the apostle John is saying that if God loved us enough to send His Son to suffer death as payment for our sins, shouldn’t we love each other as much as God loves us? God is a lot easier for most of us to love than other people. That is certainly true for me. God extends unconditional love. He loves me no matter what. He loved me even when I was living in rebellion to Him in sin (Rom 5:10). He offered me a way to be reconciled to Him in Christ out of that love. It is easy to love God because He loves us. So, what’s the problem? God says, “I love you, so love each other.” I have heard someone somewhere say that church would be easy if it weren’t for the people. However, since it is the people who are the church, we have a challenge. It is always nice to be nice to the nice, isn’t it? Maybe somewhere in the scripture there is an “out” letting us off the hook if someone is not nice or doesn’t show us love first like God does. Trust me, I have looked to no avail. Hmmm, no “out” huh? But we knew that already did we not? So, if we know that God has commanded us to love others as He has loved us (tall order that it seems), why do we struggle? The truth is that most of us are pain avoidant. I am. If someone is rude or gruff or disrespectful to me or I think they might be, how motivated am I to extend Christ-like love to them? Not very, right? The rub is that regardless of how I “feel”, Jesus’ answer is that I am to be only motivated by that calling. Because above everything else in God’s word, Jesus says that THE most important things are to love God and love others. It is not optional or only to be extended to the “nice” if they are nice to us first. We were God’s enemies before we accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, yet God loved us. When we are called to pick up His cross daily, what do we think that means?

May God bless your heart as you  seek His.

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Responses

  1. I loved your phrase “pain avoidant.” Oh, yeah that’s right. But then you asked the question at the end, “what do you think it means” to pick up one’s cross daily? I watch in admiration as a cousin and brother stares deadly pain in the face daily and provides the example of what it means. To write about the One who has given his life that we might live is such a perfect example of picking up one’s cross. The cross in this case is the testifying pen. And, daily is the frequency. You have not been silent amidst your pain, amidst your desire to be well. God bless you fervent, constant testimony. Prayers ascend.

  2. What a wonderful and encouraging post. Thanks David. It is wonderful indeed that we can all share our life experience in Christ and know that regardless of the bumps along the way, that there is a destination even so much better than the joy we have now in Him and each other. We are trying to plan a trip back to Texas after the chemo maybe in the spring, hope we can see you then! Until then, God bless. -Bryan

  3. This is similar to the message that I taught at church on Wed. I taught on how to forgive grudges. I think that many of us are holding grudges that we don’t realize that we have. These messages are important. Good job. Thanks

    Christina Cooper
    If I Only Had One Wish
    http://www.aframeofmindart.com


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