How much do I love God? The truth is that the way I treat other people is a reflection of the measure I love the Lord. Ouch!!
Jesus gives us a commandment to love: John 15:12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you.
Some may declare they love God, but not their fellow men. God’s word cuts deep to the heart of the matter: 1 John 4:20 “If a man say, I love God, and hate his brother, he is a liar: for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God who he has not seen?”
God is love. His love in me should be spontaneous, pure, indiscriminate, find value in people of no importance and seek to love bringing no advantage to me from the recipient. The purity of God’s love in mankind eradicates selfishness and is always seeking to prefer others before themselves. (1 Corinthians 13)
Of ourselves we are incapable of reaching the mark, but our Lord Jesus made a way for us through Calvary. John 17 records the prayer of Jesus, not only for His disciples at that time but for all who would come to believe in Him in the future.
John 17:20-21 “Neither do I pray for these alone, but also for those who shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one, as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us, that the world may believe that you have sent me.
verse 26 And I have declared unto them your name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” This is every Believer’s birthright and will operate when I am one with my Father.
Many seek unity in the Body of Christ, trying to engage in a loving way to people unique in their own differences, beliefs, little peculiarities etc. and have in some measure failed. Only when I fulfill the prayer of Jesus and I am one with my loving Heavenly Father, will the love of God operate in me and produce that unity with one another that “Christ in me” is seeking. The greater includes the lesser: Oneness with God cannot help but produce unity with His people. In my own strength, trying to love others with their different ways can produce an inhibition, caution, even fear around certain people. But the purity of God’s love deals with all that. 1 John 4:17-18 “…..as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear…”
The indiscriminate, pure love of God eradicates all fear of what I may encounter in others, it is of no consequence. When I am one with Him, His love will operate in me, seeking to bless others without advantaging me. Love begets love. We love because He first loved us.
Time and time again Jesus spoke of being one with His Father….”I and my Father are one.” What did this “oneness” produce? Jesus always did the things that pleased the Father. He only spoke the words His Father gave Him. He came to this earth to fulfill the will of His Father, the plan of salvation to redeem the world. John 3:16 “For God SO loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Paul asked the question, 1 Corinthians 1:13 “Is Christ divided?” No, He is not! When I encounter division, it is because there is something divided in me, and I am not one with my Heavenly Father. When my heart starts to murmur against my circumstances, or I find I am becoming irritated with others, it is because I have left that place of oneness with my Heavenly Father and judged people or circumstances that have disturbed my selfish agendas! Heart purity is seeing God in all things and seeking His mind on matters. When my peace is disturbed I need to listen to what the Lord is saying, quickly repent and return to the position of oneness with Him. Christ in me, the hope of glory!
A disciple of Jesus is recognised by the selfless love he has to others. Jesus gave commandment for us to love one another as He has loved us. John 13:35 “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples if you have love one to another.”
As I learn to let Jesus be who He is in me, unity will come, as our Heavenly Father is bringing about that oneness in His people.