Discipleship, is a journey I hope you will join me on. Being transformed into the likeness of Jesus, on purpose.
The most important of God’s laws is to love one another. To build stronger, personal, deepening, supportive, and faith-building relationships with God, our family and friends, neighbors, coworkers, and strangers is following the example set for us both in the Word and by Jesus’s own living example to us.
For me the lessons of God’s love, the real-sinking-in-lessons for me, came from Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?
“God wants you to be in regular, close fellowship with other believers so you can develop the skill of loving. Love cannot be learned in isolation. You have to be around people – irritating, imperfect, frustrating people. Through fellowship we learn three important truths.” – Rick Warren
Rick Warren goes on in his life-changing book to explain those three truths:
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.1 John 4:11-13
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.John 13:34
A relationship is the state of being connected. Some people are starving for relationships of love. Others are terrified of true relationships, connections, and want to keep others at a distance to protect themselves.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.Ephesians 4:32
With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.Ephesians 4:2
As we become more like Jesus and grow into our own discipleship, God’s own love will shine through us brighter than ever, drawing others to the warmth and joy of His bright light and love. The compassion and peacefulness of the Holy Spirit will comfort those that are in turmoil or afraid.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.1 Thessalonians 5:11
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.1 Peter 4:8
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.John 15:13
Submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.Ephesians 5:21
And let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works.Hebrews 10:24
Bear with one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. As we build new and strengthen relationships, we also want to be always deepening these manifestations of God’s love. A “deepening” because time passes and and more moments are shared with sincere interest and empathy, our relationships are always deepening.Galatians 6:2
Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.1 Peter 3:8
Relationships, in our walk with Jesus as His disciple, go hand in hand with the most important of God’s laws; Love. We want this discipleship. We feel God’s love and want to walk with Him and share His love with others. We have daily epiphanies reading His Word, then turn around and do exactly the opposite!
My example is Proverbs 12:16 ~ A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult. Ok! This is my day, and within an hour at the office, I was insulted and annoyed. (My total fail.)
All of the good spiritual input that we receive and enjoy is put to the test as we relate to other people. Our real growth comes not from the marvelous reading that morning. The real growth comes from failing to put it into action and calling out to our Father, “Lord, forgive me. Please bring me another test and help me to respond properly with love.”
That is the growth.