You Cannot Move Beyond Love!

YOU CANNOT MOVE BEYOND LOVE

M. SCOTT BOREN

“… if I do not have love, I am nothing.” (Paul, in his first letter to the church at Corinth)

A person can love another to the extent that they have been loved. No. That’s not quite right. I think this is better stated as: A person can love another to the extend that they are being loved. Not past tense. Love is not something that can be known as a past reality. It’s a present perfect, and ongoing emanation of God toward us, like a river that never dries up. The degree to which someone knows love is the degree to which they can love. Or to personalize Paul’s point, “If I do not possess love in my inner being as an ongoing knowledge that I am loved and am living in love alongside others, I am nothing.”

Victor Hugo stated, “The supreme happiness in life is the conviction that we are loved.” The giving and receiving of love lies at the core of what it means to be human. We search for it. We yearn for it. We hope for it. Just turn on the radio and listen to the top 40 hits. While in most cases, we are “looking for love in all the wrong places,” as the old country song confesses, the reality is that we are all “looking for love.”

One of the things that I find interesting about the typical way that we commonly talk about spiritual growth and discipleship in the church is that the topic of love, that “touchy feely” experience of God’s emanation toward us, is something that we teach to children, “emotional” twenty-somethings, and new Christians. However, Christian maturity means that we outgrow the need for such basic things as God’s love. We assume that the experience of God’s love is like spiritual milk, but as one grows in Christ spiritual meat means that we grow out of the need to talk about God’s love, acceptance, and grace.

On my journey with God over the last three decades, I have found myself being led back to reconsider God’s love for me. The first few times this happened I got frustrated with myself because I assumed that I should have moved beyond such basics. After all, I had dealt with God’s love and grace in my early stages of Christian discipleship. But every time I came back to a fresh touch of God’s love, I realized how much I was shocked by the unexpected unveiling of God’s touch. I began to see that I’m only loved to the extend that God’s love astonishes and astounds me. Otherwise, my thoughts about God are merely a compilation of my best and most godly facts about God.

This means that a disciple of Christ cannot outgrow the need to live in God’s love. There is no higher plane of discipleship than receiving the hug of God.

If God is love (1 John 4:8), then everything about our walk with the Father-Son-Spirit is rooted in and flows out of a knowledge and experience of that love. To try to move beyond it is like telling a basketball player that his development will move him to the point that he will no longer need to do anything with a basketball. He will develop the ability to dribble, pass, and shoot the ball without actually having to touch a physical ball because the game will be so deeply woven into his mind. The actual experience of the ball is no longer required. As a result, the game becomes excarnate, a gnostic experience that leads one to a higher level of disembodied reality.

Too often, we imagine Christian growth that is more excarnate than incarnate. Christian maturity is a mental, disembodied thought process that does not have much to do with our senses, our feelings, or our experiences. God’s love becomes a fact that we can state and talk about in our Bible studies, but we don’t actually know it in a participatory way.

Just as playing basketball means doing something with an actual ball, so too following Christ means living in the actual experience of God’s love for us. If there is no ball, there is no game. If there is no love, then we are not actually following Christ.

This is reprented from the link below, thank you to the author, M. SCOTT BOREN

 

For almost 20 years, Scott has been working with churches to help them develop effective community through small groups that are on mission. He is the author or co-author of eight different books, along with curriculum that has been developed as a part of his responsibilities as a pastor at Woodland Hills Church. Learn more about Scott at MScottBoren.com.

You Cannot Move Beyond Love

CC Image • Courtesy of of Farid Iqbal Ibrahim on Flickr

Christ And His Word – Stay Close!

We are not to be led astray by others who are  following modern day popular culture and popular religion. Be careful about the “New Age” practices. These can become “false Gods” which the Bible warns us about.

New Living Translation: Galations Chapter 4-9

“Those false teachers are so eager to win your favor, but their intentions are not good. They are trying to shut you off from me so that you will pay attention only to them.

Before you Gentiles knew God, you were slaves to so-called gods that do not even exist. So now that you know God (or should I say, now that God knows you), why do you want to go back again and become slaves once more to the weak and useless spiritual principles of this world?”

King James Bible Mark 13

“For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.”

It is best if we stick close to God and His Word so we are not deceived.

Exodus 15:2

“The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; This is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will extol Him.”

Keep strong in Christ Jesus!

Church of Our Savior

Whose praise are you looking for?

King James Bible,  John 12:43

“For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.”

All of us can learn from Jesus’ quote when He observes the actions of some people during His time on earth. We can use this teaching as a way to measure our own day to day motivations. Why do we act the way we do? Is our motivation to please God, or are we looking for the praise, approval, or accolades (credit, recognition) from others in our actions? It is a good yard stick to measure our behavior. At times, it may also call on us to be courageous in stepping out from the crowd and saying or doing what God would have us do.

 

 

Welcome!

Welcome to our church’s website.

We recognize that the real relationship to be celebrated and nurtured in our lives is that between the individual and the body of Christ with Christ himself (and The Trinity).

Everything else is secondary. Anything that is man made such as this website, our facebook page, or our physical building is only an aid to this central relationship. It is absolutely fundamental that we do not deviate from this realization, because when we do, we demean our God and what He has done for us and continues to do for us every single day. In fact, taking any of the credit for what God does is a sin that we recognize as human pride. And only when we put God first and foremost in our lives do we come into a proper relationship with Him.  God gives us this direction in the 1st Commandment.

God began the 10 Commandments: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:2-3)

Only God is God. When this concept is fully grasped, and we surrender to His will for us in our lives do we really come ot know freedom under His care and love. We really begin to see and experience how much He really loves us.