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.”
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.