MUSINGS ON LOVE AND LOVING (2)
Even as God is Triune love and loving, I perceive complete genuine love and loving displaying three essential and distinct characteristics: the elements of giving, receiving and reciprocating.
Father loves (giving) Son and Spirit. Son and Spirit accept and embraces (receiving) Father’s love (giving). Son and Spirit reciprocate (reciprocating) by similarly loving Father in return. All this happens, in a reciprocal, simultaneous, synergistic, dynamic loving exchange.
If God is only ONE, and is love, then complete and eternal love, would ONLY be eternal self-loving. Then, the highest and greatest expression of love would ONLY be loving one’s self, for in eternity there is no genuine and authentic OTHER to love and to be loved in return. There is giving to and receiving from yourself in self- loving. However, there is no reciprocating, as there is no genuine and authentic other reciprocating love to yourself.
Jesus’ statements on the first and great commandment and the second like it, is instructive on the importance and genuineness of self, the other, love and loving.
In the second, Jesus introduced the element of love and loving to one’s relationship to one’s neighbour (the other). More than that, he linked it, as inseparable, of equal importance to the first ; to the love obligation that an Israelite had of loving LORD (YHWH) GOD (Elohim- Plural).
In so doing, even as Self and the Other is genuinely real in YHWH ELOHIM, so too, our individual self, and therefore, the self of another, is correspondingly, genuine and real. As such, our love and loving is also authentically and meaningfully real. I believe that this comforts and gives purpose to many who struggle with the notion of whether self or love and loving is authentically meaningful. Even as self and another freely and willingly initiate, create and complete love, giving, receiving and reciprocating love makes self and the other complete, whole and fulfilled.
Loving your neighbour as yourself is much more than just doing to others what you wish others will do to you or do not do to others what you do not wish others to do to you. God lives, rests and abides in us when we love our neighbour. It is written in 1 John 4: ”Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”  God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.”
Giving, receiving and reciprocating love and loving, to and from God and each other, not only enables us to know God and each other, it eventually makes us one in God. Jesus prayed: “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”
 Matthew 22:37, 38
 Matthew 22:39
 See Matthew 22:34-39. The word commonly translated ‘and’ is actually Strong’s G1161 Greek word “ δέ - de” more accurately having the meaning of “but, moreover”. When paired with the Greek words “ὁμοία [(homoia) from homois ( See Strong’s G3664)”] αὐτῇ - literally ‘like it’” , the phrase has within it the connotation of “like but equally important.” “A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’" New Living Translation. “And the second is like it in importance: ‘You must love your friend in the same way you love yourself.’” The Passion Translation. The word “second” connotes distinction and inseparability rather than priority vis a vis the first. You cannot love God if you do not love thy our neighbour. By loving your neighbour, you are also loving God. See 1 john 4:7,16
 Deuteronomy 6:4,5 In Hebrew the word “יְהוָה-YHWH” is translated LORD, and the word “אֱלֹהֶיךָ-Elohim” is translated as God. Note that YHWH is ONE (Deuteronomy 6;4) but Elohim is Plural See Strong’s H430 – plural of אֱלוֹהַּ-‘elowahh meaning God.
 1 John 4:7,8
 1 John 4:12 NRSV See Strong’s G3306 translated as “lives” here
 1 John 4:16 NRSV See Strong’s G 3306 translated as “abides’ here. “God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.” NLT
 Other ancient manuscript reads be one in us
 John 17:20-24 NRSV
I believe that for many of us, much of the emptiness, incompleteness and meaninglessness that we feel concerning ourselves and our lives stem from our lack of giving, receiving and reciprocating love, to and from God and each other.
We are whole and complete only when we are in a genuine love and loving relationship with God and one another.
I believe we fail to be fulfilled, to be whole and complete, because we fear or reject love and loving, in particular, the sacrificial cross of true love and loving.
In true loving giving, many of us fear the emptying of our whole selves to the other, for true love necessitates that we, eventually, give our all, with the possibility of rejection and getting nothing in return.
In true loving receiving, the fear for many is, the emptying of ourselves to accommodate fully the change and demands that would inevitably result from letting another, through their loving, enter into and begin an authentic love relationship with us.
In true loving reciprocating, we fear the judgement, rejection or non-appreciation of the adequacy of our response by the other.
Furthurmore, for some of us, concerns arise as to whether our true self may eventually be diminished or lost through the demands, consequences and costs of genuine complete love. I have queried: Isn’t giving and emptying out of my full original self a subtraction from the fullness of myself? Isn’t receiving the love of another, permitting another to intrude or occupy a part of the original space that belonged to and was occupied by my self? Subsequently, wouldn’t this subtraction or occupation, if allowed to continue, ultimately, result in me, being less than who I originally and pristinely am? Is this the meaning and cost of the sacrificial cross of true love and loving?
I have struggled with these fears and concerns and after much contemplation believe that they can be resolved.
Paul’s understanding of the emptying of the Son of God was enlightening for me. He wrote: “Have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had: Although he was in the form of God and equal with God, he did not take advantage of this equality. Instead, he emptied himself by taking on the form of a servant, by becoming like other humans, by having a human appearance. He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, death on a cross.”
For me, this describes that part of Son’s living sacrificial cross, of love and loving, that culminated in death at the cross of Calvary. Genuine love and loving is no romanticised utopia of perfect harmony, living happily ever after, in a fairy tale setting.
Sacrificial life-cross love expresses patience and kindness when impatience and unkindness rear their heads. This love means not being envious, boastful, arrogant and rude, when confronted with opportunities for these feelings to upraise themselves. This way of loving does not become irritable nor resentful in relating with others, for it does not seek its own way only, does not rejoice in wrongdoing but delights in truth. Sacrificial life-cross love forgives, is gracious and merciful; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things. This true and wholesome love never fails and never ends, for this is Triune God’s love and loving.
This is genuine authentic love in action. This is revelation of what love is, and what is meant by “God is love”, in the Bible. To walk and grow into this true, genuine, love and loving, I will have to embrace, take up, and bear my own similar sacrificial life-cross and follow Him. There is no other way.
In Son becoming human, it did not make him less than Who He originally was. He continued to be truly and properly God: “For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, “I and Father are One.” ” Rather, in Him, Who is love, becoming human, He became more than Who He originally was, God, Son. Now, God, the Son, is also a true and proper human being: “For there is one God and there is one Mediator between God and men—a human, Messiah Yeshua.”
Marriage, the loving union of two individuals, male and female become one flesh, is another excellent illustration of love making us, more than who we individually are. In loving union, two individuals are more than mere separates. They are, now, also one flesh, that which they were not before. For each of them, in loving union, the whole that each and both have become, in being jointly one, is much more than the sum of what they previously were, as mere individuals, or, separates sharing commonalities.
In commanding us to love one another as he has loved us,Jesus showed us not only the way of love to enable us to be more than we, separately, are, but also the way of ever increasing the sum of who we are, through union communion oneness in loving relationships.
In giving, receiving, reciprocating and emptying love, we allow our self to be joined as one to and live in another even as we allow another to be joined as one to and live in us. As such the sum of that which we and the other are increase. When we add many more other and Triune God into the mix, the sum of everyone ever keeps growing in union communion oneness.
Loving each other, in this way, is accepted as simultaneously expressing true love for Triune God and enables us to grow, towards ever deepening union and communion oneness, with Triune God.
I believe that Jesus’ praying has been and continues to be that everyone may journey along this way of loving living sacrificial love, that all may experience the loving intimacy Triune God desires for and with us.
As Son has become human like us, walked, lived and continues to ever live His sacrificial life-cross of love and loving for our sakes, I wonder, are we courageous and challenged enough to take up our respective sacrificial life-cross of love and loving and follow Him, that we might be set free from fear?
I believe that to do so would be a step towards living and resting in complete, wholesome love, living life without fear, with Triune God and one another.
In Him, and empowered by Spirit in love, I hope we do so.
 Philippians 2:2-8 GW God’s Word Translation
 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
 1 john 4:16
 2 Corinthians 1:19; Galatians 2:20; Philippians 2:6
 John 10:30
 It should not be surprising, that God, Who is love, can be more than who God is in eternity before creation. To me, God (Elohim), proclaiming in Exodus 3:14: “I AM THAT I AM”(AKJV) “I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE”(AMPC) , “I SHALL BE WHAT I SHALL BE”TANAKH STONE EDITION), is revelation of “God as God who can be more than God is”, even as God (Elohim-Plural)) is more than One.
 1 Timothy 2:5 TLV Tree Of Life Version
 John 13:34
 John 17:20-24
 John 17:20-25
 Hebrews 7:25 Query: Is he still bearing his sacrificial life-cross of love and loving through his intercession for us?
 John 17: 20-25
 1 John 4:16
If God is really One, there can be no Three. If God is really Three, no One is possible.
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