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Love is the Answer Back to Writings
And then a certain lawyer arose to try (test, tempt) Him, saying, Teacher, what am I to do to inherit everlasting life [that is, to partake of eternal salvation in the Messiah's kingdom]?

Jesus said to him, What is written in the Law? How do you read it?

And he replied, You must love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.

And Jesus said to him, You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live [enjoy active, blessed, endless life in the kingdom of God]. Luke 10:25-28

Jesus gives us such a simple message of how to inherit everlasting life in His kingdom, yet sometimes I wonder if this is the message we give lip service to while practicing something that falls short of Jesus commandment of Love. If you are of the Christian faith, perhaps you have heard this message delivered more than you care to remember and are instead focused on “the move of God” or “the revelation of the latter days” or pick whatever it is that you are focusing on in your faith. Clearly, what God is pouring out into your life today IS important and something to be focused on, but if we as believers fall short of practicing this commandment, and dare I say art form, we fall short in every other area of our faith.

In his first letter to the church at Corinth, Paul lays out what we gain when we are spiritually advanced and devoted to God but are not practicing Love. This is a popular reading at wedding ceremonies because it speaks about love, but let us just focus on the verses which speak to the “advanced” believer.

IF I [can] speak in the tongues of men and [even] of angels, but have not love (that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such as is inspired by God's love for and in us), I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

And if I have prophetic powers (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), and understand all the secret truths and mysteries and possess all knowledge, and if I have [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love (God's love in me) I am nothing (a useless nobody).

Even if I dole out all that I have [to the poor in providing] food, and if I surrender my body to be burned or in order that I may glory, but have not love (God's love in me), I gain nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

So as a person who can speak in the tongues of men, has prophetic powers and all knowledge, and give all that I have to the poor…my gain is NOTHING unless God’s love is operating in me. So it appears receiving and practicing God’s love is THE COMMANDMENT upon which our gains our determined. If we can get this right, ALL things are available to us. If we get this wrong, we are nothing. This is at the heart and core of the Christian faith, yet it is a message that really needs more of our attention and to be given every priority so that we can rightfully receive what is ours.

Now, this is a simple teaching, but practicing true love is actually the highest form of faith because it is very difficult to do. How does one love someone who is stabbing him in the back at work? How does one love herself when she was abandoned by her parents and physically abused as a child? How does one love God when he has suffered over most of his life?

This is hard to do, isn’t it? Yes, but if we can make this is our highest priority in every area of our lives, then the promises of peace, joy, and freedom manifest for us.

For those of us who overcomplicate things (yes, I’m in this category), here is where we can hang our hat even if we get everything else wrong because ultimately it is ALL about love.

EVERY form of human suffering originates in the absence of love.

The Lord spoke to me on this issue and broke it down based on Jesus commandment of love. When suffering or in pain or any type of difficulty is present it means one of three things:

1) You’re not loving God
2) You’re not loving yourself
3) You’re not loving your neighbor

Test this theory out. Take any struggle you have today or have had in the past and explore whether or not it can be attributed to the absence of love in one of these three areas. I promise you it will. And if you do think you’ve found that magical problem or issue that isn’t attributable to the absence of love, I want you to contact me so that I can discover it with you.

If, after you test this theory out, you prove it as true then this is where you can focus on this commandment in every area of your life and it will operate as the vehicle that delivers you to your rightful destiny.

Before you begin operating in this advanced pool however, I’d like to suggest an order to follow because if you don’t have the love of God within you, it is virtually impossible to love yourself and your neighbor.

When you receive the revelation of the merciful, never-ending love of God into your heart it changes everything. Can you imagine…the creator of ALL things loves you and is watching over your life? And guess what, He loves you exactly the way you are. After all, He created you. Does that mean He wants you to keep sinning? Of course not. Jesus was crucified for the forgiveness of your sins. He simply wants you to know and receive the love He has for you and to allow Him to heal your heart from hurts of the past. So yes, try to stop sinning, but more importantly know that God loves everything about you…your personality, your nature, your quirks, and even your flaws.

Once you receive the revelation of God’s love for you in your heart, then you can begin to really love yourself exactly the way you are. If the creator of ALL things loves you, can’t you also unconditionally love yourself?

Then when you truly love yourself, you can go about the business of loving others. Only let me provide a word of caution. Really spend some time securing your love for yourself first after receiving God’s love. If you try to love your neighbor before loving yourself it will be a sometimes difficult and painful task.

One of the great laws of the universe is that you can only give away what you have. So if you have love for yourself, then you are free to give that love to your neighbor.

Remember that the scripture quoted at the beginning of this chapter tells us what our destination and inheritance is: Everlasting life, eternal salvation, and the Kingdom of God! As you begin to practice the commandment of love more fully it is important to remember that we are to practice this with ALL of our heart, soul, strength, and mind. If we fall short in any of these areas it’s OK, we’re not perfect (yet), but just understand there is some work to be done so that we may become ALL loving.

For [if we are] in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love. Galatians 5:6
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