Expressing Real Love

We are called to love as God loves. What does that actually mean? How does it feel? How do we do it?

In this article, I’m going to share some things I’ve personally learned and experienced. However, to know about, receive, and demonstrate God’s kind of love for yourself is a journey. It’s a path you learn by intentional engagement. The reality of love doesn’t fall out of the ethereal sky and pop you on the head like apples off a tree.

Love Is Already Yours

Love is already yours to experience and give away. It is one with God’s children just as He is wholly one with each of them. It may be idling unused or under-used, but love is available in the same way that God is available.

Many Descriptions

Love is like a diamond that has many facets. One description doesn’t express the whole truth. Some of those words are found in Paul’s 1 Corinthian 13 ‘Love is’ passage. Love is patient, love is kind, etc.

Words That Stir Feeling

In our logically minded, definition encased culture, we try to rationally decide the truth through defining ideas. However, it has been psychologically established that our understanding of a matter actually begins with an intuitive feeling rather than a rational definition. Because I believe that is accurate, I try to use words that stir feelings as I desire to more deeply understand spiritual truths.

Look at the list of Spirit Fruit in Galatians 5:22. As you consider the individual words, a feeling arises from the word, doesn’t it? (Love, joy, peace, etc.) We can further describe the feeling to clearly communicate the meaning, but it starts with an emotional response, doesn’t it?

For me, a helpful, emotion stirring word that describes love is the idea, ‘Embrace.’

Think of what sense registers inside when you think of embracing an idea or a person. We are called to feel embraced and to embrace when we are given the commission to know and give love.

To me, that understanding is a helpful way to be more specific with what it means to love.

What About Bad People?

There are no bad people. Just good people that may have made some (or many) bad decisions and taken (even terrible) actions that brought deep pain to people. However, I believe that in the journey of learning the God kind of love, it is essential to see the beautifully designed soul of the ‘twisted’ person. I believe we find an example in Jesus’ words, “Forgive them. They don’t know what they are doing.”

One might exclaim, “Oh yes they did so know what they were doing!!” But Jesus saw a deeper level of reality. We don’t ‘naturally’ have that kind of understanding. It’s important to realize that God is available within you to open your eyes to see what he sees. Therefore, it’s vital to realize we can, and must ask for Him to see and feel through us at the moments we naturally resist. As we want to grow, we must call on God’s ability to save us from our own resistant thinking.

Embracing Ideas

Embracing also includes ideas that don’t jibe with ours. It’s important at those times that we learn to hear and embrace the person, even though we may disagree with their belief about an issue. Again…the power of God’s love can be received to embrace the person. After all, God embraces you, wacky ideas and all. 🙂

So, in conclusion

Consider adopting the word and emotion of ‘Embracing’ to help you know and grow in your understanding of God’s love for you, and you expressing that love to others.

Gary

“Be Holy” – And What’s It Really All About?

Let me suggest another take on the act and art of being holy.  It’s in the Bible…so it’s part of my “marching orders.”  It’s been defined in sermon after sermon.

Typically…in fact in most every sermon and teaching I’ve ever heard…the perception left could be stated in these words:

Holiness = Sinning Less

Instead, I believe there’s another take that is more in keeping with the mission of Jesus.  I state even further that the following definition is what needs to be the primary emphasis of our teachings and thinking:

Be Holy =  Love More

“Love More” may strike you as a different subject altogether.  However God is, in very nature, love and holy.  Our western minds parse that into segments, but He is all of what He is…all together.

I would also extend that observation to say that “Be holy as I am holy” in 1st Peter 1:16-18 is less of a order and more of an invitation.

I believe that there are many issues that we are treating as COMMANDS (Do this because I say or you’re gonna fry) that are, in fact, “invitations” to walk in the Jesus kind of life.

I often say to the gathering of people where I am privileged to be the lead pastor, “The Bible is overflowing with invitations to experience.”

To sum up…

I’m not winking at acts and attitudes of the flesh that we all deal with and describe as sin.

I am saying that, for me, a more authentic thought would be…

Be more loving as I am fully loving.  That’s the way to experience the beauty and power of God in the lives of those around you.

What are your thoughts?  Chime in in the comments because authentic Christianity is more about have a relationship with our Savior in community than the Western emphasis on have a ‘personal savior’  (Shoot…you can comment on that statement too if you wish.)

Gary

Give Up 4 Freedom by Gary Ellis

Giving up just isn’t in our dna.  It seems so weak. It seems to contradict faith.

However, is there a “giving up” that leads one down the path to true freedom?  Are there kinds of “giving up” that will release one from their own prison of stress and strife?  I believe and have experienced at least two areas of “giving up” that brought me peace and opened the door to fresh wisdom.

  • Giving up the need to understand.

I think the first time I heard this “giving up” truth was from Bill Johnson, pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, CA.  I don’t know whether it’s original with him or he was repeating it, but it doesn’t matter.  The truth of the phrase is powerful.

“To have the peace that passes understanding, you have to give up your right to understand”

Somehow we think that understanding a negative issue that’s facing us will give us peace as a by-product.  There may be times when that is true.  Or, it might begin to help.  But, in my experience, it simply brings more questions that I can’t answer.

Besides that, a good dose of “I don’t know” is often just what the doctor ordered.  We seem to be so obsessed with understanding (or think we understand) why God seems to be doing what He is doing.  So much of the effort is a mind game under the guise of spirituality.  Too much of it turns into “belly button gazing” instead of trusting.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but when something “bad” happens, the “what is God trying to say” question enters the picture.  Why doesn’t that question ever come up when good things are happening in a person’s life?

I better get to the next “give up” point.  This article will soon be too long for good internet reading, so here it is.

  • Love is found where one gives up their right to be right.

I believe Joyce Meyers said this (or something like it).  It is also extremely powerful.  Giving up our rights is at the core of both truths.  For the Kingdom of God to be manifest, we don’t have to be able to prove ourselves “right.”  We don’t have to understand everything that’s going on.  God does.  That’s sufficient.  Trusting that brings freedom and peace.

Haven’t many of us spent far too long on the “my rights” battlefield?  God is smarter than we are.  That’s where trust begins.  He’ll give you wisdom of understanding if and when you need it.  In the meantime, let’s rest in Jesus.

Gary

     

     

     

    Brennon Manning – Deep and Delicate Respect

    Deep and delicate respect for one another.  That’s how Brennon Manning in his book, “The Furious Longing of God,” describes the only true way that people will recognize true Christianity.  I got to thinking…

    The source of anything good originates in God. Therefore…

    Deep and delicate respect had to originate in the heart of God, first. It’s not a human invention. So…

    We all know the importance of “respect.”  But, how can we truly give it?  By embracing the source of deep and delicate respect.  In other words, we embrace the fact that God’s love for us can also be described as “deep and delicate respect for us.”  So…

    Know this: God’s love embraces you with deep and delicate respect.  Not the person you wish you were, or the person you should be.  God’s love embraces YOU (as you are) with deep and delicate respect. Right here.  Right now.  S0…

    If you want to move out of the “poor self image zone” into the beautiful field of “What Can Be,”  (cuz He won’t leave you in the squalor of self hate) accept the deep and delicate respect of God’s love for you...as you are right now.  That acceptance will lift you like magic to a higher place….recognizing you are seated with Jesus in heavenly places.

    I would love to hear your comments! – And Please Subscribe

    Gary

    Who Does God Love (Like)?

    Who does God love?  The make believe you?  The you that you wish you were?  Or the you that has so many inconsistencies that you are a disappointment to yourself, let alone God?   This may surprise you…

    At least it will surprise your “religious” self…

    God doesn’t love the person you wish you were.  He loves the “you” that you feel has no real redemptive value.

    (just as an aside…He likes you, too.  How do I know that?  Because “like” is one of the qualities of love.  And He is LOVE in total.)

    In fact, this may surprise you even further…

    You may have heard this phrase, “God loves the Jesus in you” -or- “When God looks at you, He sees Jesus.”    Sorry, close…but no cigar.   When God looks at you….He sees YOU in all your inconsistencies and shortcomings.  He sees YOU.   And, He loves YOU.  He has since BEFORE Jesus touched your life.

    <break….If you haven’t asked Jesus to wrap His arms around you and make you His…you can, right now as you read this.  Say, “Jesus, I need and want you.”>

    Embrace the reality of your weakness. Don’t run from it.  Being honest and letting God love the “less-than-perfect” you is your only hope of being infected by the power of His raging love for you.  Once you have “the disease” and become “love sick” you’ll begin the joyous journey of discovering true freedom and authentic change.

    How does this make you feel?  Please comment.  I want to know what you’re thinking!

    Gary