"There is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah"
2 Nephi 2:8 (The Book of Mormon)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Our Savior's Love

Continuing on with the Savior's teachings at the Last Supper...

As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
If ye keep my commandments ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love

Last week I invited you to consider why the Savior's invitation to love the way He loves was a new commandment.  Thank you so much Ellen and Martha for sharing your insight.  I have relished the opportunity to ponder on this concept this week.  The greatest distinguishing characteristic I've been able to identify between "loving the way He loves" and the command to "love as we love ourselves"  is that of self consideration.  In the above verses, Christ tells us that He patterned His love for us after the love of the Father.  He tells us that a key component of His love is obedience.  In my own experience, I have found that obedience is rarely the easy, comfortable, or self-serving thing to do.  

Christ's love is perfectly selfless. Not a grain of His motivation towards the Father, or any of us, has ever been influenced by self consideration.  

His willingness to leave His heavenly throne and descend to walk among men in a mortal condition, was prompted by loving obedience to His Father and perfect concern for the welfare of others.  The truths He taught in His mortal walk frequently offended, and still offend those who hear His words.  Even the slightest inclination toward self might lead one to be quiet and not cause offense... in turn reaping the disdain of others.  He boldly and unapologetic-ally spoke the words of the Father (truth) because He knew it was the only way to lead us to our heavenly home.  Do I love others enough to speak truth as directed by the Spirit?

His sacrifice of all personal comfort to heal, succor and lift others is another evidence of His selfless love.  Despite fatigue, He communed with and fed the masses.  Do I love others enough to serve even when my energy is spent?

He went about doing good yet was despised and hated of men.  "He was arrested and condemned on spurious charges, convicted to satisfy a mob and sentenced to die on Calvary's cross." (The Living Christ) Through the final, agonizing steps of His mortal walk He never took personal offense or reviled against those who so horribly abused Him.  His concern was for the welfare of their souls, pleading, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."  When I have been wronged, do I focus on my own wounds, or do I love others enough to forgive?

Despite His own trepidation, His willingness to trust in and submit to the will of the Father, drinking the bitter cup, is the ultimate evidence of His perfect love.  He chose to fulfill the mission His Father sent Him here to accomplish.  Descending below all things, He gave himself as a sacrifice (Ephesians 5:2), suffering pain no mortal man could bear... because of love... for the Father and for us.  Do I love the Father and others enough follow His will, especially when it is hard or painful?

At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
... If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

2 comments:

  1. Carey, I think you've summed up in these four questions the parts of the gospel of Jesus Christ that are the most difficult (for me at least) to live. Speaking complete truth, serving when your own hurts seem overwhelming, forgiving when it's not your fault, and seeking His will above your own. Wow. Those are really tough to do. I read John 14 earlier this week and I was also struck by the words "and will manifest myself to him" and "make our abode with him." That makes it all worth every minute to me. Every effort I make brings me closer to my home with THEM. And because that is what I want, more than anything else, I know I can do hard things.

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  2. BEAUTIFUL KIM!!! What a beautiful testimony! SO TRUE! Thank you so much for posting:) :) :)

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