May 22, 2009
So I took notes from another podcast (from The God Journey: "Sharing in the Father's Affection" ... at Lifestream.org) and then added some thoughts of my own. I'd like to share them here!
We have a Father who loves us more than we could know... and if we could sort that out it would totally change out we treat each other.... Some say we should figure out how Jesus loved individual people and then treat people like that - but what is needed is not actors and actresses but transformed people who live loving! How is Jesus loving me? Figure that out [ Accept it, live in His love! ] and then you can love others. "A new command I give you, that you love one another." Paradigm shift from the old command to love the Lord your God and to love your neighbor as yourself: not really a command - but a reality that starts with His love for me: I love others the way He loves me.
John 15:15 "I no longer call you slaves..." -- reflects back to the old covenant. Master to slaves, King to subjects. Jesus resoled our sin and shame on the cross - now we are friends of Jesus, sons and daughters of God - and brothers and sisters with each other. Friendship: "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend" (even if they don't give back!). Not the mutual accomodation of self-need, self-benefit... but the love of the Father. His love is all about you: other-focused. Jesus did not have our self-focused nature - and so His love transforms the ones who are loved. If you're loving to not feel guilty [ or to not be rejected or punished or whatever] - it's still about you, not about the one you are supposedly loving - that's still slave love.
When you are other-focused, you aren't afraid of what others think, or afraid of anything else: 1 John 4: 16, 18 "Perfect love casts out fear" ... when I get a sense of Father's affection for me and I start to live that alongside other people, that transforms me. All my joys and all my pains are somehow in God, and He always cares for me - I don't have to look out for myself because my Father does that for me every day. [ Now I am freed from myself - and can other-focus, living love to them, alongside/with Father]
Romans 8:15 ... old covenant: based on fear: performance-based relationship - it couldn't transform you. But now you have the spirit of sonship! Free affection - transforming - so we learn to love as He loves. How a baby looks at it's mommy or daddy: That's how Father wants you looking at Him: mama! dada! ... delight! [ I have been spending so much time with my grandson and his mommy and daddy lately - and oh! I see that love and joy between them!]
Living God's love is not an intellectual conclusion - but a life lived: experiential. Worship is good: but what Father wants most from us is affection for Him: the delight of children. We need to be like infants totally dependant [ trusting, loving, adoring ] upon our parent [ believing He is perfect, that His love doesn't fail, that He'll always love us unconditionally, that He is totally all-wise, unfailing, keeps His promises, is unlimited - which of course He is, always... unlike us human parents....]
Don't live in the orbit of your own self-preference. If anything, it's our brokenness that makes us most endearing to our Father. God saw you at your most brokenness, sinfulness, rebelliousness - and He loved you with pure Father love ... let that Father love transform you. In the new covenant Jesus changed the way God and humans relate. God never loved you for a reason - He just loves you with great affection [ because He is love!] . Get to know your neighbours, not to convert them, but in the course of a real relationship because God loves them - and you love them too because He loves you and you've been transformed by His love. Talk to people, but just see where God takes it. You don't have to purposely "bring up the spiritual"... often they will, themselves, or the direction the conversation takes will naturally lead to it... and if it doesn't come up, leave it with Father.
Until you know Father's love for you, you'll have no idea how to love others - your relationship with Him must be first! Your little baby hand in His big Father hand.
Father, make this real in my life today - win me with Your affection and transform me with Your love!