In my last post, Face of Love, I encouraged readers to assure that their working definition of love lines up with the Word of God. Real love doesn’t mimic our world’s shifting, shallow standard but ought instead to be a walking, talking reflection of God’s character working out in our day- to- day lives and relationships. Let’s continue following this important trail of bread crumbs.
When we get this ” love thing” sorted out, our true purpose is honed and magnified so clearly. Irrespective of the various spiritual gifts we may have, we are all, everyone of us, called to love one another.( John 15:12) I like to picture this not as an intellectual abstract exercise but spiritually breathing in Christ’s love that I received
from Him. Holding that breath for a moment before I exhale, to share it with everyone I encounter. That’s exactly what Jesus did as he appeared to his disciples in John 20:22. He follows this deep, precious exhalation by telling them to receive the Holy Spirit. Don’t lose track of the bread crumbs here, folks. This is primal and deep. God is love. Jesus is God. Jesus had to leave so that the Holy Spirit could come to us. God is Love. Jesus is Love, the Holy Spirit is Love. Now you, not the Holy of Holies, are His preferred dwelling place.
He lives in you and empowers you! Breathe that in and hold it for a little minute as you ponder this mysterious miracle… It’s amazing! It is in this power of His joyous love that we not only find ourselves redeemed; but it mends what is broken as it flows over us. It breaks chains and changes lives and the raw power of this priceless commodity surges into those of us that carry His rarified air.
Please never think that I have a perfect life or live in an ivory tower way up here in the thin air of the San Juan mountains, immune from ordinary problems and have everything figured out. I assure you that I don’t. Problems and heartache are part and parcel of living. If you haven’t encountered any yet, I assure you that sooner or later one or two or a bushel-full will find you. Life is there for the unsaved and saved alike. Chaos or Peace, deep darkness or light, Evil or Good. Life with Christ at our helm requires of us a temporary earthly journey whereby we pass out invitations to His love as we are slugging thru it all: learning, experiencing and building all those relationships along with our growing partnership with our Lord . It isn’t always beautiful, smooth, successful or easy. We won’t always get it right and it rarely looks as we thought it would. The closer we walk with Jesus, the sooner we see that transformation as we begin to look more and more like Him. As we seek His face we are well positioned to receive more and more of His Holy Spirit breath that we can deeply inhale and soak up, feed the body for a short time before we breathe it out once more while walking thru this world.
When you were in grade school did you ever make a salt map or build the Alamo out of little sugar cubes? These were often elaborate representations created with painstaking detail at the kitchen table to accompany an equally painful oral report! However, It only took one misstep to drop it on the floor to shatter in sudden ruin or a poorly timed rain shower to melt your masterpiece into a sticky, gritty disaster.
Our hearts are just like that sweet stackable, sugar cube Taj Mahal you made all those years ago. Delicate hearts can be wrecked with a thoughtless criticism, a harsh threat made in frustration, simple sarcasm or a cruel comparison. Words are the most obvious way which we impact and interact with others in life. Words can hurt the heart, bludgeon and bruise our tender spirit and in the downpour of a thoughtless moment everything you have worked hard to build up can dissolve into an unrecognizable mess. This is true in our marriages, as we rear our children (no matter their ages), friendships and work relationships. The book of James spends a lot of time emphasizing that our tongues are powerful tools capable of great edification as well as great damage and desperately need the loving control of the Holy Spirit.
Especially at this End times ramping up of demonic activity and prophetic fulfillment it is absolutely vital for us to fully try to comprehend the parameters of His Love. I believe that time is growing really short! Selfless, unconditional love is our primary objective in Christianity and ought to be our guiding principle. John 1 opens telling us that in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. Our spoken words need to start looking like, or being reflective of The Word. 1 John 4:8 shows us that God is Love. Incredibly, and for reasons I cannot fathom, He loves us! He left us with the Holy Spirit so that we can continue shedding His love light- attracting others to Him until His soon return.
Grasping this idea, then, let us take it to the next step: If our children, co-workers, friends and spouses can’t sense and see this God- breathed love as something startlingly and obviously different than what they see elsewhere in our wicked old world, then we have somewhere stumbled off that Psalms 119:105 path. We must repent, correct our course and immediately follow up with that Holy Spirit lighter fluid of love on the waiting embers of our sputtering spiritual bonfire.