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Rubbing Shoulders With Love

1-2 Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that. (Ephesians 5:1-2 MSG)

Love like that...easier said than done, huh? The key to loving is watching how God loves and then imitating what he does. That doesn't make our love "imitation" - it makes it an invitation! We learn the "proper behavior" of being truly loving by observing all the aspects of how God expresses his love in and through our lives and the lives of others. We make love so complex, but God makes it appear pretty doggone easy - he just loves us - without condition, exactly as we are, without requiring anything of us. This is one reason we need to observe how he expresses love - because we don't have this one down at all!

We "learn love" by keeping company with the one who is love in every action, in all ways expressive of his great heart of love and compassion. When we keep company with the right individuals, we learn from them - we almost "morph" our behavior because their behavior begins to "rub off" on us. There is much to be said to rubbing shoulders enough with an individual that you finally and truthfully get to know them. This frequent contact actually begins to not only expose who they are to us, but it exposes parts of their character that we may take on as our own.

Extravagant love - I have spoken of this often - not because I don't have anything else to speak of, but because the extravagance of God's love is indeed beyond our initial comprehension. We get exposed to this extravagant way of loving more and more each encounter we have with him and with others who have been "rubbing shoulders" with him for a while. His love actually hasn't "morphed", but our attitude toward it probably has! We want to explore new facets of his extravagance and we find ourselves yearning to know more and more of this love. 

Nothing revealed his extravagance more than Christ's birth and that cruel death on the cross. Nothing reveals his extravagance more than the great care he takes in seeking each of us out - right where we are - just as we are. It is indeed wise to observe how we are loved and then allow that love to be replicated in us. Just sayin!

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