Sunday, March 20, 2005

Love is

It seems to me the issue at hand is a matter of love. To come to ultimate surrender…

(Revelation 12:11They defeated him through the blood of the Lamb and the bold word of their witness. They weren't in love with themselves; they were willing to die for Christ.)

is to lay down all of who we are for the greater Love.

1 John 4:7Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

The term “know” is translated here in a way that indicates much more than an intellectual understanding. To be known by God, and to know God, in this case is the same way in which Adam knew Eve when she bore a son. To become intimately acquainted with the God of creation is a frightening yet all consuming idea. Who am I (asked Moses)… that you should use me? Who am I to receive Your love?

We are born with some measure of love, and given the freedom to direct that love. Given the chance to reveal the love within ourselves, we can shine forth to those that do not yet know love, pour it out in return to the source, or chase that which will fail us.

Our choice, too frequently, is ourselves. We become consumed in doing whatever we want, succumbing to the entertainment that easily enthralls our attention. Clamoring gongs cannot regain focus when all we know has become about self and matters of the flesh and soul. Upon knowing (intimately) the God who is Himself Love, we are also spirit. Our spirit is united with His, yet the distractions of the flesh cause war to erupt in the soul on what we will choose.

Psalm 131:
1[LORD, MY heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty; neither do I exercise myself in matters too great or in things too wonderful for me. 2Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with his mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me [ceased from fretting]. 3O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forever.

Our soul is much like the infant crying loudly for food. We want whatever we set our intent upon, and until we are satisfied we will be heard. To quiet our soul is to recognize the only thing that will satisfy is to nourish deeper, to allow our spirit to unite with His Holy Spirit.

In this place, we find that our Savior, the ultimate object of God’s love, was given on our behalf. God gave up something incredibly important – part of Himself – to stand in my place, allowing me to go free. Jesus, consumed with love, chose to see us as we are. Whether the woman with 5 husbands and new guy, the lady with the blood issues, the sinful woman standing in the midst of men carrying stones, or even closer, in Peter who said he would never deny the Lord or in Judas who would be bribed… Christ knew what would happen and chose to love anyway. Christ knew we would run after selfish gain and ambition. He knew we’d fall for another source of love, even ourselves. Yet more determined than we can fathom, He opts to love us just the same. Then, He takes the object of His affection and uses it to communicate this outrageous love to others. Only by being used in this sense is it right to shine forth love. When we reveal the source of our love in the process, Christ gets the glory and we do not. Redirecting the attention off ourselves alleviates the enormous pressure of living perfectly, because it is our weakness that He is made perfect.

Surrender is not an easy task. To cease loving ourselves and replace that with the Love of God alters everything. The most unlovable people around us, even ourselves, will be seen through the lens of God choosing to love. God was not selective either in His love. He chose to love the whole world enough to send His Son. Freedom from the bonds of all that holds us down, under, and back from Love is loosed. Run freely to the throne of grace and linger until you know you have met with God.

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