Peace, Love, & Understanding

FredVB

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There is room always for more love, yet there is also more room for selfish choices, hate, compromise, and sin, and with our nature it is easy to neglect love.
 

FredVB

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We would limit love and other fruits of the Spirit even with just making exceptions, but it is not from God's will for us. Exceptions we make will be arbitrary, and so more exceptions would be made, and love and fruits of the Spirit generally will not grow further. Jesus Christ did not mean for such exceptions in saying, "Be then perfect, your Father in heaven is perfect", with what he modeled, for us to live like him. This was with meaning what would be fruits of the Spirit, and with surrendering to God's will we won't still make exceptions to it.
 

FredVB

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Leviticus 19:18 "You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people; but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am Yahweh."

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 If I speak with the languages of men and of angels, but don’t have love, I have become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but don’t have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but don’t have love, it profits me nothing.

Love is foundational. Faith cannot really exist without any love, but even with essential faith, with which we are saved, having come to repentance and being in Christ, reconciled to God, we can yet be lacking in love that we should still grow to. It includes the empathy and caring and compassion for any without ill will, it is not about feelings, that love which is something else. We have to become aware of those we do not have that love with empathy and caring and compassion for without ill will still, to change to having that for them. If we are growing spiritually we will.
 

FredVB

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There is faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love. Love is greater than faith and it is greater than hope. This love mentioned is not the feelings often referred to as love, it is the caring and compassion, just as that is in the love from God. With essential faith that any are brought to God through Christ with repentance there is certainly love, there is love of God, in response to God and what is revealed through Christ, and if there is that there is love to others, that with caring and compassion, not that which is about feelings. Any of the things done from this love are spiritual works. Believers with the faith all have those, still all should grow much further in those.
 

FredVB

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Being a Christian believer means there is to be a life that goes way beyond how others, including many of those generally known as Christian, live. Spiritual growth needs to go in that direction. We should become like Christ in our growth, he was modeling for us how we who are his followers are to live. It includes what he taught for us. So we should show love to any others, not doing things for selfish gain and being contentious with any others, or saying things about others to still other people. We should be caring, making peace with others, being merciful, forgiving, and compassionate, not doing things that cause harm. Our Creator is not limited in that, and we need all that from God, and so we should do so as God does for us, still not compromising with any sins, and such virtues that should be shown should not be with limitation that we might choose for our own preference, when there is no worthy reason for it to be limited.

There is a lot of cruelty around, we who are believers and who are in Christ are to be a force for good leading in the other direction from that.

Any peace on earth only comes about what we learn to love God with all our being, that includes loving the whole of God's creation.
 

FredVB

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God is good, and because God is good, God is just, God is loving, God is caring, God is merciful, and God is gracious. All that God is, is without limit. And God is fair. None of us in this world are in the position to say we love perfectly. God loves all his creatures. It would be right if we do so. But God has no limit to loving. We limit our love. It hurts ourselves and our growth to godliness if we focus on ourselves. Jesus shows love and compassion, that we should be showing, it defeats that if it is about ourselves, instead of the circumstances of others, God cares for them and we should have that in mind about others. Loving others gives you far more strength for things than just doing things for yourself.
 

FredVB

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If we came to Jesus Christ ever repenting to turn from life with sin to live in him, such that we are believers who are in Christ, we are not condemned even when we stumble into sin, even with not having feelings, of forgiveness or for faithful living. Yet we need to turn to Jesus Christ our Lord again, for restored relationship. This is repentance, without condemnation, for delivering us out from those sins, so that we do not keep going back to those. Relationship with Christ, having relationship with God through Christ, is with turning us from sins. With this we can grow spiritually. We follow in what Jesus shows us. Being peacemakers was important in the message from Jesus, along with acting with love and compassion and mercy, obedience to godly things, and trusting in biblical promises with following him. With these things we are not sinning.
 

FredVB

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Any peace on earth only comes about what we learn to love God with every part of our being. God's grace is enabling. God is not willing that any just perish, but would that all would come to repentance with which there is salvation. And there is provision for growth with that.

People will generally put limits on what God tells us we should do, such as love, which God does not limit, and this love Jesus was showing. Jesus said to love but never said there was anything to do before loving others, this idea that there is twists what Jesus was saying. Jesus made no check for how any were loving and if it included themselves, he just showed love. This kind of love is unconditional and it is called for because all are God's creatures. We should love ourselves, that is included in the unconditional love, but it is not needed that unconditional love wait for our loving ourselves, unconditional love would have that dealt with.
 

FredVB

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If God was not love and yet Creator making everything of creation life would be hellish. Those who do not believe there is God have it very wrong, not seeing provision in everything. We need deliverance from the curse which spreads from sinful disobedience with wickedness and destructiveness from that, and there is provision with the redeemer for that, and all creation is groaning for that deliverance with the redemption shown. Even in all this there is provision in everything. Because there is Love.
 

FredVB

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People grate on each other, because of differences among each other and things we disagree on. Without any love we would not get along. There is love so that we do manage to get along. But we see how the world is, and more love from us is needed. Love in us for others without limiting it keeps us from sins.

I mean the holy love we should have, which God has. I know some think of feelings for love, which romantic love is, but it should be clear I do not mean that, as we do not choose feelings and those do not stop us from sins.

The love meant is the love we are told to have. You shall love your neighbor as yourself, Leviticus 19:18, we should love one another, 1 John 3:11. This is love we are to choose, caring and compassion are involved, and what we choose for that way is not needing limits to it. Evil is not to be loved, and sin, rebellion against God and the ways of God, is not to be loved, but we as creatures of God are not all evil, and have a redeemable self which God loves without condition and willingly pays for without limiting it, for us to be with God restored forever with the redemption. All the creation is groaning for this.
 

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Jesus shows mercy, love, compassion, patience, and caring for others in many ways. This is an example to us. The downtrodden are not to be neglected. As the model for us he never limited compassion. No one is more compassionate than Jesus, Jesus is more compassionate. If we follow Jesus indeed we grow, and be more like Jesus, which is a goal meant for believers.
 

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Enemies! What about loving when we have enemies?? This is actually where any real loving from us would make a great difference. One of my friends wrote this...

I can be the biggest hypocrite sometimes. I'm often not very good at practicing what I preach. It's not that I want to be hypocritical, or that I purpose to be, but it's more like I don't always think before I act, or that the log in my eye often blinds me temporarily. The good thing is though, that God is so forgiving and patient with me, and He's really good about showing me when I'm messing up, and reminding me once again that His laws are ultimately for my own benefit. Take for example my current situation. About a month ago some new neighbors moved in downstairs from my apartment. For the past two years that I've lived here, I've enjoyed quiet and peace from all of my very respectful neighbors. These new folks changed all of that, however. Evidently they seem to believe that all of their other neighbors should appreciate their taste in music and so they've decided that they should play it at full volume for all to enjoy. Once I realized that there was no earthquake when my whole apartment shook from the loud bass, let's just say that my feelings for my new neighbors were not exactly loving. After calling the office for many days in a row to register my complaints (to no avail), I resorted to banging on the floor with my broom handle and even to turning my own audio devices up loud enough to drown theirs out. So much for loving my neighbors, huh? Since none of those methods worked to cause them to cease disturbing my peace, I began to plan my next actions. Confronting them did not seen like a good idea as they had already defied the several warnings they had gotten from management, and I certainly did not want an altercation. So, as I was pondering my next move, I got that all too familiar tap on my heart. How about loving them instead of fighting them? Hmmm... well that would require allowing them to continue with their actions, giving them my other cheek to slap, so to speak. But then again, if I truly desired to practice what I preach, it would be the right thing to do. But how do I love a neighbor who is so disrespectful to their neighbors? I began by changing my pre-concieved thoughts about them. Instead of just immediately assuming that they were being spiteful, I began considering that maybe they are hard of hearing, or perhaps their music is healing some hurt or trauma that they've experienced. The truth is, that it really didn't matter what thir motives were, even if they were malicious. Their actions don't give me any excuse to disobey the call to love my neighbors. And so, my calls to the office stopped, my pounding on the floor stopped, playing my audio at a high volume stopped. And you know what else stopped? No, not their music, unfortunately. But my anger stopped, my annoyance stopped, my anxiety stopped, my desire to hurt them stopped. Yes, they still crank up the noise daily, but love has drowned it out. It's actually becoming more like white noise to me now. I'm learning to be at peace with it, and I can honestly say that it is entirely possible to love people who are not always easy to love. Anyone who knows and loves me can surely attest to that. Although it may seem difficult, if not impossible to obey the command to love our neighbors unconditionally, when we are willing to do so, He gives us the grace and the power to do it. God is cool like that! Love is always the right response to anything and everything. Hopefully I'll get better at it. Some of us are very slow learners.
 

FredVB

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It used to be said, as it was in a song, they shall know we are Christians by our love. Very long ago Christians could have been known by their love, and it really was a testimony for Christianity. But in these times there are no nonchristians saying Christians can be known by their love, anywhere. And, indeed, there are not nonchristians said to be known for their love, either, to be fair. But Christians now are failing in ways if Christians used to be known for their love, as many nonchristians now speak of the lack of compassion, and the hate, of Christians, though where that is said those saying it are painting with a broad brush.

God is love, and as such, without being limited in it, sent the incarnation of Logos the Word with God who is God to the world, to lead any of those there showing his example to come to repentance turning from sin, to bear the sins, with his death on the cross, and to make available salvation with eternal life in him. Those in him can then be delivered from this world cursed with all the sin, and creation still groans for the deliverance which comes with the revealing of the redemption.

Love, with the compassion and mercy, is modeled for us, and it is included where Jesus Christ said for followers, be perfect then, for your heavenly Father is perfect. For those not limiting that, they would be known for their love.

I am learning every day to allow the space between where I am and where I want to be to inspire me and not terrify me. -- Tracee Ellis Ross
 

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But Christians now are failing in ways if Christians used to be known for their love, as many nonchristians now speak of the lack of compassion, and the hate, of Christians, though where that is said those saying it are painting with a broad brush.

NonChristians should not be the ones to define what "love" is though. Do Christians fail in love? Absolutely but not completely because we are made in God's image and have the Holy Spirit in us. When I hear nonChristians say that Christians are not loving it's because they want those Christians to love their sinful ways.
 
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