Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. (Rom. 12:10)
It’s one thing for a parent to experience the genuine love of their children. It’s quite another for a parent to experience the love of their children for one another. If delighting in God is the source of our joy, then our becoming devoted to one another is the source of God’s joy. If the journey of the awakening begins with John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life,” it finds its fulfillment in 1 John 3:16: “This is how we know what love is,” the apostle teaches us, “Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”
Remember the greatest command about loving God with all we have? Then there was the rest of it about loving your neighbor as yourself. This is what it means to be an awakened person—one who is growing in an ever-deepening experience of being loved by God (which is the freedom to love oneself), and one who is growing in an ever-deepening expression of loving other people. Because there is no end to the depths of the love of God, there is no end to the depths of the journey of awakening. In fact, this is where it comes full circle.
As we are awakened to the delight of loving God and the devotion to loving our neighbor, we invariably come back into touch with a holy dissatisfaction. It does not take long for our love for others to run thin, which brings us face-to-face with our own deficits. We run into the barriers of our broken ways and realize we are out of our depths. We must grow deeper and toward a greater surrender to God, which, in turn, increases our delight in God, which then nourishes our love for others. Yes, this path keeps on going. Rather than becoming stuck in the ruts of a closed-loop circle, we find ourselves moving in the pattern of the gloriously endless outward spiral of the awakening love of God in Jesus Christ.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your amazing love, which saves the world, transforms our lives, and renews all of creation. Your ways are perfect. Open the eyes of my heart to grasp more and more of the holy love of your Son, Jesus Christ. Fill me with your Spirit, that I might boldly love others with this same love. Nothing could be more central to life than this. I am ready to be awakened to all the fullness you share with me and to run this course until I meet you face-to-face. In Jesus’ name. amen.
What do you think about this journey of awakening? Do you see its inner logic? Does it ring true to your soul?
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