Friday, August 5, 2016

Jesus brought the Good News God loves You by Lavera Wade

In John 14:34 Jesus said I give you a new commandment, that you
love one another.  Just as I have loved you, you should love one another.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

Henri J.M. Nouwen writes in his book titled "In the name of Jesus":

The heart of God is a heart that forgives, that cares, that reaches out and wants to heal.
In that heart there is no suspicion, no vindictiveness, no resentment, and not a twinge of hatred.

It is a heart that wants only to give love and receive love in response.

It may sound simple or even trite but very few people know that they are loved by God without conditions or limits.

This unconditional and unlimited Love is what the Evangelist John call’s Gods first love.
In 1st John 4:19 he says "Let us love, because God loved us first."

The love that leaves us doubtful, frustrated, angry, and resentful is the second love.

That is to say the affirmation, affection, sympathy, encouragement and support we receive from our parents, teachers, spouses and friends. We all know is often limited, broken and very fragile love. Behind the many expressions of this second love. There is always the chance of rejection, with drawl, punishment, blackmail, violence and even hatred.

There are few if any friendships, marriages, or communities where the strains and stress of this second love are not keenly felt.

Jesus says,  "Do you love me?  Love one another as God loves you."

As we grow closer to God, and feel the joy and peace that comes from his unconditional love we cannot help but want to love others as God loves us with compassion and forgiveness.

Psalm 103:12 tells us:

As far as the East is from the West so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
We all fall short of the Glory of God. We are forgiven.

But with the gift of salvation comes the obligation to forgive others.  Forgiveness is much more costly than simply saying the words, “I forgive you."  Forgiveness means letting go of the right to hold a person’s wrongs against them.

Instead you absorb the debt the offender owes you.

We can give up the right to demand retribution because we are whole in Christ.

Forgiveness doesn’t diminish us, to forgive someone does not make them or their actions right.  It is out of his grace that we can offer grace to those who hurt us.

As Jesus’ followers we show our gratitude for his forgiveness toward us when we model his actions.  

Often forgiveness looks more like a process then and event.  It is OK if forgiving someone takes a long time.

Prayer will help, asking sincerely for God to bless those you want to forgive, will keep your heart soft and free from bitterness.In time these prayers will bring you the peace you seek in forgiving their trespasses against you and those you love.

Some of us at one time or another have felt we could not forgive.

Again prayer for the willingness will bring us the courage to give our hurt and anger to God.
There is no injustice that is harder or easier to forgive.

Some would seem almost impossible but with Gods help even the impossible can be done.