Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

Unconditional, not Unconcerned

Friday, February 16th, 2018

The revelation that God’s single disposition toward sinners remains one of unconditional love does not mean we are exempt from the consequences of going against the grain of love.

— Brian Zahnd, Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God, p. 18

Real Self-Love

Thursday, February 15th, 2018

Real love allows for failure and suffering. All of us have made mistakes, and some of those mistakes were consequential, but you can find a way to relate to them with kindness. No matter what troubles have befallen you or what difficulties you have caused yourself or others, with love for yourself you can change, grow, make amends, and learn. Real love is not about letting yourself off the hook. Real love does not encourage you to ignore your problems or deny your mistakes and imperfections. You see them clearly and still opt to love.

— Sharon Salzberg, Real Love, p. 16

No Limit

Friday, February 9th, 2018

I find it quite interesting that many of those who are most vocal about endless punishment have no difficulty believing that God can forgive the worst sins right up to the point of someone’s physical death. They simply don’t believe that God’s love and forgiveness continue into the ages to come. Instead, they believe God places a limit on His grace. But God’s grace is far greater than mankind’s sin. In fact, the Apostle Paul tells us, ” . . . where sin increased, grace increased all the more.”

— George W. Sarris, Heaven’s Doors, p. 152-153

God Doesn’t Do Control.

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

What does the power of the cross mean for us? Or for those who suffer? It means the same Christ crucified on Good Friday now fills the universe with his cruciform love. He does not passively and powerlessly witness the abuse of his children or the oppression of the poor and ‘do nothing.’ Rather, enters the suffering, experiences the anguish, lives the sorrow for all, with all, for all the time. The Christlike God drinks our cup of suffering. The Lamb slain bore it all, right down to the foundations of the cosmos. Secondary causes nailed him to the Tree of affliction. And what did Christ do? In love, he consented to co-suffer with us in solidarity.

In that sense, I say God is in charge, but he is not in control, because he doesn’t do control. Sometimes I wish he did, but as I scan history and humanity, I don’t see him controlling. Sometimes he seems and feels absent, distant and silent, weak or maybe even dead. Did God simply die and abandon us all to go to ‘hell in a hand basket’?

No! Rather than control and coerce, God-in-Christ cares and consents to suffer with and for us. We don’t concede to the false image of a ‘lame duck’ dad who sits by silently, watching his kids getting beaten by the bully. Instead, we look to the true image of the cruciform — Christ himself — the One who heard our groans and came down to suffer and die with us in order to overcome affliction, defeat death and raise us up to live and reign with him.

— Bradley Jersak, A More Christlike God, p. 133

Babies are Pure Love.

Sunday, January 28th, 2018

All babies are pure love. They feel complete love for themselves and know they are perfect, lovable, and unique. Yet from the first months of a baby’s life I see this glow of love fade, and by the age of ten – and sometimes much younger – the glow has diminished greatly as children have locked away a significant proportion of their love in order to protect themselves, in order to stop themselves from being hurt.

— Lorna Byrne, Love from Heaven, p. 15-16

A Gift of Intimacy

Monday, January 22nd, 2018

Everyone’s heard the self-help platitude “You must love yourself before you can love anyone else.” This may sound wise, but it misses a great truth: if we want to experience true intimacy, we need to be taught to love aspects of ourselves — again and again — by the people around us. As much as most of us want to control our own destiny, the humbling truth is that sometimes the only way to learn self-love is by being loved — precisely in the parts of ourselves where we feel most unsure and tender. When we are loved in such a way, we feel freedom and relief and permission to love in a deeper way. No amount of positive self-talk can replicate this experience. It is a gift of intimacy, not of willpower. When we surround ourselves with people who honor our gifts and whose gifts we also honor, our lives blossom.

— Ken Page, Deeper Dating, p. 72-73.

Love in Our Lives

Tuesday, December 26th, 2017

Love is love; it’s always the same, but the angel with no name has shown me that many people have a very narrow view of love — they simply see it as something between a couple, or within a family. I meet so many people who are crying out for love, but they think the only way to get this love is through a romance, and because of this they are failing to see the love that is already in their lives. They fail to recognize there are many different ways in which we can love.

— Lorna Byrne, Love From Heaven, p. 11

Lies Don’t Get Along with Jesus.

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

That’s why the demons are afraid. Because Jesus always has something to do with them.

Which is exactly why our demons try to keep us from people who remind us how loved we are. Our demons want nothing to do with the love of God in Christ Jesus because it threatens to obliterate them, and so they try to isolate us and tell us that we are not worthy to be called children of God. And those are lies that Jesus does not abide.

— Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints, p. 87

Being Christlike

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

I used to think that to be Christlike meant to be alienated and put off by the sin of others. But it’s quite the opposite. Refusing to be alienated and put off by the sin of others is what allows me to be Christlike.

— Brant Hansen, Unoffendable, p. 79

Close and Caring

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

We will begin to explore the grand mystery of how a kenotic, cruciform and Christlike God can reign — can be present, active and ‘sovereign’ — in the world, when he is neither coercive nor controlling, but nevertheless infinitely close and caring. We’ll notice together how such a God rules, saves and serves by grounding and filling all that is with the power of love — a divine love with a particular content defined as consent and participation.

— Bradley Jersak, A More Christlike God, p. 121