On the worst day of your life, faced with betrayal, abandonment, a “rigged” trial and certain death, can you imagine praying for God to fill you and your lukewarm “friends” with love? That’s exactly what Jesus did as he prepared Himself through prayer for trial and ultimate crucifixion.
What kind of love is this? Certainly it was not the “willy-nilly” on today off today stuff we observe on television, read about in novels and dream about as young people. This love stretches beyond the erotic or even brotherly love. What Jesus was praying for and exhibiting was “tough love.” Jesus was praying for his disciples and those who would accept Him through their testimony. His prayer… “I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” Jesus wanted “God’s love” to be in us…a love that is
-TransformingJesus told the disciples earlier that the world would know that they are His followers because of their love (John 13:35). What kind of love is this? This “God love” is a love that looks at life, people, situations and circumstances through eternal eyes…a love that looks beyond the hurt, pain and disappointments of the present moment to a place and time when “the more excellent way,” prevails.
This love, through the power of Christ in us, through the precious Holy Spirit changes our perspective, changes our outlook, changes our reactions from brute retaliation to prayerful, measured, strategic responses. It’s not easy to turn the other cheek. It’s not easy to show unconditional love to those who have hurt and rejected you. It’s tough because this kind of love requires you to look beyond a person’s faults and see their needs. It’s tough because this kind of love causes you to go into deep introspection and earnest prayer. It’s tough because this kind of love causes you to have to sacrifice your right to tell the person off, to get in the next best lick, to fight with all your human power and strength. It’s tough because it says release the person to God and truly ask the Lord to have mercy upon them.
God love is tough. God love is difficult. I believe that this love is so difficult because we inherently desire justice for the misdeeds of others but mercy for ourselves. We desire justice because we are made in the image of God and God is a just God, but we desire mercy for ourselves because justice requires a heavy price. As we embrace this kind of love, we are reminded of how far we fall short, yet a loving God took us in, forgave us and made us joint heirs with his son Jesus.
When we begin to understand Jesus’ prayer, that God’s love would be in us, we will develop a respect for the power of this love. We will begin to see that love is stronger than hate. We will begin to see how the decision to love will always, ultimately cause us to triumph over the devices of division. Yes, “God love” is tough, but it is powerful and potent. May Jesus’ prayer, that “God love” would be in us, be answered with a resounding “Yes!!!” in our hearts today.
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Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,