Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Loving a world that hates us.

   I belong to a group called, Practical Discipleship. I enjoy the questions we are asked in that group. Yesterday this question was posted, 
"What are your thoughts on John 15:18-16:6? How do we respond to the world that hates us?
I have never posted my answers here on my blog, but this time I just felt like I should. So here goes.

   Love them. It starts with obeying the only Law we have~ our Royal Law, but doing so wars against our flesh. Galatians 5:16 tells us that if we walk in the Spirit we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. So, if we want to truly love these people, not be judging them and responding to them in a worldly fashion, we are going to have to draw on the Holy Spirit in us.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  
Matthew 22:37-39

Let’s do this step by step.
   First step, we are to love God. So what do we do to love God? We must experience His love.

We love Him because He first loved us. 
1 John 4:19

The only way we are going to be able to say, mean, and live out statements like King David did when he said,

The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to to anger and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works. 
Psalm 145:8-9

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me;Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. 
Psalm 23


I will love You, O Lord, my strength. 
Psalm 18:1
. when we spend time with Him, time in prayer, time in His word, and time worshipping Him when we are not in church~ alone. Like David it would be best to do it first thing everyday, and everyday. We must ABIDE in Him to know Him, and forgive the trite saying here but it is true; to know Him is to love Him.

   Secondly, since we are to love others as ourself, let’s take a quick look at loving ourself. My recommendation is to get your Bible out and look up every time the phrases, “in Him” and “in Christ” appear, then look at what that statement says about you, God’s child. Next, you need to fully embrace the complete work of the cross. Jesus did not cover your sin to have you thinking about it and sniveling about how wretched you are. (Please refer to those verses regarding being "in Him and "in Christ". Jesus took your sin away and you are a new creature, you are the apple of His eye!!! and the whole reason He sent His Son Jesus. God loves you, and if you have received His Son Jesus Christ, you are in God’s family. You are God’s child and His Righteousness!

For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. 
Romans 6:14

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 
2 Corinthians 5:21

Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,... 
1 Timothy 1:5a 

We must keep our conscience good, letting go of all sin conscience.

   We can not give away what we do not have. We have to develop the love of God that was shed in our hearts. Years ago, Amy grant recorded a song called, “My Father’s Eyes”. This song talks about wanting eyes, spiritual eyes, that see others as God does. Let me say this out loud, if you are going to have the overflow of God’s love coming out of you, you are going to have to walk by the Spirit, in the Spirit, and stay in the Word and spend time with God.

   Back up a few verses from the text given in the original question. In John 15:12 Jesus kicks up the loving others thing a notch. He says this right before he lets us know how hated we will be by the world. 

This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 
John 15:12 

If we are going to love like Jesus did, we are going to have to have an intimate, love relationship with Him. Period. That only comes from a person that has a yielded heart toward God, that spends time with God, and allows the Holy Spirit to flow in, through him, and out of him.

So, the answer; Love them, and love them like Jesus did.

My Father's Eye's by Amy Grant

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

Preach it, girlfriend! It's not easy to love others, sometimes - especially the ones that make it very challenging. But with God's help we can do it. All we have to do is remember how much He loves us when we often are hard to love, too. He is our teacher.

Love you, my friend!