Early this morning, during my quiet time, I was writing to God about some struggles I have been having in one of my close relationships. I was asking Him to teach me how to walk out forgiveness in the day to day interactions with this person. As I wrote I felt my heart releasing a burden, little did I know God would speak swiftly to me a short while later.
Just an hour or so later, when I got on the treadmill to start running, I turned on a sermon and it started in the middle of it even though I had no recollection of beginning it earlier, and the part it started with was all about forgiveness and how to walk out Agape Love! I could barely believe it. How sovereign is that?!
Here’s the deal, I realized while listening to that sermon, that I had lost sight of all I’ve been forgiven of and how far God’s brought me. But I also needed to remember that even though I am completely forgiven in God’s eyes because of Jesus, I still don’t know all that I’ve been saved from. Meaning, sometimes we walk out bad or even sinful behavior and aren’t yet aware of it. But over time the Father gently leads us and teaches us, it’s not often a one-time encounter of awareness. Does that make sense?
In essence what Abba was saying to me was, “Lisa, that person doesn’t know the part of Me that will free them of that yet. They don’t know they are acting that way, it’s all they’ve ever known so far in their life. Have grace. Give room for them to grow, and above all act out of love toward them. You’re lack of affection for that person is not evidence of their wrongs, it’s evidence of your pride.”
When God comes in with gentle instruction, it’s amazing how it can pierce through so many layers or armor we’ve placed around our hearts.
I am to walk in love and act out of love, it’s non-negotiable and not at all dependent upon any other person or how they treat me. It may seem unfair, but it’s how Jesus loves us, isn’t it? He’s not asking for anything He’s not already walked out for us.
As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain in My love. If you obey My commands and remain in My love, just as I have obeyed My Father’s commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit- fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in My name. This is My command: Love each other. John 15:9-17