Friday, June 15, 2007

living in the love of God

Scripture tells us we're to live in God's love. This begins for us in this life in Christ, by grace through faith. Actually all humankind lives in something of this love of God, but through Christ there is an intimacy such as which the Triune God shares as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in a communion and community of love.

Living in the love of God gets right to where we live. How do I relate to that difficult person in the fellowship? How does love cover a multitude of sins in living out this love?

This love is already a reality in Christ by the Spirit. We are made partakers of it and are taught by God to love one another, and then to grow in this experience and practice of love. It's a love that at times can be most difficult, a love that embraces the good while repenting and shunning sin, a love that even returns blessing for cursing, loving even one's own enemies. It's a love in which we can learn the freedom God has for us beginning in this life. And a love that loves to the end.

C.S. Lewis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and others have pointed out how "love" can end up being hatred. Love is created by God and participated by humans made in God's image, so that I believe even those who don't believe in God can experience something real of it in their marriage and in life. But love apart from the Creator who gives it also tends to become idolatrous so that the lover is given over to a less than noble end, such as in the case of an adulterer or with any number of loves that are not in harmony with the love of God. The light and life that God's love brings ends up resulting in darkness and death in this fallen human perversion of it.

Thank God though for the grace that can lift us up out of that muck and mire into the experience of God's triune love that will last forever and be known perfectly in the community of God in Christ. In the mean time we press on toward that goal.

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