Today’s Reading: John 12:25-26(NIV)
[Jesus said,] 25 The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My father will honor the one who serves me.
Love and hate are strong words, evoking pure emotion from deep within the heart. What does it mean to truly love others? How did humanity learn to hate so well? Do we love our lives so much that we cannot seem to see the ones who are suffering? How much of yourself would you be willing to give away if you could help another human heart survive and thrive?
Love and hate are demonstrated within our homes. We understand what it is to love and hate by the way we choose to live out our days with grandparents, parents, siblings, spouses, children and grandchildren. Many homes are filled with angst and anger. Parents are mean-spirited with their children. Children show no respect for parents. Yet, there are other homes where love is its sure foundation. Siblings learn how to show kindness to each other because Moms and Dads care more about the other's needs than our own. How do your actions and words demonstrate love and/or hate to your family?
The created ones longed for a deep and abiding relationship with their Creator. He is holy and perfect, full of knowledge and wisdom and truth. Humanity was far from perfect. They let their self-perceptions and deep-seated emotions rule their hearts and minds. They learned to fear each other, becoming self-absorbed. In seeking personal happiness, they stopped caring about whom they may have to step on in order to take a step up. Their sins kept them from understanding a Holy Father, who gives life to all. It was the Son’s perfect love for the Father’s world that sent Him to earth in human flesh, to demonstrate the vast differences between perfect love and pervasive hate. He came to show the world a love like no other.
Jesus’ life emulates the perfect love of a perfect Father, who longs for His children to be made perfectly whole in Him. Christ offers healing to all who long to love completely. He promises a place where hate will one day be cast away into an eternal lake of fire; a perfect home where love will reign supreme over all. Jesus came to rescue the Father’s beloved world. He did this to honor His Father, the Lord and giver of life. The Father honors those who honor His Son. Because of Christ’s great sacrifice, we can begin to understand why perfect love must become our sure foundation for daily living.
If you’ve experienced Christ-like love, one cannot help but set aside the trappings and promises of this world and follow the life-giver toward perfected love in Him. Would you be willing to give up the comfort and security of this life as you know it, if it meant you would live in perfect love with Christ for all eternity?
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC -
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