Posted by: zephaniah317 | July 10, 2007

It’s All About…

heart.gifLove. 

Love God.  Love people.  That’s all there is to life, really.  It’s pretty simple.  Really.

Love God.  What’s not to love?  Creator of the Universe, caring Father, loving friend, happiest being in the universe, powerful King, perfect, holy, everlasting, always with me, keeps His promises – including the one where He promises to never leave or reject me – guides, leads, disciplines in love.  What’s not to love?  Here’s a strong belief of mine (I’m open to comments):  Anyone who “rebels” against God doesn’t really know God, or doesn’t have Him in the proper position in their life.  He’s so awesome!  Being in relationship with him is the best deal going!  And that means loving Him for who He is, not what He does for us – which admittedly I’ve listed a couple of “do-for-me’s” above, but anyway.  Think about it.

Love people.  OK, this is the harder one (notice I didn’t say “hard one” – it’s still pretty simple).  I’ve grown up thinking that this means “doing things for people so they’ll like me.”  (ugh)  Loving someone doesn’t always mean making them happy, either.  But if you think about it, loving someone for who they are as a child of God (whether they’re a believer or not) is actually easier than loving them for what they do or don’t do for you.  I believe it means that when you try to describe why you love someone (and especially why you’re in love with someone – that’s another topic), you can’t really pull up a list, or don’t want to, because you just love that person.  They’re just __________ (insert name).  I also firmly believe there is a heart that beats in every person that longs for love and longs for God, because He is love.  That is the essence of every person, and that’s what we’re called to love and encourage to thrive and point towards the Creator.  Yeah, it’s harder, especially depending on the person.  But not impossible.  God’s a big boy, He can handle it.  🙂

LivingPalm‘s hubby (B, as we’ve come to know him in cyberspace) gave a great sermon a few months ago on this subject.  Anyone who has grown up in church has heard sermons about the “vertical” relationship with God versus the “horizontal” relationship with people.  B hit the point (on the head) that there is no separation between the two.  It’s all together (imagine a 6’8″ guy moving his hands around in the air, much like the Karate Kid did while doing the “wax on, wax off” part of his training while saying “it’s like this”; that’s what I mean).  There is no separation.  “Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me – you did it to me.”  – Matt. 25:37, (The Message)

And the best part is, when you’re loving God and loving people, the rest of the ten commandments are the FRUIT of those acts and those relationships.  Love flows from inside of us out to others.  How can we sin if we’re being selfless?  How can we kill, steal, commit adultery, covet, dishonor parents, lie, put anyone or anything ahead of God, misuse His holy name, any of that, if we’re loving God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength, and love our neighbor as ourselves (Matt. 22:36-40)?  No wonder Jesus said these were the two greatest commandments, and that everything else hung on these things!!

Segue to a Post Script to “It’s Not Whether You Win or Lose…”, my post from the weekend:

I played in my golf league tonight.  Shot a 46 (12 over par – it’s a par 34 front nine).  Know why?  Because I focused more on loving the guys I was playing with and having a good time the way Christ would, rather than trying to beat them.  (WHAT?!?!?!  Jesus would play golf with us on Tuesday nights??!???!  Uh, if He’d go to a tax collector’s house…duh…! )

And it hit me (I use that a lot lately, don’t I?  Probably a good thing):  In sports, it may look like it’s violent sometimes, and in some cases the athletes are actually more concerned about winning than enjoying their God-given talents and using them to their utmost.  But, I think somewhere along the line, I’ve adopted the belief that there’s some kind of hate or bitterness in competition.  And I really don’t think it’s true, now, anyway.  I think emotions run high sometimes and folks lose control, but it’s the exception, not the norm.  And tonight, that wrong belief in me took a big blow.  (thanks, Dad)  And I realized through a little application in my life something that’s been growing in me for a few weeks now:  Loving people “fixes” you, whatever’s ailing your soul/heart/however you want to phrase it.  It really does.

I could go into a soapbox moment on how the church overall has focused way to much on our SIN rather than on God’s LOVE, but I’m going to keep this post positive:

God is the best deal going out there, and He loves us right where we’re at.  Unconditionally, sin or no sin.  Just because I’m me.  Just because you’re you.  No other reason.  That’s love.  That’s God.

Love God.  Love people.  Pretty simple.

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Responses

  1. Good thoughts…I can’t tell you how many people who’ve told me about experiences when they were at their lowest, and then God put them in a place to minister to others. They fought against it, thinking they were in a place where they had nothing to offer, but in the end, found healing in their reaching out. You’re right. Loving people does fix you. That’s a good thought…when you’re feeling down, go find someone to love on. What’s to lose?!

  2. “Loving people ‘fixes’ you.” That was one of my favorite bits from this post. When we are focused on God and others, we really can’t go wrong…He promises to take care of us. Thanks for some great posts…I’ve been getting caught up since being away.

  3. Thanks, ladies. I know I’m not out in left field in the first place, but it’s always good to get encouragement on my posts.

  4. […] by love, I don’t mean doing everything to make the person happy.  I think I put that in my original post.  That’s not what they need, necessarily.  Love is tough.  Love is not careful, like […]


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