God is Love

In the current phase of my discipleship I am seeing a recurring theme. The message I am hearing is that the overarching theme of the bible is as much about incarnation as is about atonement. "God is love" (1 John 4:8) indicates that love is not merely an attribute of God but love is God’s very nature. So God sent the Christ not so much as a sacrifice but as an example of how we should live.

Matthew 22:37–40 and Mark 12:30–34 says: “37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Eighty seven times in four Gospels Jesus says “Follow me.” Not “Believe this” or “Believe that.” So, being a disciple is easy peasy. Forget all that other stuff. Just follow Jesus’ lead; love God and all His people and all His creation.

You can’t learn to love people without being around actual

people – including people who infuriate, exasperate, annoy,

offend, frustrate, encroach upon, resist, reject, and hurt you

thus tempting you not to love them.

You can’t learn the patience that love requires without

experiencing delay and disappointment.

You can’t learn the kindness that love requires without rendering

yourself vulnerable to unkindness.

You can’t learn the generosity that love requires outside the

presence of heartbreaking and unquenchable need.

You can’t learn the peaceableness that love requires without being

enmeshed in seemingly unresolved conflict.

You can’t learn the humility that love requires without moments

of acute humiliation.

You can’t learn the determination love requires without

opposition and frustration.

You can’t learn the endurance that love requires without

experiencing unrelenting seduction to give up.1

The way of love, then, is the way of annoyance, frustration, disappointment, unkindness, need, conflict, humiliation, opposition, and exhaustion. No one would choose it if love weren’t, in the end, its own reward. This way, this way of love and suffering, this way of Christ is unavoidably the way of the cross.2

Father God, teach me to love. Amen.

Mark Autterson

1. M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled(New York: Touchstone, 1978), p.15.

2. Brian D. McLaren, The Great Spiritual Migration (New York: Convergent Books, 2016), p. 185

Please join us in praying the Daily Texts : Proverbs 12:18 and James 3:4-5

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