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- Christianity, the Bible & Jesus
Are You Willing to Become Love?
Everybody Deserves to be Loved Well
Everybody deserves to be loved well, no matter who they are, what they have or haven’t done or where they come from. It doesn’t matter what their sexual preference is, their religious beliefs or how unpleasant they act towards others. We have this incredible opportunity to display love and represent the One whose image we are created in.
I think that sometimes we would like God to simply invade and fix us like a magic Genie granting our personal wishes and once they are dealt with it would be nice if He would then turn His eyes to the world around us and snap His fingers and there would be nothing but peace and harmony! When in actuality it is about us becoming like Him, about us becoming His hands, His feet, and His mouthpiece. We are the ones, who in union with Him, that actually have the privilege of releasing His goodness into people’s lives.
Becoming Like Him
The will of God is for us to receive blessings so we can give them and for us to receive mercy so we can give it to others. We have desired for God to pour out His blessings and favour upon us and graciously He does, but life is not actually about that alone! It is about us being made into His image and releasing His blessings and favour to the world around us, to show love unconditionally, to show mercy unconditionally. It is not all about us, and Him changing and making things better for us, about Him making sure our ducks are all in a row, and that car park that we need is reserved just for us, but it is about us becoming more like Him, being completely transformed into His image from glory to glory.
Our Identity helps us see people Like God sees them
When we know who we are in God we begin to see people how He sees them. The gospel is not simply a passport or a ticket to heaven but a completely transformed life – total metamorphosis! One of the dictionary definitions describes it as a transformation caused by supposed supernatural powers – we who have been transformed know there is no supposition whatsoever about this! The gospel completely removes our sin – as far as the east is from the west (past, present and future sin) to expose our incredible created value and to restore us to who we were originally intended to be - incredible sons and daughters of the Creator of the Universe!
Selfless vs Self Centred
“Deny yourself pick up your cross and follow Me”. Many see this as a heavy duty phrase but when you come into communion or that oneness with Him it becomes an honour and He will give us all that is necessary to follow – no striving or heavy labour required. "Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself, less." This statement from C.S. Lewis seems to sum up the above scripture quite well. Sometimes we just don’t like the “deny” part because it means we have to be selfless rather than self centred. Maybe we have to turn off the T.V.; stop reading Facebook, not be so focused on purchasing that new pair of jeans and look up and notice that there is a great big hurting world out there that have no clue how amazing and incredible they actually are……because nobody ever told them that……mostly they have been told that they don’t measure up and they need to do this, this and that, and give up this, this and that. The only thing that Jesus is asking us to give up is what was never ours to receive in the first place.
What Flows Out of You When You are Squeezed?
Interestingly He said follow Me, not just pray when you are in trouble. He said follow Me, not just sing to Me. He said follow Me not just listen to someone speak about Me. If He didn’t say follow Me, we would just sit in church and pay homage to Him, or build buildings to serve Him. We can believe that what Jesus taught us is not mere human intellect – when we see Jesus and look to Him we find absolute truth.
When we bring psychology into the gospel or the old into the new we wonder why it doesn't work or mix very well. It can’t be mixed – light and dark, oil and water, it just won’t work and there are no shades of grey in between. There is no "God Incorporated" or "Behaviour Modification Programme". We have to let go of the old so we can see clearly into the new. He died to bring us home – not to heaven but to Him, to have communion and relationship. I once heard someone say “You are a house fit for a King – absolutely prime real estate” – the price paid to live in you was beyond measure! God wants to live in you! He made you to show Him off – to manifest Him even through your troubles and issues! Actually particularly through your troubles and issues. He didn’t say that we would be without struggles in this life. So when you are squeezed what do you look like? Do love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control flow from you?
You will never “find yourself” in other people, whether they are your spouse, friend, a well known conference speaker, leader, boss etc. Jesus can teach you to love when you ask Him to and out of the completeness of His love you can love freely and not need someone to reciprocate that love. Let me expand on that – this makes our loving unconditional; we don’t need to hear another person say they love us back to love them first, the only validation we need has already been found in Him and when we recognise that fact, we begin to be free from our own expectations and others perceived expectations.
We have to become Love! Are you willing to become Love? You have to let go of the right to be angry and frustrated with others and the voices in your head that tell you that you have every justification to remain so – and the friends that sympathise or empathise with you. Human empathy can cripple you and will prevent you from being able to move forward. Unforgiveness keeps the offense alive. Forgiveness renders what happened over and powerless – by the blood of Christ. We deserve death but we have everlasting life, we deserve judgment not mercy. God is not mad at us – He is Love and He has given us the privilege to change.
Our very Birthright!
There are many people that struggle with realizing who God has now made them to be. They are yet to awaken to the fact that their identity is now wrapped up so completely in Him. You may have met some of them that may be feeling depressed on the inside and try to hide it from the world, or you may be in that place yourself. In most cases they or you are not oppressed, possessed or any “essed” by a devil, but simply believing a lie! The same lie that has been spoken since the beginning of the world…..”If you eat of this tree you will be like God” – Adam and Eve did not realise that they had already been created in His image.
Jesus died to find us so that we can become what we were designed to be from the beginning of time - His sons, His daughters – this is our inheritance, our very birthright! When we really begin to see ourselves as sons and daughters and that there are many others out there that need to hear they are accepted as part of the most incredible family in the world, our eyes move off of ourselves and can’t help but seek for opportunities to become love with no agendas. Again I ask the question…..Are you willing to become Love?