December 29, 2008

Love and Love: the Two Most Important Things

I have begun this blog because God put in on my heart to put out there things of a spiritual nature that He puts through my head from time to time. This first one He put on my heart about two months ago. Jesus said in Matthew:

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."

Jesus is not just talking about Christians going through the narrow gate versus non-Christians through the wide gate; those who pass through the wide gate are both Christians and non-Christians. The Christians who pass through the wide gate have asked for and received eternal life, but have not stayed true to God. They have wandered into worldly things and indulged or they have hidden themselves from the world with walls of legalism, intolerance, and judgment and called it "Christianity." The first kind of Christian may affiliate themselves with the Church and with God, but give no real effort or thought to loving God and being loved by him. The second group may claim that they love God, but see themselves as more righteous and holy than the rest of His creations who have not found Him (this, of course, is an incorrect assumption). They shut themselves away (to stay away from outside influence) and never shine the light of Jesus's love amongst the world.

The few who pass through the narrow gate are those who are living examples of the two greatest commandments: love God, love one another. Loving God means devoting time to him every day, reading His Word and praying and talking to Him. At first glance, this can seem like a routine and a chore. But think about this: God is all-powerful, and He loves us infinitely. He is huge and scary and created us, and He loves us to no end and wants us to let Him guide our lives. Even if you don't believe in God, think about it: wouldn't you want someone who's all powerful, all knowing and in complete and total love with you guiding your life? Wouldn't someone like that give you the best of all possible lives, if you would only open yourself to His love and His plan?

Loving one another is the second commandment and it naturally follows the first. Every one of us was hand-made by God to be exactly who we are; every one of us has done something as an act of rebellion against God. We are all on the same footing. If you're the smartest person on Earth and make a million bucks for each thought you have, you are no better than someone who never even learned to speak because God design both of you that way for a reason. That is what gives us worth: the fact that God made each one of us individually and with purpose. Those who have chosen to love God still do not see themselves as better than those who have not chosen to love God, because that would be counter-productive to what God wants. God loves all of us, every last saint and scumbag. Those who love God want others to love God to.

How would one go about doing that? Well, there's a guy who hung out around this part of the universe for about thirty-three years to example that for us (I'm talking about Jesus, by the way). Jesus came and hung out with the sinners. He didn't adopt their lifestyles, but witnessed to them with his own lifestyle and with his words and actions.
He loved them with perfect, unconditional love. That is what one must do to "love one another." If you try to love others unconditionally with your own human love, it won't go over very well (you're not perfect; neither am I, and thus our heart are incapable of perfect love). If you get to know Him, God is going to fill your heart to overflowing with His love. You'll feel the unshakable force inside you and find that, if you rely on it, you can befriend anyone. They might not like you right away (or ever), but they will see that unstoppable love in you and start to wonder.

I thought it would be appropriate to start this blog off with these truths that God put on my heart recently. I will say now that I'm a very flawed human being. I have various things in my past that I'm not proud of, and I have no doubt that I will fall short of my goals for myself in the future . The things I write here are God's words; I cannot claim them. That would be spiritual plagiarism. I just open myself to His love and his Word because there is nothing else for me to do. His love leads to fulfillment, purpose, and security. All other paths lead to pain and loneliness. We all wander down that path at multiple times in our life, and maybe you have been there for your entire life.

But God is awesome. He loves infinitely and will never stop. It's the most simple and most complicated thing, to just let Him love you and to love Him back. He wants to forgive your sins. He wants to be the deepest love you will ever know. He wants YOU. As tattered, worn, broken, dirty, and as dysfunctional as you are. As I am. We have to rely on Him lest our hearts be shattered to pieces by this imperfect world.