Real Love

Matthew 5:46-48 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Grace – the free unmerited and undeserved favor and love of God.  Mercy – not receiving what you rightfully deserve.  Justice – Receiving what we rightfully deserve from God.  With these definitions alone it amazes me of our hypocrisy. Our attitudes towards life as well as towards each other display a sinister one sidedness. Jesus said that to love only those who love us is no good at all.  Yet, we require to receive first in order to love back.  We only love those within our circles. If you cross us then no love for you.  We say hello to only those we know, while giving not the slightest drop of hospitality to strangers unless it’s out of duty or benefit. When we start to see people and define them by what they do or what they can do for us, love is no longer genuine. They become nothing more than obligated servants performing their duty.  They are now usable pawns to make us feel better or reach our goals.  They are no longer human and receive not an ounce of love.  We no longer fellowship with people but robots who better do their jobs and give us what we deserve.
Philippians 2:3-5 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
We dangle the carrot of receiving our beautiful and valuable love but you have to earn it because we deserve better.  We reduce each other to mindless slaves in order to have worshippers at our feet.  We dictate to others how we should be loved because we deserved it.  No wonder there are so few genuine relationships, we are all in it for ourselves.  No one is following after Christ in how we treat each other. In most cases we treat family and friends like trash because we expect them to always be there; so it is with Jesus.  The good husband married to the prostitute and he doesn’t give her justice.
Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” 
Jesus leaves us an example that we refuse to follow and cry in return because we don’t receive what we think we deserve.  We reject his life because it calls us to not think so highly of ourselves.  We cheat on Him with other gods and say it’s his fault that we cheated.  We desire to serve ourselves.  Yet, Jesus gives his life for an unforgiving, unloving, unfaithful, inconsistent, and unworthy bride.  God gave us grace in order to have mercy to keep from giving us justice.  And Jesus welcomed the Father’s justice in our place because of His love for us.  So how can we withhold what has been given graciously to us?  The love that God wants to freely give is a love that was given to us.  Love is a good gift and a perfect gift and all gifts of its kind come from heaven (James 1:17).  We should never grow tired of rejoicing in not getting what we deserve, our hearts should be humbled by the grace we receive regardless of our sinfulness. Jesus is our grace and mercy as he was crucified paying our price for justice. We love because God loved the unlovable in us, so God has taught us what love is.  Love is grace, the giving of undeserved and unearned love to others who are just as undeserving as we are. God changed our lives with it.
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