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If God is love...


If God is love (which He is) and we believe that we are God's representatives then shouldn't our first response be to love?  For the longest time I have felt more and more strongly that God wants us to live simply.  He will continue to bring revelation and new words and heal and do miracles, but He will do it all out of love.  And His instructions are really clear: "Jesus said, 'Love the LORD your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.'  This is the most important, the first on any list.  But there is a second to set alongside it: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.'  These two commands are pegs; everything in God's Law and the Prophets hangs from them." Matthew 22: 37-40, The Message   


This kind, beautiful, strong, gentle man, Jesus, loved people.  He lived among people and laughed with them.  He favored the company of "sinners" to that of the religious "right."
Passing along, Jesus saw, a man at his work collecting taxes.  His name was Matthew.  Jesus said, "Come along with me."  Matthew stood up an followed him. 
Later when Jesus was eating supper at Matthew's house with his close followers, a lot of disreputable characters came and joined them.  when the Pharisees saw him keeping this kind of company, they had a fit and lit in Jeus' followers.  "What kind of example is this from the Teacher, acting cozy with crooks and riffraff?"
Jesus, overhearing, shot back, "Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick?  Go Figure out what this Scripture means: 'I'm after mercy, not religion.'  I'm here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders.  Matthew 9: 9-13, The Message


God is love. When we take up permanent residence in life of love, we live in God and God lives in us.  This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we're free of worry on Judgement day--our standing in the world is identical with Christ's.  There is no room in love for fear.  Well-formed love banishes fear.  Since fear is crippling, a fearful life--fear of death, fear of judgement--is one not yet fully formed in love.
We, though, are going to to love--love and be loved.  First we were loved, now we love.  He loved us first.
If anyone boasts, "I love God," and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar.  If he won't love the person he can see now, how can he love the God he can't see?  The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people.  You've got to love them both. 1John 4:17-21, The Message  


I am learning to love everyone, even the screechy, rude people I'd rather not.

Much love
Philippa

p.s.  read this.  It so encouraged me Daddy

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