Friday, May 22, 2015

Designed to love and be loved

We are designed both to love and be loved:

We are designed TO love. To love is a key part of what it means to be in Gods image. It is a central part of our make up; who we are, the way we were made. 

But we were not designed to love independent of the source of life and love. We can only love as God designed us to, which is to be fully loved first. 

Nevertheless when we are in Christ and truly believe we are loved, we do not need to think about loving others, we will love others (...IF you abide in me you WILL bear much fruit...). Loving others is what we will do if and when we are fully connected with the Creator. It is not something we have to force, it is simply who we are when we are plugged in. 

If we find unloving attitudes within us the solution isn't to grit our teeth and will ourselves to love others more, it is to believe and receive his love and let it transform us and make us lovely/loving.

Do we play no part in this process? Are we simply passive? No we are fully engaged in receiving God's love. We receive God's love by faith-which is our "work." This is harder than you might think. 

Faith is a posture of humility. We don't like being humble, we prefer to be our own god, to be our own source, to think we can be all we need to be on our own, when we cannot and were never intended to.

Christ said without him we can do nothing.

"...I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing..." - Jesus - Joh 15:5

When we are loved, we act differently (love others). When we see ourselves differently, as beloved children and not worthless condemned sinners, we act differently, lovely. When we know at the core of our being we are fully loved it shifts our self perception so significantly that we treat others differently. We see ourselves as significant/valuable and we therefore in turn treat others as significant/valuable. This change of behavior is not forced, but the fruit of our seeing ourselves as God's beloved children.

It is only when we do not receive and experience God's love that we focus elsewhere, on self-love to fill the void. In a word we are selfish.

We are also designed to be loved by God. When God's love is not in us and filling us, we are empty. When this void is filled with his love it frees us from the need to self-love and enables us to do what we were designed to do which is to love others. 

This is why we find great joy in loving others. It is who we were designed to be.

When we have great love for others we cannot take credit because 

1. God made us this way 
2. It can only happen when we are fully loved ourselves 
3. This kind of love only comes from God who is love.

We are naturally designed to love. But we only do so when we are loved. Nevertheless when we are loved, we do not have to think about how to love others, it simply happens when we act in faith believing we are loved because this is the way we were designed. This is part of what it means to be made in Gods image.

When this occurs we cannot take credit for being this way because it can only happen when we are fully loved ourselves and this kind of love only comes from God who is love.


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Grace to you
Jim Deal