Perfected in Love

Posted on 09/18/2016 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

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TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

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Week before last, we talked about Love -- specifically in the context of relationships, and particularly regarding ones of the romantic variety. Today, I'd like for us to broaden the scope of relationships, and consider how we can become perfected in love.


And today's message won't be long. I'm not planning to present lots of information; rather, I'd like for us to take a real-life test, observe the results, and apply the principle of dwelling in the Love of God that, according to 1 John chapter 4, is already perfected in us.


1 John 4:12, 16b-17a (NASB)

12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.
16 God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
17 By this, love is perfected with us.

So first, verse 12 tells us that God's Love is already perfected in us, because God Himself dwells in us, and God IS Love. And verse 16 says that God IS Love, and "the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him." and, "By this, love is perfected with us."

By WHAT? By abiding in Love. And that's all the information we need. It's all right there. The answer to displaying complete, perfect Love to everyone is in those three verses.

Let's read them again, and then we'll consider how, in our next encounter with someone, we can observe our level of Love, and dwell completely in the perfect Love that lives inside of us.

1 John 4:12, 16b-17a (NASB)

12 No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.
16 God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
17 By this, love is perfected with us.

No one has seen God at any time. You can't see Love. But few would deny its existence. And as we saw two weeks ago, true Love is not a feeling, but a condition of dwelling in Presence that results in Loving actions.

And here's the test: Next time you are with someone, observe the feelings in your body. And this may be easier if the relationship is NOT of the romantic nature, and it may be more productive if the relationship is not pleasant.

Take your attention away from the story about the person, what they've done, who you think they are, and so-on. Instead, place your attention into your body. Feel the feelings that arise. Don't judge the feelings, or get sidetracked into a story about the feelings and whether they're good or bad, and whether they are justified... instead, just let the feelings be. For our test, they are neither good nor bad, they simply ARE.

And you can also observe the activity of the mind, and you just might discover that the feelings in your body and the thoughts produced by the mind are connected. And just like with the feelings, do not judge the thoughts. The MIND is what is producing them, not YOU. YOU are the one who is observing all of this taking place.

Of course, the mind will loudly try to pull your attention back on IT, and ITS thoughts, and ITS stories. But just bring your attention back into the Temple of God, the Temple of Love, which, as the Scriptures tell us, is your Body, NOT your mind.

And as the other person speaks, realize that it is the MIND that is speaking, not the actual being they are. Their mind produces thoughts, and they are lost in that mind and its thoughts and they feel as though they ARE that mind that is producing those thoughts.

They also BELIEVE those thoughts completely. Just like WE tend to believe the thoughts of OUR mind completely.

They are wrong, and we are right. But it's not ME and YOU who are at odds, rather, it is MY mind and YOUR mind that believe their own stories and judgments and conclusions to be absolutely correct, while the other is absolutely wrong.

MY story versus YOUR story. But ultimately, the stories don't even really matter. Not today. Not now.

Today, right now, we are dwelling in perfect Love. We step out of Love when we dwell in the mind. In the stories. In the mind-made person we think we are and we think THEY are.

But God Himself, Pure, Perfect Love, is literally filling your body. So bring your attention back into that Temple of God, that Temple of Love. And just see what happens.

Don't JUDGE what happens, or make a story about it; that is what the MIND will do, and you can let it do what it does, as you return to the Temple and Dwell, in this moment and in this place, in Love, in Presence, in God.