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Love is seen in actions of obedience

Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love takes away fear. (I John 4:18 ERV)

The work of the Holy Spirit within us helps us to live with a sense of confirmation we are loved by God, regardless of our past misgivings or our present performance. We are unique in his eyes, not because we stand above anyone else, but because of who stands "within" us. Christ's presence with us gives us the ability to love above any fear of judgment as we approach the throne of God's grace. I think the Holy Spirit has the tough job of convincing our mind and heart of that truth sometimes, though. We want to believe God could never truly "love" us because we think of his love in terms of how we humans "love" one another. So often, our human love is performance based - we see the actions of another and then we either feel loved or not. Maybe this is why God did so much to demonstrate his love for us - because he knew we'd equate "doing" to "loving".

This is how God showed his love to us: He sent his only Son into the world to give us life through him.  True love is God’s love for us, not our love for God. He sent his Son as the way to take away our sins.  That is how much God loved us, dear friends! So we also must love each other.  No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us. If we love each other, God’s love has reached its goal—it is made perfect in us. (I John 4:9-12 ERV)

God isn't above "showing us" his love. He realizes actions speak louder than words. He also knows we will need continual reassurances of that love because we have a tendency to forget his love isn't based upon what we do, but upon what he does for us. The primary goal of God's love was to reach out to those who are far off from him, bringing them near his heart through the grace provided in Christ's death, burial, and resurrection. The continual goal of his love is to keep us renewed in mind, body, and spirit day-by-day. In turn, his desire is for us to love each other with HIS love, not just our own human form of love. We don't always know "how" to do love in this way, so he provides the presence of the Holy Spirit within us so we will be prompted to love as he loves. He is our tutor in love and trust me on this one - we all need a lot of tutelage when it comes to loving as he loves!

You have likely heard scripture quoted when someone tells us that "perfect love" will not afford any opportunity for fear to exist. As each of us know, loving another deeply is a little bit scary. We have to both be a little bit more vulnerable than is comfortable if we are to ever grow in that love. Until we are vulnerable, stripping away the parts of us we use as "filters" to keep others from really getting to know us as we are, we are only living with or among one other, but not really loving one another. What the Holy Spirit does is create an environment wherein we can allow those filters to be discarded, because perfect love (God's love within us) creates an environment where fear of acceptance doesn't exist. We are accepted because Christ lives in us - plain and simple. We aren't perfect, but in Christ we are seen as perfect. The actions of obedience we take each time we do as God asks of each of us move us closer and closer to showing those "signs" of perfection within us. Love is seen in action - so when we take steps of obedience, we are showing forth God's love in our actions! Just sayin!


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