Imitate Your Father:
The most important quality I am seeking to develop in you is love—not the kind of love the world knows but the type that I displayed when I gave My life at the cross. If genuine love resides in your heart, you will never say or do anything to harm someone. You will always seek their good above your own. You won’t need any laws to tell you what to do because your heart will constrain you by your love.
If you love Me in the same way that I love you, then doing what I ask will be no burden or difficulty. We naturally want to do things that please those we love. Learning to love like this is an acquired behavior. It takes time and practice to love unselfishly.
People in the world often proclaim their love for someone, but their true intent is to get something for themselves. I demonstrated what true love is, by the giving of My life for people who would never receive Me or even thank Me for what I have done for them.
You must be willing to do the same. Love people even when they will not reciprocate their love to you. Give to people who will never pay you back or thank you for what you have done for them. Do this, because this is what your Father in heaven does for both the evil and the good every day.
This love that I am asking you to give people on earth now is the kind you will experience once you arrive in heaven. At the moment you first realize that you are home, you will feel a deep and abiding love that will go through your very being and touch every part of you. In heaven, everything that exists is filled with the Father’s love. Not once in your eternal existence will His love ever leave you, or cease to be felt by every person who lives in My Father’s House.
You can begin to love people like this right now, while you are still on earth. You don’t have to wait till you get to heaven to start practicing eternal love.
I have loved you with an everlasting love. It didn’t begin when you were born but long before I knew everything about you—before time began. It would mean a great deal to Me if you would love people with this unconditional love I have given you, right now. Imitate My Father in this: Love everyone the way He has loved you.
Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. ~Ephesians 5:1-2
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, so that you will be the true sons and daughters of your Father in heaven; for He also makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and He sends rain on both he just and the unjust. ~Matthew 5:44-45 (RCR)
O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them. ~John 17:25-26
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. ~Ephesians 3:16-18 (NLT)
Jesus, help me to be like my Father in heaven, who loves without reservation or limits. He is good to everyone even to those who hate Him, use His earth but never thank Him, and do not appreciate all that He has done for them.
I want to be a true child of God, who is good to everyone for the sake of my Father and for You, Jesus, who gave Your life to save me.
Teach me this new way of loving people, by giving me opportunities with the harsh and unkind of this world. Show me, when they are mean and cruel, how to break through their hate and melt their cold, hard hearts with Your love. I want to imitate Your Father, Jesus, and love the worst of this world the way He has loved me.