Consider the Lilies..: I love you because I have to..   

Apr 17, 2013

I love you because I have to..

I have been reading and listening to the book of James over and over again for the last two weeks..  It's a real in-your-face sort of book..  In a nutshell, it says "if you're going to call yourself a Christian, you need to start acting like it"..  
So yesterday I thought that I would lighten the mood a little and read 1 John..  It's an easy read all about love..  Just what I needed after pouring over James!  

I wasn't actually reading 1 John..  I was sort of  listening to it on my iPhone while I did the dishes..  But  something I heard jumped out at me..  I stopped what I was doing and listened to it again:  

"We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands.  Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did".  ~ 1 John 2:1-6

I heard that and my mind went back to James 2:10 ~ "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it".

Jesus gave us two rules to live by "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself."  Luke 10:27

We can say we love God..  Easily..  But if we do not love others, do we truly love the Lord?
I don't mean what a lot of us mean when we say we love others..  You know, what I'm talking about..  When we say "I love them with the love of the Lord" or "I love them because God loves them" when what we really mean is "I don't like that person at all, but I'm a Christian and God says to love everybody, so I'll just keep saying I love them because God does"..

John said whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did..  Jesus didn't pretend to love others..  He didn't tell people, "I really can't stand you, but my Father loves you so I have to"..  
He loved, and His actions proved it..
  He washed the feet of His disciples..  He got down on His knees, humbled himself before them and washed their feet..  Even the feet of the man he knew would betray Him..  If that's not love, I don't know what is..

He didn't just say that He loved others, He proved it..  Not just to the people who were close to Him, but everyone..  Lepers, cripples, and crazed, demon possesed guys wandering around a cemetery..  He even showed love for the Pharisees and the Sadducees..  The very people who tortured Him and nailed Him to a cross..  Even as they mocked Him, He asked His father to forgive them..  
After everything they had done to them, His actions proved that he loved them..

You know, I can say that I love someone..  I can say that I love everyone..  I can even say that I love people who I don't like very much..  But how often do my actions truly prove that?  
I don't know exactly how often, but I know this much..  
My answer isn't "all the time" and it should be..

How 'bout you?

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16 comments:

  1. Ohhh WOW!!!! This hit its mark with me today!!! What a great lesson today and a powerful reminder.... To just say I love them,is not living as Christ (ouch), I must love them as Christ truly does!!!!
    Thank you for sharing :))
    Stacey

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    1. Thanks so much.. I was a little unsure about this post this morning, now I feel better about it :)

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  2. ps.... I shared this post on my FB :)

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  3. Awesome Ren and so on point!! For the past year I've been meditating and keeping Luke 10:27 in the forefront! My husband has been teaching a series on LOVE and this has been the key scripture. We're not perfect, but God expects us to be perfect in our "love walk", as He is, because we have His Spirit living in us! Thanks for sharing my friend and thanks for linking up!!

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    1. Again...I JUST LOVE YOUR NEW LOOK!! :-D

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    2. Thanks for hosting it :) It always inspires me to blog!

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  4. Over the years there have people in my life who have hurt me. But I can't hate these people. Hate drains me. I don't know if it's love that keeps the hate away, but I just feel there is something in my heart that allows me to forgive without a grudge. Perhaps it is the power of Love (God's spirit) working on the inside of me. There's no other way to explain it.

    My first time here. Thanks for a wonderful post.

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    1. I'm so glad you liked it.. Thanks so much for commenting!

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  5. Hello! First of all I want to thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving such a nice comment! Second...you really made some good points to ponder in your post. I'm definately going to read James and 1 John today. I'm not just going to read them, I'm going to study them. Blessings!

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    1. I think I might read 1 John a couple more times myself :)

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  6. Amen. To quote a friend of mine, these are some of the verses I hang my hat on when it comes to trying to live my faith. Wonderful post. Love this.

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    1. I love that quote.. It's much better than mine "Oh! I need the write that on my hand!"

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  7. Ren, what a powerful post! Such convicting verses. Loving like Jesus is a struggle to say the least. Our pastor once challenged us to look at every person we ran into throughout the day and say to ourselves, "Jesus died for that person". It's hard to get frustrated in traffic or irritated for silly reasons when you force yourself to say those words in your mind! Thanks for the powerful reminder. And thanks for stopping by this week!

    I'll be co-hosting a blog hop tomorrow if you want to come join in on the fun! Have a great weekend, Ren!

    ~HEather

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    1. You have me a powerful reminder too. And thanks for the invite, I'll link up tomorrow!

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  8. This is one of those reads that makes you stop an examine yourself. Saying we love is so much easier than putting our love in action.

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Love your comments! Thanks so much!