I often wonder by what capacity and motive do people express their love towards God and others. I have witnessed some people press hard with their minds, and lack heart. I have witnessed other people who love at the surface level. Yet I have witnessed an incredible love, that can only be expressed through of the transforming work of God within the life of that person.
Within my lifetime, I have faced two hard things to do: to love God and to love others to the extent by which it is declared in God's Word, the Bible. It is difficult to love God, because His standards and way of doing things are so much different than what I witness in this world. At the same time, it is a challenge to live by those standards in a world that most people won't do so. The challenge also comes in loving a God I cannot actively see with my own mortal senses, only the work that He does. Yet at the same time, I do hold on to a hope that I will get to see Him someday. In someway, it comes easier for me to strive to love God because I am familiar with His entity as well as motives towards my well being. I have also witnessed the power of His love in transforming the hearts of people, including my own. It is easier for me to love God because I not only "feel" His love, but I also "know" it ... I can distinguish it from all others. Lastly, I can witness God's love by means of the Holy Spirit, as He speaks to me through His Word, song, my mind, or my own voice. There is so much about God that is difficult to grasp, but the simplest of them all is to learn to embrace His love and learn to express it to Him as well.
Yet when it comes to people, it is not as simple nor easy to love. So much of the love that I have witnessed in this world is at the surface level or fiction (presents the appearance of the real thing, but is all false.) There are many behaviors and expressions of thought that can be observed and analyzed for consistency. In addition, as followers of Jesus we can rely on the discernment of the Holy Spirit, who knows the inner most depths of the hearts. In my life, I have had encounters with people of God whose faith was strong and driven by the Holy Spirit, and I have rejoiced over such encounters. Yet others, I have met a falsehood of appearances that have left me wondering as to when this person took a wrong turn in life and chose to remain there; at the outskirts of God. God's Word presents that as the days approach towards the coming of Christ Jesus for the Bride (all believers and followers of Christ Jesus), things will get worse in this world. Furthermore, false believers and teachers, who pretend to be of God, yet are not of God will begin to appear greater in numbers. As believers we are not to have the same level of intimacy in our relationships with non-believers. We are to hold that which is precious and share it with other believers. We are to love them according to God's Word. However, for those who lay outside of a personal relationship with Christ Jesus, let us extend such love that will lead them to Him. Let us not neglect them, but share such love that God shared with the people people that were neglected or considered the lowest or outcasts of society. Let us not serve them with are own capacity of love, but instead in the fullness of His love by the filling and work of the Holy Spirit.
In closing, it is a challenge to love God because of the unknowns of Him, yet much easier because of the witness of His love towards all of us. However, when it comes to loving people, there diverse degrees of love that we may express towards one another ... in particular, the difference between a fellow believer and follower of Christ Jesus and that of a non-believer.
Let Us Pray. God, I thank you for the love you have demonstrated towards me and that which has helped me to love you as well. I am also grateful for the love I have received from fellow believers and followers of Christ Jesus, but also for the guidance the Holy Spirit has provided me in doing so. Hardest of all is to love an unbeliever, so please help me to do so to the extent that they come to Christ Jesus ... and when they do, the extent of a fellow brother or sister in Christ Jesus, Amen.
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R. A. Gómez