The Vine – God is Love: I’m Looking at the Man in the Mirror

Week V

What makes someone difficult to Love?

i.e. distant, angry, rude, liar, etc.

Name the passages we have discussed in class to show how Jesus (God) reacts to difficult-to-Love individuals, even enemies. Is there any form of pattern that you see emerging?

Romans 7:14-25

For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

There is a symbiotic relationship from sin, to repentance, to Love. It is how we interact with and have relationship with God. It is also how we interact with and have relationship with one another. Unfortunately for everyone that is not us, our god-like impression of our conscious and will is a deterrent to Loving beyond Love.

Excerpts from Love Beyond Love by Steve Isaac

“If my Love for God, for myself and others, judged like me, could get angry like me, had pride like me, or tried to control like me - then it was Love that would never go beyond me.”

“It is actively shared love that Jesus wants from us! For love to go beyond love it must be active. Active love shares what has been shared with us; love that is open, intentional and filled with genuine hospitality to all.”

Matthew 22:34-40

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets."

John 13:31-35

When he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, 'Where I am going you cannot come.' A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

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