If we allow ourselves to believe that we can be and are loved merely for existing it changes things. It is an idea that is difficult to get our minds wrapped around. We have no perfect, current day models of such truth and we’ve been so convinced that who and what we are effects our ability to receive love that anything to the contrary doesn’t even compute. But what if it’s true? What if God is love and His love is perfect and the model of love comes in the form of Jesus? What then?
I believe it changes things. In my life’s story I’ve come to realized that Jesus is truly the only perfect model of love and so when he says that He is the way, truth and life, I’ve taken Him for His word and have sought to live by His teachings and pursue a way of life through His model and truth.
Religion has done a funny thing to Jesus. Not funny in the humoristic sense, but in the twisted sense. Religion has defined God and pursuit of Him through the human perspective. It puts on human translation to divine revelation. So the beauty of love becomes something other than beautiful and Jesus becomes a religious figure head instead of the perfect example of Love.
One such twisted teaching formed my life. It came out of a teaching of Jesus in John 15. Jesus says “if you love me you will obey what I command.” This quote was often used as a weapon. You have got to obey Jesus, cause if you don’t then you’re someone who Jesus isn’t going to love! WHAT? How does one read that from this passage? As a result we become a moral people who believe our behavioral choices add or subtract from our love quotient.
Jesus said, “if you love me, you will obey what I command.” Take the phrase apart and it will read a little like this, The result of you loving me, is obeying what I command. Think about that for a moment. There is so much truth to that. When love is coming from a source that you trust is good, when you love that person, you’ll trust that they have your best in mind, and then, therefore, will follow after their lead. The lover always initiates and the loved, responds.
Jesus loves, we love him back. Our obedience is a response to love not an attempt to gain love. Jesus modeled love that was unconditional. He is a lover inviting us to love him back. He is a lover who is pure and entirely good. Therefore, we can respond to the Lover with our whole lives.
The order counts. Jesus initiates, we respond. Jesus gives, we receive. Jesus loves, we love back. Even as I type I realize how difficult it is for me to communicate as clearly as I’d like.
What have you added to the process? What stands in the way of receiving the love Jesus has to offer? What stands in the way of believing that you’re loved simply for existing? In what order have you viewed love and obedience? What is being stirred in you as you read this?
Tell your thoughts below so we can learn from one another.