No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.
I John 4:12 (NLT)
No, I’ve never physically seen God, but I experience Him every day. I see and experience Him in the actions of those who unconditionally love with His love. I receive Him in their forgiveness that looks beyond my limitations and recognizes my need. They believe in His best in me when I can’t see it myself. They encourage me even when I fail. They cheer me on to not give up reaching for His best. They don't hit me over the head when I miss the mark. They keep believing in the person Jesus sees in me. And they give me time to find my way, never doubting that I will believe what I have received in Him. When I believe, I will never doubt again what He has freely given. And when I don’t doubt, I live without fear and share His love just the way others have shared it with me.
When I choose to love with His love, He is alive in me, and His love is brought to full expression in my life. Some believe that living the unconditional love of Jesus is a risk—that someone will take advantage of what has been freely given. It is not a risk to love with His love. It is a risk not to love with His love. Believing in what Jesus sees in someone else can be life-changing for them and life-changing for you. Not forcing it and not getting frustrated when you don’t see change is the answer. Jesus never gets frustrated with you. He sees you through the eyes of loving grace. Jesus can't see you any other way because He has already given up His “rights." He never demands. He just loves.
“Rights are where survivors go,” William Young writes, “so they don't have to work out relationships.”
You don't have to fight for survival. Jesus gave you His best to survive! He gave us His “rights” when He said yes to the Cross. Life is about living out relationships, and Jesus revealed how to love others no matter how they respond in return. Christ's love is all about extending undeserved grace. He did not deserve to die for me and extend me undeserved grace, but He did. He chose not to exercise any "rights." He chose to sacrifice His life. If I choose to honor the gift of His life by giving my own away, I will discover precious truths. In giving myself away, I receive the joy of His abundance. In dying to self, I learn to live victoriously and entirely in Him.
I experience the full expression of His love when I daily choose to deny my rights just as He denied His rights for me. With the full expression of His love flowing within me, I can never withhold what I have received. I give His love away.
Give as He gave His life for you, and you will receive—pressed down and running over. Free of self, you flow without limitation in Him. And His gift goes on. A life changes, and so do you.
© 2019 Lynn Lacher