Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Obedience of Love

Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10, HCSB).

This is the starting point: God loves. He loves us and has done from the beginning. He loved us by sending His son so that whoever believes in Him would not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

God loves us
And calls us to love Him
By keeping His commandments
To love Him
By loving one another
As Christ loved us
By giving Himself for us.

As we love Him
By loving one another
As He loves,
The Triune God abides in us,
And we abide in His love,
And we find ourselves back at the beginning.

God, Christ, love, word, life, one another, commandments, keep, walk, love, Christ-- all change partners, change order, circle and intertwine in a dance.

To walk according to His commandments is to join the dance with Him and with each other, to dance in the obedience of love.

Now I ask you, lady, not as though I were writing to you a new commandment, but the one which we have had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it (2 John 1:5-6, NASB).

Considering love again with the folks at Ann's:

Physical therapy brief: the first session went as well as we could wish. Dave says I have "a pretty good chance" of resolving the back/hip pain through therapy. Your prayers regarding pain have been answered for this first session. There was no significant lasting increase in lower body or chest pain from the session Monday. Round 2 is tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon. Thank you for loving God by praying for me!


  1. Glad to dance a bit via the blogging community here:) Excellent presentation of truth here. Also excellent report on the physical therapy. Prayers continue. Love to you.

  2. Dear Heavenly Father: Thank You so much for Christina: for her sharp, discerning mind...for her careful, gentle spirit...for her heart filled to the tip-top with You! Thank You for health-care professionals who encourage and help, and thank You for this good report. I just pray that You will continue to work in every aspect of Christina's life, and You know, Father: I wouldn't be me if I didn't ask for Christina's complete and utter healing. But we will love You and thank You and trust You no matter what. Because You are good. Amen.

  3. Amy and Brandee, thank you both for your prayers and love. The Lord's blessings to you today!

  4. The first step, but not the last.
    I’m glad he started it, paving the way and setting the example. I want to be a better follower; my steps hardly seem to mimic his at all at times.

    Praying your pain will be released. I’m sorry you hurt…

  5. @Lisa notes... I want to follow better, too; I know exactly what you mean. Thank you for the gift of your prayers. This has actually been a pretty good pain week, and I know that is God's answer to the requests of kind friends.

  6. i really like the phrase, 'the obedience of love'! it puts together two things that the world (the world we are in but called not to be of) tends to keep well apart. in the world, love has a very good press, and a much better one than obedience. masters may be happy to send their puppies to obedience school, and parents may be happy to have obedient children, but i get the impression that, as the world sees it, obedient is not a way that a grown-up would especially *want* to be: in most contexts, if i heard someone speak of an obedient employee, or an obedient wife, i wouldn't exactly take it as a compliment. as you bring out, though, love and obedience are so intimately related--both in the sense that *all* our acts of love (whether it's love for God, or love for each other) are acts of obedience (to the great commandments), and in the sense that obeying is such an important part of loving (not just in our relationship with God, but even in the Trinity ("My food is to do the will of Him who sent me."). I also really like your suggestion that (loving) obedience to God can be our joy and not just our duty (a dance, rather than a forced march). Again, the world keeps joy and obedience well apart, and the way you put them together is illuminating and encouraging.

    i am truly happy to hear that you've had less pain this week, and that the news on the physical therapy front is promising. what i am NOT happy about is that for most of the month (while i'm in italy) i'll have at best intermittent access to the web. i'm going to miss your blog! but you'll be in my prayers every day, and if i don't enjoy your blogs sooner, i'll enjoy them later.

    much love--

  7. I love the image of all these graces dancing together. Isn't this life? Praying for continued progress in your PT too. Blessings, dear one.

  8. Dear Christina,
    You are a beautiful "dancer." Thank you for being a conduit of Love through your words to us. So very, very thankful for the good therapy session. Wondering how today went. . .

  9. Thanks, all, for the prayers.

    yesterday went well, too. There will be more details to follow in the gratitude list, but it has been full of grace. The exercises are not strenuous so far; part of the therapy involves "traction" from the therapists and also from Allen at home to relieve pressure on the nerves; and it was lovely getting to know the deaconess who helped me with transportation yesterday. Your prayers were granted in large measure.

    I'm glad you get to enjoy a month in Italy, even though it's for work. Unplugging is a good thing, too. Thank you for your prayers and for missing this blog while you're away (and saying so). Godspeed!

    I hope that the joy/obedience and love/obedience connection are an accurate reflection of the Scriptures' presentation. My goal here was just to parse the complex, nonlinear cause/effect relationships in John 13-15. The title phrase you like grew out of reflection on Jonathan Edwards's _Religious Affections_ some years ago. I have an essay from that time in stash, but it was too long to post here. Even by my standards. :) Feel free to e-mail if you'd like to see it.

    Thanks for the perspective on the world's view of obedience. My thoughts had not gone that direction at all.

    May all of you kind friends find grace to obey and to find delight in it today. The Lord loves you!

  10. Hello lovely,
    I love your words of love on God's love. We love Him because He first loved us- such a breathtaking thought!
    You are a treasure...your words encouraged my soul. Much love and grace to you sweet friend!

  11. @Brandee Shafer Yes, love. It's been one of the better weeks in a while. Chest pain up a bit today, but the back/hip is much improved already. Much love and thanks for your prayers!


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