Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Profound Basics

Luke 10:27-28
“Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” 28…"this do and thou shall live.

Thinking that this is so basic and not thoroughly applying consideration to what this means has allowed me to cruise past this reality. If I love God with all that I am, that love is not unrequited. I actually am giving Him back what he gave me in the first place. If it is good, holy, and righteous it comes from God, so we know not love outside of, or apart from God. It seems my role then is in exercising my God given free-will choice to genuinely express that love extended back to the One who loved me first and to those around me. This action is singular in nature.

When we open ourselves to full unbridled love of the Lord, we find ourselves in a state of nakedness before the Lord. It seems that this state of exposure is the only place I have ever been able to understand the reality of His Love for me. In an unconditional state of surrender, where the totality of my sinfulness is apparent to myself and my God, I find myself loved. Maybe this is one reason why God hates pride…it never allows me to see the reality of self and of His love for me. His love is where I am, and it draws me in more powerfully the more clearly I see myself. At this point I feel love and find that I am in fact loveable. A basic truth of this is that I can not love others without first loving myself, which is not selfish, but simply a natural order of the flow of the Lord's love and its outpouring. He loved us first, and we were worthy in His eyes of the ultimate expression of love:unrequited, unrelenting, self-sacrificial love expressed through suffering the most debase of deaths imaginable.

In this is the magnetic force and relevance of a Christian walk; a walk that was defined by a person who loved when no one loved Him back, a walk that is to be characterized by people who intimately know what it is to be loved and to love in a manner that places others ahead of themselves. Our Christ, our role model, and the namesake of our walk, put my needs before His own. The night He was to sacrifice Himself for us and hours before we would deny we even knew Him, He knelt before us and cleaned our feet.

That changes people on the inside, not by forcing skin deep conformity of behavior, but by loving them regardless. So, what is the greatest heresy, e.g., the largest log in one's eye, to fail to love not knowing the reality of love, or to have known love, to have accepted love, and to proclaim I am one of the loved and yet fail to love. On this I am the greatest heretic, and I fail on every account…yet I am still loved. Wow!


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