Because I Love You

As parents we have rules for our children. Don’t play in the street. Don’t run with scissors. Don’t hit your brother in the head with that.

We often have a whole list of do’s and don’ts. Like “Do eat your broccoli” and “Don’t go out in the cold without your coat”. Why do we tell them what to do and what not to do? Because we love them, we know what’s best for them and we want what’s best for them.

So when God says, “Thou shalt not kill”; “Thou shalt not commit adultery”; “Thou shalt not steal”; why is He telling us these things? Because He loves us, He knows what is best for us and God wants the best for us.

He tells us to “love one another as I have loved you.” He says to forgive seventy times seven. Or the biggie “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” (I’m sure this will elicit an “ouch” from feltsdia¬†in the comments ūüôā )

We find many do’s and don’ts in the Bible. There are commands in the Old Testament and in the New. Why? He is our Heavenly Father. And just as earthy parents instruct their children for the benefit and well-being of their children, our Heavenly Father instructs us.

I remember a minister once saying that unforgiveness is like you taking poison and expecting the other person to die. God tells us to forgive because He wants us to live. I was going to say “live happy lives”, but the question of forgiving or not can become a question of living or not.

Doctors have found a connection between our state of mind and our health. (For more on this I recommend the book Deadly Emotions by Dr. Don Colbert.)

God loves you and He wants the best for you. Many of the do’s and don’ts we find in the Bible may seem so hard at times, but don’t they seem a little easier to obey when you know that if Daddy is saying to do it this way, it’s only because He loves you and wants the best for you?

Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it-because it does. (1 Corinthians 14:1, The Message Bible)

Love Covers

Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins [forgives and disregards the offenses of others]. (1 Peter 4:8, Amplified)

Love covers. Love doesn’t expose. Love doesn’t talk about the failings of others. Love covers a multitude of sins.

We see an example of this in Genesis 9:20-23 (KJV).

And Noah began to be¬†an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard: And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. And Ham, the father of Canaan saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it¬†upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were¬†backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.

It goes on to say that Noah called his younger son’s descendents¬†cursed. And he spoke a blessing over his other two sons. Ham could have covered his father’s sin without mentioning it to his brothers. But he didn’t. His brothers so loved their father, they didn’t even want to look on his sin as they covered him.

I have yet to meet the perfect person. I have yet to be the perfect person. We all need mercy and grace. We all have moments in our lives that need to be covered. Let’s have compassion on one another. Let’s cover one anothers’¬†sins. Let’s forgive and pray for one another. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (Matthew 7:12, Luke 6:31).

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. (Psalm 32:1, KJV)

…You have loved back my life from the pit of corruption and¬†nothingness, for You have cast all my sins behind Your back. (Isaiah 38:17, Amplified)

Love One Another

In John 13:34-35 (Amplified) Jesus said, “I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another. By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves].”

It’s interesting that He says it’s as we love one another that men will recognize us. Many times we major on loving the ones who don’t know Him. We will lay down our lives to spend time with the sick and with the prisoner, but we get impatient with those at home. We’ll spend hours on our knees for the orphans in far away places, but that annoying in-law gets no prayers, just complaints. We are to love one another even when that other lives with us and their actions directly affect us.

I can say that my biggest testing ground for my love walk is at home. It’s easy to put on love when I’m out and about ministering in His Name. But what about when I’m tired and feel spent from a long day and my family is just not cooperating? This is where we find out just how yielded to love I really am.

I will walk a mile to take a drink of water to the hurt and dying world, but will I walk to the kitchen and get a drink when they forget to say please?

I will overlook the sins of others when it doesn’t really affect me. But what about when their actions directly cause me so much pain and trouble?

Here is where we find out, can I love the ones closest to me with all their faults, all their missteps, all their actions that adversely affect me.

When Jesus hung on the cross He looked at those who had just placed Him there, the ones that had beat Him and nailed Him to that cross, and He said Father forgive them for they know not what they do. We are to love the same way He loves.

What are you still holding on to? What are you unwilling to forgive? Love others just like He loved you. Cast all their sins behind your back. Selah.