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Posts Tagged ‘love of God’

SUFFERING BECAUSE OF PEOPLE WE LOVE

Romans 10:1. Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.

Saved from what? Incredible as it seems the super religious people in Israel missed the point of Jesus’ message and Paul’s almost completely. We can see in the Book of Matthew the very earthy Jesus getting up every day and attacking the organized religion of the day. They did not understand “God is a spirit. . . worship Him in spirit and in truth” John 4:24

They did not understand the teaching of Jesus and Paul that true spirituality is a LOVE* based life. Moses gave them the great Shema “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One. LOVE the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-6). We could say it this way, too “. . . you shall LOVE!”

LOVE! That’s the basis of true spirituality! A life of LOVE begins with recognizing that God IS LOVE! God’s LOVE is different than human love. He loves us just as we are. We do not have to try to be better for God to LOVE us. He already loves us.

Paul had a deep heartache over his people not understanding true spirituality. We see this pain over and over again in his writings in the New Testament.1 Jesus also expressed his agony over people.2 Both Jesus and Paul suffered physically.3. Both of them put their physical suffering second to their love and desire to help people. Basically the Jewish people of th believed that they had to have all their ducks in a row before they could please God.

We do not have to get our ducks in a row. Jesus and Paul were desperate to get this point across. Paul says, “Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does it all.” (Ephesians 2:8-9 The Message) The first step is recognizing that we are hopeless and helpless to help ourselves. Jesus tells us “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.” (MSG). I, like most people thought I had to get my ducks in a row. Then God revealed to me that I DON’T HAVE ANY DUCKS!

It’s a gift! This salvation from ourselves and the wrongness within us is free, a gift from God. It has a name too, grace. Grace! I can relax. All the wrong things I’ve said. All the wrong things I’ve done. All the wrong choices I’ve made. All of it taken care of by the LOVE of Jesus. That’s why He left His Father. It’s why He left heaven. He chose to come to us messed up humans and save us. He did this by dying for us and taking ALL the wrongs of every human being who ever lived, you, me, your boss, your mother-in-law, the neighbor down the street, Hitler, the rapist, a murderer, yes, even an ISIS terrorist. No one is left out. All I have to do is accept this gift and decide to let Jesus live His life of LOVE in me.

There you have it. I cannot live the life of LOVE on my own. I don’t even know where to begin to LOVE my enemies. That’s work for Jesus. I just need to learn to let Him do it.  You can ask him into your life right now.

We see in Paul’s prayer for those he loved so deeply, an agony beyond words. I think he knew they would never “get it.” I think he knew they would always be proud of their spirituality which made them hate others who weren’t as “spiritual” as themselves. Their path was a polar opposite of the free gift to the “poor beggar” who comes to God with nothing.

*LOVE – God’s love as opposed to human love

1 Romans 9:1-5; Rom 9:30-33; Rom 11:1-2;

2 Luke 19:43-44; John 11:35

3 Matthew 27:32; John 19:1

Please let me know if this has been meaningful to you.

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