So, I have been writing like mad these past few weeks. Its been an odd thing this, but I suddenly have two books due - crazy right? Anyway, I have been posting the daily devotionals that will be edited at some point and put into the new Open Table. The Open Table is a small group study for new believers with a film and participants guide.
Chapter one is on Love. I think I have the chapter finished and thought I would put one more segment up. This is part four and follows on the heals of my last blog. If you think about me in the next 6 weeks, pray that God would release His love and Kingdom message through this project.
Oh, also, there are supposed to be two to three questions at the end of each section for the reader. I'm not very good at asking those questions as I rarely read them let alone answer them when reading a participants guide - maybe I should start. Anyway, if you think of a question that would help drive the message home, let me know. Thanks!
To Love In Turn
Yesterday I wrote about how John referred to himself, as “the one Jesus loved” and how this revelation of Gods loves is available to us.
Shortly after I discovered these verses in scripture God began to speak to my heart. I started thinking about Johns understanding of Jesus love and wondered if I was capable of loving in the same way.
Recently, one night at the super table while holding hands with my family, I told my wife she was “the one” I loved, that I loved her best, she was my favorite. Then I looked at my oldest daughter and I told her the same thing. I moved on to my son and finally my youngest daughter repeating myself as I went. You are “the one” that I love…
And you know what, it was true and everyone at the table knew it. Somehow I was able to love each of them best.
Paul tells us in Romans 8:11 that the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in us. It stands to reason then that we should be able to love just like Jesus does. In fact, I think that’s why we are here. We exist to know Gods love and love in turn.
That’s what this new life we have entered into is all about. The moment we surrendered to Gods love, the moment we received our salvation, we said yes to love and yes to becoming love.
I would like to suggest that the “Christian” experience, journey, walk, or whatever you want to call it, isn’t just about going to church, it’s also about becoming church. It isn’t just about going to heaven when we die, it’s also about bringing heaven to earth while we live. It isn’t just about receiving the beautiful love of our Savior and friend Jesus, it’s also about becoming that same love. And I am convinced that the only way to become love is to know His love as John did.
Several years ago, I began dialoging with God from John’s perspective. When praying I would thank God for His love, not the wide vague concept of love but the personal intimate one of a kind love God has for me. I don’t pray this way out some insecurity or arrogance, on the contrary. I have learned that the more aware I am of how much he loves me, the greater capacity I have to love those around me. I can say to my wife, my kids, my neighbor, the guy sitting next to me at Starbucks “you are ‘the one’ I love.” A person cant give away what they don’t posses. That’s why it is so important that we begin to see ourselves as God does, thereby possessing love and giving it away in greater measure.
I encourage you today to ask God to love you best, to reveal to you that you are “the one” that he loves and then begin to love those around you like you believe it.