Recently I was thinking about the saying “I love you more.” This is commonly said among those in a romantic relationship or parental and child relationship. As I thought about it, I was reminded that Jesus loves you more. This love is greater than anything in our human mind could even begin to comprehend. It is so great that Jesus laid down His own life for me and you so that we do not have to take the ultimate consequence for sin. The ultimate consequence of sin is separation from God, our Creator, eternally.
The amazing thing about this love is that there is nothing we can do to change this love from God and Jesus! “I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.” – Romans 8:38-39
There are times that we do things that we may think we have messed up and God is not going to love me or forgive me or give me grace anymore. This is where we are wrong! And the fact that we are wrong is a beautiful thing. God created us and as the Creator He has gigantic love for His creation. A love that our human mind can only comprehend a fraction of. Think of a time when you have created something. You are proud of and love this creation that you made and the purpose that creation was created for. This isn’t much that creation can do that would not cause you to love it. Now take that love and pride that you have for your creation and multiple that by an infinite amount of times. This is the love that God has for you!!
This is the simple gospel. A Creator who loves us so much that He wants to show us this love in something as simple as having a relationship with Him. As in any relationship the more time you spend with someone and get to know them, deeper the love you have for this person. This is how it is with God. We need to put aside the things that we think we need to gain His love. And just get back to the basics of building a deeper relationship with our Creator.
As I reflect the day, this year was a good birthday filled with family and friends. I would not have wanted my day any other way. But then I also reflect on what is going on in the world there is so much hate and division going on right now. People are maliciously hurting others because the person or people group are not the same as them. These differences happen to be in race, religion, social classes, personalities, sexual orientation and I could go on and on. Its disheartening to see people hurting others intentionally. And it is even more disheartening when we look through the lens that everyone is someone God created. He made us all so differently. And I am so glad He made us so different because life would be so boring if we were all the same.
My prayer is that when we see others we would look at them with the eyes of God and see them through eyes of love and not hate. See others through eyes of compassion and empathy. And realize every one has a story that matters. When we see people through eyes of love, we see people a whole new light. It does not mean we have to agree with everything that person says or does or that boundaries should not be in place in some relationships depending on the circumstances. But it does meant that we have to treat them with love. And when we treat people with love we begin to see that God has a greater plan for their lives and our lives. Love opens doors that were never opened before. Love brings forgiveness that was not possible before. Love brings a face and a story to the issues that we are so passionately against. “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34-35 When God commanded us to love another, He did not say you have to love this person but not that person. We can not pick and choose on who we are called to love. There are times we hate or have a strong dislike for someone whatever reason may be. And sometimes we have good reason to hate or have a strong dislike because of the circumstances that brought it on. But God has given us a strong warning that we are not to hate others. “We love because God first loved us. Whoever says, “I love God,” but hates his brother is a liar. The one who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love the God whom he has not seen.” 1 John 4:19-20 We often do not think of the words we are saying; are they showing love or is it bringing more division to a world that is full of hate and malice. Because we are too worried about our own agenda and we want to make sure people hear our agenda.
While forgiveness and love is something that is hard to do, it is necessary for yourself and the person you are forgiving. So the next time that you are ready to treat someone with less than the love that they deserve; look at them through the eyes of love. And sometimes it means asking God to help with that. Also think about the many times that you were shown love, grace, mercy and forgiveness when you did not deserve it. We need to choose love and not hate and division. Even when it means putting aside our differences and our agendas. When we choose love, we will see amazing things happen that we may not think that would have been possible before. So today let’s choose to see others through the eyes of love and see that they and their story matters. I challenge you to put your own agendas aside and just love on those that are put in your path.
Recently I read Matthew 19:26, in this verse it states that with God all things are possible. After reading this, I began thinking about situations in my friends and families’ lives. These situations had a common dominator, people are making decisions in their lives that are destructive. These decisions are hurting others in their lives. And my thought after reading this verse was, “God, you have the power to make people change. Why don’t you? It would create less hurt.”
God’s answer to me was the answer of a gentleman. He said “because I do not force myself on others.” I am glad I serve a God who is a gentleman. Because let’s face it I do not do well if someone forces a decision on me, nor do most people. And if God would force us to make decisions or if he made all our decisions then we would just be mere puppets.
God has given us choice. He allows to choose if we are going to accept the gift of grace that He offers us. As much as I wish these individuals who are making these destructive decisions, would see God’s grace and what freedom they could have if they would allow God change their heart. I can not make this choice for them or I can not make them make a different choice. The only I can do is love these people and show them what unconditional love looks like. God’s love is what changes hearts. And we should build relationships with others in the context of showing His love. A saying that we use at work fits well with this. “No significant change happens outside a significant relationship.” So who do you need to spend time with to show the love of a heavenly Father who loves them more they could imagine?