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“Walking Forward Together in Christ’s Love”, from L.Willows
We are called to love one another. I remember many teachings that reminded me that it was no special thing to love the ones in my life that were easy to love. The true measure and test of love was if I could love the ones that were most challenging for my heart. Could I love and include into my faith and prayer, the one that feels like “the enemy”, “the obstacle” , and even “the thorn” that I desire not to experience? ” How can my own heart be love walking forward in unity with all, in the heart of Christ Jesus?
I am praying with you today that we walk forward in the love of Christ. I pray for our hearts, that we are not only transformed by love but let forward into a time of deepened hope and unity. How can we get from here to there?
We need to Love One Another Earnestly and with Humility.
According to God’s law, our call is to love, to love more than we ever knew we could. There is no end for love, no moment when the Lord turns away from His Beloveds.
In the fellowship group that I was a part of, we often studied the teachings of Jesus that reminded each of us that love covers a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8 –“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.”
Initially as I soaked in these words, I thought that it was the sins of the “other” that needed God’s grace. I also thought that must work at loving others more. I thought that the strength of this kind of earnest love came from me. Effort to love caused our mortal means frameworks in the mind to be our perspectives. We get lost. The way to love earnestly is to lift our hearts to the Godly perspective. We need His Holiness to pour into our hearts. Loving one another earnestly is loving from a Godly perspective.
Loving One Another Earnestly is Loving from a Godly Perspective
After time, and prayer, I realized that God’s Holy Love had to pour through my heart first before I would be able to “give it” gracefully and generously to someone else. The sins that His love covers needed to wash me first. I needed to be a recipient of purification and forgiveness so that I was more able to love others more. This ability to love could not come from my own effort or works. It was given by the power of God’s grace. He is the transformer of our hearts. We respond with actions that display the fruit of that transformation. I Pray that we each live in ways that bear the fruit of actions that display Christ’s love in our hearts.
When love “covers” a multitude of sin, it means that we become covered by Love. To be covered means to conceal, to be blanketed by- here we allowing God’s love to conceal all trace of an offense. It is the generous grace. We “keep loving one another earnestly”…honestly and with hope that as Christ covers our own sin with His Love and calls us into repentance, we in turn lovingly cover the sins of others.–– I Pray with you, that we live each day longing that Christ inspire our hearts to forgive as we have been forgiven.
We Love One Another and Forgive as We have been Forgiven by God.
John 13:34-35 —A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
After a season of living in isolation from COVID, I was anticipating summer. I longed for reunions with friends and the opening of church doors. Yet by early June, it was clear that this was not the way it was going to be in the region that I live in. This has been a new season of protest, of calling out injustice and of unrest. There are no in-person fellowship gatherings and the church doors are still closed.
We hear calls for justice in our times. We gather and listen in new ways.
Crowds have poured onto the streets in protest of injustice. I have witnessed a motion towards change that is historic. We are caused to review our hearts, revisit perspective and even search the stories that we carry from the past before walking into the future. We learn to listen attentively to others with humility. As it says in 1 John 3:23, “God abides in us and his love is perfected in us”. When God’s love is perfected in us, we see our own lack of perfection. As we listen to the Heart of God, we are called to repentance and led into purification by His Holiness.
As we listen to the Heart of God, we are drawn into a deep Listening. Our hearts are Humbled.
We are imperfect beings with hearts that are being transformed into God’s nature which is a love that shines with His Glory upon all. We have all been stirred by the isolation of the Pandemic. We need to listen to the lament of the suffering and broken-hearted of the world. The love of Christ is one that is humble and it is one that listens. It is anointed with His Spirit. — I Pray with you, that we each submit to the spirit of humility and are anointed by the Spirit of the Lord.
Luke 4:18 –The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.
Throughout all, I am certain that God’s plan is for good. I look back and forwards trying to imagine that I am a bird in the sky that can fly in time through many years. God’s Plan is for Good, His Love pours into our lives for Good. We can take refuge in that.
God’s plan for good. It a plan for His Grace; a plan that all come to know His Love, to enter His Kingdom and accept the invitation to know Him. God’s Good is all that is aligned with His purpose. His good is the fulfillment of His will. As His will is fulfilled, Love pours abundantly for good. We can take refuge in that. — I Pray with you, that we soak our hearts in our faithful refuge in God’s Good, that we seek His will and long for His purpose each day.
1 John 4:11-13 –Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.
I am learning each day, new ways that I need to continue to learn to love others and that God’s love abides in my own heart. This walk with the Lord is one that is ongoing and constantly being “perfected” in me. It is the journey of sanctification. Even as life offers strong challenges- we are given new tests and the ability to “see” parts of our own hearts that need deeper exploration. God’s Spirit, the Holy Presence is there to guide us and give our hearts deeper strength, faith and promptings so that we can walk according to God’s purpose and make our paths straight.
We are flawed, imperfect being molded and refined by the Refiner’s fire. We still have much to learn and we are humbled. Our hearts, as 1 John 4:11 says, “ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us.” —– I Pray with you, that we find our treasure in the inexpressible values of Life with, near and for Jesus Christ- seeing Eternity and His Love as Near and dearly in our Heart’s Grasp.
We join together walking forward in love because of the riches of Christ’s love for us.
I pray with you, that we join in a fellowship of love for one another, able to listen and able to renew heart perspective in the unity of God’s Spirit.
I pray that we see Jesus in our midst, leading us forward as our Great Shepherd whose compassion sees each heart and hears every cry for mercy and justice.
May the Lord lead the way to healing and restoration.
I pray for the children of God, that they know themselves named “Beloveds” and hear His call.
May their hearts be filled with His love and His peace.
May we all, the Children of God, walk forward together in Christ.
© 2020 Linda Willows