Photo Credit: Heartlight
“A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you also must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” – Jesus – John 13:34-35
Studying both of these Biblical concepts together has been a gut-punch and a wake-up call. We can NOT think we are walking with God if we hold onto offense and unforgiveness, nor if we allow our own personal preferences divide us from other believers.
Writer, Bible teacher Francis Chan hammers on the deep importance of living our lives with truth, holiness, and unity all in focus. That is only possible by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit. Forgiveness and unity are also only possible with proximity.
We can’t say, “I will forgive but that doesn’t mean I have to have that person in my life”. Now, there may be times when our own physical safety or that of another is in jeopardy, so proximity is difficult, even dangerous. Also emotional trauma may require the coming alongside of family and friends. Most of the time, however, we just don’t want to have to deal with the other person in our lives…our forgiveness extends just to the limits of our own comfort.
Praise God He does not keep us at arm’s length from Him because of all our offenses. He forgives…and He chooses not to remember. He is God, and we are not. I get that…but. Our unity with one another says that we may not prefer each other, or we may not trust each other, or we may think the other is downright wrong. Still, in His strength and by His grace, we can be one as He prayed for us to be…one as Jesus and the Father are one. Wow!
God calls us to prayer…to come boldly to Him with whatever is on our hearts. Chan talks (in the video below) about us coming to God, not with our own mess all the time, but actually in “silent, reverent awe”. Instead of just bringing our list to Him, but also asking Him, “What do You want, God?” Oh, Father help us.
As we humble ourselves before the most magnificent, perfectly loving, all-sufficient heavenly Father, our hearts are changed. That proximity…that coming into His presence…just to be with Him…can change our hearts, our preferences, our willingness. To forgive. To seek forgiveness of another. To live in unity with all the rest of the Family of God.
Proximity to Him…and to each other. Hallelujah! The world needs to see this unity in us. We need to be this unity. His will be done…on earth! As it is in Heaven.
Oh Lord, reigning on high Dwelling in unapproachable light Who can stand before Your glory and Your might Oh Lord, You reign on high
Chorus: And every time I think of who You are and all You’ve done I’m captivated by the thought that You desire us. How can my heart keep from bursting at the truth of this:
Emmanuel, our God wants to be with us
Jesus, incarnate deity – The spotless lamb robed in humility. He chose to die and with His blood to buy us peace. Jesus, it’s my joy to call You King.
This mystery never stops confounding me. My God wants perfect unity. I’m undone – what beautiful insanity That my God is so in love with me.
My God abounds in love for me – What beautiful insanity!
And every time I think of who You are and all You’ve done I’m captivated by the thought that You desire us How can my heart keep from bursting at the truth of this
Emmanuel, our God wants to be with us. I stand in awe, that God you want to be with us*
Photo Credit: Heartlight