Is it, how does this problem affect me?Or, is it how does this problem affect my family, or others, or the ones I love?Is your first thought about you? Or is it about the welfare of others?
John 15:1 – “I am (Jesus) the true (or, genuine, perfect, real, essential, enduring, not true as opposed to false) vine and My Father (God the Father) is the vinedresser (or, farmer, gardener, husbandman, a tiller of the soil, a vine keeper).”
John 15:2 – “Every (or, all, each and every one, the whole, in totality, lacking none) branch in (abiding in) Me (Jesus) that does not bear fruit He (the Vinedresser) takes away (or, lifts up, elevates, raises up, to raise from the ground, to carry, to bear, to remove from its place); and every (or, all, each and every one, the whole, in totality, lacking none) branch that bears fruit He (the Vinedresser) prunes (or, cleans, makes pure, spotless, and without stain; to purify from filth, to cleanse from defilement), (why) that it may bear more fruit.”
He said, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also" (John 14:1-3).
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love (agape) one another; as I have loved (agape) you, that you also love (agape) one another. By this (your love for one another) all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love (agape) for one another" (John 13:34-35).
I've built walls, a fortress deep and mighty, that none may penetrate.I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain.It's laughter and it's loving I disdain.I am a rock, I am an island.Don't talk of love, I've heard the words before; It's sleeping in my memory.I won't disturb the slumber of feelings that have died.If I never loved I never would have cried.I am a rock, I am an island.
How is that even possible?How do we increase in the knowledge of God?How do we grow closer to Him?How can we learn to hear His voice?And how can we live in the center of His will?
Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them (Matt. 21:14).
How can we love others with God’s love when we find it so hard to feel loved by God ourselves?Does God sometimes hide from us and our pain?And, if not, why does He allow pain and suffering to happen to me and my family?Where is His love during those bad times?
How can we “esteem others better than ourselves”? (Phil. 2:3).How can we “love (agape) one another as Christ has loved (agape) us”? (John 13:34).How can we live in fellowship (koinōnia) together, “bearing each other’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ?” (Gal. 6:2).How can we live in Christian community with each other, as a loving family, as part of His body functioning together as one?Do we even want to live that way?And, if we do, what would motivate us to love each other more than we love ourselves and to forgive each other— no matter what?Is that even possible today?