Friday, July 08, 2016

Love Leads to the New Life - 4

To review: The writer prays that on the basis of our allegiance to Jesus:
  • God re-structures our hearts with the same power that created the world, that raised Jesus, that calmed seas, that multiplied fish and bread, and that healed the blind and the lame.
  • Christ dwells/abides/resides/makes his home with us.
  • Our lives are formed around his love. As we are connected to God by that love, as we draw nourishment with that love, we learn to understand the nature and extent of that love. (Even though it is beyond us.
The result is: We have all that God intends to give us. We are full. We are complete. The original says "fills to fullness." God tops of the tank, all the way up to the gas cap.

Power + Presence + Understanding Love = Fullness

So, why does life come up short? God promises his power and his presence when we give Jesus our allegiance. Can anything short-circuit either of these? What about "understanding love"? Is knowing "God loves you" enough? And what is fullness? Total Christ-likeness? Moral perfection?

It is certainly true that sin can break the connection between people and God. That's why personal honesty, and keeping "shorts lists" with God is important. In other words, deal with failures as soon and as completely as possible, so connection can be re-established.

But it seems the most dynamic "factor" in the "equation" is "understanding love." That understanding will affect a person's willingness to approach God after failure. It will color expectations of God's attitudes and actions in light of our failures. Will God reject us? Will God ever run out of patience? Out of kindness?

Many people equate God's love with their love, instead of the Bible's description of love. Many people assign Jesus one kind of love, the Father another kind of love, and the Holy Spirit another kind. Jesus is the perfect representation of God. They have the same heart. Within the God-head, there is perfect agreement. There is not three loves; there is one love. (Or, if you prefer, there are three loves, but they perfectly agree.) The Father does not look at us, or regard us differently, than Jesus does. The Holy Spirit does not look at us, or regard us differently, than the Father does, than Jesus does. There is perfect agreement.

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