God is Love (18)

May 12, 2016

God is Love (18)
1 John 4:8

Love rejoices with the truth (2)
1 Corinthians 13

“Love the Lord your God with
All your heart and with all your
Strength and with all your mind,
And Love your neighbor as yourself.”
                        Luke 10:27 (NIV)

All the great living Truths of the world are summed up in the quote from Luke, and a similar one in the words of Jesus in Matthew 22: 36-40. If all lived according to these simple statements, there would be no wars, no starvation, and all pain would be relieved to the level of our individual basis of learning to Love. If we could live according to these simple truths, the level of the world interaction would rise to that inspired by the person we say we are trying to live by, Jesus. But no, we find it difficult to truly live these words.
The basic issue is not the first in our minds; indeed we swear, if we believe in the personal God of Jesus, that we do indeed love God. However, we have a real problem with the second. We find it extremely difficult to Love our neighbor as ourselves, and ironically we find it extremely difficult to love ourselves, let alone our neighbors. Especially our neighbors, who too often make loud noises, have too many parties, whose dog poops on our lawn, etc., etc. But has it not been said that we cannot love God if we have not loved our neighbor? “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or a sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother or sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” (1 John 4:20. (NIV)) Strong words these. But these words hang on to Truth, as God sees it.
Why must we love our neighbor? Why is this equal to the primary directive and Truth as seen by God? It stems from the basic truth of Who We Are. Genesis I states that God said “Let is make humanity in our image, in our likeness, —God created humanity in God’s own image, in the image of God, God created them; male and female God created them.” (NIV)
We are created in the image of God. Therein lies the great dichotomy. Our neighbor, as ourselves, is the Image of God. How can we not Love them? And if we cannot love our neighbor, who is the image of God, then indeed, we cannot love God. If we claim to love God anyway, we are liars, as we hate those who are the very image of God, and therefore hate God.
Ah the twist of God. God made itself into the very ones we claim to hate; thus we have a situation whereby we have to shift our way of thinking in order to live the simple life of loving our neighbor.
But this does not look at the other side of the coin, loving ourselves. We will look at that next time, as so much depends on our ability ton accept and even love ourselves. Who are we, to even attempt to say we are lovable?

I remain confident of this
I will see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living
                       Psalm 27:13 (NIV)


My Beloved, your Love for me is my strength. You have opened up the beauty of the universe to me, and given me such joy to see the breathtaking vista of space and the cosmos. What marvels to behold! We can love Your Being in the universe, but we find it so difficult to love your Image in our world, our fellow human beings. We become so wrapped up in our self-image that we fail to see the wonders of the universe in each of our fellow beings, let alone to see the wonders of the universe in everything we perceive. I surrender my being in Your wonder, and pledge to let myself flow into the universe which is your child, a part of Your Essence, the vibrant beauty of Your love. I am grateful for this opportunity to express my Being by joining with the oneness of the universe in breathing as one with You.
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