BY: DAVE GARNER
MAY 15, 2007
I began to ponder on the meaning of love and realized that loves true essence can only be defined through its expression outwardly towards others, even the love of God.
Matthew 22:37-40, “Jesus said unto him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
I know, at least I feel I do, that I love my friends, yet for our friendship to grow strong and be of any depth, it requires the mutual response of love in return. Love, on our level at least, more often then not, requires sincere upkeep and maintenance because our response to one another determines the depth of our friendship and love for one another. It is sort of like, I will remember them if they remember me, type thing. Sometimes when I don’t get the desired response for one reason or another then the person who used to be my friend is lowered to the status of an acquaintance. I don’t do it out of anger, it is just that I don’t hear from them and if I don’t hear from them then I am so busy that I don’t think about them and if their name is brought up or if I see their name or something, then my memory is refreshed, but there is no strength to the love to bind the relationship. But woe to me if there is complete rejection, then somehow, mistrust or guilt, depending upon the circumstance, has a tendency to try to take its place. Did I do something wrong, say the wrong thing, they really did not like me in the first place, or even maybe they have been deceived and God does not want us to be friends anyway.
I really do guard my heart as I hate being rejected and even more, I hate being hurt; somehow it makes me feel inadequate as a Christian. I wonder if I might inadvertently love God in the same kind of way that I love my friends, or even more, treat Him like He loves me in the same way as people so often do to each other. Do I have underneath all this desire to serve Him the expectation that If He will answer my prayers, meet my needs and perform the way I think He aught toward me, then I know He loves me and I can love Him, but if He don’t perform to my expectations, then maybe He don’t love me, and maybe He is even rejecting me. What a dilemma, do I really love the Lord my God with all of my heart? Would I love Him anyway if He was to somehow not love me? To say that I love God with all of my heart, my soul, and my mind and do nothing outwardly to express that love toward His body, would deny its existence, thus denying that I love God. I can say that I love my neighbor as much as I do myself, but if I do not reach out to embrace his needs by feeding him when he is hungry, covering him if he is naked, giving him provision if he has nothing, even our coat if necessary, ministering from a heart of comfort or compassion, then can I truly say that I love my neighbor as myself. Are my actions revealing my words to be empty and without meaning? If I see a brother or sister who is destitute, hurting, sorrowful, or lost, even my enemy, and do nothing to lighten his or her suffering, then there is no expression of love being manifest to prove my love for my neighbor.
Matthew 25:34-40, “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was hungry, and you gave me meat: I was thirsty, and you gave me drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in: Naked, and you clothed me: I was sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you, or thirsty, and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger, and take you in? When were you naked, and when did we clothe you? Or when did we see you sick, or in prison, and come unto you? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
1 John 3:16-19, “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso has this world’s good, and sees his brother have need, and shuts up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwells the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.”
MEDITATION [Dave Garner] 5-15-07 1