Saturday, January 7, 2012

Love is a Verb

    I have been thinking lately about the role of a Christian, and of a believer’s love relationship with God. Having only escaped the old works-based-relationship-with-God mentality just this past year, I have been wary of all messages that stress the importance of working for God.  Since my mindset has changed, I have been mostly focusing on God’s thoughts and love for ME. Now, I feel like it is time for me to kind of switch gears and shift my focus from myself to my thoughts and love for HIM—and to serving Him. After all, if God is supposed to be my Father, Husband, and Friend, shouldn't my heart’s greatest desire be to please and serve Him?  In John 13, after Jesus washes His disciple's feet; He explains His actions in verses 12-15:

    So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them,  “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.

    Obviously, such loving, selfless, pious feelings cannot be merely contrived or forced—only the authentic thing could ever suffice. So…what should be done? Should my heart be buried in the ground and daily watered in hopes of growing a servant's heart?  Should I do some special heart-warming routine? Go to the gym every other day and work my heart out to make it stronger, more enduring? Or is my heart’s condition such a hopeless case that I should go to the hospital and demand a heart transplant—switch my cold, callused, hypocritical, insufficient heart for a stronger, God-approved, more munificent heart? Uh—NO, definitely NOT.


    Just as with any love relationship, I realize that if I want to draw closer to God, I have to listen to what He says—learn more about Him, and about what makes Him happy. I will start by 

1) analyzing every line of the love letter He wrote for me—His Word—and 

2) give Him the love and respect He deserves by living according to those precious Words. 

    I didn’t come to this conclusion so decisively until a day or so ago, when I saw my heart attitude towards God implanted in my brother towards my mother. My younger brother makes a habit of declaring a passionate love for my mother—he tells her so every time she is upset with him. Recently, after proclaiming his love for my mother to her and even claiming that he would die for her, he rebelled against her authority to her profound exasperation. She still loved him, but she was disappointed because her son did not show her that he loved her by obeying her. His actions clearly contradicted his words, leaving his passionate declarations of love empty and flimsy without action to support them. 

    At the time, I quietly looked down upon my brother for his duplicity—that is, until I realized that I had the same heart attitude towards God. Even though I say that I love Him, I write about Him, and I do things in His Name, I do not consistently obey His commandments, nor do I acknowledge Him in all of my ways. James 1:23-24 asserts: 

If anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 

    I know a lot about God’s Word, and I can talk all day about the character of God, but when it comes to me—only silence can prevail. I am so inadequate before God. It is not that I think He loves me less for my inadequacy, it is just that I could do so much better—love God more completely, apply His Word more diligently. 
    I may not be much of a Christian, but at least God is still showing me things. The day my whole life seems “easy” or my knowledge of God seems “complete” or “finished” is the day I need to fall onto my knees and pray for God’s mercy. While I am here on earth, things should not be easy. Peaceful, joyful, yes—but NOT easy. Not perfect—at least on the exterior level. If everything’s right on the exterior level, things are probably messed up on the interior level, because 

1) God allows His children to go through trials in life to make them stronger, and 

2) the devil doesn’t need to attack lukewarm Christians—it’s the wily, hot ones that he’s got to worry about!

    In conclusion, I want to serve God--not because I HAVE to, but because--well, God loves me, and I am HIS friend!  Jesus said so in Matthew 15:15:  

    I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

Good friends don't have to be told to serve each other; they serve each other because they love each other.  I know that I will mess up--a lot--but I won't let that deter me from trying as hard as I can to serve God wholeheartedly!


  1. I 'wily' love this Meg! It shows great insight. One of the ways we can change History is most definitely to start by learning how to show our love to God through obedience. I guess where most people get off is they forget the 'love' part before the 'slave' part. I just reminded my mom of the illustration of the bond servant. The bond servant CHOOSES to stay serving for his master because of the way he LOVES his master FIRST! :D
    I also thought, if you didn't now this already, when Jesus took off his outer garments to wash the feet this showed EXTREME humility. Not only is washing feet a lowly place to take, but to take your outer garments off, in that culture, was an absolute no no. (If ya know what I mean). I just thought was impacted when I heard that ad thought you would appreciate it also!

    Here's my favorite quote:
    Dreaming with God "Jesus served with the heart of king, but ruled with the heart of a servant (P. 88)" (It just seems like this applies! )

    Anyway, Love you lots!


  2. One of my favorite posts so far! Faith without works is dead and works without faith is dead. Truth without love is cruelty and love without truth is hypocrisy...what a "meaty" post leaving me much to ponder...