Love One Another- We Must Do Better

Above All Things Jesus LOVED. We are called to Love One Another. We must do better.

I originally thought that I might talk about self care, because May is Mental Health Awareness, I’ve kind of briefly spoken to you about my daughter, I also have ADHD, I have had some ups and downs with my cognitive abilities through ms which have led to understanding that I’ve got a bit of anxiety, and also just, you know, some depression that came after cancer. But when I sat down to start to write all that out, where it would be great, it wasn’t the message inside me that God had. And so I asked God to give me a word and boy he delivered this morning. And so I just want to kind of break it down and share with you a little bit of hope, and encouragement. And a whole lot of grace, I hope will be given as I try and muster my way through this.

I know that this is mainly for an audience who feels like they have been pushed out, feels like they have been judged harshly, completely misunderstood, and completely not loved. And that is not where I think any of us should sit as judge and juror.
Yesterday, I also shared this reel over on IG just straight scripture from James 2 on loving others and how God does things a little differently than we might think. Go take a listen!! 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Lori Young (@curatedsouls_loriyoung)

Below are the show notes.

So we have three motives by which we live. Apparently, we live for our bodies, we live for our mind, and we live for our soul, which I think is perfect, because Scripture (Matthew 22:37), Jesus tells us to love him with all of our hearts, minds and souls. And our bodies are to be the temple (1 Cor 6:19-20), and we are image bearers (John 17:20-21). But none of us can fully live out one of those better than the other. And it certainly doesn’t add for a wholeness of abundance and life to love fully in soul, we must have love. (1 John 4:8, John 13:34)

I know, right now, we’ve got some really hot topics, there’s racism, there’s the abortion thing that’s overtaking everything. And there are a lot of things happening inside the church where people are leaving, whether it’s deconstructing or have been hurt by the church or people of the church. And I’m always always, always saying that I don’t want to stand against and tell you what I’m against. I want to tell you what I am for. And I think that that is so important. Because when we go talking about what we’re against, we’re automatically putting our minds and our bodies carry it fully. But our souls and our minds are automatically on the defense. I feel like there’s enough fighting out there about who’s right and who’s wrong. And that is part of the problem. But today, I don’t want to be a part of that fight. I want to be a part of the hope. I want to read to you some scriptures that got me to this message today. That took me away from self care and put me right in it, which is reading the truth.

I want to share just a little thing. I was really stressed out yesterday, because okay, I’ve started the podcast, and I’ve done all these things I’ve read on my site, I’ve you know, kind of made it down my list, but yesterday was YouTube. And because of all these videos, and everybody keeps asking, Are you on YouTube? Nope. I do have a channel set up. And we do not have the time or the desire to to take those videos and edit them to something that people want to consume have opinions about. And it takes time. And I don’t have that kind of time. I can watch videos on how to streamline it or make it better. But the truth is, is I just don’t want to do that. Now. Maybe later when I build this into something where I can have a team of people that would like to do that we’ll see. But having built a business before having to take a timeout because of cancer and having to rebuild and recreate what I am doing and who I am is something that is well, quite honestly, there’s been a lot of friction. There’s a ton of inconvenience. And the struggle has been really real really hard. But all the same. I’m having so much fun. And I know that pressing through All of that and seeing my thought or my idea of what I had take shape and form from something where I had absolutely no idea how it was going to become. But I had that burning desire to do it, it was just like this whimsical curiosity of Gosh, can I really do this because I feel alive when I’m doing it. And like, tada, we’re here and I’m on episode seven. And I can’t even imagine how that happened. And I know whether you’re a believer, or you’re not a believer, you know that feeling. And you also know that it comes from a place have something greater in us, or around us, or amongst us, that is making a way for it to happen. And those were things that I wrote down, are what led to today’s message.

So bear with me, because if you are a believer, you also know that if you’re aligned, and you’re abiding in His truth, that those thoughts, those thoughts come from Him. He puts those desires in you. (Psalm 37:4) And then He gives you everything you need (2 Peter 1:3) from wherever, from a place that I can’t even imagine. (Eph. 3:20) But things just show up. And they are right in your path. And it’s the next best thing. And this is it, keep going just keep abiding, just keep keep trusting, keep believing that He is the one that’s there to provide it.(John 14: 16-30) And in that is the message of John 15. And so I want to take a look at that with you today. I’m gonna read a little bit of it to you. And I want to read it to you from this idea of “delight.” So I looked up delight and because I know that He’s the lights in us. (John 9:3 MSG) And when I think about that- I was talking to my husband yesterday, and I said this may be crazy. And it likely is. But when I think about God, delighting in what I’m doing, like when I said “No, I’m just not going to do YouTube right now I can’t, I just don’t have the time it’s stressing me out. And stress is manmade stress is not success. It’s taking me away from doing the things that I actually love, like being able to produce these things that I’m actually really good at. And I really want to get it done. And I love it. The art that creating, you know, talking and building studies and things like that, that I have in the works. I can’t do that if I’m focused on doing something that somebody else wants from me, but it’s really not what I think God’s asking of me and being able to discern that.” Well, it’s because I know he loves me. And I know that He actually puts those desires in my heart. And quite honestly, I told my husband I said, “it’s like He’s living where I wake up, and I put my feet on the floor and I say, God, walk with me today helped me to feel your presence all around me helped me to see through the lens of Your love helped me to do what You’re asking me to do to show up, reveal it to me. And I hope that I get just even a morsel of it, right? And so I think that in that knowing that He delights and He takes joy in us. It’s like he lives vicariously through all of us seeing our joy and our excitement, and just the way that we run into the path that He’s setting before us and knowing that it’s from this place of abundance that He has for us that is just for us and it’s never taking away from someone else, & it’s never competitive. And it’s it’s just all Him. It’s all His and what a wonderful and glorious gift that that is and it’s for anyone in His kingdom who have seen Him.” & that’s just it, there’s no other rules or regulations in it. We don’t get to play judge or jury on who that is. We don’t get to say that someone’s sin is worse than someone else’s because the vitriol language and hate being spewed out like bullets and hailstorm and fireballs. Those were God’s to spray out to the people who were not holding His truth, not loving, and not walking in obedience through Israel. Right That’s what we we read in Psalm 78.

But somehow we’ve taken the stance that we need to be right and here’s what I read. “I’ve told you these things for a purpose.(This is in John 15 that He is the vine and the branches.) I am the vine you are the branches when you’re joined with me and I with you the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon, {{asked, not with an arrogance that we deserve it or are demanding it, but with an authoritative knowing that it is him who put it in us. That’s what he’s saying, there.}} I loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home and my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain intimately at my home in my love. That’s what I’ve done, kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in his love. I’ve told you these things for a purpose, that my joy might be your joy and your joy, holy mature, this is my command love one another, the way that I love to you, this is the very best way to love put your life on the line for your friends, you are my friends, when you do these things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants because your servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. Now I’ve named you friends, because I let you in on everything that I’ve learned from the Father who didn’t choose me. Remember, I chose you and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil as fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, He gives you but remember, the root command is love to love one another.”

Friends, we use this part of the scripture, and we weaponize it against people. Because we think that we know that we know -that we know what God has said; who God loves; what He says is sin. The thing is, is that Scripture is written by man. And it’s written in context of what was going on in a period of time, which is why it’s so important to know who wrote it when they wrote it, and what was going on. And what I know is in all of the chaos that is going on in this world, we have cherry picked a lot of verses to fit our self righteous. And quite honestly, I just don’t think it produces the kind of anger that that is healthy. And I want you to know that I have come a long way in trying to deliver this because quite honestly, I was so angry. And I talked with several people during that time. And I knew that my heart was just heavy with God’s grieving, grieving that people who call themselves Christians are missing some of the most important parts of his word, because they’re holding on so dearly, to some of the words that were never written for us, and who are taking a stand just to take a stand without backing it up with the root command of loving one another. Because you need to be right, and you need to be heard and you and you think that you’re doing it because it’s what God wants you to do. But the way that you’re doing it isn’t the way that God wants you to do it. I see it all the time in the way the comments are written in on every social media platform you could ever come up with. And we like to use “Well, Even Jesus was hated by the world.”

But when that happens, remember this. These are the words in Scripture (John 15:20). “When that happens, remember this, servants don’t get better treatment than the masters. If they beat on me, they will certainly beat on you. If they did what I told them, they will do what you tell them.” And so I’m asking you as a Christian, you as a believer, you as the weekly church goer and doer. What are you telling “them” to do? Because He said over all things love.(1Cor 13:7; 1 Peter 4:8) What if you’re wrong? What if God…What if God absolutely 100% ordains at all? He ordains at all. (Colossians 1:16-20 MSG) He lets every thing happen so that his power can be seen through them (John 9:3) and So I’ve really had to take a step back and ask myself that. How do I love one another?  Because I, we must do better. 

I have been a part of the problem for a long time because it was indoctrinated and held over me and pressed into me and through me. And it was just what was true, because it’s what I was told, when I started asking myself questions is when I saw that there was all this strife of deconstructing, and where I don’t know that I’m deconstructing, and I kind of really love the idea of deconstructing, because it’s a long time. It’s not anything new by anyway. But you know that I love furniture. And one of my favorite lines is from Restoration Hardware, and it’s their deconstructed look. And it’s just where, you kind of get to see the bones of the chair. And it’s amazing, because it’s really this raw form. And I just think it’s the prettiest picture ever of your faith. When you can see all the suffering, all the ways that that person rebelled, all the things that they got wrong, and admit that they got it wrong. But it was this journey that God allowed, because He knew and planned for every last procrastination. He knew that they were going to be strong willed, have stony hearts, and He still chose them and love them (John 15:16 MSG). And if it’s ‘by the evidence of our fruit that will never spoil’, I have to say that I am seeing people that are being condemned. The gay, just the whole, I don’t even know how to articulate that, because it’s just something I do not have a foot in that community. And I do not have anybody that I need to protect or love in that community. So I just don’t have a stake in it. And I don’t know all the language/lingo. And I don’t think that there needs to be in my case for that. But I’m going to tell you that when I see people loving each other that are same sex, I used to cringe, because I was told I needed to because it was sinful. And it was disgusting. And it was vile. And it was just a violation of God’s creation. And I don’t believe that’s true, because I don’t know a better example right now. But Nate and Jeremiah, I’m sorry, I’ll just use you please forgive me. A long time ago, I saw the way that they loved, and that was so pure. And I know I’m gonna get hate on for this. But I don’t care because it’s breaking my heart, watching even Mike come out as a gay pastor, who is going to stand inside that community and save lives? Because there are so many people who are being bullied and harmed, and love does not cause harm. (Romans 13:10)

God does not and this is not punishment for a sin, because I’m not sure it’s a sin. And yes, I said that because those words were changed in the words that were used. We’re talking about something that happens actually inside the church where we have priests that are molesting and we have pastors that are pedophiles. And this is a problem. It is a huge problem. But it’s not because a man loves a man or a woman loves a woman. There’s nothing more beautiful than love. And when you take out this predisposition of something that you’ve been told is disgusting. And you look at it from a place that is just what it is love the good bountiful fruit that is coming from it. We could take a page from their playbook and do better.

I believe that my second thing is on the abortion, the girl who got an abortion who feels like she is unworthy of God’s love, it couldn’t be farthest from the truth. And it’s one that we are so willing to stand and point fingers and protest. But we do not step into that life and encourage or love and honestly repent from our own sinfulness that says ‘we’re better than them”. Because those ideas are from pride & that is a sin. It’s the worst one that drives all of the things that we’re doing so wrong; that are far from loving; far from Mercy; and far from kindness. And it’s hard. It’s hard to watch. And I just, I just kept getting filled up with all this anger and wondering how we’re ever going to get to unity God, how? And then you add on the racism and that “that’s just not even a thing”. And we’ve got gay theology and Black Theology and we’ve got war on words.

And just I just want to know, if you believe one scripture, don’t you believe “it” all that’s the way it works. And why are we handpicking some of these verses (James 2) when we should be focusing on the one ones that are the most important- because He said they’re the most important love one another. (John 13:34) I used to think it’s because we don’t know how to love ourselves. And then I realized it’s because we don’t know how God loves us. And so when we’re thrusted, into some really hard times, or suffering, and we go, and we lay it down, because over and over again, in Old Testament, like kept on sending, just kept on sinning, and he came back, and he loved us and kept on sinning and kept on sinning, but it wasn’t until it just got so bad that they were like, “yes, you’re my Rock.” But he knows your heart. (Luke 16:15; Psalm 44:21)

Friend, He knows your heart. He knows when… it’s like Mia, when she’s just so persistent. You know, or when my kids say something, or they just tried to shut me up, right? They’re just trying to just get you to stop. And I think we do that to God sometimes. And he knows it. But Jesus said that He gave us the Holy Spirit so that the Holy Spirit could confirm who he was in God the Father, and that he said, You too, must give confirming evidence, because you were with me from the start. And I just think the evidence that we’re looking for, is all around us. But we’ve got so many opinions about what that evidence should look like. And we’re discounting other people’s evidence. And we shouldn’t be, we just shouldn’t be.

And so that led me to something that I want to read to you a little bit of John 10, because, and I’m gonna not read all of it to you, but He’s telling them about how He’s the gate. And they’re like, we just don’t understand. And He says, “Well, that was plain language, let Me make it explicit. I am the Gate. Anyone,”- Now He could have been really specific. And He could have said, the ones who follow the letter of the law, but He didn’t, because He came to break all of the things that the Jews, Pharisees, however you want to put it -all the rules and the systems He was seeking down to break, He came down to set us free. And he says, “Anyone who goes through Me will be cared for– will freely go in and out and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal, kill, and destroy. I came so they can have real eternal life, more and better life than ever imagined. I put the sheep before Myself” before my need to be right. The root command is to love one another friends, He said he puts His sheep before himself. And then He went on. And He said, “I’ve told you, but you don’t believe. Actions speak louder than words. You don’t believe. Because you’re not My sheep. My sheep recognize My voice. I know them. And they follow Me.”

They don’t follow what every one else is saying. They don’t get in on the clamoring and the squabbling and the foolery of what we’re flipping against, and you’re wrong, and you’re wrong. It’s like we’re on the Oprah show, and you get to be wrong, and you get to be wrong. That’s not how we’re supposed to be behaving. I think if we would stop and listen to His voice, we’d be able to discern some of what is being said, and I just want to end this today with what love is. And so I want to read to you from First Corinthians 13. And I want to use it today for its intended purpose. And that’s hope and encouragement. I don’t want to use it as a weapon. I don’t. I want you to know that I do believe that love wins over all things,

The way of love. 1 Cor 13 MSG “if I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy, but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have the faith that says to a mountain “Jump” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. Love never gives up. Love cares for others over self. Love, doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut. Doesn’t have a swelled head. Doesn’t force itself on others -{{doesn’t force itself on others. Its opinions. Its rights its needs. It just doesn’t force itself on others.}} It isn’t always “me first.” Doesn’t fly off the handle. Doesn’t keep score of sins of others. Doesn’t rebel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything. Trusts God always. Always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end. Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over someday. A praying in tongues will end, understanding will reach its limit. We only know a portion of the truth and what we say about God is always incomplete but when complete arrives are incomplete will be canceled. We don’t yet see all things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog peering through a mist, but it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright. We’ll see it all, then see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly, just as He knows us. But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consumption. Trust steadily God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.”

Friends, When I think about loving extravagantly, or being loved extravagantly. I immediately go to the place of excitement, but I don’t deserve it. And Grace is an on merited undeserving gift from God in the form of Jesus. And He has loved the to go hand in hand. It’s more than platitudes. It’s more than a trite saying, and I believe in the remnant that he speaks of. And I think that remnant is going to be a whole lot different than what we believe and he is the gate, not me, not you, we all hold a piece of that puzzle inside of us. And until we all come together in unity, which is loving each other as ourselves, we better learn how to love ourselves, like God loves us so that we can overflow from that love and rise above all of this chaos. That, by the way, is pretty much manmade, we can do better, we have to do better, we must do better. And that’s more than a slogan. That’s the truth. He is the only way don’t let the enemy steal that key is our truth. Don’t let him kill it. And He is our hope, our peace, and our love. So don’t let the enemy destroy you.

Thank you so much for showing up today. I hope that somewhere in this 35 minutes that it all came together and that if you are the one struggling with your identity, or struggling with the fact that others think that you shouldn’t be loved for who you are, for what you’ve done, for what color your skin is or where you live, I want you to know that ANYONE who loves God, He loves and you belong in the kingdom of God, you are His children. There’s nothing that can take that from you. No one can steal that from you. Hold on to it with an unswerving hope. Knowing that you are extra- you’re extra extra extravagantly LOVED!! I hope that brings you hope, hope that makes you feel held, and loved in a way that you have been longing for. And friends. I’m going to start a new community soon because I believe that if we started reading our Bible through the lens of that love that God commands, we might do a whole lot less fighting, and a whole lot more good in this world. And where our works is not our salvation. Our love certainly shows that we know who He is and He is in us. Keep doing good because your good heart, well, He loves it. Thank you.

 

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