“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)
With everything going on in the world today, this verse has been so refreshing. I have learned what God’s love is (to the best of my human and finite ability) and have found so much peace in my life since giving Him control and allowing his truth to satiate my thoughts. God is Love. Through his plan of salvation I have discovered what it means to be forgiven for all the wrong I have done and will ever do. He sent his only son to pay the price for all of those things in my life as well as for everyone else in all of creation! What greater love could be than a sacrifice such as this?!
It is sometimes hard for me to comprehend that God loves even those who have hurt us in the same way he loves those who are much easier to love in our lives. The people who have caused immeasurable pain and sadness are equally loved in the same way as those who have brought forth victory and peace in this world.
This is the same love we are called to have. Like, for real?! In light of recent tragedies, this truth is even harder for me to swallow, but I know we are to step up to this challenge, because we are called to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”
Imagine with me, what the world would look like if everyone loved in this same way? That we could brush off all discrepancies and differences and simply just LOVE. That is what God is asking of us. Love everyone, no matter what their backgrounds, beliefs, or stories are.
We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
I do believe this starts with our thought life. Paul says this in Philippians chapter 4:
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
This week I experienced anxiety that was physically crippling. For the first time in my life (minus the one time I’ve passed out) I felt completely out of control of my body. I couldn’t breathe, my heart felt heavy, and my brain was completely blank.
None of this made sense to me, I’ve always been told that anxiety stems from something. I’ve looked back on my week and cannot pin-point anything. In fact, my week has been wonderful! God has been consistently reminding me of who I am in Christ. When God looks at me He sees the completed work of the cross. That’s the promise we are guaranteed when we put our faith, hope, and trust in Jesus Christ.
Then I realized, this is exactly what I need to hold on to. God promises us so much when we place our faith in Him. He is infinite and this makes his promises infinite! While we are still human, we will never be able to fully grasp all that God has for us and how much He loves and cares for us. Which is why it is so important that we spend time with Him daily. There is an INFINITE amount of information that we can learn about God. Which means we will never see that knowledge while we are here on earth, but God calls us to have our attention elsewhere.
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3:2)
Paul reminds us that we need to be fixed on the author and perfecter of our faith. When we allow our thoughts to dwell on His promises, our fears and anxieties will fade. The enemy will no longer have a hold on us. This isn’t something we should do only when we experience trouble, but every day! We need to consistently remind ourselves WHOSE we are and what He promises us. By doing so we will learn to love in a capacity that mimics that of Jesus.