In this world where foundations are being challenged in every land, the love of God must remain firm. Love is a decision
“Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men.” ( 2 Nephi 13:29 1990 Independence Edition)
“Hath he commanded any that they should not partake of his salvation? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; but he hath given it free for all men; and he hath commanded his people that they should persuade all men unto repentance.” (2 Nephi 11:102-103 In. Ed.)
In this world where foundations are being challenged in every land, the love of God must remain firm. Love is a decision. We do not fall in love. We choose to love as God has loved us. God is the example; and all we can do is reflect that pure love to the world around us. This love brings its own reward, sweet above all that is sweet and pure above all that is pure. It includes all people.
This subject could easily be the first subject when preparing ourselves to minister to a fallen world. However, the Love of God is based on a foundation of God Himself, and needs the parameters of the Word of God to explain it. It is explained by the works of God. “He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life, that he may draw all men unto him.” (2 Ne 11:96 In. Ed) The end of all God’s work is to bring us into His presence for salvation or for judgement.
This goal of bringing man before God to be with Him is reflected in the various roles, names and adjectives used in scripture to describe Him. Father, shepherd, counselor, prince, Lord, savior, everlasting, beginning, ending, first, last and friend to name a few. They describe a being that is always there; faithful, kind, honestly speaks about our weakness and truthful about our sins. Today, some may go to a counselor for advice, but our Counselor goes home with us. There is much said today about the gifts of some to be good teachers, but so much more is really needed. We send our children to school, but in the end the teacher stays at school and the child comes home. Our Master, another word for teacher, comes home with us and walks with us to and from school. He eats with us and suffers with us. We may be chastised by the authorities of the world, but our Father lives with us after He chastises. He humbles us for our sins, but Jesus was himself subject to the consequences of our sins. Worthy is the Lamb and let all of God’s people say Amen!
The problem for us is to decide how we will love the world. Should we love in a similar manner? Yes, our characters must reflect that same firmness of purpose. We should show love as a true friend. We want the world to be saved and to be corrected, but in the end we must take upon us the nature of Christ. We must be as parents who correct, yet are there to feed, clothe and protect afterward. The commitment is tremendous. When we have children, flocks, spouses, brethren and friends we, in effect, take their needs as our own. Our hospitality is extended to the stranger. Our food, home and time are available for the needs of others, whether they are temporal or spiritual. This we must do prayerfully and in wisdom according to God’s gifts and strengths He has shared with us.
Needs are seldom convenient. Our own needs and the needs of others are signs of vulnerability
Needs are seldom convenient. Our own needs and the needs of others are signs of vulnerability. Our natures usually try to protect us from vulnerabilities. Our vulnerableness shows our humanity and mortality. We can be hurt, defeated or killed. These things are by design. They are God’s design. We need God and we need each other. Today so many are more alone than ever. The communication age has destroyed true intimate communication. “Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.” (Isaiah 52:2) It is important to note that this beautiful passage in Isaiah goes on to proclaim about the feet of Him that brings peace. Where His feet take Him there He is in person, bringing peace. This is our job; this is the soul of our Church.
We make peace in the lives of God’s children by being available to them. We cannot be like the narcissistic person who is there to be heard, and conveniently absent when he is needed or when the real work is being done. This kind of love is quick to listen and slow to speak. This kind of love leads by being seen and walking slow enough for others to keep track of him.
We are not here just to tell it like it is or to let the chips fall where they may. We do not come with an axe to cut down mankind, but we come with a finely crafted carving instrument to shape mankind to become disciples and children of the Great King. This kind of love was reflected in the words of Stephen, “… Lord, lay not this sin to their charge…” (Acts 7:60) This kind of love prays for their enemies. This kind of love will bless instead of curse. This is opposite from most of the world. This kind of love will put down their cell phone and listen to the person in front of them. This kind of love will suffer for another person’s needs. This kind of love comes from a well of living water that has no end. God will speak to the person who is possessed with this love. God will give wisdom to the person with this love, and help him feel and see. This love will find the answers to concerns, and God will help them to know what is truly important. Be committed to others and God will be our God, and we will be His people.
This kind of love treats all sin with equal importance for the saving of souls, because every soul
is important to God. However, that is another subject…