How well did you live loved today?
In a quiet moment, does your heart and mind reflex back to “I’m deeply loved by my Father”?
During your today, how aware are you that the Three most Significant Persons in the universe are delighted to connect with you with their renewing love?
“We love because God first loved us” (1 John 4:19) is plastered all over God’s Word, in humans as image-bearers and throughout the universe! God created humans with a built-in gravitational pull towards being loved. And no love is greater than the magnetic pull of the Father and Son.
I would recommend first rapidly reading this broad, sweeping panorama of our Christian journey. Then go back, print out the free PDF of this article, and repeatedly read it to make it your own. Then perhaps at that time, begin to look up the many referenced verses as they are helped at deepening your framework. Make what you can embrace by faith your voice from Scripture as you reflect and do, not an echo of my voice or that of any other authority figure in your life.
I’m a follower of Jesus.
Not a person who simply goes to church or serves others or reads the Bible or even believes Scripture. I’m all-in with the Father, Son and Spirit, although I still stumble too often. I actively partner with the Spirit to connect and to put God’s Word into daily practice. I’m changed in that very process of abiding in His love with obedient responses of faith…and still have a lot of anticipated change left (John 15:9-10).
My journey began the summer I turned twenty-five and prayed as an agnostic (unsure if God even exists), perhaps for the first time.
“Jesus, these people in my wife’s church believe You change lives. I know I can’t lead my life the way I want by myself. I give You my life, lock, stock, and barrel, and take Your life in return. I’m all-in with You, Jesus.”
In that instant, without any ecstatic feelings or noise, my life changed. Others noticed and in time I did. And my life continues to change, even after forty+ years of faithfully walking together with our Family-of-Three, Father, Son and Spirit.
This subject of living loved by the most significant Persons in the universe is now central to my journey. This takes no time from my day yet may occupy most of my conscious time. I wish I had grasped then what I’m now beginning to see more clearly. Jesus certainly makes this clear!
Because we have been first loved by God (1 John 4:19; Romans 5:5), live loved, both toward God and toward others.This fulfills the “Great Commandment” that fulfills all other commandments.
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Jesus in Matthew 22:37-40).
Just two things out of our lasting relationship with our Family-of-Three, Father, Son and Spirit. Love God with our all. And love others out of His love. Love fulfills the entire OT. I’m all-in, Jesus! Simple, yet not always easy and certainly not without our effort as we partner with the Spirit.
From the start, I dived into Scripture as my authority for life. And my mind still needs renewing, even after all these years. I’m more conscious of this needed change now than I was as a young warrior. Take a few leisurely moments. Soak in these two passages to reset our perspective of God and ourselves to see through His eyes.Take this God’s-eye view seriously.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
For we know in part and we prophesy in part. [For] now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known (1 Corinthians 13:9-12).
As you read on, please maintain the creative tension of the Both/And of this mystery of godliness (1 Timothy 3:16, NASB). Compared to God’s perfect love and our anticipated relationship with Him in eternity, no matter how well-studied, no matter how clear a prophetic word seems, we still only know in part (1 Corinthians 13:9-13). At times, we will experience confusion.
Maintain the creative tension, fashioned from both dirt and divinity.
Do you really know what God truly thinks about you?
Fasten your mental seat belts!
Where can we discover what God’s original and unchanging intent is for us in creation?
I’ve never had a mental thought that in some way has not been colored by the Fall of all humanity in Genesis 3. So, the answer must lie outside me. We have been trained as reasoning people to go to the original primary sources for truth on a subject. I only know of two primary sources to discover God’s original and unchangeable plan for His people.
- Genesis 1 and 2 prior to the Fall of humanity. So, soak in Genesis 1 and 2 (alongside 3, describing the Fall).
- And Jesus, the “Second Man,” especially as revealed in the Gospels. Jesus is the first complete person since Adam sinned. He came as the “Last Adam” to pay in full for the effects of sin and as the “Second Man,” our perfect model for life (1 Corinthians 15:45-48). So, marinate in the Gospels to get acquainted with this fascinating man who reveals both His Father and ideal humanity.
Who is this God who created us to know and love Him?
From all eternity, the relational Trinity (Father, Son and Spirit) is community at His core. He is neither lonely nor solitary. God lives in a mutual equality as one God with life shared in common and also in an incredible diversity as Father, Son and Spirit. These intersect to forge deep unity. The equality within the Godhead with incredible diversity forging a deep unity expresses the model for a rich and abounding relational community of utter oneness. And this model of equality that celebrates diversity fostering unity (not uniformity) is our model for all social connection. And it blows our socks off!
And don’t be knocked off course when you run into delegated authority that does not act like this, and it seems God is slow to intervene. Bring your confusion patiently to God and be willing to hold it in tension for now.
Because our perspective is too small, just like Eve and Adam in the beginning in Genesis 13.
Here’s a puzzle with nine dots arranged in a set of three rows. Your challenge is to draw four straight lines which go through the middle of all of the dots without taking your pencil off the paper. Put your pencil at any point and draw four straight lines, one after the other. Each line starts where the last line finishes.
First get a BIG glimpse of God’s loving heart.
Before anything else existed, this Family-of-Three always existed in perfect cooperation…lacking nothing. Their unbridled delight and satisfaction with One Another in their mutual, joy-filled, encouraging life knew no bounds! As a deeply intimate, mutually serving, gloriously creative, and powerful relational Community, such life and love and light must be multiplied to reach the zenith of its fullness.
So then, why did God create humanity?
God certainly did not create because He lacked anything in Himself. However, love is creative. Love is generative. Love must multiply. Their mutual love would not “permit” this supremely good Family-of-Three to keep their relationship to themselves. (I flounder for language to express their free decision to create from a relationship lacking nothing).
God is a generous Giver at heart. He yearns to bless by pouring out His life and love and light. Such a passionate Self-Giver with His bubbling over life fulfilled His desire to multiply by “going public.” God’s goodness ignited His generosity to create out of His greatness, both image-bearers and a creation in which to house us.
The power of this nine-dot puzzle above to develop perspective is that you literally have to “think outside the box” to solve the puzzle. Your pencil or mouse must go outside the box of the dots to be able to solve it.
How can we know with certainty what was at the core of the eternal relationship of the Father and Son before creation since we were not there?
Listen to One who was there, Jesus!
“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world” (John 17:24, emphasis).
Since Jesus, our Model Man, lived loved by His Father, live loved by the Father and Son, the very relationship they enjoy in all of eternity past! AS Jesus…SO His people.
Genesis 1 and 2 magnificently display their solution to multiply their astounding mutual love.
We call this creation.
The most significant SmallGroup in the universe designed image-bearers, created uniquely man and uniquely woman to live loved by Him. Fish need water to live. Birds need the air to fly. Humanity needs our willing response to God’s initiating first-love to live loved (1 John 4:19). Our infinite, uncreated Creator fashioned humanity as much like Himself as a limited, created being could ever be (Genesis 1:26; 2:7; Psalm 8:5 (NASB); 2 Peter 1:4). This amazing Reality prepares us to live loved by the Father, Son and Spirit.
This is the purpose for which you exist, whether you know it or not. God designed you for relational intimacy and to partner with Him in His mission, exercising His delegated authority as intimate allies. In the beginning God created.
“Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over…” (Genesis 1:26, cp. also 1:27-28).
The Lord God desired to draw us close to His heart and then become intimate allies.
So, His Eden-intent was, and is, for His image-bearers to first experience intimate relationship with Him (“in our image…likeness”). And as intimate partners to join His adventure of life so God could rule His earth through His human representatives (“rule over”). In God’s infinite wisdom, He chose to deepen relationship with His crown-jewel by sharing His delegated rule in this world. Even those who take their rightful place by His side to live loved by Him unfortunately misuse that authority at times. Shared-adventures as partners, especially when difficult, often bind a team together in a lifelong friendship.
“Overflowing with the generosity that comes from the abundance of real love, He creates us to share in the joy of this heroic intimacy” (Curtis & Eldredge, The Sacred Romance).
God formed the first man from the ground and breathed into him the breath of life (Genesis 2:7). Imagine the intimacy of that first glimpse Adam snatched of his new world as his eyes opened. Adam gazed longingly into the face of the Living God! God also designed us to embark on a faith-adventure with Him as intimate allies to mutually build up one another in His circle of life and to battle to restore those who may wander.
This Reality stuns me.
This relational, Triune God determined to open the circle of His intimate Family relationship and to share His unending life with those fashioned in His image. How else could we live loved except out of the fullness of His eternal love and life? The Bible calls this life “eternal life.” Eternal life emphasizes the unique quality of His life in us, a life without end that now fills us to overflowing (John 10:10b). This is why we can live loved, because He is the object of our love.
And nothing changed God’s original intent for us, not even the disastrous Fall in Genesis 3.
Begin with a minimum,…
…then grow it over the years. As I have engaged God’s Love-Letter, the Bible, and dialoged with others, the following describes some of what I now believe are some of the minimum essential for growth. This is not just for me, but for all. Think through this with your Resident Teacher, the Spirit of God. Make these your own because we all see and know in part (1 Corinthians 13:9-13).
- A desire to cultivate awareness of God’s presence as a moment-by-moment priority. All thoughts are inner conversations in our head. Invite Jesus into the other half of all our inner conversations. On July 8, 2022, I posted on my website an article on Prayer Kept Simple that fits in right here.
- Sufficient time in God’s Word to feed our hearts in this season so we see life more as Jesus does. I may need more time than some, and less than others. I’m the gatekeeper of my heart as you are of yours. I decide for me (in cooperation with the Spirit). Yet take care not to let self-indulgence cause spiritual malnutrition. The reason I gathered and posted Mining God’s Word is to make available a relatively simple, yet tiered, approach to ingest God’s Word with a bias towards doing. Perhaps peruse this page next.
- Authentic relationship in a local faith-community. Here we rub shoulders with real people like us doing life together in open, interactive relationships.I said authentic, not perfect, because those in any church are still growing on the way like we are.
- Quick obedience to partner with God’s heart in His daily God-Assignments. Your assignments are not mine, and mine are not yours. Discern. Grow in awareness of the footsteps of the Father in your life.
- Keep short accounts when we fall short, both with God and with others. . Walking in reconciliation through forgiveness develops a clear eye to receive insight. With no guilt! No shame. No condemnation. Embrace the transforming power of forgiveness, both from God and to others who have sinned against us.
Which way is the arrow of your life pointing?
Cultivating God’s presence.
Sufficient time in God’s Word.
Keep short accounts.
Enjoy relationship with God above all else. This is my primary reason to study God’s Word since all else flows from this relationship. Grow by faith, apart from what we can do on our own by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7), even before we completely know what faith is. True faith is not a series of intellectually satisfying beliefs. True faith actively responds in the sweet surrender of all-in allegiance to the object of our faith. To believe or have faith is one of the simplest things. God designed us to connect with Him through faith. Faith is like…
- knocking on a door (Revelation 3:20),
- receiving a gift from a close friend (John 1:12),
- drinking a refreshing glass of water (John 4:14),
- calling for help when drowning (Romans 10:13),
- coming to a dear friend when weary (Matthew 11:28),
- resting all our weight in our chair when we are weary (from a missionary).
True faith rests our lives entirely on God and His secure promises, like resting our weight fully in a chair. The object of our faith is more crucial than the amount of faith (a mustard seed size is enough). Faith will get us every good thing God has for us, take us anywhere in God’s economy. Yet without faith we have no new life, no approach to God, no forgiveness, no intimacy with God, no partnering in this grand adventure…no spiritual life at all.
By ourselves and our independent choices, we possess no ability to live loved. With Jesus as our true Vine, we have all the abundance we need. Mining God’s Word of its treasures together gets us in touch with the mind and heart of our Lord and Master. As worshipers, “we become what we behold” (2 Corinthians 3:17-18). So, behold Jesus in Scripture.
Please don’t choose your fickle feelings over God’s unfailingly promises.
How well did you live loved today?
Regardless of your assessment, choose to begin here without regret and take one “ant step” towards Him now.
In a quiet moment, does your heart and mind reflex back to “I’m deeply loved by my Father”? During your today, how aware were you that the Three most Significant Persons in the universe are delighted to connect with you with their renewing love?
- Print out this PDF of this webpage, mark it up and make it your own.
- Read the free linked PDF’s to dive deeper into Friendship from John 15:12-17. Or if you want to take a look at my webpage, Mining God’s Word.
- Move on to the next cascading sub-webpage, Dynamic Creative Tensions in Living Loved.
- Skip on to the next cascading web page, Flood our Life with Spiritual Nutrient to further develop your solid, weighty foundation.