My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you (John 15:12).

The children of God are loved unconditionally by The Father. Those who have received this love, are given the commandment of loving each other in the same way Christ has loved us.Too much has been said about love. The word too familiar, too common, stripped of its true meaning that it fails to capture the unconditional and unfathomable nature of God’s love.

God’s Love rejoices over the one. The one lost sheep reunited with the shepherd, the one lost coin found by the diligent seeker, the prodigal son returning to an awaiting Father (Luke15). His love is the warm kind that embraces, protects and shields His children and not the distant concern of a stern parent. Knowing that He will be rejected and murdered by His beloved children, He cries “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!(Luke 13:34)”  His love chases after the absolutely undeserving but absolutely needy children at great cost for Himself, yet His love never overpowers their free will, when they reject Him. All these images might make His love appear to be a vulnerable, painful, sorrowful experience.

But from what I have experienced of God’s love, I can only describe it as a great, wild, fierce and untamed force that lifts me from all anguish, fear, doubt and into a place of perfect confidence. Even before I knew Him, He loved me. He loved me as He was falsely charged for my sin. He loved me as He was humiliated for my shame. He loved me as he endured the whip, the thorns, the cross for my sake not knowing if I’ll ever believe I am loved by Him. Not knowing if I’ll ever accept His love and sacrifice if I was told of it. His love endured in the midst of uncertainty and persecution.

We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain…But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, (2 Cor 6).

Apostle Paul says that we have not received grace in vain. But to live out the calling in our lives knowing the value of the office we have been given as fellow workers. If we are the ambassadors of Christ, then we reflect the nature of Christ. Being a child of God immediately puts us at odds with the world and it’s evil.

By pureness, by knowledge, by long suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, (2 Corinthians 6:6).  It is because of the knowledge of His love that we can be patient in the face of adversity, persecution and rejection as we share the gospel. When we are treated unfairly we can respond with kindness because we are helped and counselled by the Spirit of God. Above all else we can love without hypocrisy because we drink from the endless fountain of AGAPE. Like everything else in this journey as a child of God, we simply have to trust Him to provide where we lack and yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit as He guides us. By ourselves it is not possible; but in Christ we can love unfeigned.

 

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