Does any reader, have a heart’s-sight of this description?
“Wherever we see Christ, he is imparting blessings as the sun imparts light and warmth. While he was here on the earth, he was always reaching out his hand to give a benediction to some life that sorely needed it.
“Now it was on the children’s heads, now on the leper, now on the blind eyes, now on the sick, now on the dead, that he laid those gracious hands, and always he left some rich gift of blessing.
“Then, we remember one day when those gentle hands were drawn out by cruel enemies, and with iron nails fastened back on the cross; yet even then, it was in blessing that they were extended, for it was for our sins they were transfixed thus on the wood.
“As we :see: them thus stretched out as wide as they could reach, the attitude suggests the wideness of the divine mercy. Thus the arms of God are open to the utmost, to receive all who will come and seek refuge. There is room for the worst sinners” ~Dr. James R. Miller.
Question: Would that picture above, be a picture of a refuge, as a place for your security and safety; or a picture of some awe-inspiring majesty, or maybe even a picture of an evil hide-out?
It all depends on the way we :see:
Each person’s perspective or point-of-view, is a heart-matter! We see through “the eyes of our heart” and interpret what we see, by the preconditioning of our judgments, and/or by our experiences and our current state-of-heart and mind ~e.g. Ephesians 1:18 & Luke 12:54-56. That is: we may see injustice and react with anger as the state of our heart; or we may see something that’s heart-warming and respond with empathy and compassion.
The Greatest Heart of all, saw us down-through the ages, through His own state of extreme persecution, pain, anguish and contempt: but said: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” ~Luke 23:34. He saw an angry and grief-stricken mob, even from the torment of His cross. But what did his heart see? He saw our need of forgiveness.
So, how can we :see: and follow this Great-Heart’s example and life-of-love? Anyone with real faith who’s reading this, has probably seen it already, and experienced the love of God flowing through your own love for people, as you’ve reached out.
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you, so that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another ~John 15:13-17.
So that! Great-Heart said: These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
Yes, this Great-Heart was tested, just like you and I are tested:
For, when the Pharisees heard that this Messiah had silenced the nation’s political leaders by his response to their questions, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments, depend all the Law and the Prophets ~Matt. 22:34-40.
So, our interpretation of all that we see in our outside world, and all that we read – another way of seeing! – in the Holy Bible, depends on how we’re fulfilling these two commands, for: On these two commandments, depend all the Law and the Prophets – love the Lord your God with all that you are; and love your neighbor as yourself.
For, all that we experience in life – our ups and our downs, our torments and our peace, our drudgery and our victory – are all conditioned by the love of God, that’s shed abroad in our heart by the Holy Spirit who is given to us, through our faith in the eternal gospel ~see Rom. 5:1-5. So, our heart’s-sight of the love of God, is right there as the Son of God took our place of punishment on the cross, and this is crucial for us knowing the love of God.
Therefore, in living our lives, we’re in the same position as Great-Heart! For, we have supernatural love, and we therefore have the ability to see all of our surrounds through His love, and so: respond just the same as He does to the heart-felt-needs of our surrounds.
Our start-point is: Father forgive them, for I know you’ve forgiven me.
Then, as we continue in our joyful faith, knowing God’s own forgiveness and the freedom it brings, we’re enabled by the spontaneous knowledge of God’s love, to say along with Christ:
For the Father loves me as His son, and shows me all that He himself is doing ~John 5:20.
So, what about those commandments? Those only two commandments that “are left”, for this guide of our conduct, in love. “Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in Christ, that: whoever says he abides in Christ, ought also to conduct himself in the same way as Christ conducted himself ~1 John 2:4-6.
Therefore, by our great and merciful God’s enabling power of the Holy Spirit’s communication of God’s love to us, all things are possible, for we are enabled by God, to conduct ourselves as Christ conducted himself.
Of course, this love-response, is conditioned upon our state of purity, and upon whether we’ve “crucified our carnal nature, with its passions and desires” ~Gal. 5:24; and/or whether we’ve “circumcised our hearts” ~e.g. Rom. 2:28. But these are teachings that Holy Spirit must train us in, in order for our characters to be strengthened in love; so that we respond in love, live a life of love, and love others as much as we love ourselves.
Each of us goes through similar trials and tests or through the strengthening of our characters, in these ways; so we therefore have taken-on-board this saying of Great-Heart’s “These things I command you, so that you will love one another”, for we’re all learning together, and being made holy, together – we rejoice with those who rejoice, and we weep with those who weep ~Romans 12:15; so that our love-together is strengthened into His love.
Love and uprightness will guide us home, and we are being enabled through our practice of the knowledge of God’s love, to work the works of God whilst-ever we’re here on earth.
Notes & References
Ephesians. 1:16-19 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe
Luke 12:54-56 He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming. ’ And so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?
Romans 2:28 For a person is not a Jew who is one outwardly, and true circumcision is not something visible in the flesh. On the contrary, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart — by the Spirit, not the letter. That man’s praise is not from men but from God.
So: Does God praise people? Yes, as we walk in His ways, He praises us! or similarly: He confirms and establishes our good qualities ~see also, Philemon 1:6.
Romans 8:16-18 The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs — heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ. We will experience being co-glorified with him, provided that we accept his sufferings as our own ~ a ‘marriage’ of the English Standard Version and The Passion Translation.
Romans 8:18 We will experience being co-glorified with him, provided that we accept his sufferings as our own ~The Passion Translation. Does that ‘sound like’ the vision or heart’s-sight of God’s love that we’re looking for, that enables us to conduct ourselves in Christ? It does to me.