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We know that people who don't know God walk through life feeling unloved and unwanted. But what about those in the church? One would think the church would be the place to go to feel loved and wanted. But for many years, I went to church not only feeling unloved and unwanted but also buried in legalistic layers of shame and guilt.

Unloved and Unwanted

Tuesday in Other Words quote:

“Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat…We must find each other.”
~Mother Teresa~

We know that people who don’t know God walk through life feeling unloved and unwanted. But what about those in the church? One would think the church would be the place to go to feel loved and wanted. But for many years, I went to church not only feeling unloved and  unwanted but also buried in legalistic layers of shame and guilt.

What about in a Christian home?  Surely all children that live in a Christian home feel loved and wanted? Maybe? Maybe not? Hurt people, hurt people. Parents who grew up feeling unloved may not be able to give their children love.

Reflecting the Father

Jesus walked on earth as God in the flesh to teach us God’s love. He loved everyone deeply and passionately. He loved the Pharisees, the hypocrites and the sinners as much as His followers. He ate with sinners, healed, showed compassion, wept, etc. all to show us our Father’s love.

When Phillip  said, “Show us the Father,” Jesus said,  “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? The person who has seen me has seen the Father. So how can you say, ‘Show us the Father?’ ” (John 14:9)Jesus said we are to love even our enemies. Jesus quoted Leviticus 19:18 in Matthew 7:12 summing up the Law:

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

This “Golden Rule” will cause us to attempt to be more loving but the ultimate love for others must come from Christ through us via the Holy Spirit.When we experience God’s love in a state of grace without having to earn that love–He can and will love others through us–when He is allowed to dwell in us–His temple.

I have been crucified with Christ; yet I live; and yet no longer I, but Christ liveth in me: and that life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me. (Galatians 2:20)

We Can’t Do It On Our Own

I have tried to love others in my own strength and failed over and over–not just trying to love strangers but also trying to love family members and my own children.  Jesus abides in us and loves others through us when we learn to accept God’s love and grace.No one is more surprised than me when I walk in a difficult circumstance where my self would normally rise up in anger or judgment but self is overridden with a staggering urge to act kind and lovingly.  I think “Wow, who was that?”  Then I realize God loved through me and I praise Him for allowing me to be His vessel.We are branches–to produce fruit we must abide in the Vine and allow His nourishing sap to flow through us.

I am the vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you.

As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me.I am the vine you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.

If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.

By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. (John 15:1‑7)

The Vinedresser is able to conform our thoughts and will to provide us with the strength and energy to develop Christ-like behaviors.

How Do We Remain in His Love?

We have this opportunity because we have been delivered and can demonstrate true righteousness toward others. It’s a simple matter of remaining in His love.

We remain in His love first by recognizing His love is a gift, not a reward. Understanding God loves us and only wants the best for us makes it easy to surrender. Pray daily asking God to help us understand how much He loves us, and to love through us.

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By THIS men WILL KNOW you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)

We are a chosen people. Chosen to have Christ actually live in us to reveal His love to others. When we allow Him to fill us, we will have the joy from the love of God overflowing – His love, His peace, His compassion, His forgiveness, His mercy, His patience, His kindness, His gentleness, His goodness will be the viable fruit.

As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. If you obey My commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have obeyed My Father’s commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

You are My friends if you do what I command.I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from My Father I have made known to you.You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in My name. This is My command: Love each other.” John 15:9

Jesus commanded His disciples to love others and make disciples, teaching the nations to keep his commandments. Discipleship is growing in the grace and in the knowledge of our Lord to be wholly free.We cannot fulfill the command “love others” or “to make disciples” unless we first accept God’s love ourselves.

Robin

Tuesday In Other Words is a meme based on a posted quote each week by Amy at In Pursuit of Proverbs 31. Pop over to read “others” take on today’s quote. For more memes see the Daily Blogs Meme List


About Robin Sampson

12 comments

  1. We cannot fulfill the command “love others” or “to make disciples” unless we first become accept God’s love ourselves.

    I just cherish the truth and power in those words. Great post!

  2. Hey Robin,

    How are you doing these days?

    As always, you take so much time and research when you post. I appreciate this about you.

    You brought out many wonderful points, and things for me to ponder.

    Thanks so much.

    Thanking God for all the opportunities He allows us daily to be His arms and feet to such a needy world.

    Blessings :razz:

    Susan’s last blog post..Bringing Good News!

  3. Such a great, truthful post.

    Denise’s last blog post..In Other Words Tuesday

  4. As I was reading this post, I was remembering a book about Rees Howells and how he learned to abide in Christ. There was a lot more to abiding than I had realized before. It involved hours of prayer and fasting and taking everything to God – every decision, every daily activity – and obeying what God told him to do. The book is called Rees Howells: Intercessor by Norman Grubb. He and his group of intercessors became so powerful in prayer that their prayers affected battles during WW2.

    The other thought I had was about loving our enemies. We recently read The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom. I know Corrie was a wonderful, amazing godly woman throughout her life, but she learned to love enemies through her sister Betsie’s example. Betsie was truly amazing in her love and compassion for the enemy. She saw them as needy, sin-sick people in need of a Savior, and didn’t even get angry at them when they treated her with contempt and hatred.

    These examples help me to have a goal to shoot for. Just to know that someone else was actually able to live that way gives me hope that some day maybe I will be more like them – ultimately, more like Jesus.

    Penney Douglas’s last blog post..The Best Dad in the Whole World

  5. Tara in VA

    The beauty of being in Christ and having Christ in me, is that I don’t have to TRY to love anybody. I simply need to ask Jesus to love them through me. When our marriage nearly ended, my husband and I began asking God to love each other through us. My prayer was, “God please love dh through me. Right now I personally can not stand him!”. That prayer from dh and from me changed the course of our marriage and our lives (and that of our family). At times loving statements (that I meant) would spill out of my mouth before my flesh and my “feelings” could guard them. They were often the words that ushered in the healing that we needed. All the fasting in the world could not have brought about that can of healing! It is only the Love of Jesus that can change people that way. As yet, God has not asked me to fast in order for him to bring about a change, but I suppose that is always a possibility!

  6. As a child who felt unloved, I have little problem loving and showing love to my children, but I struggle with feeling/knowing/accepting God’s love. I think because I tried so hard for so long to get the attention I needed from my mother and I felt like such a failure as a child for not being loved by her, it has been difficult for me to accept God’s love rather than trying to earn it. In my home, nothing was given without strings attached and real, honest love was never given. So, I have to keep reminding myself through the evidences of His love in my life that He loves me and I have to remind myself that my daily struggles and failures do not make Him love me less.

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