Monday, February 25, 2019

Love Requires Action

Love is not something you can discover from the isolated seclusion of your study room with your nose buried in a book or behind a screen as a "keyboard warrior". Love requires a response, an action, for it to be valid
"If you love me, keep my commandments." -John 14:15
Many translations of the Bible render that verse as 
"If you love me, you WILL keep my commandments"-John 14:15 (emphasis mine)

The statement, "You will keep my commandments", does not entail that becoming a disciple of Christ will subject us to a power-hungry God who wishes to devoid us of free will as an act of worship, rather, if we truly love God, keeping His commandments will be a no brainer as the desire to watch and heed Him grows within our hearts. God grants according to our desires (Alma 29:4), but if we delight in the Lord, he will GIVE us the desires of our hearts. (Psalm 37:4) The will to obey God will flow freely through a loving relationship with Him.
And so the fruit of Love is action. You WIll do something for the person you love. Love needs to be expressed in order to be authentic. Saying "you love someone" doesn't hold any weight if we aren't holding space for that person in our life through our undivided attention and conscious awareness of them. Talk is cheap, you don't confess your love, you show it.
Simply stating our belief in God is not love. Love requires action to be valid. Action is what distinguishes mere belief from faith. Without faith, it is impossible to please God, and faith, without works, is dead. (Hew 11:6, James 2 ) Likewise, love without its appropriate response is a hollow shell. We can't fake Love, nor can we fabricate authentic discipleship to Christ. We embody His Love, we become Love, and that Love flows through us.
True love is unconditional, but it always manifests through actions. We may think God doesn't love us because we can't see His actions on our behalf, but just as a teenager may be resentful and despiteful towards their own parent's inability to raise them properly, that same child as an adult may be brought to tears as they grow to recognize on a deep and personal level through parenting their own children the struggles and sacrifices made by their own mom and dad for them. The deeper we enter into the Way of following Christ, the more and more we will come to comprehend the sacrifices made by God for us. We will see and recognize more and more His unwavering devotion to uphold and sustain us on a daily basis. The more we draw near unto God, the more we will see Him in everything, the more in awe we will be of his presence. We will be humbled again and again of his intimate awareness of each of us. The more we will want to love in return because we will know that He first loved us. (1st John 4)
So love requires a response, an action, for it to be real. It can't be discovered though secluding oneself in isolation. It requires we step into the light to engage with heaven and earth. We need to wrestle, to lay hold, to God and the goodness, truth, and beauty He desires to bestow unto us. The Divine calls us to awake and arise so that we can penetrate life with our presence and attention. From God's love we give, create, and hold space for others to do the same.
If you love someone, it will move you. If you love God, you WILL keep His commandments.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Secret Angels

Single people can still have a fun and fulfilling Valentine's Day instead of being bitterly single.
So I decided to dress like Cupid the angel for work today.
A patient of mine always tells me that great learning comes from kindness. I found that to be incredibly true in my life. So choose to be a messenger of Love for the people in your sphere of influence. Minister love to everyone in your life to become an angel on Earth.
Came across this today for the first time while driving to work, very fitting for the theme of my day:
What do you know of angels?
They are heavenly creatures sent by God with wings.
Not all have wings, according to the Bible, there are many different kinds of angels…cherubim, seraphim, warring angels, ministering angels, and then there are the other angels.
“The other angels, you ask?”
The earth angels are those who walk the earth in flesh and blood, His earth division…different but angels nonetheless. In the Hebrew Scriptures, the word for angel is malakh and in the New Testament, the word in Greek is Angelos. ‘Then spoke Haggai, the Lord’s malakh.’ And of the man known as John the Baptizer, the Messiah said, ‘This is He of whom it is written, “Behold I will send My angelos.” Haggai and John were both of flesh and blood, and yet they are both called angels-angels of God.
An angel is a ‘being’ sent by God, a messenger, an emissary on divine assignment, bringing God’s message. So who are the earth angels? Those who are born again and bear the message of heaven to those who dwell on earth. The message is “The Good News,” in Greek it is called the euangel, in English the evangel, as in evangelism. Within each of these words is another word. Yes, the word angel, it is no accident, for if you will bear the message of heaven to those of earth, your life will become angelic.
Today be someone’s angel and start fulfilling your angelic mission by spreading the good news of the Kingdom. Let us represent the Kingdom well…
-paraphased from Johnathan Cahn, "Book of Mysteries", Chapter: The Mystery of the Secret Angels