“God is Love. Whoever lives in Love lives in God, and God in them.” (1 John 4:16, 8)
Greetings again Friends!
Whoever we are, and wherever we come from, we all observe a basic conduct or etiquette of behavior we would expect from people which governs our relationship with them. From a personal level where we develop friendships to a complex level between people and nations, this custom or conduct is called “protocol.” The dictionary defines the word as a code of correct conduct. You might say, it’s a right of passage to something or someone. On a personal level, it may not be so legalistic, but on a level involving organizations, companies, and nations, protocols are more detailed and procedural.
On a personal relationship level, the basic protocol would be a person’s basis for association with another. That’s to say, the next person regards you as a person with the inviolable right to life, self-determination, the pursuit of happiness, and you are an individual worthy of love, respect, and honor. This is the basis for genuine protocol for person-to-person relationships. You can say they are sacrosanct. If a person does not believe you are unquestionably entitled to these qualities of life, or thinks you do not deserve one or more of them, then your relationship with such a person will be problematic. Every wrongdoing or criminal act committed on a person is a violation against one or more of these human values and rights.
Many people are not what you may think they are, and you’ll find genuine friends through experience and observation as it relates to these basic personal values (protocol). For Americans, these are values enshrined in the nation’s constitution. That’s not to say the constitution is perfect. There’s more to God’s purpose than what any human hand can pen.
(For example, those who hate and despise others for whatever assumed reasoning or bias, think happiness is reserved only for those who merit such a state of existence. Yet, the abiding principle of ‘golden rule’ applies to all, both to friend and foe alike. If one sows the seeds of unhappiness and discord in others (hatred and division), it is because he already has it first before he can sow it in others – what goes around, comes around! Jesus clarifies this, saying, “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.”)
This is no different from our relationship with God. There is a basic protocol to be observed if our relationship with God is to be genuine and true, so the divine can respond to our plea for interfacing with it. There is a vital difference though, in human relationships we are relating with people who are all God’s human creation, whereas with God there is a divine/human, Creator/created, Father/child, relationship.
So what is this protocol which governs our relationship with God? The protocol answers the question of why God made humans in the first place, and to never deviate from His express divine purpose for human existence. What is that purpose? The Genesis account of creation says God made humans to reflect Himself in character and composition: “So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them” (Gen1:27). That means man’s destiny is to become Love as “God is Love,” and to inherit immortality and rule the earth forever. (Gen.1:26-27; 1 John 4:8, 16; John 3:16) God Himself is the mold and purpose for human creation. Humans were created to become God’s children. Yes, He deals with each one of us as His own child with whom He can have personal, individual, relationship.
The protocol calls upon man to respond to His divine purpose in faith, and express a living faith through our actions. First, it requires we look to God as a Father who has begotten us because of His deep, abiding Love for us, and is in the process of bringing us into His eternal reigning family. He expects us to live expressing His Love for all humans. Paul said it like this, “Owe nothing to anyone–except for your obligation to Love one another. If you Love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law (or, to conform to His purpose for human life)” (Rom.13:8, NLT).
It sounds simplistic, but it is not as easy as it seems. It is difficult to “Love neighbor as you Love yourself” (Mark 12:31). And I will share with you why and how it is possible to make His Love a way of life, and how we can know we have eternal life in us.
Let’s begin with immortality. This is what the Bible says about it, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:16, NASB). When you will have taken on immortality, you naturally would have Love as an intrinsic part of your being. In other words, they are one and the same life and can’t be separated.
This passage asks man to believe in simple faith in Jesus who has Himself said, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:26). You see, central to the issue of immortality is the prerequisite of faith… “do you believe this?” we are asked. That’s all… it is quite straight forward and is as simple as a child can know.
Do you think when God made mankind to become His immortal children, He would make it as difficult as possible (as some believers postulate), or as easy as possible, to become His children? Yes, God has said it is as easy as believing in His Son, period! John can’t be more clear and simple when God inspired him to write, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
But we know that simple believing has become just as hard because of confusion. Confusion breeds doubt, the reverse of faith. When you think about it, doubt means you have a choice. And choice means you have to choose between two opposites. This is not altogether a bad thing. Since having an option means you are living freely – you have FREEDOM! Why is this important? Because Love and freedom originate from the same place – God’s very divine Being. You cannot have Love without freedom, nor freedom without Love. In other words, God wants for man to freely choose to Love Him. Love and freedom is an intrinsic part of His nature. “God is Love” (John 3:16). Paul said, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Gal.5:1).
God could well have made us like the other life forms so that we will respond to His purpose instinctively and automatically. But then, we would not be children, we would be like beasts, fowls, marine life, and other kinds of life. So God gave His human children minds, which other life forms don’t have, to freely choose to Love Him.
However, when I said “confusion” it means there is a deliberate force at work which exists to derail God’s purpose in mankind. Why, so man may not reach his destiny of becoming God’s children inheriting His Love and immortality. So, it is not as simplistic as a choice between two opposites, but we are speaking of two “ways of life.” One is based upon Love and freedom, while the other is centered on fear and captivity (slavery).
So, God’s offer to be part of His eternal divine family is open to all mankind regardless of race, nationality, color, language, or whatever barrier we like to conjure. It is as simple as believing in what God has designed to accomplish in us through His own Son.
In my next segment, I will explain Jesus, and why He is central in God’s purpose to bring humans into His divine family.
If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to write to me in the space provided below, or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until we meet again in my next post, may the blessings of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you always. May the Spirit enliven your spirit and make all things concerning you possible as you live the “Triune Life” as a Bulamanriver.* Be strong in the Lord’s joy.
* Bulamanriver” is the metaphor describing the union of man with the Love of the Triune God flowing in humans, making possible the “Triune Life” – the source of the miraculous life in man. To read the many facets of life of the Bulamanriver, go to my website www.bulamanriver.com where you can order a copy of my Book.
All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.
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