God spoke to me in this excerpt from “My Utmost” today…
The first thing God does is remove any insincerity, pride, and vanity from my life. And the Holy Spirit reveals to me that God loved me not because I was lovable, but because it was in His nature to do so. Now He commands me to show the same love to others by saying “…love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12). He is saying, “I will bring a number of people around you whom you cannot respect, but you must exhibit My love to them, just as I have exhibited it to you.” This kind of love is not a patronizing love for the unlovable –it is His love, and it will not be evidenced in us overnight. Some of us may have tried to force it, but we were soon tired and frustrated…. Neither natural love nor God’s divine love will remain and grow in me unless it is nurtured. Love is spontaneous, but it has to be maintained through discipline.
It’s crazy how I find I need to be reminded to love people, especially those who aren’t easily loved. Yet it was this same unreasonable love that captured me when the creator of the universe broke into my life. God found me in the gutters of life, self-absorbed and aimless, and somehow as Paul says in the Bible, “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8) It’s so easy to lose sight of this and get wrapped up in the non-essentials of life – we reject the call of God to love others – and we wonder why His voice quietly seems to fade from our lives.
I find it so interesting that while we as humans spend our lives trying to fill ourselves only to find ourselves empty, Jesus emptied himself and lived the fullest life possible. I pray that all of us this week have the opportunity to give ourselves to those the world sees as unlovable.