“We love Him, because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
Brothers and sisters, this is the first and fundamental element of Christianity. The Lord’s love!
However, for the most part, it is only a mental note to most and not a reality in practice. There are many reasons for this, and most of them are connected to religious practice that we learn in systemised forms of church and the lens through which those practices encourage us to interpret the bible.
Many of us have learnt that once you get saved (once you meet the Lord Jesus), and you’ve had your initial “honeymoon” phase with him, well then real life begins. The time of aimlessly just discovering the wonders of His person get put aside for doing the good works that He has asked us to do. And although this is never taught out loud, it does not have to be. The mere culture and order of the religious community speak this loud and clear. And so you learn it almost by osmosis. And that “first love” you have fades away and your Christian life becomes something of a typical marriage that we see in films – the type that is for the most part loveless, and filled with all kinds of blissful discontent. And even though you do not want this to be so, and you desire daily to love the Lord more, you feel like you just cannot get there.
My friends, this should not be so!
Within real love, there is no expectation, there is no guilt, there is no fear. And if these feelings are alive in your Christian walk, well then you are not walking in the Love of the Lord. You are walking in something entirely different… Religion (Works, Duty… doing stuff for the Lord out of obligation, and for the most part, fear of judgement and failure). This might be hard for some to hear, but it is the reality. The scriptures are very clear about the feelings associated with walking with the Lord, they are peace, joy, and an overwhelming sense of righteousness (right standing with God… Him being pleased with you). And if you are not experiencing those, well then you need to ask yourself why. Many Christians are in this place, and sadly, many of them fake those feelings or suppress the reality of their discontent. The reason why they do so are numerous and multi-layered, but it ultimately comes back to their interpretation of scripture and understanding of the Lord’s heart.
What if I told you that if you never do another thing for the Lord accept allow Him to love you, He will be pleased with you? In fact, what if I told you that this is what pleases Him the most?!
Well, brothers and sisters, I will not say this to you, but instead allow Him to in paraphrased version of Luke 10:38-42:
As my disciples and I came to a village, there was a woman named Martha that opened her home for me. She had a sister called Mary, who instinctively came to sit at my feet and absorbed every element of my love and person as I sat and taught. Sadly Martha was very distracted with all the so-called preparations that had to be made, preparations that I had never requested. After a while she came to me asking “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all the important work by myself?” Tell her to help me!”
Martha, Martha” I replied, saying, “you are so worried and upset about many things that although are very nice, are not important. Few things are needed Martha, in fact only one thing is important, and Mary has chosen it. She has chosen what is better, and I will certainly not take it away from her.”
This passage more than any in the bible, shows us that the Lord is not looking for us to do stuff for him. In fact, what is more important to Him is that we humbly just let Him pour Himself out into us. That we let him Love us. And if you look at the scriptures through this lens, the one that is shaped with the question “Who is the Lord and how can I learn from Him and absorb His person?” rather than the one that says “What duties has he given and how can I go about pleasing him with my actions?,” you will notice a very beautiful reality! He just wants to love you! Everything else is designed to flow our of that naturally.
So more so than the first step we take, this is the foundation upon which a relationship with Him is built. It is not something we just step on initially and then leave as we venture further. No, it is the very foundation. The very basis of relationship with Him. That upon which everything else is built. That from which everything else grows.
The only way we can truly love him the way he desires to be loved, is if we first embrace his love for us. If we learn how to live by his love. How to drink it in, eat it up, bathe in it, sit by it, drown in it, live in it. It must become our core. Our foundation. That which moves and motivates us. That which energises and compels us. That which stirs and drives us. Only then can we truly please the Lord with what we do. For then His love will be what drives us. Not our sense of duty, our understanding of right and wrong, or our fear of judgement. No, the overwhelming beauty and unconditional love that is His person.
So LET the Lord Love you! For in doing so you will ultimately and effortlessly fulfill the law and all the prophets. And you will live a life that is above all, pleasing to God. For His highest pleasure is to pour His love out into the people that He has made (not to see them doing stuff for him). It is the very reason He created us. To live by His indwelling life. To be moved and motivated by the very essence of His being. To be sustained and made fully alive by nothing other than His love. This is His desire for you. In fact, this is His highest will for you. Not duty or expectation, but love.
So let Him do it. Let Him be the person He is. Let Him express Himself the way he wants to. Let Him Be the God that He desires to be. Stop everything else and Let Him love you! Let the Lord Love You!
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